social media world to help you stay tuned into what’s going on within this infinite space.
• In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced Facebook Home , a new platform for the social network available on certain Android devices. At the announcement, Zuckerberg said, “Our phones today are designed around apps, not people. We want to flip that around.” Features include a live news feed of “friend” updates
as soon as you turn your phone on and reach the home screen. There is also something called “chat heads;” If you are having an ongoing Facebook Messenger chat with someone, their photo appears in a bubble in the margins of your phone so you can access the conversation at your convenience while you have another app open. In early May, Facebook announced that Home downloads had surpassed the 1 million mark. The company did not reveal how many of those who downloaded the software are active users. Monthly updates will begin on a regular basis in July.
• In other Facebook news, if your small business has used Tweetdeck to manage both Twitter and Facebook accounts, you have realized Facebook is no longer available on this management service as of early May. (This inevitable change is a result of Twitter purchasing Tweetdeck two years ago.) The shuttering of the Facebook relationship has created an outcry from social media aficionados, many of whom are switching to HootSuite , which still supports Facebook.
• LinkedIn users now have the opportunity to add pictures and videos to their professional pages. This visual element provides a digital portfolio element of a candidate and helps users put summaries into actions. This feature is available in the summary, work experience, and education sections of the online resume and networking site.
• In a study by Manta , small business owners flocked to social media outlets in the past year in a desperate attempt to increase sales. The report found, though, that their efforts have not shown a return investment. The survey questioned more than 1,200 small business owners, 50% of whom have increased time spent on social networks, and 55% said they utilized Twitter and Facebook to attract new customers and/or establish sales leads.
Perhaps the most challenging aspect of social media outreach is establishing one audience (or maybe several) and learning what each needs from your outreach efforts. Experts recommend having someone on staff that can devote time every day to listening to customer feedback and being available to offer more information and alternatives to current business practices. Social media outlets provide an opportunity for businesses to personalize their brand and products. It can be difficult to reach an audience through a website with so much information. Facebook and LinkedIn, for example, can break down information into more digestible bites of information. It takes time to develop relationships, though, which is when small businesses will see a return on the investment of their time, which is just as valuable as their money.