This Week in Social (Week of Feb. 18)

This Week in Social is a weekly digest of some of the biggest stories in social media marketing news. These stories are discussed in greater depth on the Brave Ad World Podcast.

LinkedIn Updates Job Search Feature

LinkedIn is taking steps to make finding an open position on the platform with more granular search options. The update will allow users to search for job openings at companies they’ll have a connection to through LinkedIn and filter through jobs by country, ZIP code, industry and job function. Premium users will also have the option to limit results to positions that meet their salary requirements. They’ll be able to receive tips to improve their searches as well.

The update includes a redesign and updated aesthetic as well. Jobs you might be interested in is now featured on the “Jobs” page. Most of the jobs will be presented based on your profile and skills, but there will also be sponsored jobs from recruiters.

The most compelling feature, however, is the fact that users can see how they’re related to a company or a recruiter because LinkedIn will now highlight connections that might be able to introduce you.

This continues LinkedIn’s recent updates to the home page and profiles over the last year. And with 75% of Americans either actively looking for or considering themselves open to new jobs according to a 2012 Jobvite study, this positions LinkedIn to be more of a resource than ever before. LinkedIn is capitalizing on what it can do better than pretty much any other service out there, and that’s highlighting connections that can get you in the door. We know that about 50% of LinkedIn’s fourth quarter revenue came from its ‘Talent Solutions’ services, and this makes the platform even more attractive to users and recruiters alike.

Twitter Accounts Hacked

Presidents’ Day got a bit interesting with hackers taking over prominent brand Twitter accounts. The first and most high-profile incident was with Burger King as hackers took over the account, changed the logo to that of McDonald’s and started sending tweets ranging from claims that McDonald’s had acquired the business to pictures of people shooting up heroine. After nearly one hour, the account was suspended and has since been put back into the hands of Burger King’s social media team. Burger King actually grew its followers quite a bit during the incident. But that wasn’t the only account to get hacked.

Jeep was also hacked, and the hackers tweeted that the company had been sold to Cadillac.

Twitter took some steps to cut down on fake email scams and attempts to steal user passwords with an email authentication security measure to prevent malicious attacks. Twitter’s using DMARC technology, which reduces the potential for email-based abuse and is the same technology used by Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and PayPal to limit email fraud. Twitter did not reveal if this announcement was linked to the hacking incidents, but the timing certainly suggests it may have been.

The biggest lesson here is that this could happen to anyone and any brand out there, but there are certainly steps businesses can take to protect their profiles. At the crux of that approach is developing a company-wide social media policy that explains expectations and gets everyone on the same page when it comes to social media. But there are also simple protocols a social media team can and should implement, including having strong passwords that are changed regularly, auditing who should and shouldn’t have access, checking which applications have been authorized to have account access and so on. Then it’s important to remember that something can happen at any moment, so brands have to be prepared to act quickly.

Powerhouse Factories developed a full POV on steps brands can take to mitigate the risk of their accounts being hacked.

Twitter Launches Advertising API

Twitter’s advertising API is finally here. The addition was rumored a few weeks ago. Twitter’s now given access to five partners to get early access to offer advertising features for their clients. Partners include, Adobe, HootSuite, Salesforce, SHIFT and TBG Digital. The partners have been testing the API since January.

Now, they’re able to build on top of the API to allow advertisers to test campaign performance factors, such as ad creative and time of day. Advertisers will also be able to take their own customer data and layer it with analytics from the API to develop more targeted audience profiles. Then, using real-time reporting, optimize creative and shift budgets more effectively.

The API only applies to Promoted Tweets and Accounts. Twitter will still manage Promoted Trends.

So what does this mean? As Twitter puts it on its blog, “…you’ll soon have the ability to work with our initial set of Ads API partners to manage Twitter Ad campaigns — and integrate them into your existing cross-channel advertising strategies. Equally important, users will continue to see the most relevant Promoted Tweets from advertisers. With the Ads API, marketers now have more tools in their arsenal to help them deliver the right message, to the right audience, on the desktop and on mobile devices — all at scale.”

This means more sophisticated Twitter campaigns are on the way. Launching a campaign and optimizing will be far more effective than it ever was before.

This is huge step up from the very manual process of running a Twitter ad campaign to something more automated and easily optimized. Which obviously benefits advertisers, but it’s a huge win for Twitter as it essentially becomes a more attractive advertising platform over night. This doesn’t mean more ads per user, but it does mean more effective, more highly-targeted ads. Users should see ads that they’re more likely to engage with.

This also has the potential to benefit real-time marketing efforts. Marketers will be able to monitor trending topics in real-time and then quickly develop and launch ads through the API, and they could even set-up ads around terms they hope become trending. When they start to trend, the ads automatically run.

Test partners have already seen better results at a lower cost per result using the API.

This effort is a benefit to parties all around. Twitter will see a boost in revenue, advertisers will see better results from their campaigns and users will likely see more relevant, better targeted advertising on Twitter.

Nielsen Starts Tracking Cord Cutters

Nielsen has announced that it will soon start tracking the habits of people who consume video content over the Internet. Billboard’s also going to start including YouTube music video views in its charts.

Nielsen’s going to have new hardware and software in close to 23,000 TV sample homes by September 2013 to make measurement possible. In addition, they plan to start tracking video views on smartphones and tablets at some point.

Networks have been asking for this kind of measurement for some time. As more viewers move to Netflix and Hulu, networks are demanding a better way to measure viewers.

This move isn’t directly related to social media, but Nielsen is working Twitter on a social TV metric. This  continues to push Nielsen down the road to developing stronger metrics around how people consume media in the digital space. All of that is especially valuable for marketers looking to more fully integrate their traditional and online marketing efforts.

News Quick Hits

  • Facebook faced a security threat of its own, but there’s nothing to worry about. After falling victim to what it called a “sophisticated attack” in which some employees’ computers got malware last month, Facebook shared that there is no evidence that user data was compromised. Apple revealed on Tuesday that some of its employees’ computers were also attacked by what appears to be the same as Facebook. This follows Twitter’s February 1 attack in which information of about 250,000 users was leaked.
  • Posterous, which was acquired by Twitter, will be shutting down on April 30. Users have been given two months to transfer their content to another platform. The Posterous team will devote 100% of its focus to Twitter.
  • Bing has upgraded its Facebook Photo search with a new user interface and a new slideshow view. Users who sync their Facebook accounts with Bing can use the search engine instead of Facebook to view and search for photos. This builds on Bing’s Social Sidebar and other integrations with Facebook and shows that the introduction of Graph Search has not swayed Bing from more deeply integrating with Facebook.
  • Pinterest received another $200 million in a new round of funding that brings it to a $2.5 billion valuation. This is on the high-end of Pinterest’s goal, which was to reach $2 billion in this latest round of funding.
  • Facebook is partnering with data companies Epsilon, Acxiom and Datalogix to allow marketers to integrate loyalty program data with Facebook profiles to deliver more customized advertising, according to AdAge. The article says an advertiser like Coca-Cola would be able to target customers who have bought the soda in the last month. This allows Facebook to continue to build more robust targeting options, particularly for CPG brands.