With a new iPhone app every millisecond and the ever-changing landscape of Facebook, I understand why so many people express concern that social media is overwhelming. We hear from friends, coworkers and clients all the time that social media is confusing, they don’t know where to start or they don’t see the value in it. Well, luckily, not everyone has to “get it.”
Companies hire digital strategists who spend hours experimenting with new technologies, browsing hundreds of blogs and articles, and maintaining their own social networks so they are knowledgeable and prepared to provide the best ideas to clients. However, it is still important that people who aren’t digital strategists have a basic understanding of social media. This helps to reduce fears, strengthen campaigns and fully integrate digital into plans.
Three of the most popular social media platforms right now are Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare. Through research and working across several accounts, I’ve seen firsthand some recent changes to Facebook and areas of confusion surrounding Twitter and FourSquare. I’ve outlined them below to help you stay in-the-know. Through research and working across several accounts, I’ve highlighted a new change from Facebook and identified a few common areas of confusion surrounding these tools.
In July, Facebook began rolling out a feature that allows Pages to target their posts to groups of fans according to characteristics like gender, age, Likes and relationship status. This is a great asset for community mangers who can now publish different content to relate to various Facebook page fans. For pharma this is an exciting advancement. Companies with a wide range of products with different target audiences can better target specific patients, making the messaging more relevant, personal and impactful.
Have you ever wondered why some people put a period at the beginning of their Tweet? What might look like a mistake to some is actually a really good idea if you want all of your followers to see your Tweet. A Tweet that starts with @USERNAME will only appear in the feed of those who follow both the person tweeting and the USERNAME. So if you are tweeting something that you want the largest audience (all of your followers) to see, it should start with a period. This matters most for brands during tactics like Twitterviews or responses with important content.
Many brands have started building FourSquare into their plans only to find savvy users have found how to checkin even when they aren’t on location. This leads to frustration from brands who try to award those with the most checkins. In 2010, FourSquare tried to fix this problem by implementing a GPS system to verify checkins. This means you can still checkin but unless your phone’s GPS verifies your location, you won’t unlock points, badges or mayorships. So for brands who want to use FourSquare, it is a smart idea to create a badge to ensure fans are actually on location. The verification isn’t always perfect, but it is the best way at the moment to manage FourSquare campaigns.
The digital world is constantly changing, but that’s no reason to fear it. Embrace it…and call the experts when you need a hand. Please reach out to our digital team, Chandler Chicco Digital, at CCDigitalNY@ccapr.com with any questions.