Stay Social: The Latest and Greatest in Social Media this March

It’s March, and that means that someone in your office has already panicked and shouted that “this year is going by so fast!”

But let’s leave existential crises behind – here are the latest news stories on social media marketing from the last month!

Facebook’s all about the chat.

Facebook has announced that it is rolling out a few updates to its Messenger service for businesses, in particular when it comes to customer service.

These include easier to understand bot capability, automatic generation of a user contact information form when you request it, new metrics in the API (such as messaging conversations opened and first-time Messenger conversations), and message tags to make it easier to answer questions and provide updates.

After that veritable mouthful of new features, one thing is for sure: customer service and community management on Facebook have never been easier.

But that’s not all. If a recent Axios report is to be believed, then Facebook is preparing to enter the news industry. By later this year, ten digital-first partners will be working with the platform to produce regular news videos for its Watch tab.

For brands, this hopefully means a bit less fake news on the platform, and a bit more brand-safe content on which to promote their services or products.


Facebook’s latest Messenger update will make it easier for brands to speak with and help their customers. Source: messenger.fb.com

Instagram’s on call.

Facebook’s sister in all things social seems to be taking a leaf out of her older sibling’s book. A Tech Crunch dive into some code on the App’s backend revealed that the platform seems to be gearing up to launch an audio and video calling feature.

While this has no direct benefits to advertisers as of yet, the feature could very well keep more users on site for longer, meaning more time spent on monetisable content, as well as on calls.

Snapchat focusses on community.

After its controversial mega-update at the start of the year, it seems like Snapchat was trying to keep mostly on the DL for March. Especially after their stock price took a tumble following a Kylie Jenner Tweet.

But, a couple new features have been added in, both to the delight of users and brands.

The App will start to feature community-built AR lenses later this month, which is great news for content creators on the platform. Brands can start thinking about how to use these filters to enhance their user-generated-content strategy and build engagement-focused competitions around the filters.


A sample of some of the most creative lenses created by the Snapchat community! Source: Mashable vs Snap Inc.

YouTube’s just living its Live.

2018 is the year of live video, and YouTube has just made live broadcasts all the easier.

The platform has introduced a few new features to its Live offering, most notable of which are auto-captioning for broadcasts spoken in English, as well as a Chat Replay feature, so you can see what was said in chat, even if you’re watching well after the event. You can now also tag your location when live-streaming.

While none of these updates are game-changing, they do make it easier for brands and creators to create more accessible and re-watchable live content.

YouTube is also doing what it can to fight the fake news epidemic, announcing a new partnership with Wikipedia. Very soon, when a user is watching a conspiracy video, information cues from the online encyclopedia will appear to counter the ideas being presented.

Hopefully, this will mean a safer space for brands, and way fewer people who believe the Earth is flat.

And that’s all for March! Come back next month for your regular dose of Stay Social.

Stay Social: The Latest and Greatest in Social Media in January

January is here, and we can only hope your New Year’s resolutions are lasting longer than ours. Thankfully, we’re still here and committed to providing you with your monthly roundup of all the top stories in social media marketing!

Facebook is about friends, family, and paid branded content.

If there’s one thing you can say about Facebook, it’s that the platform has never really stopped developing since its launch, and it looks like that trend is going to continue into 2018.

The megacorporation recently announced that some big changes are coming to our newsfeeds: we’re going to start seeing a lot more of our friends’ posts and far fewer of the organic posts released by brand pages.

What do you think of Facebook’s algorithmic changes?

That being said, no changes appear to be planned or announced when it comes to paid and sponsored content. However  organic reach has been on the steady decline, and it remains to be seen how paid content will stack up against the algorithm change – watch this space!

Instagram adds Recommendations, and you can go Live with a friend!

Since the start of the year, you may have noticed that your feed isn’t just showing up the people and hashtags you follow, it’s giving you a list of recommended posts and users.

This undoubtedly comes as a move to enable brands and influencers to find audiences relevant for them more quickly, and while that’s great for them, some users may find the inability to disable this feature a bit of a turnoff.

