Social Media Updates: January 2022

TikTok Looking to Test ‘Stories’ Format

TikTok is updating a ‘Stories’ feature – a step towards expanding content formats to provide more creative options to creators. This new element will not have its own separate space like on other platforms, instead it would be integrated into the ‘For You’ and ‘Following’ feeds.

Users will be able to view ‘Stories’ content irrespective of whether they follow the account. In multiple story frames, they will have to tap on the frame to move onto the next one, which may take some getting used to as they are used to scrolling down. 

‘Stories’ will be also marked on user profiles with the total amount of frames displayed too. TikTok is still in the testing phase and will launch the feature in the next coming months once it has finalised all aspects.

The social media giant’s aim is to become a social media platform that caters for a range of users with a variety of content options. However, since this ‘Stories’ content format is so overused, we don’t know how it will be taken by users. Will they find it useful and interesting, or will they get annoyed by the intrusion into their feeds? We’ll find out when the format is rolled out.

Pinterest Tests Pin Highlights

Pinterest is testing the ‘Highlights’ option for their Idea Pins. This new feature, which will have up to six highlights, would enable creators to showcase their content longer than the 24 hour time-frame set for Ideas Pin.

The platform says:

Pinterest is an inspiration to realization platform. Creators play a crucial role in that journey acting as personal shoppers, chefs, stylists and overall consultants to our Pinners. Therefore, we continue to evolve our formats, features and tools to help them build a community and to inspire Pinners to take action. Profile highlights are a new way we offer creators to highlight their most relevant Idea Pins at the top of their profile to make them more visible and easier to discover.

Currently, the story-like feature, Idea Pins allows users to add up to 20 frames per sequence. Including the Highlight element to this will definitely provide value as it will not only showcase the Ideas Pin content longer than 24 hours, but it will also point visitors towards the creator’s goals.

Instagram Increases Response Options in Stories Polls

Instagram has updated its Poll sticker used in stories. The element will now enable users to add up to four answer options – which previously, was limited to two.

This is great for brands looking to engage more users through stories and conduct polls that will help shape their marketing strategies based on user preferences. Two response options would limit creator and brands from getting in-depth insights from followers, however this update makes it easier to have built-in replies on any topic. 

Apart from this update, users can also change the colour of the question being asked in the poll. Giving them slightly more creative freedom.

Snapchat Adds Catalog-Powered Shopping Lenses

Snapchat is looking to improve its AR tools by integrating new Catalog-Powered Shopping Lenses which will enable brands to showcase their products and provide virtual try-on options.

Whether it’s a clothing brand or a makeup brand – companies will be able to make users shopping experience more personal, accessible and fun. The Catalog lenses will be directly linked to the company’s brand catalog and include details on pricing, size, colour, and similar items.

This is not only great from a sales perspective, as users can just try on the product from the comfort of their phones – but it can also help brands drive their marketing efforts towards the direction that their target audience are interested in. For example, if one product is more popular than others, it will help brands know where and what to focus their efforts on.

Snapchat has also updated its Lens Web Builder with new templates and tools to allow more brands to easily create their AR lenses. The app further explains:

We’ve now made it so brands can generate a commerce Lens in as fast as two minutes and beauty brands can do so in just a few clicks. At launch, this quick click accessibility in Lens Web Builder will be available to beauty brands and will roll out to other product verticals in the coming months.

If you want to learn how social media can help you maximise your marketing efforts, get in touch with our expert team here. Don’t forget to check out our blog for all the latest news and updates within the digital marketing space.  

Best Marketing Campaigns of 2021

2021 has been another interesting year with many ground-breaking brand marketing campaigns, reaching customers through their innovative, meaningful, and quirky ideas.

With so many buzzworthy campaigns, here’s a list of our favourites of 2021! Worth keeping these in mind as a source of inspiration for your next brainstorm.

 

Welcome Back – Guinness

There is no doubt that the general public had missed going to pubs for a pint during lockdown. We surely had!

So, when lockdown restrictions started to ease and pubs were allowed to operate again in May 2021, the beer giant, Guinness, launched a campaign to welcome people back. The video ad included random objects having a resemblance to a pint of Guinness, whether that’s a black bin covered with snow or white pigeons on a black chimney.

The aim of the campaign was to inspire a variety of emotions including a feeling of positivity, nostalgia, and excitement. The idea was also promoted on social media with the #LooksLikeGuiness hashtag encouraging users to share their examples of white and black Guinness lookalikes.

The campaign was a great success and led to Guinness being the number one most talked about beer brand at the time with engagement 3.5 times higher than the industry benchmark.

Cuthbert the Caterpillar – Aldi

We’re sure everyone has heard about the Caterpillar war between Aldi and Marks & Spencer. When Aldi launched its Cuthbert the Caterpillar Swiss roll, M&S launched a legal action against the supermarket claiming the company had infringed the trademark for its Colin the Caterpillar cake.

Aldi’s response to this was brilliant and unexpected. They managed to turn a complex situation into a national debate through a series of funny tweets using the #FreeCuthbert hashtag.

Within hours, the brand was trending on Twitter and the topic became so big that it gained coverage from national news channels such as BBC Breakfast, Good Morning Britain, newspapers such as The Independent and Daily Mail, and creators also generating content through memes and parodies.

This reactive marketing effort gained great results for Aldi as its Twitter following increased by 30%, with a 15% engagement rate on socials. The score for news sentiment also increased by 8.5%, with its purchase consideration increasing by 6.8%.  

Beanz on Bix – Weetabix

Another popular campaign you’ve probably come across either on social media or heard about through friends or colleagues, Beanz on Bix!

