We're more than halfway to 2020, and while that in and of itself could be a fascinating topic for a different kind of column, I thought I would use this opportunity to round up some pretty important things going on across different social media platforms.
As a social media manager and columnist, staying up to date with the little things is what I do — so you don't have to.
Hashtags matter just a little more now. On the right side of your feed on your desktop or laptop, you'll see a space for hashtags you follow. On mobile, see this by clicking on your profile picture at the top left. This means people are "following" hashtags now. So if you're on the fence about whether or not to add a hashtag to a LinkedIn post, consider doing it. Usual hashtag rules apply: aim for concise and on-topic. If you are writing about something with an established hashtag, use that one because chances are someone is already following it.
You can now tag people in photos. Feels like we've been doing this on other platforms for like 100 years, but photo tagging is just becoming a thing on LinkedIn. It's really a natural for this platform. You don't have to tag people, but you should consider it. And if someone tags you, you should be notified, depending on how your notifications are set up.
Your bio link is all powerful. Anyone who uses Instagram knows you can't put links in comments or posts. The reason is Instagram wants people to stay on Instagram. Makes sense, but you still need a place to promote you and/or your firm. The link in your bio is the only link you can edit on Instagram. If you are working on something you want to draw attention to, rewrite your bio and explain that. No matter what, you should at least put something there, whether it's your personal website or firm's.
Removing something most people don't use anyway. Seems unimportant based on the description, but it really depends on how you use Twitter. According to the official @TwitterSupport account: "Most people don't tag their precise location in Tweets, so we're removing this ability to simplify your tweeting experience." To be completely honest, I used to freak out when I mistakenly tweeted my precise location. Clearly, there's no need to do this. If I tweet from Niagara Falls, you'll know it, you don't need the hotel room I'm staying in.
About the About section. This only applies if you have a page, not a personal profile. However, for those who do, it's significant. Facebook will be removing several parts from your About section: Mission, company overview, biography, affiliation and personal interests. Facebook suggests you add this to the main area at the top, but that area is limited to a few hundred characters. While it's possible that limit may be lifted, assume you'll have a lot less space, so make every word count.
Speaking of making things count, I hope you find some or all of these useful. The start of a new season is a great time to do a tune-up on your social media accounts. I highly recommend making sure each of your accounts is secure. Make sure your passwords aren't 123456 or Password. If the platform allows two-factor authentication of some kind (usually using a phone or other device), you should take advantage of it. And if you follow a whole bunch of people you never interact with, clean up your contact list(s) to make your conversations more meaningful.
If you have a social media question or an idea for a column, please let me know. Tweet them to me with the hashtag #onsocialmedia or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.