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Keeping Up with the Joneses on the Social Networks

Keeping Up with the Joneses on the Social Networks

by Hector Cisneros

Listen to internet radio with workingthewebtowin on Blog Talk Radio


The marketing world we live in today is a far cry from the one our parents grew up with during the 50 and 60’s. TV, News Paper, Yellow Pages and Radio have hardly changed their format since their inception. In contrast, the internet is a rapidly evolving medium. If you look at all the marketing segments of the internet, Social Media is the most volatile with regards to change. As a matter of fact more rapid changes are coming to LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter then just about any other online segment. The past 12 months have shown massive change, including a slew of new features, updated networks and there does not seem to be an end in sight! How will these social media changes affect your businesses' social standing? Will it mean additional changes in how you manage your social media? Are you going to have to join other networks?

That's not all.  Rapid changes in technology and software tools can make or break your social media standings. Not taking advantage of new features can leave your social media sites looking old school and unrefined. More importantly you will not be taking advantage of the opportunities available to your business. Let's look at a half dozen changes that have taken place in various social media platforms and how they have affected some businesses.

Facebook Changes worth noting

Massive growth. Facebook biggest change for the year was the addition of Global Brand Pages. This allows a company to create a single URL , yet have it customized for each of the local markets it services. Facebook started the year with a professed 900,000,000 subscribers and is now well over a billion. Facebook has changed how you interact and post to the news feed timeline and how you organize and pay attention to your friends. This is true both for personal accounts as well as Fan Pages. They have also revamped how Pay Per click and Pay per view is organized, reported and executed. They have even added mobile-only ads. This effects not only how you interpret your analytics it also effects how you use Facebook psychographics to drill down to your intended target market. Make sure you study Facebook’s tutorials for advertising and make sure any YouTube training videos you watch are current and that they reflect the new changes. Facebook has plateaued in growth. Look to see its growth slow in 2013.

Twitter Changes worth noting

Twitter has added "Tailored Trend," which is designed to notify a subscriber about trends in which users should be interested. This is based on your profile and what Twitter knows about you as a subscriber. Twitter has added more options to PPC and sponsored links this year. You can now target users by their interests as well. They have also changed their look and feel, added banner backgrounds and also permit a photo/video gallery. Twitter has shown massive growth this year, more than any other network. They have shown the greatest percentage of growth, from a mere 125,000,000 subscribers to 500,000,000 subscribers. I have also noticed an increase in their sensitivity to the number of follows you make per day. There sometimes seems to be no rhyme or reason to their limits. Just err on the side of caution when setting up a new account and spread out your follows throughout the day if you want to avoid being tagged as a spammer.

Google+ Changes worth noting

Google + has folded had several other Google properties and integrated a couple of new ones into the platform this year. The most important of these is Google Local, Google +1 and Google Invite, which were added to Google, along with Hangouts, which is a free teleconferencing/screen sharing facility. G+ also updated/tweaked its brand pages format and added additional functionality to hangouts. You can now broadcast a hangout and record it directly to YouTube. Google+ subscribers have also grown in number. Their active user community is over 150,000,000 strong with 400,000,000 total users. Continue to watch Google+ grow add even more functionality in 2013. This is Google’s MO when it comes to dominating a market.

LinkedIn Changes worth noting

Linked in has shown steady growth and has also added several new features. The most significant is the additional of Business Pages. LinkedIn’s B2B functionality has always been strong. It's widely used "Recommendations" feature has always been a favorite of its subscriber base. Now LinkedIn has added an active element to its recommendation section where LinkedIn actively invites your connections to recommend and endorse you. If you haven't given this a shot, you need to log in today.

YouTube changes worth noting

YouTube has grown to be the second most visited search engine in the world, only exceed by Google Search itself. YouTube now receives 4 billion views a day! They have also refined the back-end search features and refined their pay per click system. It is now tightly integrated with Google+ and they have also added a built-in video editor, so now you don’t even have to purchase third party video editing software. Look to see continued growth of YouTube subscribers, along with its use as a search engine, and as an important ranking factor in Google Search. Keep an eye out for further integration into Google+ and refinement of its PPC model next year.

Other Changes worth noting

A new player that is showing promise is Pintrest. This social network is very effective for businesses that are visually oriented or that routinely use photos to sell their products. Graphic artists, photographers, printers, magazines and any business that relies on a picture being worth a thousand words loves this medium. Others networks worth mentioning are Tumblr and Reddit both of which have shown steady growth. Overall loser include Taringa, Digg, Bebo, Friendster and MySpace. All of which have shown a significant loss of subscribers and or market share. There you have it, an overview of the rapidly occurring changes that make up the Social Media landscape today. What has happened over the last six months to a year is that the major players and wannabes have been duking it out out to see who can provide the best platform for social media subscribers. Needless to say, all of the players in this arena are striving to be number one. This article has intended to keep you abreast of major changes that have taken place this year. The coming year promises to provide even more changes, so pay attention to what they are doing. Better yet, keep reading my blogs and tune into our Working the Web to Win radio show every Tuesday at 4pm Eastern if you want to stay ahead of the curve.

That’s my opinion, I look forward to reading yours.

Hector Cisneros is COO of W Squared Media Group, a prominent online marketing company based in Jacksonville, FL. He is also co-host of Blog Talk Radio’s “Working the Web to Win,” which airs every Tuesday at 4pm Eastern. And a published syndicated writer and published


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