If one thing was made clear in the world of small business marketing this week, it was this — providing businesses with the insights they need to track their results and improve their strategy is no longer optional for major social networks.

Both Twitter and Pinterest announced that they would be making analytics more accessible to all users this week.

Find out what these new tools could mean for your social media strategy, and get caught up on the other top stories in this week’s marketing news round up.

1. Twitter makes analytics available to everyone

Twitter announced this week that its analytics platform, which had previously only been available to  advertisers and verified users, is now available to all Twitter users.

The platform provides detailed information about your performance on Twitter, along with in-depth insights into impressions, clicks, retweets, and replies for individual tweets.

Twitter Analytics also provides insight into your audience — showing changes in your followers over time, as well as detailed information about their location, interests, and gender.

You can view your analytics by going at analytics.twitter.com.

Bottom Line: If you’re investing time and resources into building an audience for your business on Twitter, it’s important that you’re taking the time to track your results. Previously, this has been a primarily manual process for a majority of small businesses.

You could track things like tweets, retweets, and replies, but insight into how many people were actually seeing and acting on the content you share was limited.

Twitter Analytics will streamline that process and offer a new way to measure your results and improve your strategy on Twitter.

Learn more about the Twitter Analytics platform.

2. Pinterest unveils improved analytics platform

Pinterest has unveiled a brand new analytics platform that is available to all business users.

Previously, analytics had been fairly limited and the information brands needed most wasn’t always easily accessible. With its new layout, Pinterest is making it easy to track things like impressions, clicks, and repins over time. Users will also have access to actionable advice to improve their strategy.

Pinterest is also providing new details into your audience on Pinterest, including information about what other businesses they follow and what topics they are most interested in.

Bottom Line: With its new analytics platform, Pinterest is empowering brands of all sizes  to make smarter decisions about the content they share, and to more effectively measure their results on the site.

If you’ve started building an audience for your business on Pinterest, take the time to dig into the new analytics dashboard to see what you can learn. This is a great opportunity to see what type of content is getting the most attention, so that you can share similar pieces of content in the future. It’s also a chance to learn more about the people who are already following you on Pinterest, and to see who you’re reaching on this powerful social platform.

Learn more about the Pinterest Analytics platform.

3. Facebook tweaks its algorithm to weed out ‘click-bait’

Facebook’s latest algorithm change is an attempt to cut down the amount of  “click-bating.”

As Facebook explains:

“Click-baiting” is when a publisher posts a link with a headline that encourages people to click to see more, without telling them much information about what they will see. Posts like these tend to get a lot of clicks, which means that these posts get shown to more people, and get shown higher up in News Feed.”

Facebook explains that while a lot of people click through to read these posts, very few actually spend time reading them. Over time, these unwanted posts have become more and more prevalent on Facebook, making it harder for users to see the content they actually want.

To combat this problem, Facebook will be tweaking its algorithm to consider factors like: time away from Facebook after clicking and number of social engagements (likes, comments, shares).

As part of the latest update to its algorithm, Facebook is also changing the way it ranks different types of shared links. Facebook says that it will now prioritize links shared in its link format — which occurs when you paste a link while drafting a post — over links that are added into photo captions.

Facebook explains:

“The best way to share a link after these updates will be to use the link format. In our studies, these posts have received twice as many clicks compared to links embedded in photo captions. In general, we recommend that you use the story type that best fits the message that you want to tell – whether that’s a status, photo, link or video.”

Bottom Line: According to a Facebook survey, 80 percent of users prefer headlines that help them decide if they want to click to read a full article, over links that tease a story just as a way to get users to click-through.

This means that whether you’re sharing a link to a blog post, an article you found online, or your latest email newsletter, you need to make sure you’re providing the right context to the people you’re trying to reach. This will not only help your chances of having your content show up on Facebook, but will also result in more people reading the stuff that you share.

4. Facebook removes the ability to import contacts in ‘Build Audience’ feature

It appears that Facebook has removed the ability to import email contacts under its Build Audience feature on Facebook Pages.

Constant Contact social media community manager, Danielle Cormier noticed that the feature, which allowed users to import their email contact list and automatically invite contact’s to Like their Facebook Page through, had disappeared earlier this week.

Facebook has not confirmed that the functionality to import contacts has been removed for all Facebook Pages, and it is possible that this is a test focused on a select audience on Facebook users.

Bottom Line: For small businesses and organizations that already have an email contact list, this is a great reminder of why it’s so important to leverage your existing audience to help grow your presence on Facebook or other social media channels.

If someone has already joined your email list, they most likely would love to connect with you on Facebook too. Send out an email to your contact list, inviting people to “Like” your business on Facebook. It’s easy to do with Constant Contact’s email templates.

Once people “Like” you on Facebook, you can begin engaging with them socially as well.

5. Google officially ends Google Authorship for search results

Google announced this week that it has officially shutdown Google Authorship for search results.

Google Authorship, which was introduced by Google two years ago, allowed content creators to build authority around particular topics by consistently creating helpful and engaging content.

Earlier this year, Google stopped showing author images in search results, but still continued to track the content being created by those authors.

But now, Google has confirmed that they have officially dropped the feature and will no longer track content written by authors.

Bottom Line: While authorship may be going away, Peter Hughes, senior manager of search marketing at Constant Contact, explains that business’s that remain focused on creating fresh shareable content will still have an advantage:

“Authorship simply didn’t gain the traction in terms of adoption and therefore in large part it was unduly skewed to tech savvy people whose identities were already known. The goal of authorship was to uncover talented thought leaders who weren’t perhaps known, but it never materialized. It’s not a concern as such because all of the principles still apply. Businesses should still be focused on creating fresh, shareable content but the explicit link between content and author has, at least for now dissolved. In large part, because of the general lack of adoption, it doesn’t seem that there should be much concern over it.”

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