It feels like social media is easier to use than ever before. With new features that auto-hashtag content, allow users to buy products right from videos, and provide tailored content recommendations to users on mobile websites, things are definitely changing for the better. While all these new features are exciting for inbound marketers, we also worry that social media may lose the personal touch it had in its younger years.
How will these new social media changes affect how marketers connect with people? Check out this week’s round-up and let us know what you think.
YouTube Finally Makes Some Videos ‘Shoppable,’ From Mashable
Have you ever wondered how awesome it would be to simply click and buy the things you see in YouTube videos? Well, wonder no more. YouTube is releasing a new feature it calls a “channel gadget” that will bring some of that functionality to your video viewing experience. The new channel gadget will shorten the conversion path to purchase by connect viewers directly to retailers throughout the entire video experience. For example, if you’re watching a how-to video about a particular product, the channel gadget will enable shoppers to find retailers, check product availability, compare prices, and make purchases without leaving the comfort of your YouTube viewer.
Marketers are being encouraged to reach out to their respective Google representatives to learn more about how they explore this new option, though it's currently only available as a premium option for consumer goods clients. This new feature will give marketers the ability to make the most of their video content and shorten the time it takes for someone to purchase. Advertising on YouTube videos is great, but turning your high quality video content into engaging and effective calls-to-action is even better. Read more about YouTube's 'shoppable' videos at Mashable.
Google Launches Dramatic Redesign of Google+, Emphasizing Context and Content Discovery, From HubSpot
With over 390 million monthly users, Google+ has come a long way since its launch almost two years ago. This week, Google announced a complete redesign of its social network with more than 40 new features that simulate an experience much closer to the much-loved mobile apps. Of all the changes, one of the biggest is that the Google+ stream is now broken into a three columns, allowing users to scan and scroll through content faster. Another very notable feature is the auto-hashtag, which automatically assigns a hashtag to anything you post using Google’s powerful search data.
We know it’s still a social network that many marketers haven’t tapped into yet, but these new features are going to make life a lot easier for its users. With the new redesign, more and more people may start using Google+, making it an even more important social network for marketers to use. Also, since user experience and interface have a lot to do with how people interact on social networks, marketers should be sure to adjust their Google+ content strategies accordingly. Read more about the Google+ changes on the HubSpot blog.
Yahoo Partners With Twitter to Further Personalize Homepage, From TechCrunch
This week, Yahoo announced that it will be partnering up with Twitter to bring Tweets directly to Yahoo’s homepage newsfeed. The partnership will reinforce the aim of Yahoo’s redesign and create a more personalized experience for users. Marissa Mayer explains that this new integration will “seamlessly include relevant and personalized tweets alongside stories from Yahoo! and our other sources.” Any headlines on Yahoo’s newsfeeds that come from Twitter accounts will be indicated by the news source’s Twitter handle.
Although the post doesn't specifically spell out which Twitter accounts will be featured, marketers should be aware of this change as it could lead to an opportunity for brands' Twitter accounts to be featured down the road. The Yahoo homepage newsfeed is designed to adapt based on user activity, and that activity will most likely dictate which tweets populate the stream. Who knows? Brands that have adopted the inbound marketing methodology might find their loveable content and tweets in Yahoo newsfeeds. Read more about the Yahoo and Twitter partnership at TechCrunch.
The Future of Social Media, Free Ebook From HubSpot
With new features from Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and other social networks making it easier for users to automate their social media campaigns, many marketers are forgetting about the essence of social media: being social. As inbound marketers, we understand how important it is to connect with our fans on a much deeper level than through a deluge of automated spam tweets. To help you stay on top of this latest shift in social media, we’ve created an ebook to help you focus your social media marketing on people, not profiles. Download the ebook here.
Google+ Adds Content Recommendations for Mobile Websites, From Marketing Land
Google just announced a new feature for its users that will allow them to add content recommendations to their mobile sites. The new feature, available on iPhone and Android, couples Google+ activity and search authorship to determine what content is best suited for users browsing a mobile website. An example illustrated in the article by Marketing Land shows a content recommendation pop up at the bottom of the screen while the user browses Forbes' mobile website.
To get the feature and installation code, users can go to their Google+ Business Page dashboards. By adding the code to their mobile sites, marketers will be able to create a more lovable experience for website visitors and potentially combat mobile bounce rates with personalized recommended content. Learn more about Google+ content recommendations at Marketing Land.
Bonus: How to Wish a Marketing Geek Happy BirthdayOn Friday, HubSpotter Ellie Mirman had a birthday. To celebrate, her team sent her a gift only a marketer would love: an email nurturing workflow. Though we mainly included this in the roundup because the emails are hilarious, there is something to learn from them -- email nurturing can be incredibly effective when you personalize your message to the recipient. Check out Ellie's blog for the full run-down of her birthday emails.
What other marketing stories did you hear about this week? Share your favorites with us in the comments.
Image Credit: khalid Albaih