The breakfast cereal company wanted to drive brand engagement and demonstrate its versatility by going ahead with a bold and weird idea of having baked beans on their popular wheat biscuits.

The aim of the campaign was to generate conversation on social media, and it did exactly that. When the brand introduced the idea on Twitter, users were so outraged by the weird combination leading to involvement from other brands such as Specsavers, Nando’s, KFC, and more.

The idea became so viral that it was covered by all mainstream media outlets such as Good Morning Britain, The Express and LADbible, to even being discussed in the House of Commons.

Although the campaign received plenty of mockery and conversation, it did achieve its goal of increasing user engagement as brand awareness grew by 40% with sales up by 15%.

Kindness, the greatest gift – Amazon

Let’s conclude with a favourite Christmas campaign – Kindness, the greatest gift! With the past two years being a true challenge for everybody, especially those who have lost their loved ones, Amazon’s holiday ad message looked to promote kindness.

The video campaign consisted of a young woman forming a new friendship with her neighbour while dealing with her recent traumas. To show her support and kindness during this tough time, her neighbour gifted her something of interest from Amazon.

This has truly touched our hearts at Fusion as we all believe in the power of kindness and how a small act can help people feel better during a difficult time.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our round-up of best 2021 marketing campaigns. To find out how you can create a long-lasting impact on your target audience through digital marketing, get in touch with our expert team to create results-driven SEO, PCC and Social Media campaigns.

Social Media Updates: Nov/Dec

TikTok is Testing a New Business Registration Option

TikTok is planning to expand its eCommerce capabilities with a new business registration option that will allow brands to list their business categories on their profiles. The feature will give the app another way of collecting data on business users and categorising the business pages into different segments.

This is great for eCommerce listings as there are more chances of being shown to relevant users who will be able to see what the brand does, making it easier to drive purchase actions from their TikTok page.

Overall, by adding this category element, businesses can add an extra level of authority to their in-app presence, while at the same time better communicating their offerings.

Snapchat Launches Multi-Format Ad Placements

Snapchat has launched a new ‘Multiple Formats’ delivery option which will enable marketers to incorporate multiple video ad formats such as Snap Ads, Story Ads, Collection Ads, and Commercials within a single ad set.  

The app explains:

Multi-Format delivery will offer brands buying on Snap the opportunity to purchase multiple advertising formats in one cohesive ad set, optimizing towards clients central goal or objective.

This new multi-format ad placement will enable Snapchat’s automated placement tools to help maximise ad response and streamline the management of campaigns by keeping creative elements in one single ad set.

This would allow brand awareness campaigns to achieve better results by allowing for a broader placement and capacity for exposure. 

Twitter CEO Stands Down

Twitter’s co-founder and CEO, Jack Dorsey, has resigned from their position at the app. It is believed that the decision has come as a result of the rising pressure from activist investor group Elliott Management Corp. as they acquired over $1 billion in Twitter shares to gain more power on the board.

The group had previously called for Dorsey’s removal due to questions over his leadership as they believe he was failing to capitalise on the app’s potential. The main concerns were his dual commitments as being both the CEO of Twitter and Square.

He has been succeeded by CTO Parag Agrawal, who has been with Twitter for more than 10 years. This change could potentially swing Twitter in a new direction with the possibility of the app abandoning some projects while focusing on others in line with pre-established targets.

Instagram Launches Live Test of Longer Videos in Stories

Instagram has officially launched a live test of 60-second videos in Stories which means that longer clips will no longer be split into 15-second sections and played across various Stories.

The app states:

The ability to create longer Stories posts comes highly requested by our community. We’re excited to be testing 60-second Stories so that people can create and view Stories with fewer interruptions.

The option aims to provide more creative freedom to users by further integrating the app’s various video options to streamline its creative tools and functions.

This will be another great step towards the app’s aim to gradually merge and open to full-screen feed of stories and reels to maximise user engagement, just like TikTok.

To find out how social media can help you maximise your promotional efforts and contribute towards reaching your business goals, get in touch with our expert team today. Alternatively, check out our blog for all the latest sector-wide reports and updates within the digital marketing space.

Social Media Updates: October 2021

Facebook Announces New Corporate Title

Facebook’s rebranding, Meta logo
Image from Wikipedia

Facebook’s overarching company will now be called ‘Meta’ – the rebranding decision has been made to reflect the company’s emerging focus on the next generation of digital connections.

To clarify, all the social networking apps names will stay the same, they will just sit under this new banner that aims to bring innovative change. Meta’s operational system will be divided into two segments:

  • Family of Apps: this will include all apps owned by Facebook, such as Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger.
  • Reality Labs: this will cover evolving technology such as VR and AR.

This rebranding means that users won’t need a Facebook account to use other apps and services. It seems to be a well-weighted decision since the Facebook brand has been receiving a lot of backlash recently.

The platform explains:

The metaverse will feel like a hybrid of today’s online social experiences, sometimes expanded into three dimensions or projected into the physical world. It will let you share immersive experiences with other people even when you can’t be together – and do things together you couldn’t do in the physical world. It’s the next evolution in a long line of social technologies, and it’s ushering in a new chapter for our company.

TikTok Launches ‘Small Wins’

Are you a small business owner reluctant to create a TikTok account? Well, TikTok has launched ‘Small Wins’ to encourage SMEs to try out the platform.

The initiative contains a series of videos featuring small business owners that have incorporated the platform into their marketing strategy and gained immense success from it, as well as sharing creative tips that others can replicate. Overall, the aim is to highlight how valuable TikTok can be for the growth of small businesses.

