With November officially here, plenty of small business owners have turned their attention to the holidays and started thinking about how they are going to attract new customers in the days, weeks, and months to come.
But as we head into this busy time of year, it’s important to also keep in mind that 2014 is right around the corner. It’s time to start setting goals for the new year and thinking about how you’re going to take your marketing and your business to the next level in 2014!
If you expect social media to play a role in your planning, this week’s news roundup has a lot to offer.
Here’s this week’s top stories…
Facebook announced this week that the number of small businesses using Facebook Pages surpassed 20 million during Q3.
Facebook also revealed that of those 20 million businesses, only a small fraction have invested any of their marketing budgets into Facebook’s ad products.
Bottom Line: Most small business owners won’t be surprised to hear that the number of business owners who are paying to advertise on social media is relatively low. For nearly a decade, social media has been thought of as a “free” online marketing platform for small businesses.
But the reality is that the social media landscape is rapidly changing for brands both large and small. As sites like Facebook start to play a more important role in your marketing strategy, it’s important to keep an open mind when it comes to allocating resources to help you reach a larger audience and improve your results.
According to new data from the social analytics company Simply Measured, Instagram is now the fastest growing network with 150 million users and 40 million photos being uploaded each day.
Instagram is also attracting attention from marketers as well. According to Simply Measured, 71 percent of brands have started using the photo-sharing network, up 55 percent from 2012.
Bottom Line: As Instagram continues to gain popularity amongst social media users, marketers should expect more and more brands to get in on the action.
Not sure if Instagram is right for your business? Here are three benefits to consider.
If you’re a Twitter user, you may have already noticed something new in your news feed this week.
With its most recent update, Twitter has begun displaying photos directly in the Twitter news feed.
Previously, photos shared on Twitter were displayed as links that users would have to click to view.
Bottom Line: Photos showing up directly in the Twitter news feed could have a major impact on how Twitter users engage with rich media, like photos and videos on the social network. If you haven’t already, this could be a great opportunity to start sharing visual content and see how your followers respond.
Pinterest has introduced another way for users to discover new content on the social network.
With the new “related pins” feature, Pinterest will show users new pieces of content based on the boards they already follow and the content they share on the site.
Pinterest will also give users the ability to “rate” the pin that’s recommended to them. This will help Pinterest determine which content they should recommend in the future.
Bottom Line: This latest improvement is just another example of the importance of relevancy in your social media marketing.
Creating relevant and engaging content, for Pinterest or any other social network, starts with understanding the audience you are trying to reach. What are they most interested in? What questions do they have? How can you help them overcome their individual challenges?
By focusing on providing relevant content first, you’ll have more chances to engage the right people and will have more people sharing and recommending your content as well.
What top stories caught your eye this week? Let us know in the comments below.