Hello and welcome to our latest blog. In this issue we’ll be looking at some recent social media developments that might affect your business. We’ll tell you about what’s coming down the line and how you can be prepared take advantage of exciting new features on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Thanks, and enjoy!
Instagram ‘Stories Highlights’ and Archives
2017 has been a big year for Instagram Stories. Having overtaken Snapchat in terms of daily users back in April, Instagram Stories currently has over 300m people using the network each day. Facebook’s aggressive development of the platform has seen new features added almost monthly.
Many businesses are already using Instagram Stories to create and share content that successfully connects with new audiences. However, one crucial feature has held some companies back. As Stories disappear after just 24 hours, investing time, resources and money into creating content for the platform can be risky for small businesses.
Well, no longer. This month Instagram has added a feature called ‘Stories Highlights’ which allows you to create Highlights packages of your Stories and make them available online for all eternity (or until you decide to delete them). You can post as many highlights as you want to, and you can edit them at any time. With the new Archives section, you can even go back to old Stories (well, ‘old’ as in more than 24 hours old!) and add them to Highlights. If you’ve got the latest version of the app you should be able to see these options when you go into the Stories under your biog.
What does this mean for me?
If you haven’t already tried Instagram Stories then now might be the time. It’s a great way of taking audiences behind the scenes of your business, telling them the story of how you do what you do, the motivation behind starting your business, or introducing them to a character in your team.
You can capture little video clips or photos, annotate them, tag them and share them with your followers. Go on, try recording a Christmas message right now! If you want to find out more about how to use Instagram for business then consider signing up to our brand new Instagram Masterclass.
Facebook Fights Engagement Bait
“Tag a friend who has a MOUSTACHE!”
“Comment to win a year’s supply of FRIDGE-FREEZERS!”
“LIKE this if you LIKE to LIKE things!”
We are all familiar with these kinds of sensationalistic, exclamatory, downright-annoying posts. Heck, we may even have clicked on a few in heady days of misspent youth. Well, with any luck this kind of spam will become a thing of the past. This month Facebook has announced new measures to demote posts that seek to take advantage of its algorithms, ones that entice people to engage without offering any real substance. Facebook claims this is in support of its aim of serving people with authentic, relevant, valuable content.
What should I do about this?
This will be rolled out gradually throughout December and January in order to give people time to adjust. The demotion focuses firstly on individual posts, but will expand to include serial offending pages and profiles. It’s worth noting that if you even if you share or repost this kind of content you will also be penalised.
So, firstly – make sure you’re not creating or sharing content which baits people for votes, reactions, shares, comments or tags. Secondly, focus on continuing to post relevant and meaningful stories that will genuinely interest your followers.
It may be worth revisiting the three principles outlined in Facebook’s News Feed Publisher guidelines, which basically note that people who use Facebook value content that is meaningful, informative, accurate, authentic and doesn’t offend.
If you’re still unsure as to how this translates to the promotion of your business, you could consider coming to one of our Social Media Content courses.
Twitter adds Threads button
As well as it’s recent doubling of the character count; Twitter has now made it easier for people to combine multiple Tweets into a single thread.
People have been creating unofficial threads for years and this is yet another example of Twitter making it easier for people to do things they’re doing on the platform anyway. It was previously sometimes difficult to find all the individual Tweets in a thread, particularly when spread out over time or involving multiple people, so Twitter has developed a new function to make this easier.
Now, when you write a Tweet you can use the little blue (+) button in the bottom right to add a new, linked Tweet. You can publish a whole thread at once, or go back to old Tweets and ‘add another Tweet’ to them to create a thread. It’s now also easier for your followers to view a thread by tapping the ‘Show this Thread’ button.
How can I make use of this to promote my business?
As content publishers this will make it easier for you to tell a story over time. You can now also group Tweets around a theme or topic more easily. Here are some suggestions of ways you can make the most of this new feature:
- Create a thread documenting an industry event you’re attending
- Capture behind the scenes content showing your typical work day
- Pose a question or a problem to solve and document your (and your team’s) route to solving it
Instagram tests new ‘Regram’ functionality.
Aping a functionality that has long been available on Facebook (via share) and Twitter (via retweet), Instagram is testing a new ‘Regram’ button. If rolled out across the platform this new button will allow people to easily and safely re-post content from feeds they follow. This has previously only been possible manually (i.e. by saving the content and creating a new post) or by using slightly awkward third party apps like Regram and Repost.
How might this help my business?
This feature could help your content to be more widely distributed, and even go ‘viral’. If rolled out to all users it is likely to affect the style and tone of Instagram posts. At the moment, when people see your content they can ‘heart’ it, comment on it, or share it via a direct message. With this new feature they would be able to share it publicly with their own followers. This means that it will be even more important to post engaging and shareable material.
If you’d like to book a free meeting to discuss how we might be able to help you implement any of these ideas or get you up to speed with social media marketing and advertising, give us a call on 07766 310317 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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