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A year is a long time in Social Media

If as the old saying goes   “A week is a long time in politics” it is an even longer time in the world of Social Media.  So as we approach the end of 2012 here are a few of our reflections about changes in Social Media. These are our own observations and are by no means an exhaustive overview of all the changes in Social Media – you don’t want to be reading until Christmas.

Facebook

Let’s start with the Big One.  Facebook became a Public Company in May 2012 amid much fanfare.  This isn’t the place to talk about the subsequent fall-out from this especially as one of us has the expertise to talk about this in professional and great detail.  However Facebook has made many changes this year including the Timeline and cover photo rolled out to every user.  There has been an attempt to clamp down on fake profiles and classifying people using profiles to promote their business as such.  The most significant change for business owners so far has been the decrease in the number of times a post is seen unless it is promoted ie paid for.  Our belief is that the days of businesses using Facebook for free are nearly over and either we will be encouraged to pay for greater visibility or there will be a charge for running a business page.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has also been busy making changes this year. The whole site had a makeover making it easier to see what is happening in your network.  The other more significant changes were the decision by Twitter to stop Tweets being automatically fed to LinkedIn.  This was a decision welcomed by many users including us. For us the most noticeable change has been the Endorsement  feature which had a mixed reception.

Twitter

Twitter also introduced Cover Photos and introduced a better layout this year.  The website and the app are now more alike and our assumption is that people use the app or a third party management tool such as Hootsuite more than Twitter itself.  We’ve noticed more businesses join Twitter and then just as quickly leave. We can’t help thinking that this is because businesses are broadcasting rather than interacting and by doing this only seeing limited results.

Pinterest

The new kid on the block and doing well with predominantly female users. We’ve got to say we see the value if you have a business that can post visual content on a regular basis, such as photographers and Florists. 

Google+

Backed by the mighty Google this hasn’t become the next biggest thing in Social Media.  In fact during the Summer we read many articles referring to Google+ as a ghost town.  Despite claims by Google that it is a fast growing network our experience is that it isn’t being used actively. However we are now looking again at this platform encouraged by a recent article.  It may be we need to use it as Google+ and not as another Facebook. We’ll keep you posted about how we get on.

Summary

Our  main observation about using Social Media for your business would be

·         Whatever changes are made the key to success in Social Media is interaction.

·         If you don’t have the luxury of a dedicated Marketing or Social Media Department choose the best platform for your business and put your efforts into that.

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