Hearts, Polls and Shares: An Overview of Twitter’s New Changes

With its switch from stars to hearts, many are left wondering, “Why?” when it comes to Twitter’s recent changes. Does Twitter have on rose-colored glasses? Some users appreciate Twitter’s evolutionary steps, while others may see it as a way for the social media giant to grasp at relevance in a fast changing world.

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The changes the company has made in recent months may not be groundbreaking, but they may affect individual and business operations more than they think. Let’s take a look at these three changes in depth:

Twitter Removes Share Counts

Share counts have served the Twitter community with a benchmark for popularity. It doesn’t necessarily affect peoples’ ability to share information and use Twitter to start trending topics, but it does prevent individuals from seeing the relative impact of their posts. They can see favorited information but not how many times a post was shared.

From a technical standpoint, the company has switched database systems from “Cassandra” to “Manhattan.” Manhattan doesn’t support tweet counts. Twitter’s explanation yields more information about why tweet counts, “…don’t represent accurate performance, only perceived performance…” Tweet counts don’t highlight the overall impact of conversation, including replies, quotes, and URL variants, making them an unhelpful way to measure success.

What This Could Mean for Users

For people and businesses that don’t rely on Twitter to deliver information to a targeted audience, the change may not matter much. For those who heavily use Twitter as a content dissemination tool, however, the change will likely have far-reaching implications. For instance, some businesses use tweet shares to note how well-received content is and prove their worth in social media. It may not offer comprehensive analytics, but it does offer a snapshot of perceived popularity – a valuable commodity in the social world.

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Our own Twitter share counter. The new changes left the prior share count visible, however it no longer updates. While this isn’t, by any means, the most important metric of success for a piece of content, it certainly was useful.

Twitter Introduced “Twitter Polls”

People love quizzes, polls, and surveys. It’s a proven way to boost engagement on websites, which may hint at why Twitter has added them to its lineup of offerings. Twitter Polls allow anybody to get public input for any number of questions. Forget the magic 8 ball. Find out what the crowd thinks and prefers with a simple poll posting. Can’t decide on dinner? Make a poll. Want to see what people think right now about the 2016 election? Make a poll. With millions of users on the social media platform daily, you may never have to make a decision on your own again.

While the feature hasn’t been in the marketplace long enough to see real results on its use, Twitter Polls promise a better reception than the removal of share counts. Businesses may find that the technology provides countless new marketing opportunities, from finding out how a product launch went to supporting research and development endeavors. Competition from digitalization may be fierce, but it’s never been easier to find out what your audience wants.

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A charming Twitter Poll from ex-Googler and HomeBrew.co founder – Hunter Walk

The Latest Change – Hearts Are the New “Lucky Charms” of Twitter

Instead of clicking on “stars” to favorite a tweet, users will now click on “hearts” to like them. Favorited stars often help users save content for use later, which could make it difficult when the symbol indicates a “like” for all intents and purposes.

Twitter’s Blog States:

We are changing our star icon for favorites to a heart and we’ll be calling them likes. We want to make Twitter easier and more rewarding to use, and we know that at times the star could be confusing, especially to newcomers. You might like a lot of things, but not everything can be your favorite.

The hearts may take a social media moment for users to adopt, but ultimately don’t present a meaningful change to the platform. Hearts provide a more universal symbol for liking something online.

Look for the hearts on Twitter’s Vine and Periscope, as well. Some people still have mixed reactions of the shift, believing the likes and hearts too closely resemble other social media platforms *cough* Facebook *cough*. If you really want to find out what people think, you could always create a Twitter Poll and find out! Regardless, the change will likely face an easy adoption process overall.

Are You Using Direct Messaging?

The removal of direct messaging limitations is another change that isn’t as recent but has influenced the way users interact on the platform. Users who prefer private Twitter interactions may enjoy the chat-like feature of direct messaging today. Instead of a limited 140 character message, users explore the goings-on of the Twitterverse without limitation. However, if you send direct messages through SMS, the 140 character limitation still applies. So, enjoy the direct message extensions inside the application, but not through texting.

This change has been out since late summer 2015 and may make the platform more flexible for public and private interactions. Some individuals still wonder if an actual messaging extension wouldn’t be better than funneling messages into a private backchannel, but many have accepted the change with open arms. It facilitates communication in the same way as a messaging app, but the asynchronicity allows for a much more flexible dialogue.

The Ongoing Evolution of Social Media Platforms

Twitter has to keep innovating to stay on top of the social media game against its competitors. Facebook seems to continually unveil new features and extensions, slightly shifting the way users interact with the platform.

