If the social media numbers and statistics that we are seeing already for 2016 are a glimpse into the future for 2017, you are going to want to get in the game!  It’s time to take the Social Media landscape seriously and apply it to your business for maximum growth and exposure.

Check out these numbers from SmallBizTrends.com

General Social Media Use

  • 97% of online adults aged 16-64 say they have visited or used a social network within the last month.
  • Internet users have average of 7 social media accounts.  This is a HUGE jump from 2012 where most people reported having only 3 social media accounts.
  • 8 out of 10 internet users visit and/or use social media from their mobile devices.
  • Users spend a minimum of an hour on social media per day (I think this number is too low!)

These numbers tell us that Social Media is not only increasing in popularity but it also tells us users are finding tremendous value in it.  What does this mean for businesses of any size?  It means we need to embrace social media and start using it effectively.

Which Social Media Platform Should Businesses Concentrate On

create-865017_960_720Many industry professionals will tell you two things when it comes to where you should be spending your time as a business when it comes to Social Media.  They will tell you:

  • Go where your target customer spends their time
  • Focus on 1 Social Media platform and get comfortable with it before you add more

While I agree with what other industry professionals advise, I also believe this is one Social Media powerhouse we cannot ignore.  Facebook.  Have you noticed, slowly but surely Facebook is adding all the most popular features each of the major Social Media players.  Here is what I mean:

  • Live video was huge when Periscope came on the scene.  Facebook saw the value and created Facebook Live for its users.
  • Simple, to the point text is what Twitter is all about.  Facebook now amplifies short text with a larger font size so it stands out in your news feed.
  • Instagram is wildly popular with its highly visual platform.  Facebook purchased Instagram.  Now Facebook advertisers can promote posts from Facebook to Instagram without even having an Instagram account!
  • SnapChat is highly popular with its disappearing posts.  Instagram (owned by Facebook) has embraced the same technology through Instagram Stories

Plan Of Action

computer-768696__180Over the last 2 years or so, Facebook has added an incredible amount of features and nuances to its platform.  For most, it is hard to keep up with all the changes.  It seems once you have it down, Facebook amps up its game, forcing you to learn more.  Many times, your focus is taken off your business and craft to learn the next Facebook marketing technique.  Learning the new features of Facebook is a necessary evil if you are the person in charge of maintaining the social media footprint of your business.  While being in charge of executing your business’s social media content seems like a good plan, it can backfire.  More often than not, businesses who manage their own social media accounts are:

  • Inconsistent with their presence and message
  • Tend to be overly pitchy or “sales-y”
  • Misuse the functions of the social media platform
  • Often post just for the sake of posting in order to have some sort of presence

The best defense to social media marketing is to spend the time to craft an annual social media plan complete with a budget and measurable goals.  Once you have the plan designed, outsource the work.  The people you outsource your social media plan to can generally do it faster and with better results, freeing you up to do what you originally got into business to do in the first place!

So You Think You Can Get Along In Business Without Social Media

office-620817_640Think again!  Before social media hit the scene, to gain credibility in the marketplace, you had to have a website.  Today, it is extremely important to have a website PLUS have presence on social media.  Here’s why:

  • Studies show consumers check out social media first before even going to a company website. 
  • Consumers engage in “social listening” watching and reading how people react to a company or product
  • Social Media gives consumers the opportunity to quickly engage and build a relationship with their favorite brand or product
  • Potential customers can get real time, personalized responses from companies through social media

What will your social media plan look like in 2017.  It is not too late to start thinking about it now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YouTube is now making it difficult for users to remain anonymous when trying to post negative or inappropriate videos and comments. Currently the site is pushing for users to use their full name when uploading videos or making comments. Rather than showing a pen name that links to their YouTube account, the site would prefer to link to the user’s Google+ account, showing their picture and full name.

This new move by YouTube will attempt to prevent any hurtful, inappropriate or negative comments to be posted onto the site. In a YouTube company blog, it was stated that YouTube is, “giving you the ability to change how you appear on YouTube, with the option to use your Google+ profile on your YouTube channel.” This idea launched after the option to have one Google-wide identity seemed popular among new YouTube users when it was first offered back in March. Now the site wants to extend this option to its current users as well.

Now when posting a comment on YouTube, the site will ask if you want to use your full name. If you decline to use your full name, you must select a reason for doing so, such as, “My channel is for a product, business or organization.”

YouTube has stated that, “We’ll help you review your YouTube content before your full name starts to display.” Furthermore, if a user changes their mind, they are able to return back to their username.

This new information about YouTube’s commenting system was released just about a month after a YouTube developer at Google’s I/O conference claimed that the website would be, “undergoing some changes to prevent bullying” in the site’s comments section.

 

YouTube is hoping that this new change will encourage users to think twice before posting an inappropriate comment. And for users who have made comments that they now regret posting, the site has a ‘Review my content’ section to view every video and comment they’ve ever posted to the site and decide if they want those videos or comments to be associated with their full name before committing to the new change.

 

Google’s newest widget, Google+ Badges for brand pages, lets brands use Google’s social network to promote their presence.

Similar in form and function to Facebook’s Like Box social plugin, Google+ Badges lets users either +1 a webpage, or add that webpage to their Google+ circles. While it doesn’t have Facebook’s ability to show your friends’ faces first, the widget does display the faces of other users who have +1ed the webpage.

Businesses now have the ability to create a strong presence on Google’s growing social network thanks to the launch of Google+ Badges that came alongside the development of Google+ Brand Pages.

Another feature of Google+ Badges is that it contains a snippet of code connecting your website to your Google+ page. In an e-mail to developers, the company stated, “In addition to helping us better index your Google+ page, this snippet will help you show more personal recommendations around the web by linking your +1’s on sites, your Google+ page, search and display ads.”

Additionally, Google has revealed that the badge must be included for the Google Direct Connect feature, which makes it possible for users to find a Google+ page from a Google Search. By typing in “+”then the name of a brand in Direct Connect, the search results lead users straight to the company’s Google+ brand page.

Given the success of its Facebook counterpart, this widget is certainly a necessary component for Google+. Even though it doesn’t have the benefits Facebook offers with “Open Graph,” the Google+ Badge definitely gets the job done. Google still must work to convince both users and brands that it is a social network ideal to do business through, but this Google+ widget will be of great importance in building the relevance of Google+!