When it comes to social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, it seems like almost everyday there is some new feature or change. From aesthetic upgrades to enhanced advertising capabilities, social networks were very busy last year, and we at The Brandon Agency were busy adapting to stay ahead of the curve. Let’s take a look at some of the changes we saw in 2012.
Facebook Updates of 2012
Aside from Facebook’s most obvious visual transformation, the switch to Timeline for business and personal pages, there were several additional updates in 2012. Here are a few of the ones we took a liking to:
Last June, we were introduced to Promoted Posts, a paid offering for Facebook page admins to promote recent posts, extending the reach of a post onto a great number of fans’ news feeds, as well as the friends of the people who interact with the promoted post. After getting past the fact that without any sort of monetary payment a limited number of a page’s fans will see every post in their news feed, we at The Brandon Agency feel as if this is a helpful tool, if used in the right way.
Mobile-only Facebook ads
During the year, Facebook launched the first mobile-only ads. Previously marketers had to pay for mobile advertising in conjunction with desktop ads. Why does this matter? By allowing mobile-only advertising, marketers are now able to test whether mobile or desktop Facebook ads work better for their business and allocate their advertising budget accordingly.
Additional targeting options
In August, Facebook announced that in addition to the original targeting options, such as language and location, advertisers would now be able to target their audience based other criteria, including, age, gender, gender the user’s interested in, relationship status, education, college grad (college name, major), in college (college name, major, years), in high school and workplace, making it a lot easier to reach a specific demographic.
Thanks to the new comment-editing feature, managers no longer need to delete an entire comment because of a simple typo. The ability to view the edit history by clicking on the option “edited” that appears right below the comment, so that everyone involved can view full context of a conversation is also now available. No more embarrassing Facebook typos!
Okay, this one isn’t available for businesses pages (yet), but Facebook’s recently re-launched gifting application, which allows users to send on another gifts with the click of a mouse, has us curious to see if it will perform better this time around. Read more in our blog.
Twitter Updates of 2012
While Twitter didn’t have nearly the amount of updates as Facebook last year, there were definitely a few worth mentioning:
In September, Twitter took a page from Facebook’s playbook and gave users the option to upload a header photo, which would appear above their Tweets across profiles on the mobile apps for iPad, iPhone and Android and on twitter.com. Following the visual storytelling revolution taking over the social media landscape, Twitter’s new header photos are helping profiles stand out while also giving users a better idea of who you are.
Tailored Trends and suggestions for Who To Follow:
Personalization is a continuing trend for the social media and advertising industries. Earlier this year Twitter revealed tailored trends, offering users a way to get closer to what they care about. Trends and are based on the people you follow and your location.
Twitter also introduced tailored suggestions for people to follow, based on a user’s Twitter activities. While the feature can be turned on or off, new and current users may find it a great way discovering interesting and relevant accounts to follow.
Targeting options for promoted tweets
Last August, Twitter launched interest-targeting for promoted tweets. Marketers can now target more than 350 different types of interest categories ranging from Sports to Style and Fashion.
Pinterest Updates of 2012
Pinterest was also busy this year introducing new features, some of which were specifically focused on the surge of businesses taking advantage of the photo-based social sharing site.
In November, Pinterest came out with a feature, allowing for users to create “Secret Boards” that aren’t visible to the public. Learn more about them in our blog.
New tools for businesses on Pinterest
Pinterest introduced new business terms this year. There are now two sets – one for people and one for businesses, with simplified language and translations of legal terminology.
Businesses on Pinterest can also sign up for a business account, or convert their existing account by following a few steps on the business site (http://business.pinterest.com/). Signing up as a business allows you to specify your business name, verify your website, add buttons and widgets to help you get more engagement from pinners and traffic back to your site, and receive updates on future products and services.
While social media platforms will continue to grow and evolve in order to fit users wants and needs, we at The Brandon Agency are eagerly waiting to see what’s coming next.
Here’s to a very social 2013!