Depending on who you talk to, for a marketer, the ever-changing nature of social media is either an invigorating challenge or an all-out nightmare. Regardless of which side you’re on, the fact remains that platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are constantly adding new features, and that staying on top of these updates is crucial for staying relevant and making the most of your social media marketing. To give you a helping hand, our pros at McCauley Marketing Services are offering the 411 on some of the latest and most important changes in the world of social media.
Videos have a long record of performing well on Facebook, but Facebook Live now allows you to broadcast a video in real time. While the feature itself has been around since August of 2015, it was originally only available to public figure pages, but it’s gradually expanded and can be accessed on both iOS and Android mobile devices. This is a great tool for marketers to start getting familiar with because it truly invites your followers into your business and makes them feel like “part of the action.” Marketing with Facebook Live is also a great way to boost engagement, because these videos are prioritized to appear higher in viewers’ news feeds, and according to Facebook, their initial data shows that viewers comment ten times more on Live videos than on regular videos.
Twitter Character Limit Change
No, Twitter is not upping the character limit from 140 to 10,000 like some have speculated. They have, however, thrown a bit of a carrot to the brevity-challenged tweeters by announcing that they will no longer include pictures or links in the 140-character limit. At first glance, it seems like great news, because Twitter’s data has long shown that tweets with images get more engagement, so social media marketing pros will no longer need to choose between that eye-catching picture or twenty-odd much-needed characters of text. But will images carry the same weight when so many more tweets include them? The change is expected to take effect later this month, so it will be an intriguing experiment over the coming months, but in the meantime, celebrate that you can now tell a more complete story with your tweets while also inviting readers to your website.
Businesses with multiple locations have always had a bit of a struggle with Facebook, often resorting to creating a separately managed page for each location, which can be quite the headache for a marketer. Facebook has recently added a tool called Locations, which allows these businesses to include various locations under one business name and to manage them all in one place. Talk about a time-saver!
Just this month, Twitter began rolling out their new Connect tab – a dedicated place where they recommend accounts a user may be interested in following. It may seem like a minor change, but for social media marketing professionals, it means a whole new way for new followers to find you. The recommendations are based on factors like the tweets and accounts the user has engaged with, as well as popular accounts in their geographic area, which means you can be connected with local customers.
Facebook Private Message Replies
A few months ago, Facebook added a feature which seems minor but is actually very helpful for healthcare companies like many of our clients at McCauley Marketing Services. If a user comments on a business page’s post, that page now has the ability to reply to the comment with a private message instead. This allows you to respond to questions you may not want to answer publicly (such as price-related questions or, for healthcare marketing in particular, anything which would compromise patient privacy if you were to post it as a public comment), but Facebook also displays a message informing other users that you’ve replied via private message, so it doesn’t look like you simply ignored the comment.
Personally, we at McCauley Marketing Services are on the side of the debate which loves watching social media evolve to match the changing needs of its users. And what good marketer doesn’t enjoy finding new ways to reach their target audience? We’re excited to continue exploring the new changes above, and we can’t wait to see what else the coming months have in store. To learn more about how we can maximize your company’s social media potential, schedule a meeting with McCauley Marketing Services. Or for more marketing tips and helpful info, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.