» What’s Next in Social Media: April 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 April 2015:

What’s Next in Social Media: April 2015Facebook updates News Feed algorithm (again)

Facebook has once again updated the way its News Feed algorithm distributes page posts from users and brands. In an effort to improve the balance of posts between other Facebook users and brand pages, posts or articles from brands are being reduced in favor of non-business content. It’s unclear how much these updates will affect businesses, as there are a number of factors that determine placement in the News Feed – but be sure to watch your Insights over the next few weeks.

Learn more from Facebook >>

Twitter acquires Periscope

Earlier in the year Twitter announced its acquisition of Periscope, a live streaming app that allows users to broadcast their streaming video via Twitter. Previously, an app called Meerkat made live streaming video popular, but Twitter’s Periscope makes sharing your live streams easier and faster. Because it’s integrated with Twitter, sharing a live stream can be accomplished with the same experience as sharing a tweet with your followers.

Continue reading on TechCrunch >>

Pinterest releases Marketing Developer Partner

Pinterest has debuted a new program called Marketing Developer Partner, which allows Pinterest partners and publishers to create, schedule and publish Pins and boards for their clients. Currently, social media management platforms like Hootsuite do not allow for scheduling or publishing within their platforms, but a new API would change that. Pinterest also announced plans for an Ads API to give outside ad platforms the ability to push ads to Pinterest.

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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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» Social Media: De-Cluttering Your Connections

The following post was written by WeddingWire Education Expert Andy Ebon. Andy is the Founder of Wedding University and The Wedding Marketing Blog, and is an International Public Speaker, Writer and Consultant based in Las Vegas. Andy travels across North America and beyond, presenting to Associations, Wedding Industry Conferences, Regional Gatherings, and Local Meetings.

In the early days of email, it was exciting to hear that ‘ding’on AOL, and the voice, saying, “You’ve got mail!” It didn’t take long before the trickle of email became a river, and now, a tsunami. Not as much fun.

The dawn of social media platforms, in particular Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, created a new magnetism between people from all over; from your past, present, personal and business. But what happens when you accumulate too many connections and they begin to clutter your social presence?

Social Media: De-Cluttering Your ConnectionsCollecting Friends and Followers is Easy – Maintaining them is another thing entirely.

Before you start wildly un-friending and disconnecting, begin by reconsidering your purpose for each social media platform, its structure and features which serve you, and categorizing the remaining connections. Social networks afford you to assign people to lists, so try grouping them by purpose.For example:

  • Specific trade association or networking group (local and/or national)
  • Industry (general) i.e. Wedding Industry (local and/or national)
  • Business category i.e. Wedding Photographer (local and/or national)
  • Media – magazines, websites, bloggers

Facebook

Facebook is often the hardest network to cut your Friends list, as connections on Facebook are reciprocal and so the connection will definitely notice if you remove them. Luckily, you have choices beyond the Friend category that help you to further filter out what you see in your News Feed (and what you don’t): Continue reading

» Top 5 Ways to Network on LinkedIn

Many wedding and event professionals are members of a small business, and certain service categories may require only one employee to constitute their wedding business. Officiants, DJs and Photographers, and others fall into this category. For those individuals who may solely represent their wedding business, personal branding and networking can be big drivers of referral business.

As busy professionals, it can be hard to forge these connections in addition to all the duties and responsibilities associated with your business. Networking events and association meetings are great ways to establish relationships with other Pros, but what can you do on a daily basis to network? LinkedIn is a great way for wedding and event professionals to network and build relationships with other Pros!

Top 5 Ways to Network on LinkedIn Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social networks differ from LinkedIn in that those channels are great places to represent your business and attract potential couples, but are not designed to build your personal brand on a professional level. You can create a business page on each to represent your company, and improve your brand awareness. LinkedIn is not likely to put your business in front of couples looking to book a wedding vendor. Rather, look at LinkedIn as a tool to grow your individual brand as a wedding professional.

If you don’t have a personal LinkedIn profile, signing up is easy and free. Once you get started on LinkedIn, follow these steps to help you network on the world’s largest professional network!