The social media giants explains:

Through a series of videos featuring small businesses from across the globe, Small Wins aims to highlight TikTok’s value to small businesses, educate them on how to use TikTok to grow, and demonstrate how small businesses are turning “small wins” into big success on the platform. From the bakery owner who turned 3,000 followers into two million, to the candlemaker who went viral without even trying, small businesses of all kinds are showing that on TikTok, small does win.

Click here to learn more about the initiative and how you can make the most of TikTok.

You Can Now Subscribe to Revue Newsletter Directly from Tweets

Previously, creators could only promote their Revue newsletter by adding a ‘Subscribe’ button on their profile. Now, they’ve been given the option to share their newsletter with Twitter users by linking to it in a Tweet.

This decision will provide more monetization options to creators, as they’ll be able to raise awareness about their newsletter and encourage users to subscribe to it directly from a Tweet, instead of guiding them to their profile. 

Revue explains:

We already made it possible for followers to subscribe to your newsletter directly from your Twitter profile. And now they can from Tweets as well, some with just one click.

The great news is that this option isn’t only available to creators. Other Twitter users will also be able to promote their favourite creator’s newsletter by just linking to it in their Tweet. 

Instagram Adds More Tools to Maximise Content Partnerships

Instagram is testing new tools to give creators more monetization options and to maximise their earnings through branded content partnerships.

The test involves a new feature that will help creators get discovered by brands and track communications and sponsored content opportunities. Creators just have to choose the brands they’d like to partner with, and they will be shown in the priority list when brands will be looking for creators to work with.

The second part of the test involves a dedicated ‘Partnership’ messaging folder, found at the top of the creators DMs section. This will allow both brands and creators to easily track and manage their conversations, which can often be missed.

Instagram explains:

Brands can now use data and unique filters to discover and select the best creators for their campaigns. Then they can organise shortlists to easily manage multiple campaigns. 

To avoid scams, all message requests will be filtered through Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager, meaning only brands that have met the Partner Monetization policies will be able to contact creators. So, if you’re interested in collaborating with influencers, Instagram has just made the process easier for you.

To learn more about how social media can help you take your business to the next level, get in touch with our expert team. Feel free to also check out our blog for all the latest news and updates within the digital marketing space.

Social Media Updates: September 2021

Professional Profiles is Now Open for all Brands and Creators

Screenshot of Twitter’s Business Profile application form.

Twitter is finally opening applications to Professional Profiles to all businesses and creators.

This new profile will display previously unavailable business information such as location, category, contact details, hours of operation and directions. The app will also include e-commerce and revenue led options such as ‘Shop’ and ‘Newsletter’ – the latter only available to accounts that have a Revue newsletter, which is Twitter’s editorial newsletter service available to all users, from aspiring writers to large publishers.

It’s worth noting that accounts can’t currently change the ‘About’ section without having to resubmit the application. Therefore, its recommended to provide the correct information when first submitting the application, in order to avoid confusion.

Twitter explains that users use the platform to interact with brands and engage in conversations about products and services. This demand has given the app the confidence to combine real-time conversations with enhanced features to allow brands to better control and enhance their identity.

The app also states that:

Professional Accounts are a gateway to a wide range of professional tools not available to non-professionals, including our Twitter Ads, Quick promote, Advanced Profile features. And our future efforts around shopping.

Make the most of your Twitter account by switching to the Professional Profile option through this form.

Business accounts on Instagram can now connect to their WhatsApp account

Instagram has announced that its users can now contact businesses directly through WhatsApp as businesses have the option to integrate both accounts. This is a great way for audiences to get in touch with their favourite brands and spark conversations about products and services.

As per Facebook, 75% of users want to communicate with brands via messaging – so being able to contact them through WhatsApp seems like a personalised way to get in touch with the business and increase connections. The option can also be used while boosting posts, with brands being able to send customers directly to their WhatsApp inbox.

Instagram says:

Boosting a post that drives to WhatsApp allow businesses to reach more people and excite them to be their next customer through personalization.

Facebook shares insights into the type of content that will be limited in News Feed

As part of Facebook’s ongoing efforts to show more transparency and how it filters News Feed content, the platform has shared the type of content that it will have its reach reduced – some of which is:

  • Engagement bait – this refers to posts that explicitly request shares, comments and likes for purposes other than specific calls to action.
  • Links to websites requesting user data – this refers to lead generation funnels requesting personal information before showing content.
  • Websites with low quality browsing experience – this refers to websites with errors and poor mobile experience.
  • Sensationalised health content – post that are trying to sell products/services based on health-related claims such as ‘lose 30kg in 10 days’ etc.

The social media giant explains:

Our enforcements to reduce problematic content in News Feed are rooted in our commitment to the values of responding to people’s direct feedback, incentivising publishers to invest in high-quality content and fostering a safer community.

This indicates that brands need to be extremely careful when producing organic and paid content for social, as some of the previously accepted rules do not apply anymore.

If you’re transparent and have original content on your site, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. However, if you’re struggling to create original content, get in touch with our content team for more information on how we can help you.

Pinterest shares insights into upcoming trends and how brands can make the most of it

Screenshot of Pinterest’s 2021 trend predictions.

According to the recent Pinterest report, 80% of trends predicted by the platform in December 2020, gained traction throughout this year.

Now, the platform has provided an overview of new trends that will be dominating the online space in 2022. These trends are predicted based on rising search activity and engagements.

The image-sharing platform states that by providing an insight into the future, its helping businesses connect more deeply with their audiences by creating advertising strategies that reflect their preferences.

The app also noted that trends last 20% longer on the platform compared to other social media networks, which means that content has a longer lifespan, helping brands make the most of their assets.

