Every year developments and trends in social media help shape it into its next incarnation. 2012 was no different, ushering in a slew of new tools, networks, and shifts in how social marketers connect with their customers.
We took a look back at some of our most viewed posts in 2012 – each one illuminating trends and happenings we saw unfold over the last 12 months.
Among the top posts of 2012:
10 Facebook Updates You Might Have Missed Since the IPO
Facebook, as the social networking site that snags the most attention from both users and brands, has established a frequent rhythm of updates. For busy social teams, the changes are sometimes welcome, and other times distressing. Either way, brands must keep up.
From Promoted Posts to post scheduling, this mid-summer roundup helped marketers brush up on the updates.
The Power of Pictures: A Roundup of Resources for Maximizing Visual Content
Few trends of the past year are more evident than the focus on visuals. Not only did image-centric platforms like Instagram and Pinterest dominate 2012, but existing platforms tweaked their offerings to accommodate the demand. Facebook, besides spending just under a cool $1 billion on Instagram, rolled out bigger images in the newsfeed, created its own photo app, and just this week revived the Pinterest-esque Collections. Twitter’s expanded tweets and its tiff with Instagram last week are just two of the ways it’s shown its focus on pictures.
Social teams began to think visually, and this post of resources pulled together some of the many posts and tips on working more visuals into content plans.
6 Ways to Master Social Media When It’s Not Your Only Responsibility
While large companies have dedicated social teams, the social media leads for mid-size to small brands are struggling to balance how to juggle the tasks of a social media program. This post offered tips for balancing that workload and making the most of the time you spend connecting with customers.
How The Elf on the Shelf® Keeps the Holiday Spirit Alive in Social Media Year-Round
How does a holiday-focused brand keep their customer engaged year-round and handle the increase in activity during the holiday season? That’s what we set out to ask The Elf on the Shelf, a Shoutlet customer with a loyal, active following. Read more about how these “elves” manage their social media program.
Is Your Brand ‘Pinteresting’? [Webinar]
Pinterest’s unique users grew 1,047% in 2012, and marketers followed suit. The monumental rise of the network and the impressive research about referral traffic for retailers and publishers fueled readers’ interest in Pinterest. (Post and webinar download available here.)
Strategic Partnerships Translate Perfectly to Social Media for Wrangler, Miracle-Gro
Intertwining social media plans with overall marketing initiatives was less of a challenge for brands in 2012. Integrating social media into larger projects has become a necessity for success, and this post about campaigns with well-integrated social media elements told how Wrangler Western jeans and Miracle-Gro aligned themselves with perfect partners and wrapped social media into every step.
7 Ways Trigger-Based Publishing Can Help Engineer One-of-a-Kind Social Campaigns
Among the many updates to Shoutlet we announced this year, among them was one feature that piqued the interest of marketers: Social Switchboard. A new concept for enterprise social management platforms, Social Switchboard lets brands build social campaign in advance, scheduling content to publish either based on date/time or the actions of their community (i.e. post a piece of content after hitting a set number of Likes, etc.). This post offered ways to utilize this new technology to give fans and followers more relevant and timely social content.
A Leap Ahead for Facebook Pages and Apps on Page Timelines: 290 More Pixels to Make an Impact
Among the biggest changes for social brands was the release of Timeline for Pages. The announcement in February and the lead-up to the mandatory chance in March was top of mind for every marketer on Facebook. From the new Timeline layout to cover photos and the elimination of default landing tabs, brands were forced to rethink how they approached their presence on Facebook. This post in particular offered examples of brands using the full 810-pixel width for Facebook apps and ways to maximize this space.
Silence Isn’t Golden: Why Responding to Customers Should Be a Top Priority
As social media evolved over the past year, so did users’ comfort level with talking to brands directly online, asking questions, and voicing complaints. Companies at the forefront have created internal workflows and processes to scale responses to customer inquiries, while many companies do not respond, as this post points out, along with data that should encourage all brands to make sure they aren’t ignoring customers.
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