Fill out your profile completely. LinkedIn has a great feature that will help you fill out your profile and provide easy step-by-steps on what you should do next. You’ll add your full name, a professional photograph (no selfies, please!), a summary of your professional experiences and a description of your business and your associated duties. You can also go so far as to include any relevant school information or awards and honors that may set you apart as an expert! Even if you have an account set up, check in to make sure you have completed your profile as much as possible to maximize your exposure and keep your virtual resume up-to-date!

Connect with other Pros. Here comes the fun part – connect with Pros you know as well and connect with new industry contacts! Try finding your Pros I Know, Preferred Pros or other Pros you interact with in the Pro Forums through LinkedIn search. LinkedIn will also suggest other connections based on your connections, so you can easily expand your network to reach those you may not have met in person yet! Since LinkedIn is a dedicated social network for professionals, connecting with others in your industry (even if you don’t know them) is encouraged. Just remember to include a short note in your request explaining why you think the two of you should connect.

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» What’s Next in Social Media: November 2013

What's Next in Social Media

What’s Next in Social Media: November 2013Social 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!

Here’s what’s next in social media for November 2013!

Facebook Updates Chat

Facebook has been testing a new feature in its messaging that allows users to see which friends are using a mobile device to access Facebook or if they are using it via desktop. Before this feature, Facebook users who were not using desktop could use Facebook messenger but were shown to be offline, or they were shown to be completely offline even when accessing through the app.

Users chatting via Facebook can currently see that the other user is on a mobile device from within the message, whereas the new feature will allow users to know which device their recipient is using beforehand, allowing them to make more informed decisions in their messages such as sending shorter chats or choosing to wait until the recipient is on a desktop.

Continue reading on TechCrunch >

Custom Twitter Timelines

If you’re sick of searching through a constant stream of tweets to find something relevant, Twitter’s custom timelines are for you! Users can use Twitter’s Tweetdeck to create your own timelines around particular events or topics.

Twitter had dipped into this territory previously with Twitter Lists, but the new timelines differ in that they are completely embeddable. For those who would like to embed a Twitter stream based on a specific topic in real-time, this new function makes it possible.

Learn more on Mashable >

Pinterest’s New Place Pins

Last week, Pinterest introduced its newest feature, Place Pins. Place Pins allow users to geo-tag photos they pin, which means that they can be added to a map. Addresses and phone numbers are also optional so that users can easily get directions to the places they’re pinning.

Pinterest Place Pins use Foursquare locations to link up the address/phone number with the name of the location. With the introduction of this new feature, users are also invited to create boards with other users to plan trips or activities. Additionally, this new feature should save avid Pinterest users time when searching for answers about where an image came from.

Read more from Pinterest >

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» What’s Next in Social Media: October 2013

What's Next in Social Media

Social media is constantly changing, so 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!

Here’s what you need to know for social media news and updates from October 2013!

Facebook Custom Audiences are Coming

Facebook’s newest ad product, Custom Audiences, allows marketers to import their own contact lists for targeting. The product is being rolled out to a limited number of U.S. advertisers over the next few weeks, with all advertisers having the import capabilities by the end of November.

Businesses can easily upload customer information such as email addresses or phone numbers and target users with ads for their business’s website, Facebook page or mobile app. The ability to use MailChimp lists with Custom Audiences will also be available for the first time.

Read more details on Inside Facebook >

What's Next in Social Media: October 2013Instagram’s Sneak Peek

Last month, we shared with you Instagram’s plans to add advertisements. This month, Instagram has released a sneak peek of what ads on Instagram will look like. Ads will be in the same format as photo posts on the social network, but you’ll know the photo or video is an ad when you see the “Sponsored” label in the top right corner of the image.

In addition to a look at the format of advertisements, Instagram also explained that you can hide an ad by tapping the “…” below the ad. This functionality takes a page out of the Facebook playbook, allowing users to have more control over the ads that appear in their accounts. The network is first testing these ads with a handful of brands that are already popular on Instagram.

Read more from CNN >

LinkedIn Gets Mobile Makeover

Based on mobile usage statistics, LinkedIn has decided that its future lies in reaching users beyond their desktops on mobile devices. The professional network is releasing five different apps that will cater to the varied needs of LinkedIn’s 200+ million users.

