Blink and your social media marketing strategy will be out of date. The rapid-fire tweaks and updates to platforms can leave your brand’s marketing messages looking dated and, even worse, invisible unless you keep on top of what’s hot, what’s new, what’s trending and what works. Here are four important recent changes to help you stay on top of your social game.
Finding and learning to use the newest digital tools and techniques can be as simple as finding and following those early adopters who live to try new things. ~ Cindy Ratzlaff
Pinterest adds a New Rich Pin for Business Accounts
Pinterest business accounts already have access to a suite of free analytics and the ability to use Rich Pins to enhance the information appended to a pin. From a marketing perspective, this is huge. In addition to Recipe pins, Movie pins and Product Pins, Pinterest announced this week the newest Rich Pin tool called Articles Pin. Articles Pins will help you create boards for “Pin it Now, Read it Later” use and include headline, author, and story description, helping pinners find and save stories that matter to them. If you create something for sale or write something for general consumption, you should consider converting your Pinterest account to a Pinterest Business Account and enabling the Rich Pins tools. Details and information are available on Pinterest’s Business Hub.
Facebook Drops the Third Party App Requirement for Timeline Giveaways and Contests
Facebook has reversed the requirement that business pages need to use a third party app to conduct giveaways on their pages. This is a game changer for small businesses, authors and entrepreneurs just beginning to build their following on this platform. In a highly unscientific test this week, I created three timeline contest giveaways. The first was on a page with 101,000 fans. More than 3,800 people entered the giveaway contest with a “Like” for the post. Engagement on the page increased by 33% and the page gained 3,400 new fans in one week. The uptick in the Talking about This number continued beyond the contest and the page grew more rapidly this week than in previous weeks. The second contest was on an established business page that hadn’t been very active in the past few months. This page, with 5,380 fans, garnered 102 entries and helped jump start the Talking About This number, and was seen by more fans than 14,700 people. Again, the long tail effect has been more engagement on the page and more visits in the days after the contest, leading me to believe that the increased engagement is causing new posts to appear in more fans streams. Finally, the third experiment was a timeline contest on a page begun in May. With just 3,821 fans, this page was just finding it’s foothold. The contest and increased visibility is ongoing (the contest has not yet concluded) but the page is now at 4,133 fans and growing. A successful and satisfying increase in just two days. To see an example of a successful Timeline Contest, check out Queen of Your Own Life’s stream by clicking here.
With 150 million active users and it’s integration into Facebook, Instagram is being used by 25% of Fortune 500 companies and you can use it to promote your brand too. It’s free, easy to use and allows you to create high quality graphics and videos on the go and share socially in minutes. Instagram announced they’ll being selling ads next year and you’ll want to create an active, attractive Instagram presence to position you and your brand to take advantage of this hot outlet to reach new customers. The iOS 7 update means your Instagram pictures are now bigger and shares on this platform are most often consumed on mobile devices. If you’re on Instagram (and you should be) be sure to leave your URL in the comments below so I can follow you. I’m at http://instagram.com/cindyratzlaff.
YouTube Comments Powered by Google Plus
Starting this week, you’ll see the new YouTube comments powered by Google+ on your YouTube channel discussion tab. Don’t have a YouTube Channel? Then, stop reading this and immediately create one. YouTube is one of the top three search engines. Anyone who wants to know “How to” do something is searching and finding the answer on YouTube. Do you know “How to” do something? Does your business help people change their lives, entertain themselves, build, consume or go somewhere? Then you need to be on YouTube demonstrating your authority. Creating a YouTube Channel and verifying it with a Google Plus account will give you the equivalent of your own digital TV station and you’re in charge of the programming. From quick video interviews recorded at live events to pre-planned trainings to short inspirational messages, you have a free tool at your disposal that can help you connect to millions of potential customers. This week Google (who owns YouTube) announced they’ll be managing the comments on your videos in a way that is designed to put the most influential comments at the top of the stream. For more on this change, check out the official YouTube blog.
Want to make sure you don’t miss a beat in the ever changing world of social media marketing? Sign up for my monthly Maximum Visibility Playbook update e-newsletter and stay ahead of the competition. Creating your business was only part of the job. Marketing your business is the difference between a hobby and a brand.