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The Bitch List: Social Media Much Needed Feature Enhancements

Add it to the listSocial media is like email, it’s not going anywhere – for the moment. Networks will come and go, but social media has allowed us to evolve as a species. Way back when, we wrote letters to communicate and sent them by telegram or courier. Then the telephone was invented and it seemed revolutionary that we could communicate with someone instantaneously, rather than it take days. Now we have social media and it has taken instantaneous to a whole new level of real-time. It’s information overload.

As a social media marketer, there are things I like and don’t like about the various networks which I’ve compiled and would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this too. At first when I started writing this post I thought I’d only have a handful, but then it spiraled. So I organized my feature enhancement request bucket list (er, complaint list) by platform:

Google (Google+, YouTube)

  • Google + cover photo too flippin’ large.  Seriously, am I the only person who finds it offensively too big? I’m sure designers think it’s great, but I think it stinks – big time. It takes up 50% of the screen and forces you to scroll to see anything. At first I thought, hmm, this might be a strategic move by Google to get you to scroll and learn more about the person or brand; but after using it for months, I just am totally annoyed with it. I mean, WHO at Google thought this was a good idea and then more importantly, WHO was the “yes man” who said, “Oh sure, Mr. SVP, that’s a great idea.”
  • YouTube layout. So the new YouTube layout seems adequate, but it kind of sucks that you can’t make it look the way you want. Right now you can hire companies like BuddyMedia (I have no affiliation with them) and utilize their sapplets to customize the look and feel. But I just learned that as of January 2014, you will no longer be able to customize it at all. They’re shutting down all of the back doors to customization. Boo! But more importantly, what’s the driving purpose behind this?
  • Logins. I was (and still am) a big fan of Google. In fact, I use Google for Small Business features and I also use many of Google’s products for personal use. But there doesn’t seem to be a smooth roll out plan to integrate Google+ and all of Google’s products seamlessly, which I find inane. And on the rare instances where there is a way for me to not have 3 YouTube accounts or 3 Google Plus accounts, it seems like an engineer wrote those instructions because they are like deciphering code (and I have 20 years experience in implementing software and project management!)
  • YouTube Username Shelf life. As you have previously learned from this blog once a YouTube username is taken, you cannot change it. Even if it is not being used and being squatted on by someone, it is considered as being once “used” and therefore not available. Which is super annoying because what if someone had an idea for a business, snags up all of the social URLs and then never takes off with it? Then you come along and you have an idea but you can’t get that URL. It’s bologna. And for a media giant company with engineering resources such as Google has, it’s baffling that they can’t fix this limitation.

WordPress.org

  • WordPress.org blog avatar. I just went through this for 3 clients where I had to modify the theme’s php file and the whole time I kept thinking, why isn’t this more easy? Or better yet, why hasn’t someone developed a plugin for this? Seems like a no-brainer.

Facebook

  • Facebook’s inability to roll out features to everyone quickly. O-M-G! Nothing is worse than sitting with a client or teaching a class and half the class has the new feature and the other half has the old version. For example, Facebook’s Pages to Watch new feature or their new analytics, not everyone has them yet. #annoying.
  • Inability to edit a scheduled post. This seems like an easy enhancement to make. Why can’t I go into my Activity Feed and edit the post? I don’t have that option. It’s either delete or leave as is. And if I have a mistake or want to tweak it before it goes out, I have to redo it, which is extra work for me and time in which I don’t have. Grrr…
  • No WYSIWYG editor for posts. At least Google+ let’s you bold,italicize, and underline text in your status update with basic <html> tags. But not Facebook. So for emphasis you need to capitalize everything. This just seems like an easy enhancement

LinkedIn Company

  • Limiting my ability to segment my messages if <100 followers. Why does LinkedIn care?
  • Showing me which administrator posted an update. This seems rather like a great enhancement for any company that has multiple administrators. As an administrator I can see engagement stats and other analytics for each post which the end user cannot see, but for some reason I can’t see who posted the update. Which, when there is an issue, would be uber helpful to address that issue internally.

Twitter

  • Better Analytics. Twitter has done such a fine job at rolling out new features to make those scheduler apps like HootSuite, Buffer and the like, be less advantageous. BUT, the thing is that people use those apps to manage not only Twitter but many other social networks. And even if they are just using it for Twitter, they also have better analytics. Which is why it is so amazing to me that Twitter doesn’t have better analytics since it’s their APIs that are the engines for these other 3rd party applications. And sure, I could invest in Marketo or HubSpot or some other “marketing automation solution” but as a small business, those tools aren’t feasible and they dip into my retirement fund.

Image credit: Teachergoesbacktoschool.org

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.