By Drew Boehmker
The social media landscape is constantly evolving, and successfully maneuvering the sharp twists and turns of this ever-changing road can be a challenge for even the most proficient PR pros and business owners. We’ve done the work for you and compiled everything you need to know.
Here’s our monthly roundup of all things social media.
Facebook Fends Off “Fake News”
It should come as no surprise that the buzzword of the moment is “fake news.” Even for savvy social media users, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish when the stories being shared by your friends are genuine and when they are “fluff pieces” with little to no nutritional news value.
In an effort to combat the “fake news” epidemic, Facebook recently announced it is doing its part to ensure that the content appearing on your news feed is authentic, relevant, and timely. Facebook’s algorithm is now keeping a closer watch on the content it curates for you to view, with an added emphasis on hiding posts from “clickbait” pages that share fabricated stories with sensational headlines to drive likes, comments, and shares. The algorithm is also attempting to do a better job of serving you relevant stories in real time, prioritizing posts about events happening “in the moment” by placing them higher in your news feed.
While these changes won’t directly impact businesses and brands on Facebook, this important update demonstrates that the social media giant is committed to ensuring a positive user experience by keeping the site credible. At the very least, you can sleep a little easier knowing that more of the facts you are getting from Facebook are genuine—and not of the alternative variety.
LinkedIn Livens Up
Haven’t logged into LinkedIn recently? (Don’t feel bad—a 2016 report found that only 25 percent of the site’s 450 million users access it monthly.) If not, you may want to plan a return visit to check out the social networking site’s major revamp, which officially began late last year but has continued to roll out at a fairly rapid pace throughout the early stages of 2017. You’ll immediately notice some pretty apparent changes, including a new timeline reminiscent of the Facebook news feed, a Messenger feature, and a Notifications tab that makes it easier to see what is happening across your professional network in real time.
However, reception to the changes has not been all positive, and several features are being revamped or reverting to their original functionality amidst the backlash. Still, now is a perfect time to begin exploring these new features for yourself to ensure that you are staying on top of the game in your professional network. Given Microsoft’s recent acquisition of LinkedIn, this revamp is perhaps indicative of even larger changes to come as the site continues to refine its identity as a social network.
A Trying Time for Twitter
Another social media staple experiencing similar growing pains is Twitter. User growth has slowed on the platform as it faces increasingly stiff competition from more visual competitors like Instagram and Snapchat. Its current tools for marketers have also failed to keep pace with Facebook. Given Twitter’s recent shift away from being classified as a social networking tool to a “news” app, there has been a lot of discussion regarding the specific niche that Twitter falls into in the broader social media universe.
However, it’s not the end for Twitter just yet, and it is important for savvy social media marketers to recognize the competitive advantages that the platform still offers. For one, no other social media platform allows your brand or business to target people based on what they are saying in real time quite like Twitter does; a simple search on Twitter can allow you to reach potential customers at a time when they are most receptive to marketing messages.
More importantly, another invaluable reason for keeping Twitter as part of your social strategy is the vital role it plays in boosting organic reach on Google search results. When your brand or business links an active Twitter account to your company’s homepage, Google will scan the Twitter feed and use the content it finds there to weigh search results—thus boosting your brand’s SEO and the likelihood of your company being discovered by the people who want to engage with it most.
Twitter’s definitely not dead, or going away anytime soon—it just may be experiencing some growing pains as it finds new ways to compete in today’s hyper-visual and ultra-competitive social media landscape.
Staying up-to-date on social media can seem like a daunting task, but hopefully, you will find that it’s not nearly as intimidating as it might appear. Keep posting, tweeting, and snapping, and be sure to check back here each month for everything you need to know to stay on top of the social media game.
About Scooter Media
Scooter Media is a full-service communications agency in greater Cincinnati specializing in public relations and social media.