New platforms. Changing algorithms and audiences. New opportunities. It’s a lot to stay on top of as a social media marketer, let alone a business owner. I’ve written the following post more for the latter audience, since my aim is to aggregate a few current trends that have implications for your business.
You need to take Google+ seriously.
If you’re like me, you probably were initially skeptical (and possibly even a little snarky) about Google+, thinking it was never going to replace or even compete with Facebook. Well, you’d be right. Google+ isn’t trying to compete with Facebook—it’s a completely different social platform. In his helpful post, “What is Google Plus? A Complete User Guide,” Martin Shervington says it best: “In essence…Google has added a ‘social layer across the services’ people love and use every day.” When you consider the suite of integrated products (search, reviews, Gmail, Youtube, etc.) and the quasi total-world-domination-level of influence Google has, it makes sense to develop your business’ Google+ strategy. Not to mention the fact that Google+ has more than 400 million active users, with nearly 1 million new users everyday…
Think Pinterest is just for women? Think again.
I’ll admit it. My wife uses Pinterest everyday, whereas I only use it occasionally to hack into her account and secretly buy her presents based on what she has pinned. The perception that Pinterest is largely for women may be true, but men are coming onto the scene in interesting ways, according to the 2014 Pinterest Media Consumption Study by Ahalogy. First, even though they only comprised 14% of active users at the time of the report, male Pinterest users are growing fast: they are 36% more likely to have joined Pinterest in the last six months than women. Second, men are 20% more likely than women to have purchased a product online or in a store because they saw it on Pinterest. If Pinterest is on your radar (and I believe it should be if you’re a B2C business that fits Pinterest), I’d recommend you read the study and develop an appropriate strategy for your Pinterest presence. Another Pinterest development you should be aware of is that Pinterest will soon be offering “promoted pins” to advertisers. To get on the priority access list, see Pinterest’s business page.
Facebook has made some bold moves.
Being able to ultra-target your ads based on people’s likes, interests, behaviors, location and demographics has been a dream come true for many advertisers. But Facebook has recently taken their ad relevancy and targeting capabilities to the next level by incorporating data from the websites and apps that users use. In tandem with this improvement for advertisers, they have also improved Facebook users’ experience by giving them more information about why they receive certain ads, as well as the ability to enhance their experience by choosing which types of ads are helpful to them and those they don’t want to see. This is actually a good thing, since your ads will be going to a more relevant audience instead of wasting impressions on users who aren’t interested. For more information about these changes, see Hayley Tsukayama’s article in The Washington Post.