» What’s Next in Social Media: May 2015

What's Next in Social Media

Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!

Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from May 2015:

What’s Next in Social Media: May 2015

Image via Mashable

Twitter and Google make tweets searchable

Twitter has teamed up with Google to allow tweets to be surfaced within search results. Before this collaboration between Twitter and Google, the only way to search for a Twitter username or specific tweet or hashtag was to search internally on Twitter. Now, for example, searching “WeddingWire twitter account” on Google will pull up results that include WeddingWire’s handle, WeddingWireEDU’s handle, and WeddingWire Support’s handle. This update will go into effect the week of May 26 in the U.S. and will apply to both mobile and desktop Google searches.

Read the full article on Mashable >>

Facebook releases Instant Articles

Earlier this month, Facebook announced its release of a new product for publishers: Instant Articles. Like LinkedIn’s Pulse, Instant Articles gives publishers the opportunity to create and publish long-form articles to share directly on the social network. Instant Articles provides a great alternative for those businesses who do not have a website or blog but have content to provide for potential customers and other industry experts. The articles are interactive and mobile-friendly.

Learn more from Facebook’s Media room >>

Pinterest introduces Cinematic Pins

Pinterest is implementing the use of Cinematic Pins, which are animated ads that show up on users’ feeds. The preview ad released by Pinterest is similar to a .gif because it doesn’t contain audio, and it only moves when the user is scrolling down. In addition to the rest of the Pinterest Advertising suite (including Promoted Pins), the network also plans to add new forms of audience targeting. These new products are being rolled out with a few brand partners to start before becoming available to all brands.

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» 4 Reasons to Use More Images on Social Media

4 Reasons to Use More Images on Social MediaWith more and more brands creating a presence on social media, more and more content is being consumed. Forrest reports that content volume is growing at a rate of 200% annually, which means it’s becoming critical that your business stand out. One of the biggest trends in social media for 2015 and beyond is the increase in visual content – images and graphics.

In fact, we recently redesigned the look and feel of WeddingWire Storefronts to bring more attention to photos of your work, and we’ve seen that visitors who click the new Storefront photo carousel view an average of 22 photos per session. Images can have a big impact on your business, no matter which channel couples are using!

If you’re not sold on the power of images on social media, check out these statistics to convince you to start incorporating more images in your posts on some of the top social networks:

  • Facebook: In a study of the top 10% of posts by over 30,000 Facebook pages, posts with photos accounted for 87% of total interactions. Photos are more shareable and users can recall visual content longer than text. Creating photo albums of your work is a great start, but you should also include those photos in your posts whenever appropriate.
  • Twitter: Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets. Tweets are such quick, disposable posts that an image in your tweet can help it stand out from the rest of the tweets with just text and links. Think about how your business can tweet more photos, or attach more images to your links on Twitter.
  • Google+: According to Quick Sprout, Google+ images receive 9.4% more +1s than regular text posts, and animated GIFs receive 39% more +1s than regular text posts. With Google+ it’s important to still add links to your posts, but big, eye-catching graphics will definitely stand out more among the rest in your circles.
  • Pinterest: OK, so Pinterest is all images – but there’s a method to the madness! Curalate has an entire infographic on the topic of Pinterest images, but here are some of the most important points for your business:
    • Vertical images with an aspect ratio between 2:3 and 4:5 get 60% more repins than very tall images
    • Brand images without faces receive 23% more repins than images with faces
    • Images with multiple dominant colors have 3.25 times more repins than single dominant color images

Using more images on your social networks will help you build engagement with your current followers and help you acquire new followers. The more people engage with your content, the more likely your business is to show up in other users’ news feeds and streams. Start focusing on boosting engagement with more images today and your business could see more likes, retweets, repins, clicks and more!

» What’s Next in Social Media: March 2015

What's Next in Social Media

Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!

Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from March 2015:

What’s Next in Social Media: March 2015

Image via Re/code

Facebook Messenger allows payments

Facebook’s standalone app for messaging, Messenger, has introduced the ability for users to tie their debit cards to their Facebook accounts in order to send money to peers through messaging. Money sent through Messenger is transferred to Facebook before the network sends it along to the user’s bank. Peer-to-peer payment apps like Venmo and Square already exist, but this new functionality is novel as many users are already using Messenger to have conversations that culminate in payments which they could not do through the network. Facebook has combined both the organization and payment for events, trips and other peer-to-peer payments.

