Welcome to the long awaited ‘spring’ edition of our What’s New In Social Media blog. What better thing is there to do while the Siberian winds rage outside? So grab a cup of tea, bask in the warm glow of your computer screen, and catch up on the latest social media developments. This edition takes a look at Facebook’s new algorithm one month on and their work to grow communities. We’ll examine how Twitter is fighting bots and why LinkedIn shouldn’t lie forgotten in a dusty drawer. Enjoy!
Facebook Newsfeed changes – one month on
Back in January we took an in depth look at changes to how Facebook curates its newsfeed. Facebook announced it was changing the algorithm in order to prioritise “meaningful social interactions”. What this meant is that people would be more likely to see posts from their friends and family, and less likely to see posts from businesses they follow. This news was met with fear and trepidation by many businesses.
So, what happened? In it’s yearly report Facebook says that, due to recent changes it’s made, time spent on Facebook has reduced by 50 million hours (5%) a day. However, they say, this was expected. It supports their focus on improving the quality of the time people spend on Facebook in order to build a more useful and longer lasting platform.
What does this mean for my business?
If I’ve got my maths right 50 million hours equates to approximately 5707 years less time we humans are spending on Facebook each day. What are people doing with all this extra time? Building hospitals? Catching up with loved ones? Discovering Snapchat?
More importantly (well, in the context of this blog at least) how is this impacting your activity on Facebook? Have a look at your Insights tab and see whether there’s been much of a drop off in organic reach in the last couple of months. If so, have a look at which content is creating the most engagement and learn from this. And if you’re not already adept at advertising on Facebook, now might be the time to learn. If you want to know more about how to react to Facebook algorithm changes, you can catch up here.
It may also be time to develop your following on other social platforms or to build your email list, to make sure you’re not over-reliant on Facebook.
LinkedIn improves search, listings and layout.
With 546 million members, LinkedIn is the leading service for career and industry-related insights. While Facebook and Twitter know who your friends and family are and (possibly) what you had for supper last night, LinkedIn knows where you’ve worked, who you know professionally and where you might like to go next.
This month LinkedIn has improved the layout of it’s search function, moving the various filters to the top of the page. It’s now far easier to find that long-lost schoolmate or target people in a specific company. You can search for people by company, name, job titles, school, industry, and location.
Despite being perfectly suited for building business-to-business relationships, LinkedIn is often an underused platform. Many people only turn to LinkedIn when they’re on the hunt for a new job.
However it’s worth considering that the network is full of educated, professional people with buying power, who may be interested in what your business has to offer. Aside from promoting your business, you can use LinkedIn to re-connect with previous colleagues and perhaps discuss potential collaborations or deals, as well as targeting potential new leads.
If you need some help getting started, do think about attending our new LinkedIn workshop.
Facebook Community Leadership Program
This month at its Communities Summit Europe event, Facebook launched it’s Community Leadership Program. This initiative invests in people who lead online communities all over the world. The program consists of three main areas:
Residency and fellowship opportunities are available, with training, support and funding of up to $50,000 (or even $1m for five lucky/exceptional applicants) to support community focused proposals.
Community Leadership Circles will help community leaders located close to each other to meet up in person in order to share knowledge and collaborate.
Groups for Facebook Power Admins currently enable 10,000 group admins in the US and UK to interact online and to test out new Facebook features. This program will expand to admit more people.
How can I get involved?
They are currently taking applications for the residency and fellowship from anyone who uses one of Facebook’s tools to manage a community. If this sounds like you, you can find out more and apply here: https://communities.fb.com (Deadline: Friday 9 March)
Twitter limits posting of content from multiple accounts
Partially due to the scrutiny around fake news political influencing of the last couple of years, Twitter is currently implementing new measures to tackle fake or bot accounts as well as those who game the algorithm for nefarious reasons.
For years, people have been able to buy ‘followers’ with fake accounts in order to inflate their perceived influence on Twitter. In fact it is estimated that fake profiles make up around 15% (some 50m) of all Twitter accounts.
A raft of social media management tools have also grown up around the various social networks. These allow people to manage multiple accounts from one tool. These are often massively useful for agencies or those who run their own businesses, allowing the ability to schedule posts across multiple channels, track and measure responses, and generally keep an eye on everything without having 20 different tabs open. At Social Brighton we’ve used a range of these including Sprout Social, Hootsuite, Komfo and Tweetdeck.
However, some companies have used similar services to spam followers with multiple messages from multiple Twitter accounts, to make hashtags trend, inflate their status as influencers and (allegedly) to influence presidential campaigns.
What should I be doing differently?
Twitter has now announced a raft of guidelines to prevent this kind of abuse of the system:
- Do not simultaneously post identical or substantially similar content to multiple Twitter accounts.
- Do not simultaneously perform actions such as Like, Retweet or Follow from multiple Twitter accounts
- It is not permitted to automate or schedule the posting of identical or substantially similar content across many accounts
- Don’t repeatedly follow lots of people and then quickly unfollow the ones that don’t follow you back. (Known as Automated follow-backs)
It is not clear how they mean to police this on an individual user level. It seems that they’re putting the onus on third party service providers to limit the functionality of their apps to prevent people from breaking the rules. Services that allow this kind of activity have until 23 March to comply. Those that don’t risk having their access to Twitter revoked, which they won’t want to risk.
If you’ve ever met or worked with Social Brighton, you’ll know that we’re big believers in not cutting corners or trying to cheat the system. These things have a way of biting you on the ass! If you behave properly on social, building communities and followers who value truly your posts you’ll be rewarded!
If you’d like to book a free meeting to discuss how we might be able to help you implement any of these ideas or get you up to speed with social media marketing and advertising, give us a call on 07766 310317 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign up to our newsletter to be kept up to date with what’s new in the world of social, receive tips and advice on how to make social media work for your business and be the first to see news about our social media training courses.