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“They changed it to a heart?! There are polls now!?”

As users start to become more comfortable with the platforms, changing them slightly over time gives the interface a fresh feel while adding value to the user base. The one thing most platforms probably shouldn’t do is make a lot of significant changes at once. People need change, but they find comfort in familiarity.

Speculation on Twitter’s motivation for these changes?

Some users claim these updates come from Twitter’s need to make more money after going public in 2014 (Check this article out from Search Engine Watch). Others give credence to the notion that all companies are shifting in an effort to make their mobile experience more rewarding.

Whatever Twitter’s end goal is, something positive has come out of each of these changes: it has gotten people talking. The more people post blogs and articles and tweet about Twitter, the better off the company is. It’s all brand awareness and marketing for one of the largest social media companies in the world. What do you think about the recent changes?

Why Your Facebook Strategy isn’t Working

Think of an idea, post it, get likes and shares. It seems so simple doesn’t it? Well, then why isn’t it working for you?

Brace yourself… your clients don’t want you to advertise your products all the time.

A lot of small business owners view social media as “free” advertising. Change your view on that, it might help. Sure, Facebook is a great way to make your product visible, but what happens when everyone stops looking?

Social media isn’t “free advertising”, it’s a way to involve your customers in your business.

How can you get more engagement on Facebook?

Post pictures

Not just sales ads, but photos of your team, your office or your facilities.

Post interesting photos that are relevant to your market or target age group. You can go “outside” the box here, share what you think your clients will be interested in.

Spartan Race

Ask questions

Ask about a trending news story, or new product. It doesn’t have to be about your business, but it can be relevant.

Facebook Questions | ISM

It makes your company personable. Some times it can seem odd to put yourself out there like that, but it can spark conversation!

Pay attention to WHEN you’re posting

Facebook Insights has  some awesome tools that will show you how many of your viewers saw each post, and even when most of your fans are on Facebook. For example, if most of your clients are online from 9 am – 10 am, don’t do all of your posting when you get home at 5pm.

Facebook Insights | Atlanta Social Media Marketing

You can see here that the peak times for this client are between 7 and 9pm

If you find that you don’t have the time during “peak” hours, Facebook also features a handy “scheduling” option for posts.

Scheduling Posts

Repeat after me, “Quality over Quantity”

Do not bombard your fans with 50 posts per day. Not only does this reduce your likelihood of showing up in user’s news feeds, it can also have you blocked by users, which is the opposite of what you’re looking for.

According to recent studies, business that posted less than 3 times per day received more overall engagement than those who posted more.

Slow Down with The Cat Pics...

Slow Down with The Cat Pics…

There is no perfect method of engaging your fans on Facebook. You may find that what works for someone else, will not work for you. It’s trial and error, so take a few days this week to try some of these different posts to see which of them may work better for your small business.

What are Social Signals, and Why do I Need a Good One?

Social signals are becoming a more important factor in search.  [Good] Back links have always been, and still are, of great value in SEO.  However, popular search engines such as Google and Bing don’t believe that a site can have a thousand or more backlinks, with no social signals.

So, how do I enhance my social signal?

It’s simple.  Basically you need to start with really good web content, this includes:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Press Releases
  • Articles

This content needs to be relatable, and informative.  However, it’s more than that.  You also want you’re your content to be engaging enough to be shared by relevant sites (by creating back links to your content), therefor sharing your content with more readers, and by being shared on one or more of the popular social media sites such as:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google +
  • LinkedIn
  • Reddit
  • Youtube
  • Pintrest

Social Signal | Atlanta Social Media Marketing

As of late Google has really been pushing SEO in the direction of better content, instead of keyword density and placement.  This advice needs to be followed everywhere, but especially when it comes to enhancing your social signal.  You want your readers and visitors to find the content that you provide to be useful and knowledgeable.  However, it needs to capture your audience enough to be shared with their friends and readers as well.  This is what creates the social signals that all search engines are looking for.

Google, Bing, and Yahoo have all agreed that the social signal that your site generates is of great importance.  “It’s the new SEO”.  Google has confirmed that they use Facebook’s and Twitter’s links in web search rankings, and the effect that these  links have on rankings has increased since the 2011 Panda and 2012 penguin updates.

So, what is the message here?

You need to create great content that is sharable, relevant, and engaging.  Having multiple back links won’t cut it in the new age of SEO.  Create content that readers will want to share, or recommend to their friends and audience.  Social networking and media is becoming very important in the world of SEO, you want to start generating your social signal strength now, if you haven’t already.

