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Social Media Changes that Small Business Owners Need to Know

Social media has been in the headlines recently - some good, and some not so good! No matter what is going on with social media, both individuals and small businesses rely on social media to get and give information. Small business owners have a hard time keeping up with the rapidly happening changes on the social media networks they use. Here is a summary of the top social media changes in the 1st quarter of 2018.

Social Media is Changing: Here's How Your Small Business Can Keep Up

Facebook 

As long as there are two billion people using Facebook, there will be value for businesses. They just have to figure out how they fit in.

Michael Stelzner, Social Media Examiner

Facebook has been making changes to their algorithm and policies to address privacy and #FakeNews issues. In January, Facebook announced changes to the News Feed, and in April, Facebook announced the rollout of changes to protect users' privacy and minimize data scraping by marketers:

  • Users will see more people they know - friends and family - in their feeds and fewer posts from businesses and news sources.
  • Facebook will implement changes to make it easier for users to understand and change your privacy settings.

What you can do to maintain and grow reach on Facebook:

  1. Budget for paid advertising on Facebook: both paid ads and post boosts. Facebook has over 2 billion users and despite the outcry, there has not been a significant lessening of users.
  2. Increase local marketing on Facebook, as FB has said they prioritize local posts and news.
  3. Create Facebook groups for your brand. Facebook emphasizes community, engagement and building a group of people with similar interests that match your services or product.
  4. Use Facebook LIVE to talk directly to your followers and reach new followers.

Instagram
Many people forget that Instagram is owned by Facebook - so using FB less and IG more does not hurt Facebook's pocketbook.

  • Instagram has announced that it’s updating their algorithm to make sure that newer posts will be more likely to appear first in your feed. 
  • 3rd party apps can no longer see Likes, Comments, or send direct messages on Instagram. As a result, many influencers are switching to a business profile to us IG’s Graph API metrics. 
  • Scheduling tools can now post directly to Instagram.
  • Message privacy controls so private conversations between an account and a user, called “keep in chat”. 

What you should be doing to increase engagement on Instagram:

  • Use Instagram Stories. Relatively few brands are using Stories now, but that number will continue to grow. Be the 1st in your local market.
  • Post videos on Instagram. While IG users love photos, they also watch videos.

Pinterest

Besides sharing photos, shopping for products is the second most popular reason U.S. users pin to Pinterest.

- Search Engine Journal

Pinterest is giving brands more control over how their content appears to users - especially old content. New Pinterest features include:

  • Introduce "Follow" tab so you can see pins by people you follow, and not all Pinterest users.
  • "Archive" old boards, instead of deleting them.
  • Rearrange the pins on current boards using the "Organize" option.
  • More options to sort boards, such as alphabetical or by create date.

Twitter

In an effort to fight spam and bot posts and increase online conversations, Twitter is rigorously enforcing new rules that went into effect in March. Disregarding the new rules can result in your account being shut down by Twitter - and they have begun to do that. Twitter has not posted their complete rules yet but so far have said:

  • Scheduling tools cannot post the identical or nearly identical messages to multiple accounts, such as your Twitter and Facebook account.
  • You cannot schedule the same tweet to be published multiple times- such as monthly. Instead, you need to create new, unique content for each individual tweet. 
  • You cannot simultaneously Like, Retweet or Follow from multiple Twitter accounts.

What you can do promote your business on Twitter and increase your visibility:

  1. Create original content for Twitter.
  2. Only post each Tweet one time.
  3. Have conversations on Twitter:
    1. Respond to your Tweets' Comments, Likes and Shares.
    2. Comment, Like and Share other users' Tweets.

Social media is vital for many small businesses to connect with potential and current, customers and grow their business, but social media changes are inevitable. Are you too busy to manage your social media channels? Contact Amanda@MacMandaMedia.com. 

 

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