2017 Social Media Updates Your Marketing Missed

The Only Constant In Social Media: Change

How often are you updating and auditing your social media strategies? If the answer is any longer than quarterly, you are missing out on many new updates that could give you an edge over your competition.

The social media landscape has changed more in the past 6 months than it has in the last few years. The giants of social media are behaving in a more and more cutthroat manner and brands are feeling the fatigue of trying to be represented everywhere. Brands like Snapchat and Twitter have very uncertain futures while Facebook and Instagram continue to dominate and grow. In short, what worked for you last year might need tweaked in order to take advantage of the latest trends and features.

Facebook

The future of Facebook is video and that’s where your brand needs to be in order to get the most from your investments there. Now is the time for you to invest in capturing more videos of what you do as well as b-roll you can use in a variety of new ways.

Video Covers

Facebook Covers for Pages have been a valuable piece of branding real-estate for years with very few changes. Originally, there were limits on the inclusion of calls to action, contact information and the percentage of text that could cover an image. It’s been a free-for-all for some time now with no major innovations. That is until the inclusion of videos as covers. They tested this new feature months back by allowing Netflix’s show “Narcos” the option of utilizing video for their cover. Video gives you much more flexibility to tell complex stories about your brand especially if you have lots of products and services to show off.

What You Need To Know

  • Length – 20 to 90 seconds (they loop)
  • 820 x 312 pixels (larger is OK but you then must scale.
  • You choose a slide or upload an image to be seen when video is not available.

Here’s my first Facebook Page Cover Video as an example.

Here’s my second Facebook Page Cover as an additional example.

.Gif Search In Comments

Other social media outlets have had integrated .gif search engines built into their platforms for years including Facebook’s own messenger and WhatsApp. Facebook has resisted adding this feature in order to push its user base to use content they create like photos, videos, and their 360 degree videos. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the creation of the .gif format, Facebook caved in to the pressure. What this means for your brand is that .gifs will be even more popular by users. Give them what they want, speak their language, and engage with them yourself in the comments section.

Check out my Event Manager Blog post “37 Ways to Spice Up Your Event Social Media” for some of my favorite .gif examples by brands.

Instagram

The hottest social media right now has a lot going on. It’s Facebook’s go-to tool to take down Snapchat and it’s always in the news when the topic of Influencer Marketing comes up. Ever since it added Stories last August, Instagram has been steadily adding new features while continuing to grow its user base.

# & Location Stickers In Stories

The biggest change in the past few months to Instagram has been the inclusion of hashtag and locations for Stories. You can now add stickers to your Stories that allow you to be discovered by people searching for specific locations and hashtags as well as being found by those on Instagram near you in the Stories discovery bar.
I recently wrote a blog on how to add hashtags and locations to your stories and why you should be doing so.

Instagram Live Replay

Instagram Live has been one of the weaker mobile live streaming options when it comes to bells and whistles. What it does have going for it is integration into a platform with very strong discoverability. Being able to download your live streams was a much needed addition a few month back and now with replay, the investment you made into your live stream has been rewarded in a new way. You now have the option to add your Instagram Live videos to your stories so they can be available for 24 hours. This is one more way you can rise above others on Instagram in order to fight for user attention.

 

Very soon Instagram will roll out sponsored posts. This will be a big move for transparent influencer marketing. If I had to speculate, the next big feature for Instagram will be on-demand geofilters and/or stickers. Those would be the last major feature of Snapchat for Facebook’s brands to take and will be a huge deal for the events industry.

Snapchat

While there has been a lot of bad news for Snapchat in the form of engagement numbers dropping and it’s stock price plummeting, there have been a few additional features that will be useful to marketers.

Snap Map

For a long time, Snapchat’s design made being discovered on the platform very difficult. Unlike social media that use hashags as a way to be part of larger conversations, Snapchat started as and continues to behave like a messenger application with one to one connections being their focus. That said, since they became publicly traded, they’ve been making concessions to what marketers crave – more impressions.

When a Snapchat user adds a Snap to their “My Story” area, they have the ability to be seen  in a map function. This allows users to see what’s going on around them. Once a lot of Snaps are sent from the same location, the map shows a heat index to indicate that this is a popular place to be. For event marketers (especially ones selling tickets to the public at the door) this could be something to really shoot for.

 

Here’s How It Works

 

Mobile On-Demand Geofilter Designs

Snapchat’s On-Demand Geofilters have become a big part of what makes the platform special over the past year and a half. For event marketing, in particular, it’s been part of the discussion of every event I’ve personally worked on since they have debuted. In order to generate more revenue and make the process less intimidating to the average user, you can now create designs available for a specific time and place inside the app itself. The designs are very limited and probably will not reach nearly the same level of engagement that one designed in Photoshop would. For marketers, I could see the value in spur of the moment designs created through the app. If, for instance, you wanted to take a quote said by a specific person and you didn’t have the time to go through the whole submission process, this might work for you. The simplified graphic design site / app, Canva, now offers templates for Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters as well that are very customizable and more robust than the ones available from Snapchat if you are looking for an easier way to design.

Here’s How It Works

Social Media Continues To Evolve

I wanted you to be aware of these updates because they have the ability to impact your marketing efforts. platforms evolve in order to utilize new technologies, compete with others, and to further enhance experiences. You marketing strategies should also look at these offerings and determine how they could impact your goals. If you don’t have the resources to keep up with all these changes, reach out. That’s what I’m here for!

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