Read more on Re/code >>

Twitter strikes deal with Foursquare

Twitter recently announced its partnership with Foursquare to allow users to include their location in tweets. Users can include location in tweets now, but the new Foursquare partnership would allow users to be more specific in their locations. Foursquare exists now to allow users to recommend restaurants and other venues based on preferences and location, and Twitter is eager to access that data and leverage it on its own network. Twitter’s goal is to use Foursquare information to be proactive with recommendations and location data, which is a big move for both companies.

Continue on Fortune >>

Instagram introduces new standalone app

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» What’s Next in Social Media: 2014 Year in Review

What's Next in Social Media

What’s Next in Social Media: 2014 Year in ReviewThe big social networks are still finding new ways to innovate and introduce new features, even though they’re years old at this point. Don’t be fooled – just because networks like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest aren’t shiny and new doesn’t mean that their updates don’t constantly influence the way businesses conduct online marketing. 2014 was still a huge year for the big social players!

If you’re just now deciding whether or not to start a new social media marketing strategy, make sure you catch up on the latest social media news and updates before you start planning for the New Year.

Before you spend time searching the news stories to find out what’s next in social media, check out the biggest updates to social networks in 2014!

Facebook

Facebook’s biggest update for businesses was announced in December – new tools and insights for businesses are coming for 2015! The exciting announcement came as a result of feedback from publishers who need more social media marketing tools than just paid options. Facebook is introducing interest targeting for organic posts that allows you to target a subset of people who like your page so only that subset sees your post. Facebook will also give publishers the option to add a Post End Date to prevent users from seeing out-of-date posts from your business.  Finally, Facebook will introduce Smart Publishing to help businesses publish the most relevant and timely posts automatically. Besides the Facebook redesign in March and the News Feed algorithm update in June, these new tools are the biggest Facebook news for businesses in 2014!

Twitter

2014 was a big year for Twitter. Following its late-year IPO in 2013, Twitter created a new desktop design that radically changed the layout of the social network. The network then added Promoted Accounts to Twitter search so businesses could suggest their account to users searching on a similar topic. In July, Twitter helped businesses out in a big way by expanding Twitter Analytics so businesses could find out more about those following them as well as other users who show interest in their brand or activities. In the final months of the year Twitter also made strides in the e-commerce market by adding the “Buy” button to tweets as well as adding Offers to help businesses drive urgency with deals. All these features helped Twitter to solidify its presence in the top of the social media world, and businesses would do well to take advantage of these features in the New Year.

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» What’s Next in Social Media: November 2014

What's Next in Social Media

Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!

Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from November 2014:

What’s Next in Social Media: November 2014

Image via Mashable

Facebook releases Groups app

In continuing its multi-app strategy, Facebook has released a new Facebook Groups app that helps users stay in touch with their existing Facebook groups and find new groups. This new app makes it easier for Facebook users to see which groups they’re already a part of without accessing through a recent notification. The app also features a “Discovery” tab to help users identify and explore new groups.

Continue reading on Mashable >>

Twitter adds Offers

As we mentioned in our September recap, Twitter is working towards fully integrated e-commerce with the “Buy” button and now its new Offers program. Twitter Offers allows businesses add coupons or deals to their Twitter advertisements to make it even easier for users to purchase natively. Twitter believes this new feature will help businesses acquire completely new customers through the social network.

Learn more on the NYT Bits Blog >>

New Google+ mention notifications

Google+ users rejoice – it’s now much easier to access your Google+ mentions! The network’s new Mentions tab displays all the mentions of your personal or professional Google+ page in one easy-to-find place. Previously, Google+ mentions were lumped in the notifications menu in the top right corner of the profile. This new change makes it easier to distinguish mentions from other, less urgent notifications such as +1s or circle additions.

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» What’s Next in Social Media: October 2014

What's Next in Social Media

Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!

Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from October 2014:

Facebook's new Safety Check featureFacebook introduces Safety Check tool

Facebook has recognized its importance (among other social networks like Twitter) in times of disaster with its unveiling of Safety Check, a new tool to announce that users are safe and allow them to check on others. Users in an area affected by a dangerous situation will be asked if they’re safe, and a News Feed story will be generated upon an answer in the affirmative.

Continue reading on Facebook Newsroom >>

Twitter offers new tools for app developers

Twitter has been known as a stricter social network among the rest because of its rules around applications that integrate with its services. In the past app developers have had trouble creating apps that make the social network more useful – such as link shortening or photo posting. Twitter has now developed a suite of tools to help app developers build and monitor apps that integrate Twitter.

Learn more on The Wall Street Journal >>

Pinterest begins curating content for users

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» Infographic: How to Build a Buzzworthy Brand

In today’s marketing landscape, 72% of internet users are active on social media and 46% of online users count on social media when making a purchase decision. Those are impressive statistics! Is your wedding business taking advantage of these statistics to reach couples planning their wedding?

If you need help building a buzzworthy brand in the wedding industry, our infographic has tips for using social media to grow your business’ presence!

Infographic: How to Build a Buzzworthy Brand

» An Advanced Guide to Using Google+

An Advanced Guide to Using Google+If you use Google+ personally or professionally, you know that there are many benefits to setting up a profile for your business. One of the most common reasons for using Google+ is to reap the SEO benefits of your links being indexed and listed faster, but that’s just one facet of the social network. There are a number of advanced strategies for using Google+ which you can employ to better your page!

In addition to the basics of using Google+ we wrote about a few weeks ago, there are also a number of bonus features and elements you can take advantage of for your Google+ page, including:

Authorship: If you personally write a lot of content for or about your wedding business, consider setting up a personal Google+ account (if you haven’t already) and linking that account with the website or blog where you publish your content. This method, known as Google Authorship, allows you to optimize your personal branding so that all the content you write can be aggregated on your Google+ profile. Your name will show up beneath the title of the article automatically, which is great exposure. Just make sure your personal Google+ account lists your business as a place of work, and you and your business will benefit. Learn more about Google Authorship and how to link accounts here.

Google Analytics: If you use Google Analytics to monitor your website traffic, you can connect it with your Google+ page to better understand your Google+ page followers and how they relate to your website visitors. This connection adds another layer to your business’ online and social activity and allows you to deepen your knowledge about how clients and potential clients interact with your business. Find step-by-step instructions for optimizing this integration from Google Developers.

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» What’s Next in Social Media: July 2014

What's Next in Social Media

Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!

Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from July 2014:

Facebook separates Messenger app

In a move some in the industry are questioning, Facebook is separating its Messenger functionality from its mobile and tablet apps, thereby forcing users to download Messenger if they would like to continue receiving Facebook messages on their phones. While user research suggests that users like to use separate apps for separate activities, many have complained about using multiple apps to interact with friends on Facebook. Messenger remains a free app for those who like to use Facebook chat on mobile devices.

Read more on Mashable >>

What's Next in Social Media: July 2014Google+ re-evaluates real names policy

When Google+ was launched three years ago, Google pushed heavily for the use of real names on its social network. The goal was to create a new social network built around real people, but it also caused those users who wanted to remain anonymous to avoid using the network. After the forced integration with YouTube comments, however, there was even more backlash from users who wished to keep their identities private. Google+ has begun rolling back this policy so that users can alter their names in order to keep a level of anonymity.

Continue reading on Small Business Trends >>

Twitter allows for more analysis

Twitter’s analytics service SocialRank has received a significant upgrade to allow brands to evaluate your followers on Twitter. Previously, the service allowed you to identify the most influential users who follow your business in order to help you create targeted strategies. Now, brands can drill down into their analytics to find out more about those following them as well as other users who show interest in their brand or activities. The limitation on searches, which was previously capped at 10, has now been removed so that brands have even more options.

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» A Beginner’s Guide to Using Google+

A Beginner’s Guide to Using Google+Google+ is one of the most under-used social networks for the U.S. population at large, but especially for wedding and event professionals. We often focus so much of our energy on networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest that Google+ gets lost in the shuffle, but it’s worth a second look.

