A monthly round-up of digital marketing, SEO, and social media updates, summarized for you.
Well, hi there. Welcome to the fifth 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.
Lost in the (SEO) Woods: Hansel and Gretel had the right idea with leaving a trail of breadcrumbs. Fortunately for us, this concept works better on websites than in a forest where creatures are looking for a snack. Breadcrumbs (pictured below) are internal links on your website that allow visitors to see their journey from the homepage to the page they are on currently. Breadcrumbs create better UX because they make your site easier to navigate for visitors. Going a step further, this feature is now part of Google search results and has a direct impact on SEO. Breadcrumbs aren’t a replacement for your navigation bar, but they are an easy way to improve UX and your search rankings. Google loves to see categorization on a webpage!
On Guard: Google is taking a strong stance against vandalism in search results and has also sped up the indexing time for news stories. While Knowledge Panels in search results have improved because of partnerships with state agencies, health organizations, and Wikipedia, this can also be a target for misinformation. This is especially true of Wikipedia, which can be edited with the intention of spreading false information. Google announced that they can accurately detect 99% of these efforts. With several months still left in 2020, fact checks seen by searchers have already surpassed all those of 2019 with a figure over 4 billion. The search engine is working to make search results even more reliable by giving funds to organizations that specialize in fact checking.
Load Fast or Go Home: With people spending more time online, website load times are more important than ever. This is especially true for e-commerce. Losing even a second of speed could cause a visitor to leave the site. Site speed also increases loyalty because customers are more likely to repeatedly visit or purchase through a site if it is fast and user-friendly. Fifty-one percent of online shoppers in the United States say that site slowness is the top reason that they would abandon their cart. That’s why it’s imperative to have a responsive and accessible website that loads quickly, reliable web hosting, and optimized sizes for media files.
Caption Goals: Or whatever the kids are saying these days. If you work in social media, chances are you spend time writing copy for posts. Lots. Of. Time. Shorter is usually better for business accounts, and it’s all about finding the right words that provide value and clarity. These 10 tips and tricks will help you avoid the negative trends in social media copywriting and focus on writing that aligns with your brand. We’re here for it.
November is Coming: And with it, the election. With a long, contentious election cycle, and a year that’s felt even longer, social media users (and professionals) are tired. That’s why it’s important to prepare yourself and your clients for the changes in social media that will show up in the coming weeks. As the election approaches, don’t be surprised to see:
- Increased Noise
- Decreased Organic Performance
- Increased Ad Costs
Effective social media requires strategy, especially for an event like this. These tips will help you find the balance between pivoting your content and being conscientious of your audience members who have experienced this difficult and unexpected year with you.
Planting Privacy: That’s what Apple is doing with iOS 14, which was released on September 16. Facebook has stated that advertisers on the platform’s network should prepare for decreased performance from iPhone users with this update. This is because Apple’s “Identifier for Advertisers” (IDFA) is a tracking feature used by many Facebook advertisers. Earlier this year, Apple said that IDFA would become an opt-in choice with iOS 14 to better protect user privacy. Facebook ad partners will take a hit on their monetization on the platform’s Audience Network. Advertisers can still target users with older versions of iOS, as they will still have the IDFA element.
Friend or Follower?: Facebook is testing a new feature where Instagram Stories can be viewed alongside Facebook Stories on Facebook. Facebook Stories have the trademark blue circle, and Instagram stories are differentiated by the app’s signature pink/orange gradient encircling a profile picture. This is a limited test and it doesn’t change who has access to view your story. Only users who follow you on Instagram and have linked their Facebook account will be able to view. In addition, they have to opt-in to this feature.
“The Limit Does Not Exist”: Except it does for the number of Facebook ads. Specifically, how many a Page can run at the same time. These tiered limits (based on ad spend in the previous 12 months) are intended to improve ad performance. These limits are fairly expansive and might not be a huge change for companies. Facebook wants to see better performance, and when ads fail before leaving the “learning phase” (during which the platform is learning to optimize how, where, and to whom it should serve the ad), it reflects poorly on them. These changes, rolling out in February 2021, probably won’t hurt Facebook financially. In addition, they will improve the company’s performance metrics, and subsequently, its standing with investors.
Doing the Work: As the Black Lives Matter movement was picking up momentum at the beginning of the summer, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri shared a video committing to do more to address systemic bias on the app. Instagram recently provided an update on this initiative. This includes the addition of an equity team that will work to understand and dismantle bias in all areas of the app. There have also been more specific updates to hate speech policies, and verification metrics have been expanded to be more inclusive and are no longer based on audience size. In a push for increased accessibility, the app also recently followed in Facebook’s footsteps by adding an option for auto-generated captions. This feature will launch with 16 different language capabilities.
Musical Tabs: A new game Instagram is playing to test out optimal placement for “Reels” and “Shop” tabs in the app. A Reels tab on the main navigation bar has already launched in India, and Instagram is now testing it in all regions where the feature is available. The app is simultaneously testing a new Shop tab. The variations can be seen below. Some are saying that this is too much for one app, and it could cause annoyance and create a cluttered user experience. It’s likely that Reels is getting its own tab to even further emulate TikTok’s design of the never-ending scroll.
What’s in Hot Water: Copypasta. This is not something delicious to eat, but rather a term for words that have been copied and pasted from the original piece of content and shared widely without giving credit to the original author. Twitter announced that it will be hiding tweets like this that are shared without any changes. This is still a new feature and has not been added to the Twitter website yet, and its effectiveness remains to be seen.
#Trendsetter: Have you ever opened Twitter and been totally confused by a trending topic? Because same. To better clarify trends, Twitter has announced an effort to add more context to them. Some trends will show with a pinned representative tweet. Descriptions compiled by Twitter’s curation team will also appear with some trends. Twitter acknowledged that this is only the first, small step in improving how trending topics are shared.
Speaking of trends, do you want some help staying on top of them this holiday season? We’ve got the thing for you. This collection of holiday resources from Twitter will help you plan your content calendar for the rest of the year. From Halloween to Kwanzaa, these tips will help your social media stand out.
Status Update: Whether you’re a new graduate or a career professional, LinkedIn is a great platform for finding job opportunities, growing your audience, or building your connections. The site recently added some updates that will help you customize your profile to fit your LinkedIn goals. From letting your network know that you are #OpenToWork to spotlighting your projects as a publisher or freelancer, these tips will help your profile be seen by the right people. LinkedIn also updated its guide for effective marketing on the platform.
Using LinkedIn the Write Way: If you are a writer looking to grow on LinkedIn, writing articles on the platform is a great way to increase visibility and reach. You can repurpose content from a blog or share something totally new. Articles are featured more prominently on your profile page, which creates a good opportunity to write about something central to you or your brand. Just like with authoring any article, you want to show your expertise in a way that is clear, concise, and easy to read. Pro tip: How-to articles and headline titles beginning with numbers (i.e., “5 Ways LinkedIn Articles Can Improve Your Reach”) are top performers on the platform.
Pup-side Pickup: If you’ve been in the Chick-fil-a parking lot recently, you know that this Atlanta-grown business is running its drive-thru on all cylinders while inside seating is closed. This customer is staying extra safe and socially distant with an adorable curbside pickup assistant.
Be safe out there, y’all. Take a deep breath. Enjoy this fall weather Georgia is teasing. Thanks for reading til the end. We’ll see you next month. 👋🏽👋🏾👋🏿
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