Socialize: April 2014

Posted by: in Social Media Insights & Trends on April 30, 2014

While Twitter is rolling out a new layout and Statigram is now Iconosquare, it was Facebook that made a name for itself in April, taking over social media news one update at a time. Find out what else is hot for month and Socialize!

What you need to know in April:

  • Facebook News Feed Changes
    • Facebook has made many changes in the last month, shifting from an online network of communication with friends to being a product that provides every user with a perfectly personalized digital newspaper. Changes include the addition of auto-play videos, larger photos, higher quality news stories, resurfaced content and displaying more content from brands.
    • Why it matters: With an ever-changing algorithm in place, it is important for brands to keep on top of the changes that will directly affect their Pages, which at this point, are most changes as Facebook becomes more of a marketing hub.  Additionally, since users have more control over what they see in their News Feed than they even realize, the best way to ensure that fans care about your posts is to engage with them on the pages, keep content current and exciting, and advertise if possible.
    • What you have to say about it: “While I personally am not a fan of auto-play anything (especially ads), I do appreciate the ongoing personalization of my FB timeline, and am particularly excited about the ability to reach fans of other brands through cross-post tags. This is an incredibly important “next step” for social content sharing that will continue to drive engagement with (and among) influencers.” – Jessica Volchok,  Healthcare Senior Manager, Los Angeles, CA”
  • Facebook Rolls Out ‘Business Manager’ Tool for Marketers
    • Facebook recently launched Business Manager, a tool that lets marketers and agencies manager multiple campaigns via one interface. With this tool, you can assign roles to people working on various campaigns and the goal is to let agencies and clients securely share campaign materials.
    • Why it matters: Agencies and brands will want to keep on top of this new tool, for it may forever change the way that agencies and clients communicate via social. While this will make sharing capabilities more efficient, there is also plenty of room for mishaps and unintentionally sharing private information, publically.
    • What you have to say about it: “The rollout of the Business Manager tool is not necessarily practice-changing, but it will definitely help organize and streamline the page management process. Even seemingly simple fixes like the ability to quickly add and delete people from their roles and the ability to separate personal and business emails on Facebook help create a more seamless management experience. By ensuring a place where marketers can easily keep track of all of their campaigns in one place, Facebook is trying to solidify itself as an integral part of any online marketing plan. I do wonder how this will affect (a) current Facebook pages that we help manage and how they will be rolled into the business manager, and (b) larger agencies with many Facebook businesses.” – Paula Gitis, Healthcare Account Manager, San Francisco, CA
  • Facebook Launches Nearby Friends Feature
    • Facebook launched Nearby Friends via mobile, an app that allows you to see the location of your friends. The app must be manually activated to work and in addition, must be manually deactivate to hide your location from friends who have you on their lists. :
    • Why it matters: Companies now have another way to discover if customers are using their products and utilizing their stores, offices, etc. by understanding where target audiences are spending their time. When advertisements roll out on the feature, your brand will want to take part in the marketing approach.
    • What you have to say about it: “Social media, Facebook in particular, is all about sharing.  Nearby Friends is an extension of this sharing; however, I do not plan on activating the app.  Although Facebook has said it will store Nearby Friends data on company servers (but not use it for advertising purposes), I do not see any direct negative or positive outcomes because it is up to the user to activate the in-platform app.  The number of notifications one receives may increase and oversharing may occur, but it is up to each individual to opt in or opt out. Ultimately, if I need to know where someone is, I can simply send them a text.” – Ashlyn Abell, Analytics Associate, Austin, TX
  • Facebook Launches Newswire Feature
    • Facebook launched FB Newswire, a Facebook Page that aggregates news content shared on social networks. FB Newswire is a partnership with Storyful, a news agency that compiles news content that is shared via social networks. All stories will be approved by a team of expert journalists before they go live on Facebook.
    • Why it matters: If your brand is creating newsworthy buzz, you may be featured on FB Newswire – you’ll want to watch out for stories and mentions – and keep on top of competitor conversation in the news as well. Additionally, this presents an opportunity for PR pros and the brands they represent to be picked up in Facebook conversation; however, in order to stay relevant, brands will need to understand their fans and their presences, build content that appeals to them, utilize visual images and share on Facebook.
