As usual, another week means another set of changes from Google and Facebook. Read on to check out the latest happenings.
Google Creates New Messaging Option in Google Maps
Last year, Google gave users the ability to send texts to businesses using SMS. Now, users can send messages through Google Maps, rather than via text.
To start a conversation with a business, click the Message button on the business’s profile in Google Maps. This lets you keep your personal texts separate from your conversations with businesses, an important feature for many users.
Business owners (especially small businesses owners) should be aware of this feature – since messaging is becoming more popular than calling for many industries, customers may take advantage of this, and businesses will need to respond accordingly in order to meet their needs. However, the messaging feature is automatically off in Google My Business, and if businesses would like to utilize it, they will have to go into the GMB dashboard and turn it on.
Only people designated as “manager” of a GMB listing will be able to send messages from the account – this is very important for businesses who have marketing agencies or social media managers running their profile.
Over time, business that use the messaging feature will be able to see stats such as the total number of messages they’ve received and how many times people have clicked the Messages button.
Takeaway: This is a significant opportunity for businesses to interact more personably with customers, especially younger generations and those who prefer to message rather than call.
Facebook Punishes Clickbait Ads and Content
As part of Facebook’s goal to decrease the amount of fake or low-quality news and make the platform more user-friendly, the company is creating a new algorithm to demote “clickbait content.”
Facebook already created a cut-off rule for all prohibited content: hateful or dangerous ads will not be permitted to run. However, ads that use sensationalized language or deceptive copy will now have less distribution and less engagement. Zuckerberg’s reasoning is that this type of content creates a poor user experience. This applies to all ads that use exaggerated copy or deceptive language or images.
“This is a basic incentive problem that we can address by penalizing borderline content so it gets less distribution and engagement,” Zuckerberg said. “By making the distribution curve look like the graph below, where distribution declines as content gets more sensational, people are disincentivized from creating provocative content that is as close to the line as possible.”
Facebook will use Artificial Intelligence systems to monitor borderline content and decrease its distribution on the social medium – not only in ads, stories, and news feeds, but also in groups.
Takeaway: Businesses should keep this in mind when creating content for Facebook: headlines must accurately reflect what a story is about, images cannot be cropped to hide significant information, and copy cannot be suggestive or misleading.
New Study Provides Insights on Social Video Marketing
Animoto released a study they performed on over 1,000 consumers to see what type of impact video has on their purchasing habits. It turns out, “video is consumers’ #1 favorite type of content to see from brands on social media.” And it’s no surprise that Instagram is the fastest-growing social medium to propel purchases with video.
The study also reveals that video is the top way consumers discover a brand – beating out recommendations from friends, Facebook groups, and sponsored influencer posts.
Businesses should take note: how-to videos, videos about sales and promotions, and top-5 list videos are the three types of branded videos consumers like best.
Takeaway: If you’re looking to increase your brand awareness and engagement on social media ahead of the holiday season, utilizing more videos could give you the boost that you’re looking for.
As businesses prepare for the surge in Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping, marketers should take note of these new changes and adjust their ad and social media strategies accordingly. If you’re looking to take advantage of these recent developments in the digital atmosphere, contact the LeadBuilder team today. From SEO optimization to content marketing, we’re on top of the latest trends and will make sure your business leverages these changes to its greatest potential.
Liz MacLean is an Inbound Marketing Specialist with experience managing social media and creating content for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. She is an award-winning writer who has produced photographs and articles about cooking, clothing, nature, and fitness for local magazines and newspapers.
Image via iStock