A monthly round-up of digital marketing, SEO, and social media updates, summarized for you.
Oh, hi there. Welcome to the eighth edition of Rally the Trends! Thanks for visiting this highlight reel of digital marketing news and social media updates. We’re so glad you’re here.
To Misspell or Not to Misspell: Back in the early days of SEO, targeting misspelled words was a common strategy. Meta keywords tags were the name of the game, but with the advance of search, no reliable services use those anymore. Now, the main search engines like Google and Bing are intelligent enough to know what word you mean to search and correct the spelling. In fact, targeting misspellings these days can indicate a low-quality website. Because of that, this method ends up hurting your website instead of helping it.
The Core Issues: Last month we talked about the big update Google is rolling out in 2021 called Core Web Vitals. Google has since published a useful source with FAQs about the update and Page Experience, which you can find here.
Real Talk: This year has been…unprecedented. If you are a marketer, you may have felt this in a unique way. Marketing is the promise of something better, right? A product or service that will make your life better, simpler, easier, _______ (fill in the blank). But in 2020, that has been a strange line to walk. Even more than usual, people want honesty, not empty promises. Giving false hope has never been a good marketing tactic, but it’s especially unsavory right now. So, let’s do what we should always do as marketers: talk straight and be empathetic. And then, just like the author says, “while a lot of stuff undeniably sucks right now, marketing really doesn’t have to.”
Everybody Makes Mistakes: And even social media managers have those days. Social media marketing is a continual, evolving process. There isn’t always a perfect rulebook to follow to achieve certain results consistently. However, there are some common mistakes social media managers make that you can avoid. Those mistakes are:
- Not scheduling social media updates
- Cross posting the same updates everywhere
- Not asking for followers’ input/feedback
- Not working closely with other marketing departments
- Not monitoring results properly
Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Especially if you don’t want to and your name is Facebook. Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission and over 40 states accused Facebook of monopolizing the social media industry and killing competition through the acquisition of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. This is not the first time Facebook has been under federal scrutiny. Prior to this confrontation, Mark Zuckerberg was part of a House judiciary committee hearing last July where, along with other questions, he was asked about emails from the time of the acquisitions. His answer then is similar to how Facebook is currently responding to the cries of anti-competitive practices: the acquisitions have not eliminated competition. The Social Network will certainly fight the pressure to undo these deals, which were both approved at the time of purchase. This promises to be a long legal battle, with results that, if the prosecution succeeds, will reshape the company and create major implications for Big Tech.
History Has Its Eyes On: 2020. Facebook recently posted its year in review, which details the major events of this crazy year and how the platform was involved in them. Facebook has had an interesting and troubled year itself (see previous section). Some might say it has even contributed to society’s problems. Whatever your opinion is of Facebook, this is a poignant reflection of what we as a planet have gone through this year.
QTNA (Questions That Need Answers): Also known as FAQ. Instagram is testing a new Direct Messaging feature that allows business accounts to provide quick Q and A response buttons to Frequently Asked Questions. Right now, accounts can add up to four questions. This feature is similar to the option available on Facebook Messenger, where users can add auto responses to common questions. Widespread rollout of this feature on Instagram has not been announced yet.
Creator’s Calendar: In another Facebook – Instagram integration, Instagram is trying out a new feature in Creator Studio where you can see a calendar view of past and scheduled Instagram posts. You can use this to schedule feed and IGTV posts up to six months in advance. Right now, there is not an option to schedule Stories, but you can view past Stories activity. Creator Studio is becoming a more useful tool with each added feature, and the ability to schedule Stories, if it is added, would be a gamechanger.
2020 Flyover: Twitter recently posted its annual year in review, with an overview of Tweets that encapsulate the sadness, trauma, division, hope, and even a few laughs that were posted on the platform this year. Predictably, top hashtags included #COVID19 and #StayHome. The untimely death of Chadwick Boseman was mourned all over the world, with the announcement of his passing becoming the most liked Tweet of all time. You can find the other top Twitter topics (and most used emojis) here.
Tweets in a Snap: No, but really. Twitter announced that Tweets can now be added into Snapchat snaps on iOS. Historically, major social media platforms that aren’t related don’t get along well, so this is a significant shift. Twitter also said that this feature will start testing soon for Instagram Stories as a sticker option. Content from Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat is already shared across the platforms (between Twitter and Instagram in particular) through screenshots and memes, so it makes sense that they are trying to play nice and make sharing easier. That way, content that is cross posted can actually link back to the original platform instead of just being a screenshot.
Room with a…Sound: Twitter is also in the early stages of testing its new Spaces feature, an audio-only virtual meeting room in the style of the invite-only Clubhouse app. These voice meetings will be highlighted in the Fleets bubble so you can see when one is in session and who is attending. The integration with Fleets could give both features a boost, but, as always, the proof will lie in the testing.
Adding to the Story: With the recent rollout of LinkedIn Stories, the platform has also been testing ads in the ephemeral format. The testing began in European and Latin American markets. This new, short-form format allows brands to expand their voices and try out new content or ads that they wouldn’t necessarily place in a standard LinkedIn ad. Just like LinkedIn ads, though, brands have the opportunity to focus on specific targeting options with Story ads, such job title, industry, etc.
Shoppers Rush Home with Their Treasures: If that’s gonna be you picking up last-minute gifts over the next few days, we got you. Here are some local Atlanta places you can check out. We love supporting small businesses! Just like the rest of this insane year, the holiday season feels different. Less parties and traveling, but hopefully more time to celebrate the people around you and the good things we have, in spite of the sadness and tough times. However you are celebrating, we want to wish you and yours a warm, safe, and bright holiday season.
Be safe. Take a deep breath. Enjoy the season in the best way you can. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and happiest of holidays to you. Thanks for reading to the end. See you next year. 👋🏽👋🏾👋🏿