Start off on the right foot with the first 'Skim of the year: all the LinkedIn changes marketers need to know about; Twitter's cry for help from its users, and its introduction of 360-degree live video; consumers' big concerns about social commerce; the world's first social media addiction clinic; four social selling tips to grow your sales pipeline; and much more...

Skim for a fresh start!

1. The new LinkedIn: What social media marketers need to know

New year, new you... on LinkedIn, at least! A new layout is soon rolling out to all, and marketers need to know how to navigate it and where to find the functions they need.

  • Homepage: The section now features a lighter, cleaner look, where icons and personal snapshot section mimic its revamped mobile app.
  • Me section: What used to be the Profile section is now dubbed "Me." Here you can edit your profile, adjust privacy settings, etc. Your profile photo is now circular, and the specs for the background photo are now 1536 x 768.
  • Revamped search: LinkedIn's free version no longer offers advanced search options (names, titles, locations), saved searches, or tagging.
  • Notifications: These now get their own section, making it easier to view and respond to engagement with your page or profile.

Have the changes gone live for you yet?

2. Twitter's Jack Dorsey asks users for a wish list, and they don't hold back

With no willing buyer for Twitter in sight, its CEO took to the platform to ask its users just what they're hoping Twitter will build in 2017—an apparent attempt to crowdsource ideas for ways to improve the social network in the new year.

Far and away the most popular request was that of an edit tweet feature to allow users to make changes to existing tweets without having to delete and start from scratch. Dorsey seemed to have avowed the request, but noted that such a capability would have to avoid damaging Twitter's reputation as a "public record."

So, any edit feature would either be only for quick fixes directly after publishing, or more permanent changes would show revision history to all users. Either way, we'll see whether Dorsey was sincere in his outreach to users!

3. Consumers uneasy about validity of social commerce

Though social commerce has undergone explosive growth in recent years, its introduction by brands and adoption by consumers have nevertheless left many still skeptical about making purchases on social platforms, a recent report from Sumo Heavy Industries found.

Half of people said social influenced their purchase decisions, but only one in five had bought via social media; 77% claimed avoiding social shopping transactions for what they perceive as lack of security.

It might take years to shift these perceptions, so brands must reassure customers that their social orders are treated the same as their e-commerce equivalents.

4. Twitter's Periscope launches live 360-degree video

The Twitter-owned live streaming social network is the latest to throw its hat into the live 360 video ring, after YouTube and Facebook introduced the capability in April and December, respectively.

The feature is being tested with select partners for now, but it will roll out to additional users in the near future. Periscope and Twitter users are now able to view 360-degree livestreams on both platforms; simply swiping on the screen or moving the device around will provide the 360-degree effect.

Will you be streaming in 360 degrees in 2017?

5. Why you should have a business Pinterest account if you don't already

Pinterest can be a great place to find new customers and leads, and the new year seems like a great time to finally start that Pinterest Business page you've been putting off. Need another nudge? Here are five reasons you should join the Pinterest business party:

  1. Buyable pins: Sell right through the platform.
  2. Rich pins: Six feature-rich Pins let users do things like download your app without leaving Pinterest.
  3. Promoted pins: Boost your content just like Facebook boosted posts.
  4. Analytics: Show what users like on your website based on what they pin on Pinterest.
  5. Widget builder: Provides easy-to-build widgets for your website and apps to drive traffic between them and your Pinterest page.

6. How analytics and data will change social media in 2017

As advertising capabilities and measurement make leaps and bounds, social media will be in the driver's seat for many in 2017 as businesses come to grips with its pay-to-play model and the enormous share of online time spent by consumers on them.

Social Baker's CEO highlights three pivotal changes to look for in 2017:

  1. Data will be consolidated: Data silos will be broken down and combined into one hub that taps into all sources so marketers can move past the all-consuming manual analysis.
  2. Automation will rule: We can expect an evolution of automated systems that maximize social ROI with tools based on algorithms and rules that, with new sets of rules and algorithms, will successfully maximize social return on investment.
  3. Content will remain king: While social becomes a paid media landscape, content quality will remain key, as social networks' algorithms will continue to prioritize content that resonates with audiences—not just content sustained with a budget.

7. Welcome to the world's first Internet addiction clinic...

Algeria has launched the world's first rehabilitation program to treat Internet—and particularly social media—addiction, in a clinic that's fully government-funded.

With an unemployment rate of over 25% among those under age 24, many of Algeria's youth have only one place they can congregate: all-night Internet cafes. The addiction problem is growing, with the worst addicts in the country rarely taking breaks from Internet use for food or the bathroom, and physical problems like back pain; moreover, aggressiveness and anxiety when deprived of use are increasing. The clinic's treated more than 100 patients since May, and is also conducting a public education campaign in conjunction. Welcome to the future?

8. Four social selling tips to grow your sales pipeline

Only 1% of B2B cold calls result in a face-to-face meeting, and 90% of B2B decision-makers don't even respond to them. Taking concrete steps to increase your ability to sell on social can be a great way to augment these scary stats, and Business 2 Community has a great tip list on doing just that!

Covered in detail: revamping your LinkedIn profile for optimization, setting aside daily blocks to figuring out how to reach the right people on social, dedicating time to liking, sharing, and commenting on your prospects' content, and more...

9. 10 rules for effective Facebook marketing

Conventional wisdom would have brands using hashtags and tags galore in every Facebook post, and avoiding interactive calls-to-action on posts. But does all that still hold true today?

A Visme infographic based on an article by Mike Gingerich might point us in a different direction, with 10 rules for effective Facebook marketing.

Is your social strategy too old-school? Click through to benefit from all the latest tips and tricks!

10. We'll wrap with the beautiful place the Internet can be

Reddit is sometimes known for its sometimes-hostile users, which is why it's often avoided by brands. But that doesn't mean the social network can't also provide hope in times of despair.

That's exactly what one mother found when she posted her favorite video of her son singing at a school concert on the social network. Her son committed suicide in October; because the video's audio was too poor for her to enjoy, she turned to Reddit to get some advice on how she could fix it.

Redditors, including audio engineers and movie sound editors, flooded her inbox with condolences, as well as enhanced edits of the video for her to listen to.

The outpouring of support, which grew to include thousands upon thousands of comments, apparently overwhelmed the mother and made her family's first Christmas without her son a bit easier to bear.

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#SocialSkim: LinkedIn's Latest Changes, How Social Will Change in 2017: 10 Stories This Week

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image of Christian Neri

Christian Neri is a digital marketing professional in the film & television industry, and a contributor to MarketingProfs. An American expat in Paris, he recently completed his MS in digital marketing at IÉSEG School of Management.

Instagram: @christianneri

Twitter: @christianneri