So, if you don’t have Pinterest, there is a huge audience you’re missing out on – our team has tons of experience in helping brands grow their Pinterest accounts, so why not get in touch with us today to find how we can help your business make the most of its online presence.  

Social Media Updates: August 2021

TikTok has introduced the ‘Promote’ ad option to all business accounts

Similar to Facebook’s popular ‘Boost’ option, TikTok has launched its own quick advertising option called ‘Promote’.

This can help businesses to quickly place themselves in front of new audiences, grow their following and increase website visits.

The option is only available to public videos that use original or commercial sound – which means that if you’re thinking of using a trend or a sound that is copyrighted, you will not be able to promote your video.

According to TikTok, all you have to do is select the video you want to promote, chose your campaign goal, and wait for the positive results to come in. The three campaign goals you can choose from are:

  • More video views
  • More website visits
  • More followers

 The app further states:

Promote is available to help businesses reach more people and grow their community with their TikTok videos. You can now turn any organic TikTok video into an ad, and start reaching new audiences, build a following and drive traffic to your website.

Promote will also give you access to basic tracking information such as:

  • The number of views your video gained because of the promotion
  • Number of likes, comments and shares on the promoted video
  • Number of people that have visited your website through the video
  • Age and gender of the people interacting with your video

Instagram is replacing swipe-up stories links with link stickers

Instagram’s constant effort to improve Stories interaction has led the app to replace the current swipe-up link with a link sticker option.

This new option works the same way as other stories tools such as polls, locations and mentions – which means that users will now have more creative control over the way they use link stickers.

The tool is great for accounts that want to get reactions and feedback from followers, as the swipe-up link did not previously provide that.

Instagram says that this new option will give creators more creative options to drive traffic to their desired page, as the new link sticker can be placed anywhere on the story, resized and toggled to different styles.

LinkedIn is shutting down Stories

After a year of experimentation, LinkedIn has decided to retire its Stories option and move towards its next video project.

Unfortunately for the app, Stories did not gain much traction from its professional user base. Research conducted by the platform found that users want more creative tools to make engaging videos, as well as wanting their Stories content to live beyond the 24-hour time limit.

LinkedIn says:

We’ve learned a ton through Stories. Now, we’re taking those learnings to evolve the Stories format into a reimagined video experience that’s even richer and more conversational.

The app further states that they want to embrace mixed media and creative tools of Stories and integrate them more tightly with users’ professional identity.

This is highly possible after the platform’s acquisition of Jumprope, a how-to video platform.

YouTube has added video chapter listings in search

YouTube is looking to enhance its search option and help people find relevant content through the introduction of video chapters.

These video chapters divide content into small sections, each with an individual preview, depending on what each portion of the video is about. This means that users will be able to see the content of each video right on the search page.

Each section will include some written information, giving users the full context of the video. This is a great tool for SEO as creators can also add their own information based on keyword search and maximise their video discovery.

This is great as users don’t have to watch the full video to get their query answered or skip through a different section; they can just directly click to the part of the video that interests them the most.

To find out how we can help your business with content creation, social media management, and SEO – get in touch with our expert team here. Alternatively, browse through our blog to discover all the latest news and trends in digital marketing.

Social Media Updates: July 2021

SNAPCHAT LAUNCHES ‘MY PLACES’ TO HIGHLIGHT LOCAL BUSINESSES

Businesses can now be easily discovered on Snapchat through ‘My Places’. This new feature can be found in Snap Map and highlights three different listing categories;

  • Popular places within a user’s Snap friends
  • Places the user has liked
  • Places that they have previously visited

Users will be able to access full information about the business listed in the platform. From opening times, contact details and locations to reviews and popular times.

With Snapchat users being able to see where their friends are at any given time, they can now share the business with them and arrange meetups.

The app explains:

Snapchatters can discover more than 30 million businesses worldwide, log their favourite local spots, and find personalised recommendations informed by their friends and global Snapchat community.

If you want to make changes to the business information already displayed or add a new business listing, choose the Place Listing Addition via the Map itself or make changes through the Map settings.

INSTAGRAM INTRODUCES AUTO CAPTIONS FOR FEED POSTS

Instagram is constantly trying to improve accessibility on its app. With the recent auto-caption option being introduced for IGTV uploads and Stories, the platform is now looking to expand this feature for Feed posts.

The news was confirmed by Vishal Shah, VP of Product at Instagram, as he responded to a user’s request of needing auto-captions for feed posts.

https://twitter.com/thebkh/status/1414969591374270467

With more people using Instagram as they go about their day, such as during a commute or while watching TV, the need for both sound on and sound off content has increased massively as brands need audiences to get the full context of posts they upload.

As per Andrew Hutchinson from Social Media Today, this new addition will provide both content creators and brands another option to improve accessibility, maximise viewership and reduce workload as they won’t have to add captions and hardcode them into the video clips themselves. 

TWITTER IS RETIRING ITS ‘FLEETS’ OPTION 

After less than a year, Twitter has decided to retire Fleets, its own version of Instagram and Snapchat stories. The decision has been made as a result of the new feature not getting as much traction as Twitter had hoped for.

Twitter users have only been using them for the purpose of amplifying their own Tweets. This defeated the whole purpose of Fleets which was to add a broader tweet experience on the platform, especially for those that wanted to share their thoughts temporarily.

Twitter further explains:

We built Fleets as a lower-pressure, ephemeral way for people to share their fleeting thoughts. We hoped it would help more people feel comfortable joining the conversation on Twitter. But, in the time since we introduced Fleets to everyone, we haven’t seen an increase in the number of new people joining the conversation like we hoped.

