» 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.

Continue reading

» 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: February 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 February 2015:

Announcing new Product Ads on FacebookProduct Ads on Facebook

In addition to Facebook’s existing ad products, the social network has announced new Product Ads, designed to help businesses promote products or product catalogs across all devices. These ads allow businesses to highlight their products to specific audiences, or let Facebook display the most relevant products to people. These are a great way to link directly to your products and offer discounts.

Read more on the Facebook for business blog >>

Twitter launches Curator

Twitter’s latest tool, Curator, helps media outlets and businesses figure out which topics are popular and where. Curator allows you to search through tweets, Vine videos and other data with filters to narrow down the results by location, word count, sentiment and more. Users can also select tweets from the search results to present them together in relevant groups.

Continue on Mashable >>

Pinterest’s new spam-fighting tool

Stingray, a spam-fighting service widely used at Pinterest, can identify inappropriate and unwanted behavior on the social network in real-time. Since many social networks rely on manual moderation to keep spam posts under control, Stingray balances automatic detection and manual intervention. Rather than block the spam account, the service makes it so that the spammer’s posts are invisible to others.

Continue reading

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

What’s Next in Social Media: January 2015

Image via Business Insider

Facebook’s Place Tips

In late January, Facebook unveiled a location-based recommendation feature called Place Tips. When Facebook users with enabled GPS/wi-fi settings are close to a location that Facebook believes they would like, they’ll receive a notification in their News Feeds. The notification itself directs users to access reviews, photos and posts from friends who have visited the location, making the information more personalized and relevant. This feature is part of the main Facebook app, not a spin-off app like Messenger or Groups.

Continue reading on Business Insider >>

Twitter “While You Were Away” feature

For Apple iOS users, Twitter has added a new feature that recaps tweets you may have missed since the last time you used the Twitter app. Because users who do not sign in or use the app often may miss tweets as they appear chronologically, Twitter’s new feature displays the top tweets for you based on an algorithm that takes into account user habits and engagement. The goal for this feature is to connect with users – even when they aren’t using the app – and boost engagement.

Learn more on Mashable >>

New Pinterest search filters

Pinterest’s internal search feature has evolved once again to display personalized results based on users’ gender selections. In an effort to get more men using the female-dominated social network, Pinterest has made this change to maximize its usefulness for men. When you create a profile, you’re asked to select whether you’re male or female; this filter is based on that original selection. This filter, in addition to other filters in Pinterest’s guided search, can be turned on or off at will – meaning that female users can still search men’s products, and vice versa.

Continue reading

» 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.

Continue reading

» A Beginner’s Guide to Using Pinterest

A Beginner’s Guide to Using PinterestBy now, you’ve probably heard from other wedding professionals that Pinterest can be a big driver of traffic for your website. Pinterest helps users discover things they want to plan, buy or do sometime in the future. As an image-centric social network, Pinterest is one of the best ways to reach potential wedding clients because brides (and grooms!) will often use Pinterest for wedding inspiration.

If you’re a Wedding Pro with a lot of great photos, blog posts or other content you want to get out there in front of potential clients, Pinterest is a social network you should consider. Below are the elements you’ll need to optimize for your business when you begin using Pinterest!

Business Name/Username: When creating a Pinterest account for your wedding business, it’s important to use your business’ name so clients and potential clients can find you. It’s also important that you remain consistent across as many channels as possible so that all your networks can be found when searching for your business. With Pinterest, your business name is how your Pinterest account is displayed, and your username is what determines your account’s URL. If your business name is very long, you can shorten in the username and leave the full name as your business name.

Profile: Other elements of your Pinterest profile include a picture (which should be your logo if you have one) and a short “About You” section. This section should describe your business in a little more detail. It’s also a great place to include any keywords for your service category! There are also fields for your business’ location and website. You can verify your website to show Pinterest users that you’re a trustworthy source – instructions here.