    • What you have to say about it: “Facebook launching Newswire is a smart move for their business and a new earned and paid media opportunity for brands. Facebook has been fighting two battles over recent years. The first being the rise of mobile, leading to an onslaught from image-based networks like Instagram (now acquired by Facebook), Tumblr (now acquired by Yahoo!) and Snapchat (declined an acquisition from Facebook), offering quick, snack-able content on-the-go. The second is that Twitter, which was mobile from inception, is still the leading source to get trending or breaking news wherever you are. Facebook’s successful push into mobile since its IPO two years ago now enables them to offer real-time news and trends to its 1.01 billion monthly active mobile users, offering steep competition in the mobile news space to Twitter, who, by comparison, only has about 230 million active users. I expect Newswire will open up new opportunities for Facebook’s already growing mobile ad revenue, which means that brands will be able to target ads around cultural trends and news. But, it also offers an earned media opportunity. If your brand’s story finds its way into Newswire, it has potential reach opportunity.” – David Fossas, Director Strategy & Planning, Austin, TX
  • Users Can Reply to Comments on Pages via Facebook for iPhone
    • Facebook rolled out a new version of its iPhone app, giving users the ability to reply to comments on Pages. Group admins can now review and approve pending posts by group members.
    • Why it matters: This is great for Facebook Page community managers to be able to reply directly to fans comments via mobile. Group admins also can more speedily review and approve pending posts so that they are posted more efficiently.
    • What you have to say about it: “Mobility is becoming a vital feature to everyone. We live in a world where everything is instantaneous and accessible at all times, especially on our social channels.  The new ability for Facebook users to reply to comments on Pages via mobile is important for efficiency and positions the app to be successful as it continues to keep up with the needs of its users.” – Lauren Barbiero, Media Associate, New York, NY
  • Twitter Redesigned Homepage
    • Twitter began rolling out its redesigned homepage to all users. The new layout shows a user’s cover photo behind the profile picture, adding a more visual element to the homepage. The toolbar across the top is white, font sizes are larger and color customization on each homepage is now offered. Additionally, various font sizes are used in the new Twitter profile layout to distinguish tweets that have the most engagement.
    • Why it matters: With any new change, brands need to keep on top of how they are designing and formatting their content. Brand pages must test out how content (i.e. – cover photos, background, fonts) look against the new layout and how the brand page will appear to desktop users. The additional color customization option gives brands the opportunity to be creative and take ownership of their brand identity.
    • What you have to say about it: “Twitter’s continual shift to a more visually dynamic experience only underscores the growing importance of quality visual content to the social marketing space.   And while the cosmetic updates are worth noting, the most significant takeaway for brands is the precedence given to a timeline’s most engaging tweets.  Twitter is in essence rewarding “good” content in what is presumably part of a bigger effort to quell some of the “noise” and deepen user engagement. For brands, there’s no longer any room for “filler” content or one way “conversations”.  Each and every tweet has to be developed with an intention to inspire engagement.”Laura Ciocia, Media and Engagement Director, Atlanta, GA
  • Statigram in Now Iconosquare
    • Statigram announced that they are now Iconosquare, building a new identity that better reflects how the platform has evolved. Iconosquare allows Instagram users to analyze statistics, manage activity and engage in communities. All functionality remains the same.
    • Why it matters: Community managers and brand representatives should be aware that an identity change has been made to the platform formally known as Statigram. Community managers can use this site to grab fan images, stats and to stay engaged in communities.
    • What you have to say about it: “As a community manager, the user generated content I receive from this type of platform is key to my clients’ social strategy. So far, Iconosquare provides the same visual content that helps me to manage fan activity and further engage with our audiences as Statigram did. Luckily, the platform seems to remain formatted the same and will still be able to assist us in providing timely insights into what our fans are taking images of and are passionate about.” – Erin Weinert, Consumer Manager, Austin, TX

 For more detailed information, please view our deck.

By: Samantha Hershman

Account Manager, Social Strategy W2O Group - New York, NY

Find me on: Twitter
Pre-Commerce Check out W2O Group President Bob Pearson's new book, Pre-Commerce, in which he shares ideas for leaders to engage directly with customers to shape their brand and marketplace success. Now available for order on! Join the conversation #precommerce.

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