I love this time of year, when we look back at the best and the brightest that 2012 had to offer.  Below is an excerpt from HubSpot’s must-read blog post “The 16 Most Important Social Media Updates in 2012″

The biggest Facebook Updates of 2012 were:

1) Global Brand Pages

With users coming to companies’ Facebook pages from all over the world, Facebook needed to do something to make marketing easier so community managers wouldn’t have to either 1) keep up multiple brand pages, or 2) maintain one brand page with really untargeted content. That’s why we were so excited in October, when Facebook announced Global Pages that allowed marketers to maintain just one Facebook page URL, but route fans to different versions of the page based on their location. Here, look at Facebook’s own Facebook page, for an example:

 

pages global brands 3 resized 600

 

This update makes the job of a social media marketer much more efficient and effective. Before, marketers had to manage multiple accounts in different languages, or decide which language they were going to cater to and settle for unhappy followers who couldn’t understand the content. Now, you get the best of both worlds — one page to manage, personalized content, and one centralized dashboard to measure it all.

2) Mobile-Only Facebook Ads

In June, Facebook launched an important feature for marketers who use sponsored ads. For the first time, they allowed marketers to pay for ads only in the Facebook mobile app, as opposed to the mobile app and desktop app combined.

 

titanic mobile ad sponsored

 

Many companies may have known that their audience was predominantly using mobile over desktop — or perhaps at certain times one is preferable over the other. However, they had to pay for both advertising placements to have the chance to reach mobile users. Now that these options are separate, marketers can now target their mobile audience differently than those accessing pages on their desktop. They can also see which platform performs better to understand where their advertising dollars should be going.

3) 9 More Facebook Targeting Options

In August, Facebook announced that they were going to allow advertisers to target their audience based on more criteria than before, including age, gender, gender the user’s interested in, relationship status, education, college grad (college name, major), in college (college name, major, years), in high school, and workplace … all in addition to the options already available including language and location.

Before this update, everything that a Facebook page updated would appear in a user’s newsfeed just because of their language and location, even if it didn’t really relate to them. With more nitty-gritty targeting options, social media marketers can target parts of their audiences with more personalized content.

4) Open Graph Opens Up

In January, Facebook announced that it was opening submissions for Open Graph applications. Open graph applications allow third-party developers to automatically share user engagement after someone gives them permission once. For example, if you read an article on the New York Times and have given the Open Graph application permission, it will automatically post your engagement with that app — namely, what you were reading — on your Timeline.

By using Open Graph applications, marketers now have a significantly larger reach than before. Think about it — if one person is playing a game from Zynga and has 2,000 friends, a healthy portion of those 2,000 friends will learn about the game, and have a pseudo word-of-mouth recommendation for it, too!

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