Pins: On Pinterest, the content you post is called a Pin. You can pin from a website or from a file on your computer. Adding a Pin from a website is the best way to take advantage of Pinterest – you simply paste the URL of the page you’d like to pin and Pinterest pulls any images on that web page for you to add to your account. The benefit to pinning from a URL is that if users click on your Pin, they’ll be taken to the web page the image came from. Many wedding professionals use Pinterest to further the images they add to their blog and drive traffic to their website. However, if you have something you want to add as a Pin that isn’t on your website or blog, you still have the option to upload from a file. When you pin something, that Pin is public so that people searching Pinterest in the same category or topic as your Pin will see it. You’ll also be pinning it to your own board.

Continue reading

» 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

Continue reading

» What’s Next in Social Media: September 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 September 2014:

Facebook enforcing “real name” policy

While Facebook’s name policy is not new, the social network has made headlines this month as it began enforcing the policy. Facebook’s policy maintains that it requires “everyone to provide their real names, so you always know who you’re connecting with.” This policy affects personal, individual Facebook profiles, not business pages – but if you have yet to create a real business page for your business, now’s the time to make the switch!

Read more on the Guardian >>

Twitter unveils Twitter unveils “Buy” button

Twitter took its first steps towards fully integrated e-commerce this month with the “Buy” button. While the process is still early and the button is only available for test partners, this new feature allows retailers to monetize their Twitter followers by allowing them to buy while on Twitter. This is especially easy for mobile users to purchase through their smartphone with fewer steps.

Find out more on Twitter’s blog >>

Pinterest to launch conversion tracking

Great news for Pros looking to advertise on Pinterest: the network is releasing new advertising products that will help grow your Pinterest following and help you track conversions! Promoted Pins have been an advertising product for a while, but Pinterest is getting serious with its tracking abilities to help you determine ROI and give you insight into your audience.

Learn more from TechCrunch >>

Continue reading

» 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

» What’s Next in Social Media: August 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 August 2014:

Facebook's new Save featureFacebook’s new Save feature

For those who use the Facebook app on iOS, you may have noticed a new option in the drop down menu you see in the right corner of link posts. Facebook is following the lead of services like Pocket and allowing users to “save” links to a list to be found later. This feature makes it easier for users to find stories they may not have had time to look through at the time they first saw it in their News Feed. This feature extends the life of links you post on your page, as your audience can save them for a more convenient time!

Read more on Wired >>

Twitter tests Favorite changes

Twitter has been testing the value of different on actions on Twitter and how they show up in your Twitter timeline. Previously, when a user “Favorited” another tweet, a notification was sent to the other user, but it did not create a story within other people’s timelines. Now, Twitter is testing including Favorites within the timeline, similar to a Retweet. Similar to this test is including tweets from accounts that are followed by one or more of your followers.

Learn more from Mashable >>

Continue reading

» 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.

Continue reading

» 3 Quick Ways to Improve Your Pinterest Pins

3 Quick Ways to Improve Your Pinterest PinsThere’s a lot of buzz in the business world about using Pinterest, and there’s even more specifically in the wedding industry. Many businesses are reaping the rewards of a social network that links back directly to their website or Storefront, and it’s easy to see why!

For Wedding Pros, Pinterest is a great place to connect with engaged couples. Many couples planning their weddings use Pinterest to guide their inspiration, and when businesses use it properly, it can even lead to new clients. If you’ve been using Pinterest for a while and haven’t seen success yet, we are here to help.

In addition to clicks back to your website, Pinterest is a great tool because users “repin” to their own boards, thereby making your photos more viral. In order to get those repins and clicks, though, you should optimize your pins to make them the most shareable. Here are a few quick ways your business can improve your Pinterest pins and make your account more engaging!

1. Think about shape

When you pin an image, think about how your pin will show up in a users’ Pinterest feed. Is it square, horizontal or vertical? The best-performing pins have been identified as vertical pins because of the way Pinterest displays them. Pins are organized vertically in the home feed and on boards – they’re stacked on top of each other. The most eye-catching and successful pins are vertical and extend down the page. This formatting is even more important on mobile, where many couples scroll down on their smartphone. If you want your products or services to be repinned and clicked often, try to pin more vertical images.

Continue reading