Many users and businesses have Google+ accounts and pages, but the general consensus is that the engagement levels still have not yet reached those of Facebook. Consider, though, that the number of people who interact socially with any Google product now exceeds 500 million per month! There are plenty of people posting and using the network professionally, and it’s time to catch up.

Below are the elements you’ll need to fill out and optimize for your business when you begin using Google+!

Page Title: The page title for your Google+ page should be your business’ name – it’s a representation of your business. Your Google+ page is indexed and will show up in search, but you shouldn’t try to keyword-stuff your page title. Keep it simple!

Page URL: When you first create your Google+ page, you’ll access it through a long link with a string of numbers, but it can be customized. Once you’ve set your custom URL it can’t be changed, and can be preassigned based on things like your name or the name of your linked website. You may also need to add a few letters or numbers to make it unique to you. Visit Google’s support page to get full instructions on customizing your link and the requirements to do so.

Page Tagline and Introduction: In the About tab of your Google+ page, you’ll be asked to fill out your business’ tagline and introduction, both of which serve to provide a little bit more information about your wedding business. Your tagline should be short and to the point, while your introduction will provide a bit more detail. Don’t repeat your tagline in your introduction, though – Google will pull these both to act as the meta description for your page in search results. Together, they should describe your business and use some of the best keywords for your service category and location.

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» What’s Next in Social Media: June 2014

What's Next in Social Media

Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!

Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from June 2014:

Facebook’s latest algorithm change

Facebook has updated its News Feed algorithm yet again! This change, though, should make users a bit happier: the change will assist Facebook in serving users videos that are most relevant to them. Now, a video’s “weight” or value in the News Feed will be partially determined by how long a user watches a video and the number of engagement metrics such as likes, comments and shares. If you typically watch a lot of videos when browsing your News Feed, you’ll start seeing more of them with this new change! The good news for businesses is that the videos that are popular and being watched will reach a larger audience than those that have low engagement.

What’s Next in Social Media: June 2014Read more on Facebook’s newsroom >>

Instagram adds new editing options

After years with no upgraded photo filters, Instagram releases its biggest update so far! Rather than adding new photo filters, the photo-sharing app has improved its editing options for existing filters. Users can select a filter and use a slider to determine how much of the filter’s effect they’d like to apply. Then, users can also choose from eight new photo adjustment tools that many editing programs offer, such as brightness, contracts, saturation, highlights and more. Businesses can use these new tools to really have more control over images posted on Instagram, which makes it easier to keep a brand identity flowing through on your social networks!

Get more details on Wired >>

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» What’s Next in Social Media: May 2014

What's Next in Social Media

Social media is constantly changing. Each network has its own strategy and features, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest news. Never fear! We’ve got your monthly update, all in one place, so you can be prepared for what’s next in social media!

Here’s what you need to know about what’s next in social media from May 2014:

What’s Next in Social Media: May 2014Facebook to expand messaging capabilities

According to rumor in the tech industry, Facebook is building a video-messaging app to rival Snapchat. The supposed app, called Slingshot, would allow users to exchange short video messages with friends. After reportedly trying to buy Snapchat for $3 billion last year, it appears that Facebook is not ready to abandon the idea which would help them re-engage with younger users. If the Slingshot rumors are true, Facebook may be releasing it as early as this month.

Continue reading on PC World >

Twitter adds “mute” feature

Last week, Twitter announced its latest feature – mute! This new feature allows you to choose not to see tweets and other activities from the muted user, though the user will still be able to interact with your activity on Twitter. Muting users on Twitter is similar to hiding users from your Facebook News Feed; it’s an alternative to unfollowing the user. You can easily control the content you’re consuming with this new feature, which makes Twitter one step closer to Facebook’s News Feed.

Read more from Twitter’s Blog >

Is Google+ being phased out?

Google has begun testing a new “Sign in with Google” option to replace the Google+ icon for third-party developers. The Google+ sign in functionality has been in use ever since Google began requiring Gmail and YouTube users to register for Google+ to use those services. While many users created an account at that time, many claim that they don’t actively use it. Although the swapping of the sign in buttons is new and may just be a test, it may signal the end of the Google+ era.

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