The platform will instead shift its focus into expanding its audio.

FACEBOOK LAUNCHES THE ‘CAMPAIGN IDEAS GENERATOR’ FOR BUSINESSES

Screenshot of Facebook’s Campaign Idea Generator site.

If you ever feel stuck for ideas for your Facebook and Instagram campaigns, Facebook’s new Campaign Ideas Generator may be a great solution to help spark inspiration for your future promotional efforts.

This new resource site contains various insights, templates and recommendations specific to seasonal events and business types. Whether you’re a restaurant, an education company or provide financial services – the Campaign Ideas Generator has ‘cookie-cutter type solutions’ for all industries based on the time of the year they’ll be running their promotions.

The tool is made up of three sections: Campaign Ideas, Data and Insights and Resources and is ideal for small businesses that don’t have much marketing budget.

If your business is feeling stuck with your marketing approach, why not get in touch with our expert team and find out how we can help you maximise your promotional efforts and contribute towards reaching your business goals? Feel free to also check out our blog for all the latest digital marketing updates.

Social Media Updates: June 2021

Instagram is no longer a photo sharing app

Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, has declared that the platform is no longer a photo sharing app. In wake of the success of TikTok and YouTube, Instagram is looking to expand into the entertainment and video space. 

https://twitter.com/mosseri/status/1410297743285829632

To reach its goal, the app will be conducting experiments such as showing users recommendations for topics they’re not following and making video more immersive by offering a full-screen experience.

Although Instagram has been testing full-screen video experiences through IGTV, Reels and Stories – the opportunity to incorporate video far more widely still remains.

The primary reason why people use Instagram is to be entertained, however TikTok’s user and engagement surge indicates that people are looking at other alternatives.

To combat this and to be recognized as a general entertainment app driven by algorithms and videos, the platform is trying to tap into trends being followed by other social platforms such as TikTok.

Tweet sharing now available to Instagram stories

Twitter has provided another way for users to interact with tweets by giving all iOS users the ability to share tweets directly to Instagram stories.

When users will click on the sharing icon next to each tweet, they’ll be able to see the new ‘Instagram Stories’ option. The new option, when clicked, will add the tweet into a blank Instagram camera frame where you’ll be able to edit your story according to your preferences.

The tweets will not be tappable as Instagram doesn’t provide off platform links in stories, which means they can’t drive traffic back to the tweet. However, this is still a great update as it may be an indication of a future full-integration between Twitter and Instagram.

Previously, tweets have been shared on Instagram through screenshots. The update has been implemented to tackle this common method of redistributing tweets and to help boost interest in the platform.

TikTok reminds brands to make TikToks not ads

To encourage brands to embrace the flexibility of the platform, TikTok reminds them not to make ads, but to make TikToks to make the most of their marketing activities.

The app explains that while the internet platforms have evolved, ad formats have stayed the same and due to the similarity in the ad formats, users tend to skip them.

However, with TikToks, brands can create valuable, engaging and raw content that resonates with their audience. Ads like this invite the audience to participate and build on the story rather than simply receiving the story and moving on.

In fact, users may start to participate in campaigns, build alongside them and create their own TikToks for brands and products they love – which is the goal of the platform.

Katie Puris, TikTok Global Business Marketing head explains that people often say that they didn’t even realize that a particular TikTok was an ad.

“The work is so good, it fits right in and it’s celebrated… just like a TikTok.”

According to TikTok, the more unfiltered and real the content is, the better it performs. On other platforms brands really need to invest in the content and have videographers, photographers, and models – on TikTok, they don’t.

Instagram tests image and video uploads from desktop

Previously, Instagram only allowed business accounts to publish posts from desktop via Facebook’s Creator Studio app. The platform is now allowing a small group of users to publish feed posts directly from its desktop version.

With the addition of the “+” icon to the top bar of the desktop version of the app, users can upload images or videos directly from their PC storage. They will also be able to customise their feed posts by using the standard in-app editing tools and filters not included in the Creator Studio app.

The new update makes it easier for businesses and social media managers to manage their content because they can now upload edited images and illustrations in a straight-forward process.

Instagram says:

“We know that many people access Instagram from their computer. To improve that experience, we’re now testing the ability to create a feed post on Instagram with their desktop browser.”

The platform further explains that this update will enable more people to use the app and will provide a more centralised approach for social media managers.

If you want to find out how TikTok and other social media apps can help your brand reach its desired target audience and increase sales, get in touch with our expert team or check out our blog for all the latest social media and SEO updates.

Social Media Updates – April 2021

Instagram launches digital magazine ‘Instagram Insider’

Image courtesy of Instagram

Instagram has launched its first ever edition of the new digital magazine, Instagram Insider. Every issue will highlight core Instagram trends dominating the platform, list the most influential content creators and small businesses to follow as well as answering users’ questions. 

The first 9-page edition is focused on fashion and beauty which has 4 main trending topics: arts and crafts, which is all about handmade products such as clothing, home décor and accessories. Psychedelia-inspired outfit looks, DIY stick-on beauty products from fake tattoos to glam eye art, and male beauty products.

This free, downloadable magazine is aimed at users who constantly scroll through their feed, Explore and Shop tab, liking and saving posts.

‘Instagram Insider is about inspiration and discovery – not just the trends (crafty quilted fashion, stick on beauty products, vintage streetwear) but the people behind them.’

However, the magazine also provides plenty of information for brands so they can shape their own Instagram strategies and find new angles for their stories and posts.

TikTok launches lead gen ads

Image credit: TikTok

Businesses and advertisers can now gain more insights into their audiences through TikTok’s Lead Generation form. This tool will enable marketers and businesses of all sizes to create seamless interactions to reach their target audience and convert them into customers.

