Fall is officially here, so in the
spirit of the Back to School season, here’s a quick lesson for you on some of
the changes and trends you need to pay attention to on social media. Let’s get
1. Twitter has a new header image
Launched on September 18th,
Twitter introduced a headline image, similar to that of Facebook and Google+.
The dimensions are different (1252px X 626px for optimal viewing across all
devices), so you you can use an image that has a broader impact. Also, whereas on Facebook your profile picture is on the left
side, on Twitter both your profile picture and personal bio are centered on the
header image in white. The new header image has been optimized for mobile and
tablet interaction, so there are even more reasons and opportunities to get
creative about how you present yourself and/or your organization.
Why this matters: You and your
business now have the ability to put a better public face forward on one of the
two most influential social media channels. The sooner you adapt to the new
format, the better you look compared to the competition who is surely working
on the same thing.
2. Yelp is
now integrated into iOS 6
With the release of iPhone 5,
Apple’s faithful users were inundated with new features to make the gadget even
more synchronized and easy to use. Among the most anticipated was the
integration of Yelp into iOS 6 Maps. Even though post-release Apple’s Map application
has been less than ideal (see Tim Cook’s apology), Yelp’s introduction to the platform has been widely accepted.
As Yelp’s director of business
development Mike Ghaffary said, “Yelp’s integration with Apple maps is now
available on iOS 6 on all iPads and iPhones . . . and in 17 countries where
Yelp has a presence.” So when you search for bars, coffee shops, spas, movie
theaters and more, Apple Maps will return a collection of places all tied to
their Yelp business pages, with their Yelp star rating on the map.
A click on any business shows a
vibrant business page with a rotating cover picture, business information, Yelp
reviews, and photos sourced from Yelp. You can also click to “check-in” at the
location, add a photo, or leave a venue tip all through this new integration.
Why this matters: It’ never been
more important to list and claim your business on Yelp. With the kind of
audience that Apple products provide, there is no reason not to take advantage
of the free listing and see your visibility increase and your business increase
reintroduces Facebook Gifts for users to buy friends real gifts through mobile
With more than 800 million active
users, Facebook exerts the heaviest gravitational pull in the social media
universe. (To wit: Apple announced that more than 100 million iOS devices are
running the latest operating system, which means approximately 15 million iOS
users have connected with Facebook only a
week after the option became available.) With that kind of audience, any changes to Facebook
deserve your attention.
Here’s what you need to know: Gifts are back. Yes, those quirky little relics from mid-2010.
If you can remember back that far, you’ll recall that you could send your
friends virtual gifts for $1, which were then donated to a charity of
On September 27th
Facebook officially re-launched Facebook Gifts
, available through their desktop
or mobile versions. But this time, it’s a true e-commerce function, meaning
that you can choose, purchase and send real (as opposed to virtual) gifts to
your friends. Facebook announced this new feature shortly after acquiring
Karma, a social gifting application.
Why it matters: Facebook +
ecommerce. Nuff said? Even if you’re not in a position to become a retail
partner and offer Facebook Gifts from your business, this feels like it’s the
start of something big. We all need to pay attention.
- Reevaluate your own Facebook presence and make sure you're doing all you can to promote your business. Here's a handy overview with specific information about Pages, Places, Groups and Ads.
4. MySpace is
bringing music back…to a social platform
Until last week, few people gave
MySpace a second thought. Although it still had 25 million monthly visitors,
when compared to Facebook’s 800 million, it was considered an antiquated social
media platform from the early 2000’s and most people couldn’t say if it still
existed or not. Undoubtedly the biggest change in this list, MySpace is trying
to make a huge comeback after its demise seemingly as a result of Facebook
becoming available to the general public.
After trying to remember my login
information from six years ago, I saw first-hand that Myspace has been hanging in there with a relatively small
but committed base that’s dedicated to sharing and finding new music. In fact, most
musicians still maintain a Myspace page, and often Googling an artist will show
their MySpace page as a top result. (And as
we pointed out in May,
the MySpace audience is primarily young and racially diverse—and potentially still
attractive to businesses targeting this demographic.)
Then, the musical heavens opened up
and Justin Timberlake took a vested interest in the out-of-date platform. After
watching the “New Myspace” promotional video, I have to say
JT and his team have made me hopeful that this once giant site will make its
return to the big leagues. The new MySpace will let users connect to the site
with their Twitter and Facebook accounts, signaling that they won’t try to
compete with those social media giants as a networking service, a smart move no
Why this matters: One niche the
current top five is missing is social music exchange and this new, seemingly
flawless design seems like a promising contender to fill the gap. If MySpace
does reemerge as a big player in social media, businesses will need to assess
whether it makes sense for them to have a presence there.
- This one's fun. Put yourself on a list to get an invitation (eventually) to try out the new MySpace. Sign up here.
adds support for Facebook pages
And finally, let’s talk about the measurement
tool everyone loves to hate: Klout. In case you weren’t tuned in this summer,
has made some major changes in how it determines social influence and how it is
used. Here’s a run-down:
- Klout introduced support for Facebook Pages almost two years to the day after they added support for Facebook users’
influence. In respect to how this addition will affect individuals’ Klout
scores, the website’s blog (ambiguously) says, “It depends. The mean score
increase for a Klout user with a Facebook page is about seven points, all else
held equal.” They also quickly make the distinction that they will only support
having one type of Facebook account connected per Klout account. In other
words, you can only connect your personal profile or your business page.
and Bing have recently teamed up to create more “influential search results.” According
to Klout, this change will allow people to understand their influence, be recognized
for it, and benefit from it. Perhaps more importantly, Bing will provide Klout with
additional search data, a long-time missing piece of the user-influence puzzle.
"Just like Wikipedia articles can reflect a person's real world influence,
search results for a person signal accomplishments achieved beyond social
networks and serve to influence others," Klout CEO Joe Fernandez said.
- Klout also revamped its formula to determine
your Klout score. Its new algorithm purports to give a better and more authentic
measure of a person’s influence.
Fun fact: As a result of this adjustment, President Obama
finally has a higher Klout score than Justin Bieber, who used to have a perfect
100 (though under this system, he has been pushed down to a mere 92).
Why this matters: Although there is
ongoing debate about the accuracy and importance of Klout scores, the number is
becoming increasingly pervasive, as
indicated by their multi-million membership numbers. If you have a Facebook
page, this can help bump your influence in areas of interest and if you have
any desire to gain a bump from the new calculations, this is a reminder to
check the account and see how many points your score has increased. Klout is a
good way to identify influencers on specific topics and in your industry though
we often take their topics with a grain of salt – they still have trouble
parsing phrases versus individual words.
And now, we've come to the end of our lesson. Hopefully, you're good and motivated to get back into the social media groove. If you could use a little tutoring to get you up to speed, please Contact Us at CDG. We'll make you an A+ social media student in no time.