Hot on the heels of that news, there’s also the fact that people and brands going Live on Instagram can now add a guest to a livestream. There can only be one on-camera guest at a time, however the people in the network of both hosts will receive a notification of their friends’ Live status, leading to the potential for greater reach and engagement.

The more the merrier! Instagram has just enabled users to add guests to their Live stream. Souce:Lifehacker

We can’t wait to see how this will change the way influencers act with their audiences and how marketers capitalise on the immediacy of Live content.

Snapchat really likes ads.

Snapchat has kicked off 2018 with a controversial redesign in the way users access Stories. Now, rather than having a separate page for direct Snaps and another for Stories, they both share the same space.

The change was implemented as a way to incorporate the ad-inclusive Stories within the previously ad-free domain of Snaps. While this is great for brands and Snapchat’s bottom line, users aren’t too happy and have been airing how they felt across social media.

Only time will tell if the change sticks, but Snapchat are continuing to roll out updates to increase the ad-revenue they receive from their platform, including rumours of non-skip three second ads and better integration of external links.  

There have also been murmurs of a Stories everywhere rollout. This would allow external third parties to share Snapchat content, much in the same way that Tweets can be embedded in article pages. The idea being that the broader the reach, the better the result for Snapchat.

Whatever the case, the social media marketing wheel just keeps on rolling, and we’ll always be here to keep you on track.

Read next: How to find an authentic influencer for your brand.

Stay Social: December Social Media Updates You Can’t Miss

It’s December, the holidays are almost here, and we’re all gearing up for New Year, new me. But, before you start planning your resolutions, it’s time for your monthly roundup of all the top stories in social media marketing!

Facebook won’t do it Live.

You may have noticed something missing from your Facebook homepage over the last week. Can you guess what it is?

The Live Ticker is gone from the right side of the page, which means you’ll no longer be able to see what your friends are liking, sharing and doing in real time.

What this means is that Facebook is starting to shift more towards Stories as well as newsfeed content. 

For brands, this makes it all the more vital to not only pay for a presence on the Newsfeed, but also to create content that engages and cuts through the noise.

In addition, Facebook is rolling out augmented reality in Messenger with World Effects. You can now add arrows, word bubbles or even stickers and emojis to the photos you take in the messaging app.

Augment your reality with 3D shapes in Facebook World Effects! Source: Facebook

With sponsored AR filters now available on Snapchat, the Messenger version is definitely a space that brands should be keeping an eye on in the near future.

Snapchat AR is brought to you by…

This year, Snapchat has been on a mission to make its platform friendlier to advertisers, and they’ve just introduced two new features that do this in a big way.

Sponsored Stories can now feature on the Discover page, alongside all the regular organic content that appears there. Brands can use the feature to curate 3 to 10 photos or videos to tell their story, and can even add a CTA to swipe to a purchase page or website.

The platform now also allows brands to create and promote AR filters with “World Lens”. BMW recently trialled the feature when promoting their X2 model, which users could drop into any environment their camera was focussing on.


User’s Snapchat’s new “World Lens” feature with the BMW X2 model.

On top of those, with image recognition coming to recommend certain filters for certain types of photos, there could also come a day where that feature is used to promote branded filters, AR or even Stories.

Instagram is getting new Highlights.

It’s not just on Facebook that Stories are a big deal. Instagram has added Story Highlights to every user’s page, a new feature with which Instagrammers can group their favourite Stories and share them on their profile pages.

Not only is this a great way for users to highlight their interests, it’s also a powerful tool for brands wanting to show off more of their personality. Every brand has a Story to tell, and Highlights adds another dimension in being able to do just that.


A new way to express yourself- Instagram Highlights allows you to make highlights out of any Instagram story you’ve shared in the past. Source: Instagram

Throw in the official launch of hashtag following and the testing of an official regram button, and it’s clear the platform is still developing in new and exciting ways for all of its users.

And that about does it for December!

Read next: Best Practices to Increase Your Social Media Conversions

Stay Social: November Social Media Updates

It’s November! Summer is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about your Christmas shopping (eeeep!). It also means that it’s time for your monthly roundup of all the top stories in social media marketing.

Facebook Stories. Facebook Stories Everywhere.

