Here is a list of some recent happenings in the social media world, what you need to know about them, and how you can work these changes in your favor.

Facebook to Overhaul Your News Feed

As I talked about yesterday, Facebook’s organic reach has declined from 16% in February of 2012, down to 6% in March of 2014. The latest rumors are that this will decrease all the way down to 1% as Facebook continues to “clean up” it’s news feed in an effort to make the consumers experience more pleasing.

What to do

  • Keep posting regularly. As I’ve said time and time again, your social media strategy should be a tool to tell your story in a noisy social media world. The path a potential customers takes on his or her way to finally buying a product is a lot different than it use to be. Make sure your social channels are frequently updated with engaging, industry relevant content. This is a signal to your potential buyer that you are in tune and engaged with your audience.
  • If you aren’t already, begin using Facebook Ad’s. But hold on. In my opinion, these changes make the value of  a “Like” decrease dramatically since we essentially have little chance to ever reach them. Instead, take out paid news feed advertisements to an external landing page to generate leads, build product awareness, or engage the user outside of the Facebook platform.

Facebook Updates Ad Targeting Options

In addition to the new the Facebook ad structure (which is awesome), they also added and expanded on their targeting options. Previously if you wanted to target, for example, parents who watch Yo Gabba Gabba and Sesame Street you would use “Parents“, “Yo Gabba Gabba“, and “Sesame Street” as your interests. However, that would target people who are parents who are fans of Yo Gabba Gabba OR Sesame Street. With the latest changes you can actually target the exact criteria of your needs, and in this example, target only parents who like both Yo Gabba Gabba and Sesame Street. There are also multiple changes to ad dimensions making the ad image sizes more universal. Changes to behavior and interest targeting, and much more.

What to do

  • Read this and this. Keep in mind these articles are maintained and written by programmers, so it isn’t  always a read for the faint of heart.

Google+ Adds Total Profile Views Counter

In a move that only Google could get away with, there is now a public counter on every personal and business Google+ profile page. Seriously, imagine if Facebook users had a running counter on their profile open to public viewing.

What to do

  • There’s no indicator at this point that a users individual view count will impact visibility of the profile or their respective posts, but it does give users an added incentive to drive profile views from third party sites to boost their view counts. If for nothing else, ego and clout.

Facebook Testing “Save” Button

A few weeks ago, Facebook users started reporting a “Save” option on posts not belonging to them. This text link has shown up occasionally for me personally, located in line with the like, share, and comment options below a status update. To me, this is an obvious attempt by Facebook to take on the likes of Pocket, Flipbook, HTC’s BlinkFeed, and more. I see this actually branching into a separate app similar to what they’ve done with “Pages” and “Messenger”. The “save” option gives Facebook users the opportunity to bookmark a status update, whether it’s a image, link, text – anything that appears in the news feed.

What to do

  • I’m not as high on this as a lot of people are. We know the psychology of a Facebook user is not in investing a lot of time consuming long form content, but instead just quickly scanning what is going on in their friends lives. Data shows the posts with the highest engagement rates are only 40 characters. This does give us an opportunity to produce long form content, infographics, videos, outbound links, and encourage users to “save” it and read it on their own time. Basically, a DVR for Facebook.

Google+ Outperforming Twitter

A new report by Forrest explains why, as I’ve been saying, 2014 will be the year of Google+. The report details how Google+ is actually delivering twice the engagement rate of Twitter per piece of content. The report goes on to state that the user base is only a quarter of Facebook, in line with Twitter, and ahead of Pinterest and Instagram. What I don’t like about these reports, though correct, they don’t mention that Twitter isn’t necessarily about producing and shooting out content for users to engage with. What Twitter crushes Facebook and Google+ at is actually listening and jumping into the middle of the conversation involving your product, product or industry. As you can see in this tutorial video I put together, Twitter gives us opportunities that G+ will never be able to…

What to do

  • Obviously, you need to be on Google+. While I don’t fully agree with the report, I am still big on Google+. For many reasons, one people that Google has stacked the cards in G+’s favor when it comes to SEO and SEM. The “feed speed” is very slow on Google+, so you can get away with a piece of content every day or two, versus Twitter requiring 24/7 activity.
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