The short month of February has gone by in the blink of an eye. For those of you that missed all the latest digital marketing news, here is everything you need to know. Staying up-to-date with the latest changes to Google, Facebook and Instagram will help improve your digital marketing strategy.
It was recently announced that Google will move a lot more sites into the mobile-first index over the next few weeks. Only websites that are ready will move to the mobile-first index. This means that if you haven’t created a mobile version of your website, Google will not index your site. Website owners should use this guide to get their sites ready for the mobile-first index. At first, we expected that all sites would move to the mobile-first index by early 2018. However, now it appears more likely that it will never fully roll out since many sites are still desktop only.
For those that have a mobile version of their website and want to know if their site is being moved to the mobile-first index, check your server logs. If you notice your site is being crawled by Googlebot mobile the most, then your site is being added to the index. Google will not be notifying site owners when the process is complete. The only way to find out if your site is being indexed is to check the server logs.
In January, Facebook made updates to its news feed algorithm with the sole purpose of enhancing user experience. This past month, Facebook released new updates keeping that same goal in mind. They have also made updates to help marketers adjust to the new algorithm and help business owners get more involved in the community.
After Facebook’s recent changes to its algorithm, you may have noticed a drop in your reach. This drop is nothing to worry about. The update has changed the way Facebook determines the reach count of your posts. Before, the reach count was a measure of how many times a post appeared on users’ news feeds if they viewed the post or not. Now, just like paid ads, it will only count when the post appears on the user’s screen. This a viewable impression because the user saw the post. The drop in your reach is showing a more precise measurement. While your numbers appear to be down, you are still reaching the same amount of users as you were before.
Along with this update, Facebook has redesigned its Page Insights for Mobile. It will now be easier for businesses to view the most important information on their mobile devices. It will now display the most used metrics at the top of the screen. This will include general page metrics like the number of likes and engagement. You can also see the results of recent actions like how a new post is performing and a preview of a new page engagement like demographic information on new followers. This will make these insights more accessible than ever before and can help businesses adjust to post performance.
Community Leadership Program
The Facebook Community Leadership Program is a global initiative that focuses on people building communities. Facebook will invest tens of millions of dollars in this program and will give up to ten million dollars in grant money to people that are building and leading communities through the Facebook family. The program will include residency and fellowship opportunities which will provide training, support, and funding to community leaders all over the world. Community leadership circles will bring these community leaders together so they can connect and learn from one another. Groups for Facebook Power Admins include over ten thousand admins from the US and the UK. This will expand to more members, allowing even more admins to connect with each other and the Facebook team to test the latest features and give feedback on the updates.
All the updates that Facebook has been releasing recently have had the same purpose of creating more meaningful interactions between users. To help users have more say in what’s meaningful or relevant to them, Facebook has rolled out the “downvote” button. This button will help to hide inappropriate comments from your news feed. Before you only had the power to delete or hide inappropriate comments on your own page. Now Facebook is allowing all users to influence what they see on their feed. When a user presses the downvote button, they will be presented with three options: Offensive, Misleading or Off Topic. This gives users an opportunity to signal Facebook that a post or comment is hurtful to them, seems like “Fake News”, or is just irrelevant to the post.
So, while this isn’t exactly the “dislike” button that many people wanted in the past, it is a great way for users to give feedback and create more meaningful Facebook interactions for themselves. This feature is only available to a small sample of people in the U.S. at this time.
Instagram rolled out a wide variety of updates in January including post scheduling, live Story co-hosting, alpha testing and the ability to follow hashtags. In February, Instagram’s updates went all in on improving the functionality of their Stories.
Carousel Ads Within Instagram Stories
Compared to all other ad formats, carousel ads have some of the highest engagement rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Now, these effective ads are available for Instagram Stories. Instagram is now allowing you to add up to three slides of different media to your Instagram Stories. While these ads are not as interactive as Canvas ads, they will still contain elements such as the “swipe up to see more” feature. This has not been widely released yet and is only available to a few select brands but keep an eye out for these new ads. You should observe the best practices and think about how your brand can use them.
Creative Flexibility With Instagram Stories
As of now, Instagram only allows you to upload images or videos to your Story if they fit 16:9 dimensions. However, within the next few weeks, this is all going to change. You’ll soon be able to post images and videos of all different shapes and sizes. This will include landscape and square aspect content. When you upload an image to your Story, “pinch” the image to make it be displayed at its original aspect. Time will tell whether these partial-screen Stories get as much or more engagement than full-screen stories.
Type mode is a way to share information using unique text styles and colorful backgrounds without images or videos. When you open the camera within the Instagram app, you’ll be given a “Type” option below the record button. Select that option and write whatever you want. You can then pick your background, highlight specific words if needed, or even add a background image. This is a great way to share company news, make an announcement or just share wise words of wisdom.
Stay Ahead of the Competition
By being aware of the latest digital marketing trends, your business or brand can stay ahead of the competition. At Creative Click Media, we stay on top of all the latest updates so you don’t have to do it yourself. Whether it pertains to search engine optimization or social media marketing, we’ll implement the most recent updates into your strategy so you’re always one step ahead of the competition. If you’re not sure you can keep up with these important updates or you don’t have the skills and resources needed to execute an effective strategy, contact us today!
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