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Facebook Rolls out Custom Audience, iOS 6 Puts Yelp on the Map, and Other Hot Topics

It was a scorching hot week in marketing news stories.

Facebook rolled out what may be its most powerful tool for Facebook Ads, Yelp became the face of your business on Apple Maps, and Twitter got a whole new look.

Get caught up on all these top stories before the weekend, and let us know what hot topics caught your eye this week.

1. Facebook introduces Custom Audience ads

This week, Facebook formally introduced Custom Audience ads. This powerful new tool is designed to let marketers target current customers with Ads with contact information they have already collected.

Businesses will be able to upload a list of email addresses, create an ad targeted at that list, and if they are Facebook users—Facebook will deliver that ad to them.

Bottom Line: Custom Audiences are certainly something your business should at least consider as part of a full promotional strategy. This tool will allow you to create ads that reach targeted segments of your customers with highly relevant content. Relevant content will improve the likelihood of catching your audience attention and will enable you to drive real results from your Facebook Ad investment.

2. Yelp gets integrated with Apple Maps

If you haven’t heard, Google maps are being replaced with Apple maps on the new, iOS 6 operating system—and they are bringing Yelp with them.

A new integration announced by Yelp will bring local reviews directly to the iPhone, iPad, and laptops of more than 400 million users with iOS devices. With the new integration, users searching your business will now be shown your Yelp rating and will be able to link to reviews and pictures posted by other users.

Bottom Line: This integration gives small businesses a reason to love Apple maps. While the initial public response to the switch in maps hasn’t been exactly favorable, there’s no question the increased exposure of Yelp reviews is good news for small businesses. Local reviews work because they let potential customers hear feedback from people just like them who have already been “wowed” by your business.

If you haven’t already claimed your business on Yelp, you may want to do so now.

3. Facebook referrals from LinkedIn jumped 1000% in July

According to new data from Page Lever, Facebook saw a 1000% increase in referral traffic on the day that LinkedIn stopped letting users automatically post updates from Twitter in their LinkedIn news feed.

The LinkedIn-Twitter breakup also propelled LinkedIn to the top spot in terms of Facebook referral traffic, beating out Google+ and Bing combined.

Bottom Line: Removing automatic Twitter updates from LinkedIn automatically made the sites news feed more relevant. The surge in referral traffic shows that people are making better use of LinkedIn as a social network, rather than a stream for their activity on other sites. With a number of redesigns and updates rolling out over the last few months, this could be a good time to rethink how your organization is using LinkedIn.

4. Facebook to start charging businesses to run offers

Facebook announced this week that they have changed the way Facebook Offers, which rolled out a few months ago, will work for businesses. While businesses still have the option to run a Facebook Offer for free and post it to their Facebook Page, they will now be required to buy at least $5 in Facebook Ads before the Offer will be promoted in their target audience’s newsfeed.

Bottom Line: Just because Facebook Offers now come with a price tag, doesn’t mean they’re not a bad choice for your organization. Facebook Offers do a lot of things right for small businesses— they’re shareable, allow you to control the timing, and are mobile-friendly.

But there are also a number of things Facebook Offers won’t do for your business, like help you build relationships and generate brand loyalty. That means even the greatest Facebook Offer, won’t necessarily help grow your business.

5. Twitter introduces new look for profile pages

On Tuesday, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo went on NBC’s Tuesday to announce a new look for profile pages, and updates to the networks iPhone and Android apps.

Of the biggest changes to profile pages are the introduction of a new header photo and the repositioning of your Twitter avatar to the center of the top of your screen. (You can find out how to add a header photo to your profile here.)

The Twitter app will also be getting more visual as users will now be able to access the photo-stream, on the go.

Bottom Line: Twitter has joined Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn Company Pages, as the newest social network to switch to a more visual format. With the new layout, small businesses are given just another opportunity to showcase their brand with visuals that will engage their audience.

Need help picking the right banner photo for your business? Here are some examples of Facebook cover photos from other small businesses.

What stories caught your attention this week? Let us know in the comments below. 

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