Is Google + a Better Facebook?

Earlier this week invites started rolling out for Google + to a small group of users and later in the week to a much larger group…should you care? Did Buzz let you down? Do you need another social media outlet? Maybe…let’s look @ the finer points of Google’s would-be Facebook competitor Google +:

  1. Circles – This feature allows users to “easily” segment their contacts into groups and to share information within these “circles”.  This is much improved version of Facebook groups and is much easier to configure and administer.  Circles makes it easy to keep the pictures of you violating local ordinances out of your mom’s feed and your boss’s feed while still sharing them with your more permissive circle of friends. (note:  posting pictures of you doing crazy stuff on the internet is generally a bad idea…period)
  2. Google +Sparx – Searches centered around an interest generate results that can be aggregated to an interest list and that list will begin to generate a feed of info from across the web that is relevant to your interests
  3. Huddle – Provides group messaging capability across both apple and droid phones and SMS.  This feature allows group chat between members of the circles mentioned above.  Pretty cool…at least we think so
  4. Hangouts – This is group video chat…a new development that could really revolutionize social sharing and communication…imagine a live video chat with all your family members going over your dad’s 800 picture slideshow from their Disneyworld vacation…ok maybe that is not a great example but being able to live chat with multimedia sharing has potential…for sure.
  5. The Black Bar – this is the tie in that may make Google + a winner…you have probably already seen it at the top of Google search results.  With Google+ enabled this bar makes interacting with plus across all Google properties a snap. Of course without widespread adoption of Google + all that ease of interaction is useless J
  6. Mobile App – Google certainly has the wherewithal to develop a killer app…and they have done a pretty good job of that.  All the bells and whistles above are integrated in the app and easy to use.

How does any of this stack up to Facebook?

It’s too early to tell but Google + certainly has some compelling design and functionality features that are too cool to not check out.  Google has made a series of introductory videos to Google + for those that want a video intro the project:

To get your invite go check out the Google + page here and enter your info…it seems a safe bet to say that you shouldn’t have to wait very long!

Google is Using Social Networks to Change Internet Search Marketing

Today Google is using social networks to change  internet search marketing.  Currently this leader in Internet searches is teaming up with many social networking outlets to make search engine results more comprehensive and individualized. The only site that’s not joined the team is Facebook who refuses to grant Google permission to access its members’ search data.  Yet, this hasn’t stopped Google from including practically every other social networking outlet to make Google’s function far more “social”. Google is Changing the Face of Internet Marketing.

Now, when an individual logs into their Google account to run a search on any given topic, this internet juggernaut now includes results that closely fit a member’s social networking interests. Instead of a standard, blind set of results, the ranking is influenced by ones’ interactions with:

1)      Twitter

2)      Blogger

3)      Flickr

4)      LinkedIn

5)      And more as Google expands their reach.

By doing this, Google has effectively caused internet marketing based in using keywords alone obsolete. It is no longer important to dwell on keywords because Google is cross-referencing everything with an individual’s or company’s social networking connections. What this translates into is that web results will be different from person to the next.

What will be important in any web search from here on are factors like:

1)      Place of residents

2)      Searches run previously

3)      Social networks of which they are already a member

4)      Businesses, products or services one has used before

To make the most of this new development, the best internet marketing companies are working to improve their client’s web presence by including them in such social networking groups as Twitter, Flickr and Facebook. This is not simply to put a client at the top of a search results page, but to increase their web presence as a whole.  Whether or not Google finally incorporates all social networking outlets into their sphere of influence, in today’s world adding a more comprehensive social networking presence is just good business.  Today there are few, no matter their age, that don’t actively use one or more of these sites to stay in touch with family, friends and business.  To succeed in this growing .com business trend, being increasingly visible in the social networking world is a major priority.

In the past it has been the central focus of internet marketing companies to cram as many keywords as possible into content in order to rank higher.  Now it is far more important to write interesting, relevant, and sometimes humorous blog articles or videos to get the desired results.  This includes creating quality work (not redundant quantity) and spread it out over several social networking sites.  What this means is that it’s crucial that a business, whether large or small, to hire only the best internet search marketing company who doesn’t only keep up with the curve, but stays ahead of it.

