The future for Twitter + a guide to hashtags + Facebook’s call to action

Welcome to The Watercooler, issue 29.

LMTD has picked out some of the most interesting digital and social media stories making waves around the web this week, to keep you up-to-date with developments in the world’s most exciting and fastest-growing industry. Something else you’d like to see? Let us know at news@teamlmtd.com.

Twitter: the long view

twitter-balance

Techcrunch recently sat down with some of Twitter’s bigwigs to talk about what’s coming next for the world’s favourite way to troll celebrities. And there are some pretty big changes in the pipeline. They include:

– An algorithmically-generated timeline for new users (initially): one of Twitter’s main problems has always been demonstrating value to its tweeters. For them, it’s no use that exciting, entertaining, interesting content exists on the platform if only a select few people end up seeing it. Given the importance placed on their ‘relevance infrastructure’ in this interview, it’s obvious that functions like this are going to be seen by everyone sooner rather than later.

– A focus on surfacing local content: Twitter’s usefulness as a news source has been much-talked-about, and it looks like the platform wants to spread its wings by introducing a way for users to discover more local ‘stories’. (in the new-look Twittersphere, relevance is king).

– Video: Beyond Vine, Twitter’s potential as a platform for hosting and sharing video is as-yet largely untapped. Given the recent swing online toward video content (Giles discussed this in The Watercooler a few weeks back), it’s reasonable to assume this will be on the radar.

Read the full article here.

Facebook calls you to action

dollarshave

Facebook recently announced the introduction of call-to-action buttons for pages, significantly sharpening its offering for businesses. The buttons — which can link to any destination on of off the platform — have been touted as a tool for ‘[bringing] a business’ most important objective to the forefront of its Facebook presence’.

The seven calls to action currently available are:

  1. Book Now
  2. Contact Us
  3. Use App
  4. Play Game
  5. Shop Now
  6. Sign Up
  7. Watch Video

A strong call to action is an integral piece of any sales pitch, whether it’s through social or not. The simplicity of these buttons could lead to a significant increase in traffic, and even streamline how brands direct that traffic (does every post need a hyperlink back to your bookings page now?).

Has your brand tried out a call to action button yet? Let us know your results!

A guide to hashtags

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As far as Twitter-based PR blunders go, hashtag fails are pretty common (second only to tangling with Taylor Swift, apparently). Why do they happen? Often it’s down to a lack of research, leading brands to ‘piggy-back’ on hashtags that have little relevance to their product. But other than doing your homework, how can you make them work for you?

Take a look at this infographic for some pretty handy tips on making the most of your hashtags. Our top takeaways include:

– More than two hashtags on Twitter results in a 17% drop in engagement: while it may be tempting to use as many hashtags as possible (with the aim of reaching a wider audience), this approach doesn’t work. Pick your two most relevant tags and stick with them!

– On Instagram, however, the landscape is entirely different. Interactions are highest on posts with 11+ hashtags (79.5% per 1k followers): so if you’re one of those brands who shares the same content across multiple channels, the least you can do is fling in a few extra (relevant) tags.

– Using Google to search for hashtags pulls up the usual search results, plus a sidebar of relevant Google+ posts: this means tagging can be a pretty strong tool for getting your content out there, if you use it correctly.

#ICYMI: 

(In Case You Missed It)

The Oscars were good news for Facebook…not so much Twitter

Hear Hillary talk NSA, iPhones and aspirations

Mayweather-Pacquiao fight announced on selfie app

LinkedIn ads now follow you around the web

Twitter ads official WordPress plugin

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