Social media roundup: January 2012

FBI social media

A new year, a new load of social media news you probably missed. You may have still been drunk from New Year’s. That’s fine, but you shouldn’t be drunk now. Put the gin down.

Disclaimer: Technically some of these articles are from 25–30 December, but if you were really paying attention to work then I feel sorry for you.

social media and search works – let’s sack people

News filtered through recently that Procter & Gamble have slashed their ad budget because they think Facebook and Google can be more efficient, unfortunately resulting in the loss of 1,600 marketing staff. While you still need well-trained people to properly implement good social and search campaigns, it’s clear more and more advertisers are realising online community building is extremely worthwhile and profitable in comparison to traditional offline methods.


Google ‘warps’ search with plus Your World

The Google assault on social media begins in earnest. It was only a matter of time before Google flexed their search muscles to give Google+ a real kick, and Search, plus your World is the result. In very basic terms it involves pushing Google+ results and connections through to search results. But the implications could be very far-reaching.

There are two main views on the functionality:

  1. Google are using social signals to improve the relevancy and personalisation of search results. Social factors are an important part of decision making and Google cannot rely on factors like links forever.
  2. They’re crowbarring their social product into the faces of normal searchers while ignoring/downgrading other social networks that, by right, should be far more prominent, and as such are abusing their dominant position and promoting their own products in what should be a ‘fair’ and relevant search engine.

Econsultancy have collected together a range of expert views (not mine though – how rude) and there’s certainly a fair level of concern, with Twitter’s Alex McGillivary calling it a “Bad day for the Internet”. However what is definite is that it’s not going away and Google+ will need to be at the forefront of your mind for 2012 alongside Twitter and Facebook.


Twitter changes things…

At least they don’t change as much as Facebook eh? That would be really annoying.

courtesy of

Twitter have undergone a bit of redesign to make the whole process a bit more accessible, and to make it easier to find out what people are talking about. Unfortunately it’s easier to find out that many people are talking a load of guff, and now there will be more of them. Why they’ve decided to call the redesign ‘fly’ I have no idea. Oh yeh, the logo is a bird. Nice.

Businesses could claim that Twitter haven’t really helped them get the most out of the system – businesses just have normal user profiles. But luckily this is set to change, with enhanced profile pages thankfully starting to be rolled out. These will give businesses a bit more opportunity to brand their pages and improve engagement with potential customers. Currently only a select few companies have access and they’re all giant, people-crushing behemoths based in the US. We’ll let you know when the features stomp their way over to your average business-on-the-street.



Facebook changes things…

The Facebook Timeline is now available for everyone, joy! Of course us people in the know have had access to it for a little while (sorry, that sounds gloaty), but now everybody will see an announcement that gives them the option to upgrade and improve their marketing story. It’s lovely, so give it a go.

facebook timeline

In other news Facebook are moving beyond ‘likes’. Expanding on the ideas expressed in their last conference, Facebook Apps developers can now suggest other call-to-action buttons like ‘buy’, ‘download’ etc. that are more relevant to what’s being offered and can increase sales. It’ll be in adverts first but then who knows? You might also want to start considering the wider SEO impacts.

Considering the last round of Facebook changes, how are you finding the small news ticker on the right-hand side of the screen? I find it really annoying. I don’t want to see every song that someone is listening to – “You are my friend, but you have the music taste of an unstable teenage girl”. Well, some recent research has indicated how important it could be to get in the main newsfeed, with data suggesting the newsfeed receiving a 98x higher click-through than the ticker.


only 17% of your fans see your posts

A Facebook post effectively ‘dies’ after about three hours, and comments are 4x more valuable than ‘likes’. Did you know that? Ah, the intricacies of EdgeRank, the method Facebook uses to decide who gets to see your updates. Don’t anger EdgeRank or you will end up in the small news ticker, which is small and ignored. Like @Attacat_Steve. Zing!


measurement and monitoring FBI style

Social media is an important barometer of opinion and public sentiment – you only need to think about how it came to the fore in the Arab Spring and the London Riots for that to be obvious. Unsurprisingly Governments and shady departments want to know exactly what’s being said and by whom, and it’s now been revealed the FBI are developing their own social media application to improve their real-time intelligence gathering. But don’t talk about it too much – they’re watching you.

FBI social media

On the subject of social analysis, I’ve mentioned a number of Twitter measurement products in previous roundups but to keep you fully up to date here are a few more Twitter analysis tools – have you tried any of these? Do let me know your thoughts; I try out as many as I can but seriously, there are a lot. I have a life to live. Don’t ruin my life and make me sift through them all.


QR codes: big ol’ overview

I’ve written a bit about QR codes before but try this article from SearchEngineWatch for a great collection of resources, tips and advice. You’ll be scanning so much you’ll feel like you work in a supermarket.


remember to post this then

Successful marketing often still relies on good planning, and this goes for social media and blogging too. An editorial calendar is a fair way of ensuring you’re pushing out the messages you need to, when you need to, so if you’re looking to schedule your activity check out these editorial calendar.


how to use a smartphone
Courtesy of

socially mobile

Oh crikey don’t forget how important mobile is to social media. Write it on your forehead if you have to. Enconsultancy articles can often be heavy on floaty strategy, low on getting-your-hands-dirty implementation, but this article has a few tips of getting shared on mobile.


Have any other news that caught your eye in January? Please do comment below and let us know.

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