Social Media Experts Make Facebook Work for You

Social media experts make Facebook work for you in ways many still don’t know is possible.  In the fast-paced world of business, there no time to waste on advertising that’s outdated and obsolete when much more effective tools are out there.  Websites have become perhaps the most popular new means of getting a company’s name out there, and there are excellent SEO companies to make those websites even more profitable.  Yet, professionals in the SEO business have yet to see all the advantages of using social networking tools to make the best even better.  Some of these social media tools include Flickr, Twitter and Facebook.  All of these can be included in a Facebook profile if the social networking team hired knows how to incorporate them.  SEO experts learn to use every avenue open to the public to give their clients an edge. 

Leaders in the SEO Know How Facebook Can Help Business.

Many businesses and companies now have a Facebook page, but there are features added often that those preoccupied with the daily tasks related to running a business may miss.  That’s why a social media team who make it their business to know these things is a fantastic friend to employ.  Testimonials from satisfied customers, photos of previously completed projects, and videos of the owner speaking to the public are all possible on Facebook.  These are simply free advertisements that save a bundle from going to local television stations.  In an economy where every penny counts, why not make the best of what’s even better – getting advertising for FREE!

SEO experts know that you can’t put all a company’s eggs in one basket.  A social media staff can build a Facebook page at an affordable price and can be included in packages that involve these same professionals building a website as well as all the SEO requirement to stay ranked at the top of Google, Bing, and Yahoo.  Imagine having all these benefits to increase sales, and is maintained by the same company!  This takes the confusion out of who to call for what and the ability to easily contact one person for ALL answers.  Technology doesn’t have to be scary when there is an excellent social media team out there to make Facebook bring even more profits to the front door.  So don’t miss the boat, get on board today and find out what a social media company can do with all the fantastic features found on Facebook.  Contact a leader is SEO today and find out more about how social media experts make Facebook work you.

Facebook Social Media Promotional Basics

Facebook social media promotional basics include how to increase exposure on the Internet, how to boost sales, and the way one enjoys greater business success.  As most of us know, a millions of people worldwide are a member of Facebook.  It would be ill-advised to dismiss this tool as simply “child’s play”.  Over the last few years more businesses have built profiles there to use free advertising to get ahead of the pack.  Being a step ahead of the competition is the key to success.  Hiring social media specialists to not only start a page, but to make that profile look great is an even better idea.  There are many facets and additions that can be used through Facebook that may go unnoticed by a novice on the site.  Again, for these reasons, ease the worry over getting the best Facebook page by bringing a social media team onboard today.

Facebook is a Great Way to Boost Web Presence.

By using this social medium, a company can connect with other businesses that one might already share a relationship.  This is not only a good way to keep in contact with those considered friends, but it allows them to point a customer in need of your service your way without jotting down phone numbers and addresses. 

All of those who visit the business’ page can also join the company’s group which lists all new products and pricing.  The number of potential clients joining the group is a great way to see how effective Facebook is at building new business.  There can be posts put on any Facebook page that goes out to all who have joined to see new developments without searching for them.  Again, as it is in sports, a great defense in an even better offense.

Maps to the business site can be added to literally have all information in one place.  Of course employees’ names, phone numbers, hours of business, and thoughts of business ethics can all be plugged into the page.  If a customer likes what they see, the website specifically designed can have its link place in the Facebook page for easy access.  There’s simply no end to the benefits a business or private individual can take advantage of to increase their social media presence.  The more visible a company is, the more likely they are to gain new business.

Sure, it’s easy to start a page and have one that looks like all the others, but to become highly visible, hiring a team of social media experts can be a huge help in standing out..  Anything to get ahead of those already on Facebook can only be beneficial.  So don’t believe Facebook is a passing fad, contact social media professionals today and quickly find out just how it can keep a company at the front of a customer’s mind.   Ask only the best in the business about more Facebook social media promotional basics.

Five Ways Business Presence on Facebook can Help

These five ways business presence on Facebook can help are only the start.  There are many businesses out there that think social media websites are only for those looking for long lost friends.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Facebook now has over 500 Million members. Facebook is a well-respected website and due to its popularity, many businesses are getting online to take advantage of it.  Here are a few ideas about getting started that directly help sell goods and services.

ISM Makes Business Thrive with Facebook

1)   Create a great profile page.

The process is simple to get all information on the page as Facebook walks users step-by-step through the process.  Yet to make it look the best it can, hiring a social media professional to do all the work is a great idea.  Photos of work done by a company can be added so potential customers can see the projects already completed.  The company’s website can even be added so that those who want to know more can go to the business’ main website.

2)   Look for relevant groups to join.

There are many companies out there competing for businesses, but in the case that one is not serving the same area, being a part of their group can actually help.  If they get a call from a customer who is not in their service area, they now have someone they can recommend who is closer.