The first app, the main LinkedIn app, will be an extension of the experience on a desktop, with mobile-specific features such as the ability to press a button to instantly apply for a job. The other LinkedIn apps include a contacts app directed at sales people who need easy access to their contact lists; Pulse, a news aggregation app that combines LinkedIn news with news from other outlets; Recruiter, an app that addresses the needs of LinkedIn’s recruiters; and Intro, an add-on that routes a user’s email through LinkedIn servers to gather information about the sender from their LinkedIn profile.

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» 10 Trending Social Media Sites

Technology drives our world, and social media has quickly become a center of many people’s daily lives and is evolving at a very rapid pace. It is hard to stay on top of what’s trending with social media, from the top sites you should be on for your business, and sites to watch. This infographic keeps you up to speed on the trending social media sites you need to know about!

webinar-Takeaway-whats-new-in-socialmedia

» Networking in the Digital Age

We all know the power of networking to expand your business opportunities and contacts! In today’s technology-driven and busy world, people are connecting more than ever online and through mobile.

While face-to-face meetings and networking events are very important and often the best ways to make meaningful connections, there are many online opportunities to make new contacts, as well.

Here are several sites that provide ways to connect to new people professionally:

  • Twitter: More and more people are including their personal or business twitter handles on their business cards, blogs and websites as a way to share their expertise and grow their followers. Interested in connecting with someone you find on twitter? Send them a direct message, or tag them with a message using @!
  • LinkedIn: LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site, and was created as a way for professionals to connect and share business information, as well as showcase their virtual resumes.
  • Instagram: Snap and edit photos on-the-go, then post to Facebook and Twitter to show off your latest work, recent events and new inspiration with this popular mobile application! Showcasing your work is a great way to build your brand and expertise as a Wedding Pro.
  • Bump: Bump is a smartphone app that relies on a phone’s movement sensor and an Internet connection for trading contact information by physically bumping two phones together. No need for business card swapping with this new technology!

» Updates Coming Soon to LinkedIn Company Pages

Last week, LinkedIn announced that Company Pages are getting a complete redesign. Currently, the new style is only available to a handful of large companies, including Dell, Phillips, HP and Citi. However, all businesses can expect to see the new format by the end of the year. So, to prepare, what should you expect to keep your business’ page as up to date as possible for when the change goes live?

Here are the top things that you should know about the new LinkedIn Company Pages:

  • There will not be any new features, only updates to the look and feel of the page to encourage engagement and branding, such as making it easy to “Follow” your page
  • Status updates, along with products and services offered by your business will be more prominently displayed—which is a great way to showcase your work, expertise and services as Wedding Pros
  • New ability to add a cover photo to showcase your brand (similar to the timeline cover on Facebook)
  • The new Company Pages will have improved visibility for mobile so your business will pop on iPhones, Andriods and iPads
  • You will be able to target your company status updates through various targeting options to best connect with those who would benefit from your updates

Check out the overall appearance changes coming soon with the new Company Page example, below:

Get started re-thinking your Company Page on LinkedIn and be prepared to stand-out with the new launch, coming soon!

New to LinkedIn? Get started connecting on the largest professional network and join the more than 2 million Company Pages today!

» Get Connected on LinkedIn

Are you one of the over 160 million professionals on LinkedIn? If not, you and your business should consider joining the largest professional social network! Connect with colleagues, share your expertise and promote your business with LinkedIn.

Ready to get started? Already have an account but want to maximize your exposure and expand your reach? Review Mashable’s Beginners Guide to LinkedIn, and check out the highlights below.

1. Profile

Be sure to complete your profile to the best of your ability. The higher your profile’s completeness, the more likely you are to appear in search results. Stand out by including at least five professional skills, your current position with a description, and a summary of you background and your business.

2. Connections

Expand your professional network and work to connect with at least 50 people, which will help to ensure your profile’s completeness. First, perform a series of basic searches to find people you know by name. Other professionals, past colleagues and previous favorite clients are great places to start!

Find additional connections in the “People You May Know” page, and additionally, you can import your personal contact address book to see if they are on LinkedIn.