After stories took over Snapchat and Instagram, they arrived at Facebook. However, Facebook’s feature is being expanded in a way that’s far bigger than Instagram or Snapchat.

Facebook is adding Stories to both group and event pages. This new feature will allow users to share their stories privately, either within groups that they belong to or on the pages of events they are attending.

This is a huge opportunity for marketers to utilise user-generated-content and build their communities. Imagine creating brand event pages and asking users to upload their stories for the chance to win a prize, or simply to be featured on the event page?

Today, we’re excited to introduce the new Facebook camera. We think it’ll give everyone more ways to express themselves and share what they’re up to. So from now on, you can just let your camera do the talking.

Posted by Facebook on Monday, 27 March 2017

#Following on #Instagram

It’s fair to say many Instagram communities have been formed around hashtags- think #fitspiration, #fanart or even branded tags like #shareacoke.

Now, Instagram is introducing a feature that will allow users to follow their favourite hashtags. This means marketers have the opportunity to create campaigns and communities around specific hashtags, and measure success based on the number of followers and engagement with a specific hashtag.

The same hashtag problem persists even with the new feature – popular hashtags will have the most followers, but also the most users, meaning content could be drowned out. On the other hand, less popular hashtags will have fewer followers – a great opportunity for smaller brands and businesses to make themselves known.

Instagram’s latest feature provides marketers with a new way to measure sentiment. Think outside the box when it comes to measuring success- who is using your hashtag? How are they using your hashtag? These kinds of insights are essential for understanding how people feel about your brand or campaign.

More Room to Play on Twitter

Tweeters rejoice! 280-character posts on Twitter have now been rolled out for all users across the social media platform.

We’ve loved seeing how brands and users celebrated the new character limit, one of our favourite examples being Melville Books, who used all 280 characters to remind their followers exactly what it is they sell.

We can’t wait to see how brands and marketers will be using those additional 160 characters.

 

Snapchat Gets a New Look

It’s been a tough year for Snapchat. Since going public, the company has started to see a downward trend in its stock price, and that has prompted big changes to the mobile app.

These changes include a re-design of the app in order to make it more appealing to broader audiences. Their goal is to simplify the app after some feedback suggested the app isn’t all that user-friendly.

Snapchat will also be introducing an algorithmic feed. The algorithm will prioritise stories on user’s feeds, meaning friends and influencers they engage with the most will be shown at the top, rather than just showing all stories in reverse-chronological order.

Not only does this change force marketers to rethink how their content engages the audience, it also shifts how we rank and choose Snapchat influencers. Audience engagement will trump audience size as a metric of influencer success.

Do you find Snapchat’s current interface hard to use? Source: sketchappsources.com

And that’s it for November! Big changes are coming, so start thinking about how they can form part of your social media strategy next year.

Read next: Best Practices to Increase Your Social Media Conversions 

Stay Social: October Social Media Updates

It’s time for our monthly roundup of all the top stories in social media marketing! Read on to find out about the latest trends and updates that are changing the social media sphere.

Facebook on Fake News

Amid a string of controversies surrounding potential fake news shared on its platform, Facebook has started to take action. The social media giant has started testing a new ‘context’ button that will appear next to links to articles.

This information button will provide further details on both the publisher of the article and the topic at hand. In doing so, they hope to provide users with the tools by which they can determine the veracity of the information they’re seeing.

From a branding perspective, this can help brands avoid sharing fake information, as well as holding them accountable to a higher standard within their own branded content and articles.

Instagram Lets You Vote and Shop

Instagram Stories are about to get a lot more interactive.

Instagram now allows you to include a two-question poll in any Story, which is a game changer for increasing your audience engagement and sentiment reporting.

Not only will brands be able to interact with customers, their customer’s votes and preference can be used a key insights and may even become essential to monthly reports.

We can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

Are you a fan of Instagram’s latest polling feature? Yes, or no? Source: Mashable

But after all that engaging, it’s time to shop – and with Instagram’s new Shopify integration, it’s all the easier to do just that.

With the new feature, partnered sellers can tag their posts with products, allowing users to discover more about them and potentially purchase them. All without leaving the comfort of the app.