3)   Satisfied customers can post on the business’ Facebook page.

Many of those looking for good or services want to see completed projects and testimonials from satisfied customers.  Making “friends” with those served is an excellent idea as they can post their opinions on the page to enhance interest.  Again, Facebook can just be a “teaser” where more information is found on the main website through a direct link.

4)   Advertising on Facebook

Companies can actually create ads on Facebook that show up in the border of every page.  This is a great way to build a customer base from those who might not have known where to begin looking.  Here there can be the latest sales, areas covered, and how to contact the business.

If these five ways business presence on Facebook can help are of interest, contact a leader in SEO for more information.  If this sounds a bit too involved to do alone, there is a great team of media specialists who can not only input all the relevant information, but also design the page to look better than the competitions.  Showmanship is a cornerstone of business and shouldn’t be taken lightly.  Choose a leader to get more information and learn more about how Facebook is a great place to grow business.

How Facebook can Enhance Business Presence on the Internet

How Facebook can enhance business presence on the internet is a question to get the answer to fast.  To enhance business presence it’s important to take advantage of every avenue.  There are many new outlets on the Internet to enhance a business’ presence on the web. Linked In, Twitter, MySpace, and Flickr, but these days Facebook is quickly becoming the most predominant presence to use.  Social media has fast become the way to get ahead of those with only a website to advertise their goods and services. The best part about using Facebook is that it is free!

Facebook is a Great Way to Increase Internet Presence.

Here are a few tips in getting started:

1)   Create an account that projects the attitude of the business.  Make the page unique so it stands out from the rest without using cliché photos and marketing statements often found on other pages.

2)   Welcome anyone interested to become a “friend”, but aim for other companies and professional groups that will further project the high caliber professional attitude that can be found by hiring, or buying, from this institution.

3)   Join Facebook groups that not only add credence to the business, but this is a form of networking, and that’s exactly what it should be used for.  Not only does this add clout to the current page, but it creates contacts with those who may send customers to that page for greater income.

4)   Build a “group” for the business for others to join and become “fans”.  This can build an even bigger client base and push the Facebook page into a more commercial circle.

5)   Add events on the page listing what time these discussions will take place to save money on renting space or causing those without already busy schedules to take time out of travel.  It can all be done on Facebook!

6)   Also, create a blog account.  That is free advertising about upcoming seminars, product sales, or services.

People can go it alone and take these tips to build a Facebook page, but there are companies out there who specialize in SEO who can do the work themselves.  This includes the creation of exceptionally better looking pages built specifically to reflect a business’ personality.  Again, getting ahead of the competition is key, and getting a page that blows the others away is a fantastic start.  Sign up with an excellent social media marketing company today.  How Facebook can enhance business presence on the Internet has a lot to do with the fact that so many are members, with more signing up every day.

Finding the Best SEO Provider

Finding the best SEO provider is easier than ever.  With so many providers out there, it can be hard to find one that best suits a company’s needs.  To make that choice easier, here are a few tips on how to make the best choice:

1.   How much have they done for other clients?  Call several providers and ask for a list of those they work with currently.  A good way to do this is to look for testimonials online that current, or previous, clients have posted about their SEO provider.  When speaking with each SEO company, ask for a list of previous clients to contact them directly.  An honest SEO provider will quickly provide a list, and those who do not give a good indication of how the future working relationship will go.

Finding the Best SEO Provider is Easier than You Might Think.

2.   The best SEO providers may also build websites or Facebook pages.  Search those on the internet and see for yourself what they can produce

3.   Ask the company what they use to get the most out of this kind of SEO.  This will show how much a company knows about the business and how fast they are able to explain their practice.  This also shows how much they know about the business.

4.   Ask about how much time is put into every project.  Professionals are able to produce reports during the working process that itemize how much time is spent on each project.  There are social media outlets that some don’t focus on like Twitter and Facebook that have taken the nation by storm.  To see where a business’ money is going, and how much time is spent on each outlet, give a business owner an excellent idea of where their money is best spent.

In this world, where computers are the media-of-choice among brick and mortar companies, as well as those strictly online, making the best of these practices is more important than ever.  Before calling a few providers for pricing and services, it’s a great idea to find out exactly what your business needs.  Yet, get a detailed list of what each provider can offer for advertising features one not acquainted with this kind of ad campaign may provide new ideas on how to get ahead of others.  Getting on top and staying on top is the highest priority in business.  Finding the best SEO provier will improve chances by leaps and bounds.