Keeping Your Social Media Refreshed

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When Facebook was created in 2004 to enable university students to keep in touch with friends and family, the main features included writing a status, writing on a friend’s wall and uploading pictures.  However, over the past 10 years, we’ve seen Facebook develop and morph from a digital contacts book to one of the most powerful social media networks available.  Over the social media decade, we have seen the birth of other social media platforms who contribute to the marketing process of around 92% of businesses. The competition between the platforms mirror the nature of social media itself, by having to constantly update its tools and reacting instantly to a competitor’s new feature. Here is a roundup of new features from some of the biggest platforms and how it could benefit your business.

Facebook’s Quality Control

Facebook has spent the last few years limiting users straying onto external websites through links posted on newsfeeds.  This has been achieved through the use of Facebook’s algorithm, which is a way of deciding what shows up on everyone’s newsfeed. Businesses should avoid including too many links in their posts, as the algorithm will identify that you are leading the users away from Facebook. This will ultimately impact on how many users will be able to view your post within their newsfeed. 

Recently, Facebook has started to combat ‘spammy links’ via subtle changes in their algorithm, to avoid any ‘like-baiting’ posts.  Like-baiting means when the company asks people to like/share or comment, in order for the post to be pushed to the top of newsfeeds. Facebook carried out a survey and found ‘like-baiting stories are, on average, 15% less relevant than other stories with a comparable number of likes, comments and shares’.  Businesses should take note of this, as this means posts will have to ensure the content is relevant and engaging without relying on task demands. 

Brands wishing to highlight their own website through links should look to Facebook Advertising where specific advertisements have been designed to highlight a brands website.

Twitter’s Ecommerce Debut  

There are over 241 million monthly active Twitter users and 184 million of these followers are using Twitter on their mobiles. Therefore, businesses have to grab the follower’s eye instantly as they are scrolling through their newsfeed on the go. 

Twitter have just started to experiment with their new ‘buy it now’ button, where users can buy a product at just a click of a button.  The button is only available to a small percentage of people in the US, but Twitter’s Tarun Jain blogged, ‘This is an early step in our building functionality into Twitter to make shopping from mobile devices convenient and easy, and hopefully even fun’.

This new feature has potential to grow sales for businesses however companies should analyse if this function is beneficial for them.  There’s around 50 million users in the UK, so companies should ask themselves if they could cope with a sudden demand for a product due to stock or delivery issues, as any problems that occur like this could potentially back fire and create more negative posts made against the company.

Social media platforms are ever-changing, so as a business it’s important to keep an eye on the key feature upgrades, and update your social media strategy to ensure your digital presence remains at the top of newsfeeds.  

By Elizabeth Doherty, Senior Account Executive, Clarion Communications