January 1, 2020
New Year, New Updates! January is seeing lots of little administrative features from our favorite social platforms. Instagram is, once again, trying to compete with Snapchat, Facebook is going for the livestream shopping feature, and brands are trying to strike that sweet spot between public and private engagement. Here are the freshest social media updates to kick-start the new decade!
In an attempt to shield adult content from younger users, Instagram is now allowing an age restriction option to creator and business accounts. Users with business profiles can now set an age limit to who can see and access their profile and their content, which we’re interested in seeing how this goes down. It’s not just restricted to individual accounts – big brands can manage what age is the minimum for account access in different countries. Such as in the US where the smoking and drinking age is 21, and in others it’s 16 or 18.
This obviously won’t stop users from lying about their age. We all had those friends who made a Facebook when they were 11 and not 13. So we’ll see how this new feature pans out. Will accounts gain or lose a mass following? Will whole campaigns have to change if their target market can’t actually view their content on social? Only the new decade will tell.
If you’ve heard it before we’ll say it louder for the people in the back: influencer marketing is only going to get bigger. Facebook is finally acknowledging this by adding Instagram to its “Brand Collaboration” tool. This tool is essentially a search engine for brands to find influencers to work with and it’s now open for both social platforms that Facebook owns and runs. However, a quote from Facebook states that this update won’t allow all influencers access to it – “…we’re opening up Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager – a marketplace tool previously only available to Facebook creators – for a select group of Instagram creators.”
Creators can also automatically share insights with brands they are looking to partner with, instead of having to manually go into their account and share.
Sigh. It’s a classic Instagram vs. Snapchat battle update again, folks. Instagram is testing out a new private stories option. Which is nothing new if you’re in a Snapchat group and use stories within that setting; or even in a facebook group using the same feature. The update is supposed to help boost engagement, but considering it’s not a completely new feature to most of us who are fluent in social platforms, we’ll see.
However, we see the attraction to creating private stories only friends can see, and we’re interested to see how brands specifically use this tool to increase consumer engagement and following. For example, winners of an exclusive Instagram contest could be added to something like this, it could be used for loyalty rewards program, etc.
Ever heard of an app called Packagd? Neither did we until we stumbled across Facebook’s acquisition of the startup. The app was created by Eric Feng, and it was aimed towards instant shopping from live stream unboxing type videos. Facebook bought the company in hopes to add its technology to their ever growing and changing “Marketplace” feature.
Their hopes? To “explore ways to let buyers easily ask questions and place orders within a live video broadcast.” They’re describing it as a “reimagined QVC.” Which isn’t a bad way to put it – instead of calling in to purchase, it’s just a click away. This isn’t Facebook’s first attempt at something like this. Last year, they tried something called “Live Video Mode for Sellers” where users simply screenshotted to buy, but it didn’t end well. Hopefully the second time’s the charm for Facebook.
It’s certainly no secret that there are two(ish) types of people – introverted or extroverted. Consider the way you perceive your audience in this aspect too. To think that the only engaged-worthy users out there are the ones commenting on your posts or yelling “hello” in your live streams is, well, a bit counterproductive. There is an entirely other half of your audience out there who simply just does not feel comfortable putting their handle in your comments and making an awkward or overly enthusiastic remark about your content. And if we’re all being honest here, social media has kind of jaded us that way. With everything and everyone’s information being so available, there is something to be said about protecting yourself or choosing to be a touch more conservative online. And while they still may have a TON of questions for you, there needs to be a communicative outlet that is less threatening and makes them feel comfortable asking whatever questions it is they may have.
Welcome to the not-so-stereotypical DM. We’re not saying dump the rest. In fact, 52% of brand discovery is still happening on these public outlets. Live streaming, IGTV, tweet entertainment and more continue to be the primary avenues for content consumption and brand awareness. Just be equally as active in your (work) inbox. If you have the ability, perhaps integrate chat bots as a means for the more simple customer service interactions and let your team take care of the rest. Your business’s customer service efforts speak volumes to how much you care about your consumers. The goal: working toward a balance in your social media’s public and private engagement.
Integrating video marketing into your 2020 campaigns is quite honestly the best thing you can do for your business. It’s fun, it’s interactive and it’s statistically proven to increase your engagement rates by at least 80%.
Where should you be using these videos? A no brainer should be within your emails. More specifically, as a means to ultra segment your subscriber and/or prospect list and use these videos to pitch directly to that given demographic and drive your business CTA in. This shows your audience that you cared enough to put together a quick video explaining we see you, we hear you, this is how we would like to help you. It makes for a significantly more seamless process for the audience.
Additionally, video landing pages are seeing more and more success. With a similar objective as email marketing, the landing page will potentially have a larger reach depending on your web traffic. Regardless, it creates for a less stressful experience when passer-by’s find themselves on your website. When perusing, the last thing people want to do is spend a good portion of their time deciphering through large portions of text to make an educated guess on what your business goals are. A video landing page is a clear and easily digestible way to, again, get your CTA across and introduce your brand in a less intimidating way.
We’ve seen it. We’ve heard it. We’re definitely just about over it. Media manipulation and our beloved media. On typical terms it is already hard to know what you can and cannot believe online. Given some of our favorite social platforms have a multitude of similar ads on their sites, it has become increasingly more difficult to get away from. And even worse, this kind of propaganda is now heavily feeding into our timelines. Good news is, social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are starting to take initiatives that will hopefully ignite a change.
Facebook and Twitter have both gone to great extent to do their part to research and remove the accounts, pages and groups with questionable sources and content. Twitter alone has removed just under 6,000 accounts with roots back to Saudi Arabia which happened to actually be a part of a larger network encompassing some 88,000 accounts that were actively involved in spam-like behavior across a wide range of topics.
On top of their removal efforts, Facebook, in partnership with Reuters, has launched a new online course to help coach journalists on how to spot and weave out the manipulated media they see online. Some of their focal points will be lost context, edited media, staged media, computer-generated imagery and synthetic media. With increased education and active efforts to protect the social media platforms we all so heavily use, 2020 could potentially be a year for more media transparency.
From the extra security measures Instagram has put into place for the kids to the new “Brand Collaborator” tool that will continue to push influencers to the top, LBMG believes January’s social media updates will be ones of positivity. Just as we hope your New Year is. So on that note, Happy New Year, friends! We can’t wait to see you all in 2020!
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