Algorithm changes, data breaches, controversy, 2018 was a year chock full of news in the social media world. Usually, when I look for the latest social media news, I’m looking for new features, changes to the user interface, the latest new tools, tips and tricks. 2018, however, had me on my toes with having to change major marketing strategies in not just social media, but also in blogging and content marketing.
Here are a few highlights of major social media and content marketing news of 2018. By the way, there’s no way anyone could have predicted this.
Facebook’s Algorithm Update – January 2018
On Jan. 11, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that users had been complaining that they see too much of business page posts and it’s hard to see the posts from family and friends – which is why they got onto Facebook in the first place. So, in March, businesses started getting less visibility and reach on their pages’ posts.
This actually became a financial boost for Facebook, as businesses now have to pay for advertising to reach their own fans (people who have liked their page). Not fair, right? Especially for the little guy. Moreover, it became very difficult for a new business on Facebook to build a following organically.
Facebook’s Data Breach – the Cambridge-Analytica Scandal
As part of your user agreement when you joined Facebook – you know, that “I Agree” that you clicked on without reading the lengthy document – Facebook has the right to sell your information, posts, pictures, likes, comments – everything to 3rd party partners. What happened was one of those partners sold the data to a 4th party – Cambridge-Analytica -- without Facebook’s permission.
This resulted in Mark Zuckerberg having to go before Congress and lots of people leaving Facebook or using it less. Or did they?
Over 45% of Facebook users are staying because of their personal life – staying in touch with friends and family. They’re too integrated with Facebook to delete their accounts. 26% accepted the fact that there is no guarantee of privacy online. (Source: Hubspot)
Furthermore, since 2016, monthly active user growth in U.S. & Canada has been relatively stagnant. (Source: Hubspot)
If you have customers in the E.U. – if you collect ANY type of data from them, including emails – you need to be aware of the new European law. I wrote an article on what this means for your business. And here is a more in-depth piece from MailChimp.
Google announced that Google+ had a major data breach a few years ago and they are closing it down by August 2019. We are losing a powerful SEO tool. However, Brick-and-Mortar businesses still have Google My Business (GMB). Post to that with offers and content. It's connected to Google Maps.
If you're a home-based & eCommerce Businesses, then you need to compensate for the loss of G+. Do not set up a GMB account unless you want customers coming to your front door and you don't really have an office at the post office. You need to blog more often, sharing your content to:
- Twitter - tweets get indexed in the search engine
IGTV and Facebook “Watch” go Global
On the positive side, Instagram launched a new app – Instagram TV (IGTV) and Facebook launched “Watch”.
If you were frustrated that you couldn’t do longer videos on Instagram, move on over to IGTV. It connects with your main Instagram account so your followers on Instagram will see when you post a new video.
Facebook Watch offers business pages the ability to use video more and “made-for-social” TV shows. The pages don’t necessarily have their own channels like on YouTube, yet, but you get more visibility. Hey, this can help overcome the reduction of reach from the algorithm change.
Shoppable media on Instagram and Pinterest
Impulse buyers are going to love this. eCommerce sites can place ads on Instagram and Pinterest and people can buy products right from the social apps.
On Instagram it’s shoppable posts and shoppable stories.
On Pinterest it’s called “Shop the Look”. The posts will have links to the products featured in the picture: dress, jacket, hat, shoes, purse, belt – everything. And it folks can buy it in just a few clicks.
Stories grow 15x Faster than Feeds
They’re popular on Instagram and their popularity on Facebook has grown – they are Stories. This is another way to overcome the algorithm change on Facebook. Stories are also on What’s App and SnapChat. Which one you use depends on your target audience. This article from TechCrunch explains the use of stories in more detail.
Pillar Pages are the New form of Improving SEO with Content Marketing
“A pillar page is the basis on which a topic cluster is built. A pillar page covers all aspects of the topic on a single page, with room for more in-depth reporting in more detailed cluster blog posts that hyperlink back to the pillar page.” – Hubspot
All in all, it looks like visuals are the main form of online marketing to focus on in 2019. Look for more articles coming to help you make 2019 your most profitable and successful year yet!