Big changes announced for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn: how will your business respond?
The past month has seen big Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn announcements that will impact on businesses. Is your organisation ready to respond?
Below is a summary of the changes, some of my thoughts on why the social media platforms are changing, and some tips for businesses on how to respond.
Linkedin is rolling out a new range of LinkedIn pricing plans, with accompanying changes to the functionality available for each pricing level. The old flat rate £40 fee has been replaced with a new range of packages starting from a more accessible £19.99.
To incentivise paid sign-ups, LinkedIn has introduced a cap on the number of monthly searches you can do for free. The cap resets on the 1st of each month. Free account holders will receive the following message when their LinkedIn search limit has been reached:
Written exactly like this, the search tells Google to find all LinkedIn profiles that have the phrase “HR Manager” and Leeds in their description.
Another limited facility is being able to send Inmails to people outside your network. But my advice would be that in most cases you wouldn’t send an Inmail to someone outside your network anyway, as this would be received as a cold call. A much better approach is to find a way to connect with the person first, maybe by linking with some of their connections first to give you something in common. Or see which groups they are in and join those. This will give you a clear thing in common. Once you’ve found a shared connection or interest and joined in some of their groups, you can then start a conversation around a mutual interest a couple of weeks later. It is a slower process, but this method of approach is likely to give you a stronger relationship than that email out of the blue that we all hate!
Facebook has just launched a new television advertising campaign. Have you seen it? It’s all about friendship and is very emotive.
But why are they advertising? Is Facebook use going down? The data shows that many teens are now leaving Facebook in favour of Instagram and other platforms. Eight to fourteen-year olds have been brought up on Instagram. I have four children, and from what they tell me, there are kids as young as six being signed up to Instagram by their parents. Personally, I don’t think Instagram is right for a six-year old… nine-ten-year old, perhaps. But the point is, Instagram is now their staple, whereas today’s young adults were brought up on Facebook.
Have you seen the Facebook advertising? What are your thoughts? Maybe Facebook is trying to reach people they’ve never reached before. But the move towards being more proactive on sign-ups rather than assuming people will choose their platform anyway is interesting.
The big news here is the recent announcement (5th February) about a new partnership between Twitter and Google that means tweets will now be indexed on the search engine – ie individual tweets will be listed in Google search results.
From a branding and search engine optimisation (SEO) point of view, businesses therefore now have another tool to be able to dominate in search. This means that having a Twitter strategy and being proactive will become even more important.
If you are already active and strategic on Twitter, then there is nothing new you need to do. You should already be engaging with people and using keywords in your tweets (if you need advice on this or any help with your social media marketing – contact me). All the announcement means is that this activity will become much more influential for your online presence and exposure to new customers and clients.
It will be interesting to see whether tweets from verified accounts (those with the little blue tick – normally big brands and well know names) will be prioritised.
But why are Twitter and Google doing this? It’s nothing new – they used to have this partnership years ago, but it was shelved. Why bring it back now?
There is a feeling that the downside of Google Adwords (compared with Twitter or Instagram or Facebook social advertising) is that it is nowhere near as targeted.
Google personalised data is comparatively limited. Google are introducing demographics (using G+), but the data quality is not even close to being as good as the more active social sites. Perhaps Google is trying to get more personal information to make their advertising more targeted?
What are your thoughts on the new changes? Have you changed (or will you be changing) your business social media strategy as a result? Why do you think the social media platforms are making these changes?
Do share your comments below!