Social media marketing: 3 things you should know about in 2015

In the constantly changing world of social media marketing, any new features or tools which can help you or your brand reach more relevant people is always worth looking into. Whilst there are often rumours about what is coming next on Facebook et al, these updates can roll-out to the UK fairly slowly, which can be frustrating to say the least, but there are ways to prepare ahead of time so that we can be ready to hit the ground running when we do eventually get access.

We’ve put together a quick guide on three upcoming new social media features which have business potential and could be headed our way in the near future:

  1. Facetube…
As reported by Techcrunch just before Christmas, Facebook’s latest bid to take a bite out of Youtube’s market share on video content is currently in the testing phase for most of the UK (although in the last couple of weeks we’ve seen it roll out to some of our clients) and allows page admins to ‘pin’ the brand’s most important video in larger scale at the top of the video tab – drawing attention to it much more so than is currently possible.
Current video tab:
Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 10-1.38.14

New video tab:

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 10.40.36

As well as a larger size, the ‘pinned’ video will also show the number of views, likes and comments directly alongside. In addition, there is also a new playlist feature below this featured vid, showing the brand’s other ‘must see’ video content.
Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 10.44.54
As far as we know, users will still have to click on the Videos tab on a brand page to notice anything different, but it certainly allows the brand to direct attention to specific video content once they do, which could be really useful as part of a wider campaign.
Will it move brands from using YouTube as their primary video content hosting service? Probably not at the moment, as most brands will have online audience segments who don’t all use Facebook. Using both is an option, but this will presumably result in segmented video analytics, with brands having to combine both Facebook and YouTube stats (plus any others they already use e.g. Vimeo) to pull together results. The extra time and effort required to use an extra platform for video could put resource-strapped social media marketers off, but we’d suggest that it’s worth at least testing once this functionality rolls out to see if results make it worthwhile pursuing.
2) Facebook cover photo call to action…
Facebook announced in December 2014 that there would soon be the option for business pages to add a call-to-action button to the cover image, which can direct users anywhere, on or off Facebook e.g. to a specific landing page on their website. This feature is accompanied by stats for the page admin(s) on how well the button is performing.
This feature has now rolled out to much of the US but most UK brands are still waiting. The CTA button can not currently be customised, so business pages get seven options to choose from. Moz have chosen to use ‘Sign Up’ on their Facebook page currently as below, but brands will also be able to choose from:
Book Now
Contact Us
Use App
Play Game
Show Now
Watch Video
 Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 14.33.57
Some business pages, such as Peg Fitzpatrick’s page shown below, are using the button’s placement on the cover image to draw even more attention to the CTA by incorporating something (in this case an arrow) into the image itself.
 Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 12.25.51
If you want to prepare for this feature’s roll out now, then it’s worth thinking now about which of the seven CTAs best suit your business or upcoming campaigns and where you can send the users e.g. would you be best served by creating a new landing page for this traffic specifically? If you want to think about creating imagery like above to maximise attention on the CTA button, it’s worth bearing in mind that currently this CTA button is NOT visible on mobile Facebook or through the Facebook mobile app – so check that your cover image doesn’t look odd if the button isn’t present.

3) Pintrest Paid Promotion

Details on Pintrest’s forthcoming paid advertising platform are sketchy at best, as they seem to be holding their cards fairly close to their chest thus far in terms of how it’ll actually work, having started testing with a select group of brands in the US in June 2014.
The basic premise is that promoted pins will look very much like normal pins, but presumably will have a mark distinguishing them as paid ads, and the brand can target Pintrest users based on their location, gender and the type of subjects that they’ve been interested in previously. Pintrest have reported that the testing phase is producing ‘promising’ results. So with the ‘Pinstitute’ reputedly launching in March 2015, which will act as a training programme for marketers, and plans for a further roll-out of the ad platform in the US “soon???, it looks like the UK could follow in the second half of 2015.
This will undoubtedly be a paid social platform that interests many consumer brands, as the global 70 million+ existing users are a valuable asset, so it’s going to be interesting seeing what happens when this eventually gets a wider roll out and brands start publishing their results.

With no precise dates yet that any of these three features will become available to all UK brands, our advice is just to start thinking about if or how you can utilise them as part of your wider marketing and social strategy so that when they do become available, you’re in a great position to spring into action straight away.