Twitter Builds Some Character

In one of the biggest shakeups to hit the social media space in recent years, Twitter has doubled its character limit from 140 to 280.

While this may seem like a small detail, Twitter has stuck to its 140-character limit since its launch. However, this limit was originally just based on an SMS character limit, and with more links, media and discussion being shared on the platform, the expansion makes total sense.

While we’ll miss the days of trying to cram complex ideas into abbreviations and emojis, we’re excited to see how brands can stretch using all that extra space and whether they’ll use it to add more info or ask their audience questions and opinions.

What are you going to say with 140 extra characters?

YouTube Prefers its Partners

Moving forward, unless you’re a certified YouTube partner, your channel will no longer be able to link to external websites in video cards (links that pop up mid-stream).

While this is unlikely to affect bigger brands or creators, this could have a big impact on small businesses and smaller agencies. While the links can still be included in the video description, that’s far less impactful than a call to action in the middle of a video.


Moving forward, unless you’re a certified YouTube partner, your channel will no longer be able to link to external websites in video cards (links that pop up mid-stream).

Read next: 3 Fast Rules for Marketing on Instagram.

Stay Social: September Social Media Updates

Do you feel like you’re a little behind the eight ball with the latest social media updates? Tune into our monthly roundup of the biggest and best changes in social media.

Facebook Updates Business Manager

Facebook’s latest update for Ad’s Manager combines Power Editor with Ads Manager in a bid to make advertising on Facebook easier for businesses.

Facebook said in a statement:  “In the updated Ads Manager, people will automatically be opted in to the workflow they used in the past. And everyone will have the option to change their preferred workflow at anytime using a button in the top right of the ad creation window.”

Other features include single source reporting which combines “the comprehensive charts and activity history of Power Editor with the breakdowns, summary rows, date benchmarks, exported insights reports and the ability to customize columns from Ads Manager.” Finally, Power Power Editor’s automatic draft saver will be incorporated into the update- something we’re all glad for!

Instagram Expands the Grid

It was a month of testing for Instagram with lucky some users getting the chance to test some of the new features.

Users on Android devices will now be able to determine if someone is following them by looking at the person’s profile. This means you’ll no longer have to scroll through your follower list to see if your friends have followed you back, but rather just head to their profiles and look there.

Convenient? Yes.

Potential for awkward conversations? Also yes.

In a more controversial move, Instagram also seems to be testing a change in their three-grid system. Currently, photos displayed on a profile scroll down the page in rows of three, but some users are now seeing rows of four.

While this means you can fit more on your profile before having to scroll down, it also means that influencers and brands who curate their feeds according to three images in a row will have to edit their feeds or rethink their posting strategy.

What do you think of the new grid? Let us know in the comments below.

Snapchat Ads Get Fancy

Snapchat has announced new partnerships with creative and tech companies. These partners will focus on building ads to enhance the post-swipe-up experience and bring additional value to advertisers.

Whether it’s campaign-specific apps, mobile games, fillable lead-generation forms or 360 videos, each partner has a unique specialisation that can be leveraged by advertisers. This tactic might go a long way to helping users actually enjoy branded content on the platform.

Do you think Snapchat’s new approach to ads will help users enjoy and engage with branded content on the platform? Source: Curlate

YouTube takes big steps for its creators

This month YouTube announced changes to their Studio App, as well as the introduction of a user-sponsorship feature to make their platform more user-friendly.

Change no. 1: Studio App (previously called the Creator Studio) now allows creators to schedule the date and time they’d like their videos to go live on the site. They can also choose whether the video goes live as public, private or unlisted. This is huge from a strategic point of view- you can now target your audience in relevant micro-moments when they’re looking for information about a specific topic.

Change no. 2: YouTube has now opened a new feature to its users: the ability to pay a small subscription fee to a creator they like. This is currently only available to creators on the YouTube Gaming platform, but is in beta for the rest of the site.  

The change is designed to encourage community-building and regular content from creators.

Do you think it will work? Tell us in the comments below.

Read next: New Metrics of Success: Video Completion Rate & Watch Time

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