Latest news on the interwebs is that Facebook has just hit one-billion users, and launched its first brand ad, LinkedIn has just launched an influencer following tool and Twitter has joined forces with Nielsen. In case you missed all of that, here is a sum up to get you in the loop.
Facebook’s first brand ad and one-billion user mark
If you’re a brand that still thinks Facebook is a fad, it’s really time to get a reality check. In celebration of its global domination, the social network launched its very first ad campaign.
It’s an interesting move for a platform that has relied on viral word of mouth and organic growth within the platform to revert back to ‘traditional advertising’, yet having recently launched the ad has already has more than 1-million views on YouTube.
The ad goes to show that even one of the most powerful brands of our time still needs to invest in branding. Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of the ad on Facebook Newsroom, thanking users for their support and celebrating this momentous milestone.
He went on to say something very powerful:
Facebook isn’t the first thing people have made to help us connect. We belong to a rich tradition of people making things that bring us together. We honor the everyday things people have always made to bring us together: Chairs, doorbells, airplanes, bridges, games. These are all things that connect us. And now Facebook is a part of this tradition of things that connect us too.
Talking about the ad itself; I like its simplicity and the way it relates real life connections to something so intangible as a social network. Like it or not Facebook has become an inherent part of how we communicate. A powerful turning point in communication and something definitely worth celebrating.
LinkedIn’s influencer following tool
LinkedIn has always had a sense of elitism about it, reserved for those in business where only people who are colleagues in real life (or who are open to accepting requests from strangers) can connect on the professional social network.
LinkedIn is changing all the time and although still very much business-focused, the perception that only colleagues or people you actually know, or who are within your 6 degrees of separation, can form part of your network is gone.
Until now one could only see updates and posts from those who were directly in your own network (or connected by 2nd or 3rd degree) but with LinkedIn’s launch of its new influencer program things are going to get a lot more interesting.
The recently-launched influencer program allows users to follow a small pool of hand-picked influencers. Users will now be privy to news and updates from 150 top professionals, from the likes of LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner, to President Barack Obama, and Governor Mitt Romney. How’s that for a bit of name dropping?
“The goal is to get highly influential thought leaders to use LinkedIn to share big ideas and small ideas and tips,” said Daniel Roth, who as executive editor oversees the company’s content strategy. “We’re always trying to answer the question: how can you get the right news to the right person on a massive scale?”
In light of Twitter’s decision to no longer allow tweets to LinkedIn it makes sense that this is the network’s next move, to help overcome widespread criticism that LinkedIn is a low-engagement network. Fans can follow influencers for regular updates, just like on Twitter, yet it’s not one and the same as there is no 140-character limit on updates and the communication is designed to be purely business-focused. “Our goal is to always make sure that there’s high quality,” says Dan Roth, executive editor at LinkedIn.
The influencers [INfluencers] will have access to a blogging tool that will allow them to write posts that greatly exceed the standard status update, in terms of length, formatting abilities and media embedding. They’ll also have a dashboard that will allow them to see how their posts perform in terms of views, shares and comments by users, and to analyse their followings by industry.
Through this tool LinkedIn is striving to drive engagement within the network as well as provide feedback allowing for measurement of that engagement in real-time, ultimately encouraging INfluencers to invest more time creating content for the platform and adding a wealth of knowledge and content.
Over time the initial pool of 150 influencers will be expanded as the plan is for LinkedIn to identify new contributors who aren’t necessarily well-known names or celebrities, but whose patterns of activity and connections mark them as influencers.
So if you think your worthy of INfluencer status, you can apply and if you crack the nod, you will be able to leverage LinkedIn as an additional tool to grow your online presence, and swagger.
Twitter joins forces with Nielsen
A clever move from the 140 character based network that is dominating the social media space. Having teamed up with Nielsen, plans to roll out brand surveys to measure brand impact for Twitter, are on the cards.
The surveys will appear just like a promoted tweet in users’ timelines where they will be encouraged by @TwitterSurveys to fill out a survey within the tweet itself, thus allowing companies pop up in the streams of users who don’t follow the brand.
The surveys will then be analysed by Nielsen to provide brands with the increased ability to track awareness and gain real insights into their user base.
“This is a native experience for the user, and we believe it will give brands better insights to determine purchase intent, overall awareness, and other advertising metrics and analytics that can lead to greater engagement on Twitter,” Twitter says.
At this stage just a small set of advertisers are currently testing the feature, but Twitter plans to expand the service in early 2013.
Looking at each of these recent moves it can be seen that insight and targeted content is going to play a bigger role in social media marketing. Gone are the days of mass messaging (even if you are a big deal) and through the launch of these tools and platforms, along with the increasingly growing user base across social networks, content strategies are going need to be given a lot more attention, and priority, than ever before.
Social networks are becoming more intelligent and we will need to up our game and integrate these new tools into our marketing and communication and relook at how we engage with our customers.