A monthly round-up of digital marketing, SEO, and social media updates, summarized for you.
Oh, hi there. Welcome to the ninth 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.
Going Incognito: In SEO. Have you ever wondered how incognito web browsing affects SEO or rankings? The main purpose of incognito browsing is to conceal search history from others using the same device. Google or your search engine of choice still collects much of the same info during an incognito session because the engine is customizing the results to your search intent. In short, incognito searching won’t affect your SEO in any noticeable ways.
The Missing Link: Are you looking for a missing link in your SEM strategy? Consider how your branding strategy is working with your SEO efforts. While they are often thought of as separate verticals of marketing, these two elements work together to create name recognition and, more importantly, ROI. That name recognition means more links are going toward your site, and the more links pointing back to a site, the more Google’s algorithm favors it in results. Creating brand awareness really will make a difference in your search engine results!
Mistakes Will Ad Up: Google Ads has changed a lot in recent years, and it continues to update and evolve as a platform. Each account has its own challenges and eccentricities, and this list of 10 common mistakes in Google Ads will give some ideas for what to look for when monitoring or troubleshooting your ads. It’s worth noting that lack of strategy is part of this list. If Google Ad strategy is something you need help with for your business, let’s chat.
This has been quite a month for social media. The major platforms banned former President Trump’s accounts in response to the riots at the Capitol. While some agree with this action and others see it as an attack on free speech, it has brought into clear focus the power and influence that social media platforms (and their founders) have gained. Each political news story that Facebook is involved in solidifies its role as something much more than a place to stay connected with friends or even a platform for advertisements. It has become a force and a voice to be considered on the world stage, in the conversations of elected officials and houses of government.
It’s Posting Time: For social media managers, there is always the question of WHEN; when is the best time to post on social media? Individual results will always vary, but there are some general guidelines that are helpful in answering this question. At the same time, it’s important to realize that only a portion of your followers will see your content when it is first published. They are simply not all online at the same time! The summary schedule is pictured below, and a full breakdown of time and frequency by social media can be found here.
Pages Facelift: Pages has gotten a new design. The biggest change is the replacement of Page likes with follower count. Until now, Facebook pages showed both likes and number of followers. Once this update rolls out, users will not be able to see likes and will only be able to see the number of followers. Other updates include an improved newsfeed specifically for Pages, easier switching between accounts you manage, more accurate insights, and better page management tools.
Quality Time: Facebook is introducing an Account Quality dashboard in Business Manager. This update is designed to help Page Admins keep track of suspended ads or posts that were rejected because they did not follow guidelines. This feature has been available for a while, but the updated look will allow easier access to the information and incorporate elements from the “Page Quality” tab. This is a minor update, and it doesn’t seem to include any additional support, which is what many smaller businesses advertising on Facebook really want.
Stories for the Big Screen: Instagram has been testing a new way to view Stories on desktop. Pictured below, this format is a more gallery, carousel style instead of a single Story taking up the entire screen. With higher usage and engagement numbers, Stories continue to be a point of focus for Instagram. There is speculation that the app will continue to focus more on that format moving forward. There is no announced roll out date of this desktop update right now.
Double Tap Dilemma: While unconfirmed, Instagram has been testing out a new feature that would allow users to hide or show like counts on their posts. Back in 2019, Instagram took away like counts from most accounts in an effort to care for users’ wellbeing, especially for the many young, impressionable people on the app. This update would give the option to hide or show likes within the post composer as well as with past posts. If this feature is rolled out, it will no doubt be backed up with stats speaking to the effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) of hiding like counts over the past two years.
A Tweet a Day: Means you’re showing up to play. Twitter recently released a yearly strategic planner for 2021. This is in addition to the calendar the platform releases monthly with key dates and upcoming events. The strategic planner includes a practical, hands-on approach to making Twitter work for your brand, with worksheets, tips, and advice for how to create your brand’s presence and voice on the platform. There is even a calendar with a month of prompts to help get the Tweeting juices flowing.
Blue Check Chase: A blue checkmark badge. A simple icon of verification that has come to carry significant meaning across multiple social media platforms. Twitter announced updates to its verification policy, meaning that accounts that are not in compliance with the updated guidelines could lose the coveted blue checkmark. The platform is also in the process of reopening its public application process for verification, which should roll out in the next few months. The requirements, however, are still substantial. The blue check will still be reserved for the “others” of the platform – government officials, brands, and influencers, etc.
Swipe Up for More: But make it LinkedIn. The professional networking platform has added a swipe up option to its new Stories feature. Just like on Instagram, this allows LinkedIn users to link to something within the Story. While perhaps not quite as coveted as on Instagram (where hyperlinks are not available in feed posts), it still shows the progression of the feature. The swipe up tool is not available for everyone, however. Right now, it is only available for some LinkedIn pages and individual profiles with at least 5,000 followers or connections. LinkedIn Stories are still a curiosity in the social media world, and many question their function or effectiveness. However, with the popularity of a story format, particularly for younger people, it’s a worthwhile experiment.
Filters for Follows: LinkedIn has added a filter for follower invites. With this update, you can now target who to invite to follow your page based on industry filters.
Atlanta is mourning a legend this week. Henry Aaron passed away at the age of 86. He played with Braves, first in Milwaukee and then in Atlanta, for all but two of his 23 seasons in the league. Throughout his career, Hammerin’ Hank went up against racism, poverty, and even death threats. He persevered and ended his career with 755 home runs. To this day, he is considered one of the best baseball players to ever play. RIP, Hank.
Be safe. Take a deep breath. January is almost over. Make time to do the things that bring you joy. Thanks for reading to the end. See you next month. 👋🏽👋🏾👋🏿