If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably had the itch to travel now that warmer weather has arrived. Unfortunately, taking a spring siesta and getting out to enjoy some fun in the sun has likely left you behind on the social media happenings over the past month. When it comes to enjoying a vacation or spending hours reading social media news online, well, no one can blame you for taking some time off. If your time away left you a little behind on what happened the past month, here’s what you need to know about the world of social media for March.
Facebook growth in America slows while Twitter’s heats up (via Mashable): Facebook’s growth is expected to drop to single digits this year, compared to 13.6 percent in 2011. By comparison, Twitter is expected to grow 20 percent this year. While Facebook growth in America seems to be plateauing, Twitter is expected to double in size by 2014.
Facebook offering interest lists to group newsfeed into categories (via TechCrunch): Similar to the list feature Twitter offers, Facebook users can now group pages and public figures into groups that users can both create and subscribe to. Facebook has created general lists such as business, style, and sports, as well as lists for more specific interests such as NFL teams and 2012 presidential candidates.
All brand pages pushed to Timeline with research reporting increased engagement (via Mashable): All Facebook brand pages have now been pushed to the Timeline format and research is showing that brands are getting nearly 50 percent more engagement using the Timeline layout. While the researcher acknowledged only 15 fan pages were surveyed as part of the sample, the results are weighted so the average amount of engagement per post is taken into consideration.
Gingrich campaign creates Romney Timeline page to highlight faults (via Mashable): The Gingrich campaign created the Romney Record page to chronologically display some of Romney’s decisions that Republican voters may dislike. The page’s timeline is filled in with news articles highlighting decisions and statements Romney has made throughout the years in an effort to portray him as out of touch and more liberal than most Republicans. Could this represent the next form of political smear campaigns?
Twitter offers self-serve advertising to small businesses (via PCMag.com): Twitter is allowing small businesses to advertise using promoted tweets and accounts. For the time being, users who want to take advantage of the new advertising services must first register with Twitter and be American Express card holders.
Promoted tweets now appearing on mobile devices (via Marketing Land): Brands interested in advertising on Twitter now have the ability to target ads solely to mobile users, desktop users, or users accessing the site on any device. Considering more than half of active users access Twitter using mobile devices, this can represent a big opportunity for businesses.
Twitter changing brand pages this year (via Mashable): The new brand pages, which might be more similar to Facebook pages, will let marketers offer e-commerce contests and sweepstakes. No date has been set on when these pages can be expected, but they should be available this year.
Pinterest drives more traffic to blogs than Twitter (via Yahoo! News): In February, Pinterest drove about 1.05 percent of traffic to blogs, beating out Twitter at 0.82 percent and narrowly following behind the Bing search engine, which drove 1.21 percent of traffic.
Google+ users can now sign up for YouTube channel with Google+ profile name (via Mashable): Google+ users who do not already have a YouTube account can now create one, allowing them to have one identity across the two networks. Considering the struggle Google+ has been experiencing with low user presence, this social media pairing isn’t entirely surprising.
Social media milestones:
Tumblr hits 20 billion posts
Pinterest now has more than 12 million users
Lady Gaga became the first Twitter user to hit 20 million followers