This is our first social media update of 2017, and we’ve already seen a bunch of interesting changes taking place since our last post in December. Here’s a quick rundown of the most important updates that could impact your marketing strategy.
- Yesterday Facebook announced that the news feed algorithm will now favor longer videos with higher completion rates, meaning your 30-second videos and 3-second view counts might be a thing of the past. It also means your shorter videos could see a dip in reach. The bright side is that Facebook’s preferences are shifting toward content that’s genuinely more engaging, in the sense that people are more willing to watch it for longer. We’re not exactly clear on what constitutes a “long” video just yet, so focus on making your videos compelling and relevant.
- Speaking of videos, you can finally access that automated video caption tool to spiff up all that video content you’ve been sharing – here’s how to do it. Not a bad idea, considering Facebook videos autoplay without sound.
- Is your brand or business doing the whole Facebook Live thing? Facebook is determined to get you to try it, and they’ve even released a few new tools to make it easier. These include options to go live or share live video next to the regular post prompts on your Page or profile, and Page admins can now assign permission for multiple users to be able to go Live from a Page. Read more about your options here.
- When you have to fix that typo in your post, don’t worry – your edits look a lot less obvious to other users now.
- Be on the lookout for big changes to Facebook ad targeting: Soon marketers will be able to target users based on their web activity. This is an upgrade for advertisers who previously could only target users who had viewed a product on their website or app, and it’s bigger than simply retargeting because it hones in on users who could be interested in a product but haven’t necessarily viewed it on a certain site yet. Get ready for this change to simplify your targeting and ad creation process!
- Does your business use Twitter’s “buy” button? You might have heard that this feature is marked for death, and Twitter is shutting down its 2-year-old sales channel and related ecommerce partnerships on Feb. 1. Fortuantely Twitter’s keeping the “donate” button that lets users to give to nonprofits.
- If you were using Dashboard, sorry for your loss, because Twitter’s getting rid of it on Feb. 3. At least you can still use TweetDeck, which already has most of the same functions and will likely be upgraded to include the tools that are currently exclusive to Dashboard.
- The mobile app replaced the central Moments tab with a new option called Explore, which combines trends, Moments and search into a format that looks very much like Instagram’s explore tab. It’s not a very dramatic update, but it might have an impact on content curation and trend monitoring for marketers.
- If you’re like us, your brand has experimented with using Stories but you haven’t been able to consistently track your viewership metrics. Instagram thankfully just answered our prayers because at last – we’ll soon be able to see Insights for Stories! It’s a good move on Instagram’s part, since a third of the most-watched Stories come from business accounts, and competitor Snapchat makes it notoriously difficult to measure viewership without third-party tools.
- Also new to Stories: Full-screen ads that play in between them. At this point the ads are aren’t clickable, and they’re being tested first with big, big brands such as Nike and Capital One. But Instagram hinted that this was just the beginning of new business options for Stories. Maybe someday we’ll even have Sponsored Stories…
- What do you think of the new desktop redesign? It looks a lot like the newish mobile app design and it’s a little…Facebook-esque, no? LinkedIn says they’ve made the feed smarter, which could help you curate some good, shareable stuff, and they’ve made messaging more readily accessible so it’s easy to get those conversations flowing. Having better insights into who’s viewing your content and updates doesn’t hurt, either. If you haven’t updated your information in a little while, now’s a good time to do so and get familiar with the new layout.
- Speaking of new designs, the app recently rolled out a makeover that includes a search bar, promising to make it easier to start chats with friends and access Stories. The biggest change for advertisers and content creators though, are new guidelines that restrict them from using images or headlines in Discover that “lack editorial value” or basically scream “clickbait.” This is part of Snapchat’s effort to limit fake news and make Discover a serious news source.
- It also seems that Snapchat’s leadership has gotten over their fear of being creepy and will now allow for ad targeting based on third party data. But if you don’t want Snapchat to personally creep on you, here’s how you can opt out.
- Advertising on this platform continues to evolve at an impressive rate. Pinterest recently introduced ad groups that work like containers for Promoted Pins, allowing marketers more control over budgeting and targeting for their campaigns.
- Also, since search is an important tool for Pinterest marketing, it’s good to hear that the platform has improved their Related Pins system to show matches that are much more relevant to each user. Pinterest’s recommended pins are one of the most common ways that users to discover new content, and this upgrade makes the system more likely to search for contextually relevant matches to pins instead of broad matches. This change will likely have varying effects on marketers, and worst case scenario it’ll make your pins a little harder for users to stumble upon through Related Pins.
- To keep up with Facebook’s increasing push to rule video content, YouTube has responded by improving its functionality and ad options. One of the biggest benefits is that advertisers will be able to use information associated with users’ Google accounts and search data to better target relevant audiences. There’s also the promises of a new, “cutting edge” measurement system for more accurate insights, especially for cross-device measurement, since half of YouTube views are coming from mobile devices.
With all these exciting changes taking place before the end of January, we’re pretty excited to see what updates next month brings! If you’re interested in chatting with us about social media marketing for your business, give us a call at 804-577-8679 or fill out the form below to contact us.