As the app further explains:

‘We want to support and empower businesses on TikTok with seamless opportunities to connect deeply with their customers while ensuring that our community feels comfortable and safe on the platform. This is of the utmost importance to us.’

The Lead Generation consists of a customisable background image, profile image and questionnaire. This means that brands will be able to share details of their products or services in an appealing and interesting way.

Users will be able to signal their interest to the product or service by filling out an easy step-by-step form where they will provide basic information such as name, email address, phone number and answer any additional questions the business would want to know.

TikTok has ensured to provide a simple and efficient experience between businesses and users by auto-populating key response data already available about the user (name etc.).

Any leads gained through this tool can be manually downloaded at the business’s preferred time or integrated with the business’s CRM where they’ll be immediately activated.

This is a great addition to the platform as businesses will be able to build a more accurate audience view for future content and ad campaigns.

Facebook flags changes to newsfeed rankings

Facebook is looking to change its News Feed algorithm to maximise engagement and user retention. This process will consist of user surveys asking people what they like to see on their feed, whether a post is valuable, inspirational or worth their time. Soliciting different types of feedback and deciding whether a post should be higher up or lower down the news feed based on different types of reactions (angry, emotional etc.)

Although users’ news feeds contain posts from friends, groups and pages they’ve chosen to like or follow, they don’t want to see posts about topics they are not interested in. This survey-driven approach will give the platform a complete view of the types of posts people find most valuable and inspiring and what kind of content they don’t want to see on their news feed.

Additionally, with political debates being at an all-time high on Facebook, the platform has received feedback on political content with many users being displeased with the aggressive and divisive political debates.

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg states:

‘Increasingly, we’re hearing feedback from people that they’re seeing too much content about politics and too many other kinds of posts and comments that detract from their News Feed experience. This is a sensitive area, so over the next few months, we’ll work to better understand what kinds of content are linked with these negative experiences.’

Lastly, users can also more directly tell Facebook about their preferences by hiding posts they’re not interested in within their news feed. This will inform the platform’s algorithms about what you don’t want to see as well as giving users better control over their feed.

To read our monthly social media updates, check out our blog page, or get in touch with us today to find out how we can help your brand make the most of social media.

Social Media Updates: March 2021

YouTube testing removal of public dislike counts on videos

YouTube is trying to reduce the impact of negative behaviours on the platform by experimenting with the removal of public dislike counts on videos posted by creators.

The decision to remove the public dislike counts on videos was made with the aim to address concerns around targeted dislike campaigns and how they negatively impact the creator and user well-being.

https://twitter.com/YouTube/status/1376942486594150405

Users will still be able to like and dislike videos, and these numbers would still count towards video ranking in the platform. But, just like the Instagram’s removal of public likes experiment, creators will be able to see their full dislike counts in YouTube Studio. 

YouTube is hoping that the removal can help in taking away negative stigma around certain types of content and make creators feel more comfortable in sharing such content.

Facebook working on a ‘kids version’ of Instagram

With Messenger Kids being a success and having 7 million monthly users in 70 countries, Facebook is now looking at creating a kids version of Instagram.

The current Instagram policy does not allow people under the age of 13 to create an account, however many kids still attempt to join the app by adding a fake date of birth and are exposed to potential dangers from predators.

To tackle these issues, Instagram has recently launched new restrictions that will protect youngsters, such as adults not being able to message kids that aren’t following them.

However, the best way to avoid youngsters being exposed to the platform is to build a separate kids version. Instagram’s chief Adam Mosseri says:

“Part of the solution is to create a version of Instagram for young people or kids where parents have transparency or control.”

Some suggest that creating a separate version of the app may increase bullying and abuse amongst younger audiences. But by restricting who can use the app and giving parents oversight this risk can be reduced. 

Instagram is still in the planning stage on this one, so more information will be available once there is a clarification on strategy.

Instagram story drafts to be launched

Instagram story drafts have been a highly requested feature and the app will finally be launching them.

They’re great in providing users with the flexibility in how and when they want to use stories. You will soon be able to create stories, save them to your draft and post them whenever you want.

Options to save stories and downloading them to your device already exist via a third party. However, they’re not convenient within users’ creation flow, so having these features within Instagram itself will facilitate user’s creative creation process.

https://twitter.com/instagram/status/1374474601711898626

Just like a normal story, users will be able to use Instagram’s full feature set in the draft creation process and view them as they’ll appear to users.

This update will also be extremely beneficial for brands that have always wanted to schedule stories updates to be posted when their audiences are most active.

Twitter will be launching ‘Communities’

Similar to Facebook Groups, Twitter will soon be launching ‘Communities’. This new option will enable Twitter users to share their tweets within selected groups of users instead of sharing them with all their followers. 

This option is great for those who want to talk about a variety of different topics without boring their audience with updates they are not interested in. They can now simply create communities that have similar interests and share relevant information, which will also increase engagement as people will be getting information on topics they like.

These community pages would be joinable and be close knit with only members being able to share tweets. This would provide users with private engagement options and create closer communities within the platform.

 

Do you want to find out how we could help you supercharge your own social media strategy? Get in touch with our expert team here.

Our Favourite Valentine’s Day Campaigns of 2021

Lockdown has changed the way we celebrate our seasonal holidays. From Christmas and New Year to birthdays and anniversaries, the rulebooks have been thrown up in the air this past year. And few more so than Valentine’s Day. With restrictions on leisure, and more of us keeping a distance from our loved ones, this Valentine’s Day provided us with another challenge in celebrating this day of love as we normally do.