3. Groups

LinkedIn groups are spaces in which professionals and experts can share content, ask for advice, post or search for jobs and network with others. Groups are tailored to brands, associations and societies, support groups, causes, publications and industries in general.

Look for groups for event and wedding professionals in your area, or your professional Associations to get started!

4. Companies

Create a company page for your business! Company pages contain general information about your business, with the ability to post updates, develop activity and link to your website, blog pages and social media accounts.

5. Mobile

LinkedIn has mobile applications for iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry and more, which can be a great way to network on the go. After meeting someone, you may choose to email that person a link to your profile, or reach out to connect and continue your conversation.

» Social Media Guide #4: LinkedIn

Next, in our blog post series breaking down Hubspot’s Ultimate Guide for Creating Social Media Buttons is LinkedIn. With over 150 million members, it is important for your business to create a presence on the world’s largest professional network.  LinkedIn’s social media buttons are described below:

LinkedIn Company Profile Plugin

What It’s For: Like Facebook’s one-click Like Box and Twitter’s one-click Follow Button, LinkedIn’s Company Profile Plugin serves as a follow button for your business’ LinkedIn Company Page. Installing it on your website will allow visitors to follow your company on LinkedIn with just one click, enabling you to generate more followers for your LinkedIn Company Page and expand the reach of the content you share through your LinkedIn Company Status Updates.

How to Implement It: Build your Company Profile Plugin by visiting https://developer.linkedin.com/plugins/company-profile-plugin, entering your company name, and selecting your desired display mode. Further customize based on your preferences, and grab the code to embed the plugin onto your site.

LinkedIn Share Button

What It’s For: Adding LinkedIn’s Share Button to your website, blog, and landing page content enables visitors to easily share it with their connections on LinkedIn. Like Facebook’s Like Button and Twitter’s Tweet Button, incorporating this button can help extend the reach of your content to the LinkedIn audience and drive traffic back to your site.

How to Implement It: To create and install this button, visit https://developer.linkedin.com/plugins/share-button, specify the URL you want to generate traffic to, and choose your button’s style. Then generate your code and add the HTML to your site where you want the button to display.

To view all of LinkedIn’s official social media plugins in one place, visit:  https://developer.linkedin.com/plugins.

Check out our previous entries in the Social Media Button Guide series: follow vs. share buttons, twitter and Facebook.

» Social Media Button Guide #1: Follow vs. Share

Social media is a great tool for marketing your small business. With the growing number of platforms, and the ever-changing layout and tools, it can be difficult to differentiate when to use which of the networks, and how to best share content and connect with your audience.

Hubspot created a great, comprehensive guide to understand the differences between the share and follow buttons and links for four of the top social media sites, and how to implement them on your business website and blog, which we will share with our Wedding Pro Community over the next few posts!

Follow Buttons vs. Share Buttons

The first step in understanding the nuances of all the various social media buttons is being able to differentiate between social sharing buttons/links and social media follow buttons, and identify which type of button to use.

Social Media Follow Buttons:
These buttons serve to promote your business’ presence on various social media sites and help you generate fans/followers for those particular accounts. By placing these buttons on your business’ website, you can help to create visibility for your social media accounts and easily extend your reach on the sites. You can place these buttons on your website, and we recommend at least placing these buttons on your website’s main homepage, your ‘About Us’ page, and your blog’s homepage. Buttons of note include the “Official Twitter Follow Button,” “Facebook Like Box,” “LinkedIn Company Profile Plugin,” and “Google+ Page Button”, which will be individually covered in upcoming posts in more detail.

Social Media Share Links/Buttons:
These links and buttons enable your website visitors and content viewers to easily share content that is on your site with their social media connections and networks. Adding these buttons to your content allows you to expand the reach of your content to a larger, new audience, and can generate new visitors back to your website. You should add social media sharing links/buttons to every piece of content you create, including landing pages, web pages, individual blog articles, and email content. The “Official Tweet Button,” “Tweet This Link,” “Facebook Like Button,” “Facebook Share Link,” “LinkedIn Share Button,” “+1 Button,” and “Google+ Share Link” all serve as social media sharing buttons.

Next post, we will share the social media button breakdown specifically for twitter!