The last 5 years, Mashable has celebrated Social Media Day as a way to recognize the digital revolution happening right before our eyes. The best part about Social Media Day are the hundreds of meetups that happen all over the world. Want to get involved? Attend a Social Media Day Meetup near you and/or share why you love this day using #SMDay.
It's also a great time to stop and celebrate the awesome internal and external community managers, that are running the show across a variety of social platforms. The importance of and the number of community managers out there is growing and their skills are unique. They have to balance meeting their goals (growth, engagement, reach, ROI, closed tickets, etc) while making sure the story and personality shines through in content....and much, much more. See Community Manager Appreciation Day 2014.
It's imperative to stay on top of the evolving social media landscape, so here are some of the most fascinating changes recently for some of the more popular social media platforms:
- It's all about the visual. Facebook's new layout affected the optimal photo sizing you're used to creating. Here's a new cheat sheet.
- As Facebook is public (and because they can) brands are having to pay more and more in order for their content to be seen by even a portion of their community. Many users and brands are not happy with their new algorithm.
"Only 43% of marketers feel like their Facebook efforts are working." - Social Media Examiner
- On the other hand, Facebook Audience Insights have grown dramatically, and marketers are really able to fine tune their ad targeting, especially through Facebook's Power Editor Tool. I've seen great success using the Power Editor to create Dark Posts.
- Twitter rolled out some interesting changes that make your profile more similar to Facebook: new header image, pinning a tweet to the top of your feed, and adding more info to your profile page. So now I can pin my Spurs tweet to the top of my page and share my UT pride in my header image. #GoSpursGo #Hookem
- LinkedIn has recently rolled out Showcase Pages, removing the Product and Services tab on your Company Page. This allows people to follow certain initiatives, products or services of each company and these pages act as an extension of your Company Page. Though, it was a bummer to lose all of those product/service recommendations! I think the jury is still out on the success or effectiveness of Showcase Pages.
- LinkedIn awards their Premium users a profile that looks very similar to Facebook's (do you see a trend here?) in order to help them stand out in searches and to allow them a more personal feel. As I'm not a Premium member, I'm very jealous of this new profile - but it will roll out to non-Premium members soon. I can't wait! See how awesome deirdrewalsh's profile page looks?
- Google+ has grown in importance in my eyes mainly because of the SEO value. In fact, I'm shifting time away from Facebook to Google+ because of Facebook's new algorithm.
- +Post ads is a new program launched that allows brand pages with more than 1,000 followers to promote their Google+ content posts via Google's AdSense program. Learn more. I'm excited to try this program out!
Our awesome, new Senior Community Manager, Libby Taylor, elaborates on Online Communities:
More and more businesses and organizations are establishing online social collaboration communities for their customers, partners and employees. While these kinds of forums have been around for years, some new trends are emerging:
- Moving to the cloud. With easier upgrades and the latest sets of features, the cloud has it all. Rather than hosting communities themselves, more companies are moving to cloud-based technologies.
- Executive bloggers. Gone are the days when executives communicate only through a team of spokes-people creating press releases. Executive blogging is on the rise and customers and employees are connecting with them real-time.
- Peer-to-peer support. Getting answers to questions is happening more than ever within online communities and can sometimes be faster and easier than getting support from the companies themselves.
I hope you find these social platform updates helpful. I could go on and on about updates and what the future holds, but I would love to hear what your favorites changes to social media are as well as how you're celebrating #SMDay!