A monthly round-up of digital marketing, SEO, and social media updates, summarized for you.
Oh, hello. Welcome to the seventh 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.
Shop Talk: Holiday shopping, that is. If you are offering a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale from your website, it’s important to optimize your landing pages and make sure they have relevant and informative content. With many retailers starting sales early (and emphasizing online deals due to the pandemic), ensuring your site is following best practices for these major shopping days is more important than ever.
New Year’s Web-olution: With a new year comes new things, and for Google, that means a huge algorithm shift called the Core Web Vitals update. This change in the ranking algorithm is focused on improving user experience, and key factors in that are page speed and load time. Learn what you can start doing with your site now to prepare for the change and rank higher after Core Web Vitals update.
How the Cookie Crumbles: Third-party internet cookies are on the way out. In less than two years, Firefox, Safari, and now Google, will say goodbye to this measurement tool. This will be a significant shift for marketers, but is it all bad? Cookies were never a perfect tool. Rather, they barely met measurement standards and their data delivered an imperfect picture of a customer audience. The transition to other high-quality tools could propel the industry forward and provide better and more accurate audience measurement.
Social Media for All: Inclusivity in marketing isn’t just for web design. It’s important for social media as well. Universal design caters to the broadest range of users or the most common factor. Inclusive design, on the other hand, looks for the edge cases that could cause exclusion. The next step is to solve for those, and often these solutions benefit all users. Some recent examples of this on social media are auto-generated captions on Facebook Live and IGTV. While all steps toward inclusive design are good, there is a lot of progress to be made beyond just captions or alt-text. These tips can help us think through how to practice inclusive design in every facet, from color contrast choices to text options.
#Trending: 2020 has been quite a year (to put it lightly), and it’s safe to say that most of us are looking forward to 2021. These predicted social media trends for 2021 give good content-planning tips for the coming year.
What Is on the Up and Down Again: Facebook’s voting option for comments. The Social Network has tested this format, in the style of up-down voting on Reddit, several times in recent years. Now this option is being introduced in Facebook Groups. While this feature could be helpful for shining a spotlight on good comments, it might also create a space for more dissent among users, as well as an opportunity for spam accounts and bots to shut out real voices.
Welcome Home to: Reels and Shop tabs in the main navigation bar of Instagram. Reels has taken a prime position in the center spot as the social platform continues to put effort toward growing this new service. With TikTok looking like it is here to stay in the U.S., Reels may not have the same success here as it has had in India and other places where TikTok is banned. Many Reels are just TikToks that have been saved and reuploaded on Instagram. Instagram’s Chief made a comment that story-format ads would soon be available for Reels as well. Instagram is also putting specific emphasis on its Shop option, which with the use of Facebook Pay, will make one-click shopping possible on Instagram.
Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For: Ever felt that way when you’re searching for something on Instagram? Because same. This month, the company announced the roll out of a keyword search feature in six countries, including the U.S., U.K., and Canada. Before this update, users could only search for hashtags and accounts – not keywords. While the search is limited to general topics right now, it is said to use multiple factors to determine what posts are about. The service also uses machine learning in this process to refine and improve results. Even a general keyword search could be helpful with finding what you’re looking for on the Gram.
Making the Switch: Between Instagram accounts on desktop! If you are a social media manager of any level, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of logging in and out of accounts on the desktop version of Instagram. Now, you can sign in and switch between multiple accounts, just like on mobile.
What’s New in the Nest: Twitter now has Carousel ads. Facebook and Instagram have seen better performance and engagement with Carousel ads, and now Twitter’s format allows you to add up to six images or videos per ad. Twitter also announced that starting November 17, Fleets would be rolling out globally after testing in several countries. This is the platform’s version of Stories, with options for reacting to tweets and sharing videos, photos, or text for a 24-hour viewing period.
Bird’s Eye View: Based on key trends research, Twitter has compiled insights to help inform holiday marketing in the coming weeks. This year, the emphasis is much more about practicality and simplicity. Extended time at home has given most of us a new appreciation for anything that helps our daily routine go smoothly, whether that is a pair of sweatpants or a kitchen gadget.
The Resource Connection: LinkedIn is the place to be for making professional connections, especially now that in-person opportunities are limited. The networking site has a refreshed look, and LinkedIn continues to improve its Events options with new discovery tools and promotion capabilities. New video call options are also available from directly within LinkedIn Messaging. LinkedIn also published three new guides focused on optimizing for specific areas within the platform. Those areas are building your brand, LinkedIn advertising, and driving leads. The guides include specific tips and insights, along with checklists and rundowns for best practices.
Build Networks, Not Numbers: Creating meaningful, professional connections online can be difficult. Sometimes we can get caught up in increasing followers and connections instead of growing a community. To combat that tendency and lean into building genuine relationships on LinkedIn, try:
- Writing conversational Connection Requests (i.e., something more personal than “I would like to join your network”)
- Inviting dialogue in the feed with questions in your posts
- Specifically tagging relevant people or pages to include them in the conversation
Souper Heroes: Sometimes wear capes and other times wield ladles. For Jenny Levison and Meg Gillentene, it’s the latter. Levison, owner of local Atlanta chain Souper Jenny, and her friend Meg, have taken to the road to serve up soup and kindness in a six-week trek around the United States. In places where it was too hot for soup, this pair gave away popsicles and laundry money. We love to see people doing what they can with what they have. Kindness is never wasted. You go, gals.
Be safe. Take a deep breath. If you celebrate Turkey Day, have a great one. We’re thankful for you. Thanks for reading to the end. See you next month. 👋🏽👋🏾👋🏿