March 31, 2020
Well, needless to say this month has been the craziest, longest month ever? Like, we think it’s safe to say that March and January of this year have felt like years within themselves and that we might have grown a couple of grey hairs here and there. With COVID-19 really being the only thing anyone is focused on (what did we talk about before this?) it comes as no surprise that a lot of these updates are based around keeping the public updated with accurate information and promoting safe and healthy behavior. That being said, keeping reading for this month’s COVID-19 edition of What’s New In Social for all our favorite platforms.
It’s no secret that many platforms are launching resources and ways to find relevant information about current events. We’ve compiled a list of key resources each platform is providing in support of healthy communication.
In hopes to encourage people to self-quarantine, Instagram introduced a way for people to share their at-home experiences. So anyone you follow who uses these stickers will have their story in one place under a separate, collective story ‘Stay Home’. This is a great way to stay on your followers’ minds while also spreading positive messaging. Share what your business is doing while working remotely. As many people are still not listening and living their lives as normal, it’s nice to see social platforms making these featured stories.
Hey, remember those days when we’d all sit inside and talk to each other without really paying attention because we were all collectively scrolling through our feeds? Instagram isn’t about to let quarantine stop you from doing that. They’re launching a new feature that will allow video chat within the app while also being able to still scroll through your feed, engage with content, and even have your friends engage with the same content you are. You can chat with up to 6 people in the app, and some say this can be a good way of virtual group testing products or group product reviews. Instagram, keep it coming!
It’s amazing how people have the ability to stay connected despite social distancing in this pandemic. With so much technology at our fingertips, we’re able to communicate in many ways. By now it’s likely you’ve watched someone’s Instagram live stories. This is a great tool for brands to use to join the conversation and contribute something to their community. They’ve even shared an infographic on how to engage with your audience using the live feature. Way to go Instagram for being on top of their game this month!
Looking to entertain and to encourage people to stay home, TikTok even jumped in on the Livestream bandwagon. And oh do we love to see what TikTok is doing especially when we need some laughs. They launched a program called #HappyAtHome to help lighten the mood among the lockdowns where celebrities came in and shared what they were doing.
Everyone’s heard that social distancing and isolation are breaking the internet- literally, speeds are slower. That’s because everyone is streaming or watching something, whether that’s on a streaming service or on a social platform. In fact, for Facebook, the demand for their Livestreaming services is so high, they’ve added a few new tweaks to it. You can now watch a Facebook Livestream without having to have an account or log in, listen to an audio-only version, and all closed captioning is now automatic. Additionally, Livestreamers can now generate toll-free numbers for charity purposes and raising money. So basically Facebook Livestream is the new QVC, but for pandemic information?
Instagram is testing out a new feature that businesses will be able to sell gift cards via their profile. Users would also be able to support their fav organizations by making donations straight from Instagram. Not to assume, but we’re thinking they fast-tracked this feature to help local businesses during these financially stressful times. So for physical stores that either just made their transition online or have had to switch over to be fully online this will be helpful. Customers will be able to donate or purchase gift cards for use at a later date.
Well, here’s some heartwarming news amidst all this craziness. Linkedin is helping those with criminal records re-enter the workforce. When employers are searching for potential candidates, there is now an option for them to use the “Fair Chance” filter, highlighting those profiles on the website that have a criminal record attached to it. This has spiked some controversy on the internet, but of course, the hiring of these potential employees is up to the employer’s discretion.
We’re all trying to figure out how to simultaneously provide updates and support to our community while also making money as revenues are decreasing. So how are we supposed to communicate to our audience in a time like this? Look for what people need to know and what’s helpful to them as they seek to understand the changing environment. Extend your services to your local community in any way you can.
Twitter is providing a platform for positive brand communication on this topic. Guinness donated $500K to local communities in celebration of St. Patricks Day as people spend this holiday in self-quarantine. National Geographic provided a resource for users to get updates on Coronavirus news and coverage. All around, brands are trying to promote positive advice to anyone who will listen.
Twitter even brought profile verification back to life to those who are sharing useful information. This is to combat misinformation from spreading like wildfire. Facebook is allowing WHO free use of ads in order to fight in the war against misinformation. Additionally, any organizations that are fighting the pandemic are being awarded free ad credits from Facebook.
You see, we’re all adapting. The social platforms, brands, and people alike. We’re excited for these changes and the innovations that are coming from them. How do you feel? Shoot us an email at email@example.com and let’s chat.
Written by Kyla Patton and Nicole Bordelon
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