But perhaps this made us reflect on the meaning of love and its importance. This gave brands across the world the the chance to reflect on their strategies and discover what matters the most to their customers in times like these.

The result was a real variety of ‘out of the box’ Valentine’s marketing campaigns, from donation-drive campaigns to those appealing to nature lovers.

Let’s take a look at our top 5 favourite Valentine’s Day campaigns of 2021…

NHS 

There’s not an ounce of doubt that the NHS staff deserved a huge chunk of the love this Valentine’s Day. The support they’ve shown during the pandemic has shown us the true definition of sacrifice and selflessness.

From the NHS, we saw the launch of a charity campaign that encouraged people to ditch flowers and gifts this Valentine’s Day in favour of donations to support the NHS staff who have made the many sacrifices throughout the pandemic to get us this far.

https://twitter.com/valentinesNHS/status/1355132865621712896

Pandora

Pandora conducted a survey across countries that have a big Valentine’s Day celebration, such as the UK, USA, Australia, China, Germany and Mexico, to ask them how their perception of love and relationships has changed since the pandemic.

The results revealed that people are prioritising relationships and appreciating their loved ones a lot more and really valuing the time spent together compared to before the pandemic as they now understand what it feels like to stay away from people they love.

The campaign was topped off with a short film asking real couples what Valentine’s Day means to them.

Clover

Clover’s ‘Spread the Real Love’ campaign encouraged parents to break free from the social pressure of being perfect and instead embrace the imperfections that come with parenthood as it is not an easy job.

The side-effects of social media, where we frequently see aspirational yet unrealistic portrayals of other people’s lives, often results in many of us feeling disheartened about our own setup, with many of us under constant pressure to portray that same perfect life.

Here, Clover sought counter this, instead shining a light on the everyday family by sharing real home scenarios that we can all familiarise with.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

We can’t hide from the fact that 2020 has been a disastrous year for our planet, from Amazon Rainforest fires and Australian bushfires to California wildfires. However, we can use 2021 to show love to our mother nature and appreciate it before it’s too late.

This Valentine’s Day, WWF decided to raise awareness of our natural surroundings and how important it is for us to love them. The ‘Love it or lose it’ campaign appeals to all nature lovers by showcasing the relationship we have with nature and warn us of what we can lose if we don’t take better care of our planet.

Hotels.com

The holiday booking brand’s ‘V-Day Dumpster Stay’ campaign was a considered theme for singles who were feeling a little lonely this Valentine’s Day. It encouraged people to write about why their ex deserved a vacation in a dumpster, with the chance to win a $300 gift card redeemable against a holiday.

(uk.hotels.com/page/vdaydumpsterstay)

To make the campaign even more fun, all entries received a booking confirmation email for their ex’s imaginary Dumpster Stay.

So, there’s our favourite Valentine’s Day campaigns of 2021. As you can see, we saw a real range of messages and sentiments behind these campaigns, showing you can define love however you want. It’s important to express your brand’s voice on days like Valentine’s Day to better connect with your customers and find out what it is that’s important to them. 

 

Get in touch with our expert team for more information on how you can voice your own brand.

Social Media Updates: January 2021

Instagram Looking to Total Likes Count on Posts

Back in 2019, Instagram trialled removing their total like counts on posts as part of their audience wellbeing initiative.

The goal at that time was to reduce social comparison and its associated negative impacts on users. However, the social media giant is now looking to change that by rolling out a feature that includes both hide and unhide options.

Instagram will be giving users in countries included in the first testing phase, the option to display like counts on their posts once again. This would give users direct power over whether they want their posts’ total like counts to be displayed or not.

This option will be given both within the composer when initially posting, and after the post has been published. The app is also looking to add another setting which would enable users to hide like counts on other people’s posts that appear on their Instagram feed.

However, we’ll have to wait for Instagram to release data on the impact of the hiding like counts experiment to decide whether the new option will have a positive or negative impact on its users.

Facebook will be removing the ‘Our Story’ Section from Pages

Facebook is alerting Page owners to shift their ‘Our Story’ description to the ‘Additional Information’ section as the former is being removed from the Page presentation options.

‘Our Story’ which currently appears as a secondary information panel within the ‘About’ section, was added in 2017 to help brands provide more background on their business so they can better connect with their page visitors.

However, Facebook has now decided to remove this section. The reason for the removal seems to relate to the page presentation the page presentation as the ‘About’ section looks a little cluttered.

Instead, users will now be able to tap through the ‘Additional Information’ section and read more about a business brand story. This change means that companies will have to re-assess their Page layout and adjust it accordingly.

Twitter Acquires Newsletter Platform, Revue

After many conversations around long-form content on Twitter, the app has acquired Revue – a service that helps writers create newsletters and distribute them to their audience through a subscription basis.

This integration will allow Twitter to become a primary source of engagement for writers and allow them to satisfy their online communities by publishing content that goes beyond the 280-character limit.

Audiences and authors will easily be able to find each other, and users will now be able to subscribe to their favourite authors newsletters directly through Twitter.

Twitter further explains:

‘We imagine a number of integrations on Twitter that will help readers more easily discover and connect with writers — from easy ways to subscribe to a newsletter to new settings for writers to host conversations with subscribers.’

This is a great opportunity for brands with large Twitter followings to get into the inbox of their most loyal followers.

 

If you want to find out how social media can help your brand, please get in touch with us today! Or check out our blog to get more information on the latest social media and SEO trends. 

Social Media Updates: December 2020

TikTok is bringing its videos to your Home TV

You can now enjoy watching TikToks on a bigger screen as Samsung has announced a partnership with the app that will enable Samsung Smart TV owners in the UK and Europe to watch TikTok videos on their TV screens.

