This week in Social Media

This week (10-16 June 2013) saw a lot of changes in social media. We had news from Facebook, Twitter, Google, that introduced several new features to their services.

1. Facebook and hashtags – near the end of the week, Facebook finally introduced the use of hashtags in the platform, pretty late compared to the widespread use of them in most social networks. hashfaces Not to mention that hashtags became part of the popular culture and we use them in various contexts on a daily basis whether we talk about sports, pop culture, TV or movies.

If you have used the hashtag option even before this update, all your hashtags are functional. This is great, cause now you can use customized hashtags for events to track performance. Additionally, they are very helpful to track on your page about various topics and even through search – new fans can find your page. People are also going to be able to group comments based on a hashtag and become part of a larger conversation that unfolds in real-time, for example the protests in Turkey, or Bulgaria, or of a important sport event. Of course, there is no way in knowing how useful the hashtag feature in Facebook will be – after all it is hard to track conversations when not all of them are public. 

2.  Google+ with new Dashboard – what have been missing so far from Google+ pages is the ability to track performance in your page. And it was important function for marketers. Thus Google introduced the new Google+ Dashboard, that has several new options for tracking notifications, updating your information, posting, etc. Along with that, for Local Business pages that have been verified, managers will get an easy access to manage and overview Adwords Express campaigns, along with stats for Google Offers campaigns, and more. And one of the most important features is the insights – tracking post performance, different actions per content type, local search information – all of which is summarized from the past 7 days.

3. Twitter introduced Analytics – so far, we have been using 3rd party services to get some insights about our Twitter accounts – whether personal or business oriented.  twitterinsight9This week Twitter rolled out their analytics service for everyone. It still has only basic features like timeline activity, which shows your tweets and the number of times they were favorites/retweeted or replied to them. Additionally, you get information on how many times a person have clicked on a tweet (usually to follow a link), which is useful to track performance when sharing a link from your website. The other function is to glean insight about the people that follow you – how many are they, their interests, location, gender and top people that they follow. Hopefully, more advanced analytics information will follow.

I don’t know about you, but this week I’ve seen a lot of posts on Tumblr criticizing the sponsored content from companies on our dashboards. The complains were mostly on how irrelevant the content for the targeted audiences was, as well as the inability of advertisers/companies to understand the specific Tumblr culture and how to successfully use it for advertising.

Have I missed some new features from social networks this week? Please share it with me!