6S Socialerts: Twitter Fights Spam, Cambridge Analytica Shakes Things Up and More

To describe the past month in social media as eventful is an understatement. It’s downright game-changing! The Cambridge Analytica scandal has social networks pivoting fast to increase privacy protection. Updated policies will force you to consider new methods and to try creative tactics. Here is the latest:

1) Twitter Fights Spam

Fighting spam is at the top of Twitter’s priority list. In the past, abusive Twitter users automated the same tweet across different accounts. This gave false impressions of popularity for the tweeted content, especially trending topics. Twitter enforced new restrictions to limit the possibility of artificial tweet amplification.

At first glance, it’s easy to think Twitter is making your job harder. Remember this only applies to spam under trending and popular topics. Only those abusing social media will suffer. You may not abuse social, but it’s good to ask if you apply spammy tactics to distribute your message.

What should marketers do? If you have a message to share across different channels, it’s best to tweet from one account and retweet from the others. Also, consider tailoring your message for each of the accounts. Cross-posting is easy, but each account should have its own voice. Users often overlook the same message in a newsfeed since it appears less authentic. If you manage various Twitter accounts, chances are you use Hootsuite. Luckily, Hootsuite implemented changes to its automation tools. These updates will help you transition and avoid infractions.

2) Instagram Answers Chronological Newsfeed Prayers

Needless to say, Instagram’s newsfeed algorithm is frustrating for its users. Especially when they miss special moments or promotions due to older posts at the top of the feed. So, after a news feed switch in 2016 (and many complaints later), Instagram is bringing recent photos to the top of the feed again. Cue applause.

Let us be clear that Instagram is not bringing back true chronological order. Seeing every recent post from everyone you follow might be too overwhelming. Instead, the updated news feed will show you recent content from the accounts Instagram believes you want to see. So what does this mean for your brand? Well, your engagement may go down. You can’t rely on Instagram’s algorithm to serve your older content to people who may want to see it.

What should marketers do? Here are a few tactics you can put in place to increase engagement.

  • Instagram Stories –  Start to post more Stories and apply a location tag. City-tagged Stories end up in a City Story which people can discover you on.
  • Instagram Live – Cover your events as they happen or host a weekly series such as a Q&A.
  • Post During Active Hours – Review your in-app analytics to discover the best times to post your photos.

3) Social Media Marketing After Cambridge Analytica

Nothing shook this industry more than the Cambridge Analytica scandal. To appease users, Facebook is updating its privacy policy and restricting API access. As a result, some monitoring apps shut down due to limited data access. While some scheduling platforms reduced their functionality. Finally, Facebook severed ties with third-party data companies. Soon, you won’t be able to target for certain behavioral categories (e.g. income).

It will take time to understand the full ramifications of these updates. Before you join the #DeleteFacebook bandwagon, know that Facebook isn’t going anywhere. This scandal impacts advertisers more than Facebook or Instagram users. So, there’s still an engaged audience to reach on both platforms.

What should marketers do? Now is the time to do your due diligence to prepare for restricted targeting.

  • Update Campaigns – Over the next six months, Facebook will remove certain categories. So, you need to adjust any ad campaign relying on third-party data.
  • Facebook Pixel – If you don’t have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website, it’s time get on it. The pixel helps you build a custom list based on people who visited your website and retarget them. Afterward, create a lookalike audience based on people who resemble your visitors.
  • Capture Emails – People are not averse to sharing personal information as long as the exchange is fair. To grow your first-party data, run a contest, create a quiz, or share a white paper and collect sign-ups. Again, create a custom audience and retarget people with customized messaging. Lookalike audiences are also available for this custom audience.
  • Influencer Marketing – Find an influencer that aligns with your brand. This strategy helps increase your brand awareness and build social proof. If your budget is small, offer influencers a product or service in exchange, run a collaborative contest or offer discounts to their audience.
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