Users will have to download the TikTok app for Samsung TV, which is available for all 2018 models onwards. They will have access to the ‘For You’ page, ‘Following feeds’ and the most liked and viewed content on TikTok.

Samsung explains that the content is organised into 12 categories, from gaming and comedy to food and beauty and users can access all of this without having a TikTok account. In addition to this, users will have access to #LearnOnTikTok videos where they can get the latest cooking hacks, fitness tips and fun facts that TikTok has to offer.

The app will automatically operate in Restricted Mode to filter out content that may not be appropriate for all audiences. This new partnership will open new opportunities for top creators and TikTok advertisers to reach new audiences. If this integration goes well, TikTok could look at adding more ways for advertisers to reach TV viewers with customised big screen-specific campaigns.

Samsung explains that the content is organised into 12 categories, from gaming and comedy to food and beauty and users can access all of this without having a TikTok account. In addition to this, users will have access to #LearnOnTikTok videos where they can get the latest cooking hacks, fitness tips and fun facts that TikTok has to offer.

Facebook is developing a new celebrity streaming option

Facebook is looking to rival Cameo (an app which enables you to pay for celebrity shout-outs for yourself or for your friends) by introducing ‘Super’, which will allow users to pay for video calls with celebrities.

There are reports that Super will be introduced as an app as it is currently being developed within Facebook’s New Product Experimentation team which builds standalone apps and other products.

Currently, there is no other app like Cameo. However, Super’s introduction could help Facebook establish an immediate competitor for the app’s business.

Super will allow influencers, entrepreneurs, creators and celebrities to host live, interactive video events. Viewers will be able to tip influencers by buying them digital gifts or either pay to appear alongside them during the live-stream to ask a question or take a selfie. Creators (artists, Youtubers, bloggers) will also be able to sell merchandise or other products alongside the live-stream.

Twitter launches live testing for its new audio feature

Twitter has launched ‘Spaces’, an audio-only feature that will enable users to create meetings that their connections can join to listen in or to actively participate in.

Although the feature is currently under the testing phase, with only a small group of users invited to test it out, live audio meet-ups will be highlighted in purple on users’ Fleets bubbles. They will also be able to show us who is participating in these audio discussions.

https://twitter.com/TwitterSpaces/status/1339639767089238019

Twitter describes Spaces as being like a ‘well hosted dinner party’ where you don’t need to know everyone to have a great time, but everyone still feels comfortable at the table. The app is trying to create an intimate feeling of connection through its new feature.

Twitter further explains: ‘The human voice can bring a layer of connectivity to Twitter through emotion, nuance and empathy often lost in text. We see this with voice tweets and voice DMs. sometimes 280 isn’t enough, and voice gives people another way to join the conversation.’

Check out our blog for the latest news. Or if you’re interested in finding out how social media can help your brand, please get in touch with our expert team here.

Social Media Updates: November 2020

Twitter launces ‘Fleets’ for its users

Twitter is the latest social media app to announce a story-like feature, called ‘Fleets’, to all its users. Found at the top of your news feed, users can now share content that will disappear after 24 hours.

Twitter believe that Fleets will provide a way for users to share their more topical, fast-paced thoughts temporarily without the fear of them being public or permanent.

It goes on to say: Now, more than ever, we think it’s critical to provide people another way to share what’s on their mind; without feeling self-conscious about it lasting on the record, and without the pressure of public replies. Those Tweets that never got past “Drafts” can finally see the light!’

Twitter gives you the option to:

  • Text fleets – just like stories, you can put a text on a coloured background (range of colour options available for both)
  • Share tweets – share individual tweets, which also appear on coloured background
  • Share video or photo – share an old or new photo or video

There are no special affects or AR tools available at the moment, however, Twitter is working on bringing live broadcasting, stickers and collaborative Fleets to the platform.

Instagram expands the ‘Guides’ content option to all users

Instagram is giving users a new way to share themed content on their profiles. In addition to the already existing ‘Posts’, ‘Mentions’ and ‘IGTV’ tabs, users will now be able to add a new ‘Guide’ tab to their profiles.

The new tab has a Pinterest-like feel as it will display a collection of themed posts linked together with a short text description under each post.

https://twitter.com/instagram/status/1328760554421325824

There is also an option for brands to add Product Guides to their Instagram Shop. Additionally, the option to share Guides via Instagram Stories will provide users another way to promote their collections.

How can you add a Guide to your profile?

  • Tap the ‘+’ icon at the top right of your profile
  • Select ‘Guide’ from the ‘Create’ menu
  • Select the type of guide you want to create: Places, Products or Posts
  • Select the posts you want to add to your Guide and add them to your collection
  • Add a title and description and change the cover image if you wish

Snapchat acquires music app ‘Voisey’

There is no denying  that Snapchat knows how to lead the way on key trends. In fact, the company has acquired a new app ‘Voisey’ which can make almost anyone sound like a professional musician.

Voisey enables users to create their own short music tracks using a range of vocal effects tools to enhance their sound. Described as ‘TikTok for music creation’, the app’s interface looks a lot like TikTok. Users can upload their own beats or record vocal tracks over the already existing backing track options.

Snapchat hasn’t yet revealed what they are planning to do with the app, however, Voisey’s popularity among the younger audiences might see Snap add its features into the main app.

The brand fit makes a lot of sense as both the apps have a young audience, however, the future will tell us what exactly Snapchat will be doing with the new app.

 

If you’re interested in finding out how social media can boost your brand, get in touch with us today.