Welcome to Social Media Catchup, your monthly round up of social media news, changes and updates, geared towards what UK small businesses need to know.
July was quite quiet, but we’ve had two huge pieces of news this month from Facebook and Instagram. We discussed these in-depth in our monthly Facebook Live session, so watch the video for some actionable steps, or scroll down to see all the changes across social media in the last month.
Facebook – new Facebook Page design, Shops and Services sections, clickbait headline reduction, 1 billion on Messenger, improved Live
Instagram – Instagram Stories, Instagram scheduling on Buffer
Twitter – new features for Periscope, new Ads Manager, Instant Unlock ads, searchable stickers
LinkedIn – LinkedIn Influencer videos
Google – Analytics Demo
Snapchat – Suggest, Snap-recaps, Geostickers
Misc – Canva for iPhone, Pokemon GO Sponsored Locations
Pages have seen a hefty redesign this month, and we at Social Quirk LOVE it.
It’s so clean and modern! And, did you notice, no ads! So no more spotting a competitor pop up in your sidebar. We’ll be doing a focus blog post on the new page layout, so keep an eye out for it!
It also highlights the new Shopping and Services sections that now appear on pages. If you sell products, try adding some stuff to your Shop section; if you’re sell services, check out the Social Quirk Facebook page for an example.
If you rely on clickbait headlines to get engagement on your Facebook page, we definitely recommend you stop asap. Facebook has already reduced the reach of these types of posts, and plans to reduce it even further in the future.
Messenger has hit one billion monthly users, a truly crazy amount.
Facebook Live Video is continuing to improve and grow. First up, broadcasts can now be much longer, at up to 4 hours long. You can now go Live fullscreen (both portrait and landscape on iOS but just portrait atm for Android).
Instagram did something crazy this month. Some are calling it a wholesale Snapchat rip-off, some are calling it the best thing to ever happen to the platform. Instagram are calling it “Instagram Stories”.
It’s now possible to add a slideshow of 10 second images or videos to your Story. Each item will only be viewable for 24 hours, after which it disappears. Find out the full details of how the work and how to get started with them right here.
And in other Instagram news, if you use Buffer to schedule your content, you can now add Instagram to that mix. Due to the restrictive nature of Instagram’s API, it functions as more of a reminder, but it makes keeping up to date with your Instagram posting much easier.
Nothing major from Twitter this month, just a few tweaks.
Firstly, Periscope has three new features. Embeddable tweets lets you show-off the power of Periscope anywhere across the net. Replay highlights is quite a cool feature, which automatically generates a short trailer for each broadcast – making it much quicker to pick out the scopes you want to watch in full. And scopes will now autoplay (without sound) when you open the app, so you can dive into watching something quicker.
And keep an eye out for an improvement to the Twitter Ads Manager, promised to be rolled out in a few months. When it lands you might want to try out the new Instant Unlock ads, which are a bit like the old Facebook like-gating – people tweet a phrase of your choice to unlock access to exclusive content.
— Twitter Advertising (@TwitterAds) August 4, 2016
And now when you add a sticker to a photo on Twitter, that sticker will function as a hashtag which is searchable, letting you find other people using the same sticker. A little bit gimmicky, but potentially something brands could tap into.
LinkedIn, always a step behind, has finally made it to video! It’s not live, nor is it open to everyone yet, but a group of 500 influencers have started recording 30-second videos to respond to questions.
Don’t worry – this will almost certainly make it down to individual users shortly. Video truly is taking over the world.
Analytics are a key part of social media marketing, but a bit of a mystery to many. Lucky for us, then, that Google has unveiled a “demo” Google Analytics account, with tons of real data and accompanying tips and training to help you get up to speed with how to measure your results.
One of Snapchat’s longterm problems has been its lack of discoverability. Finding new people to follow relied wholly on people sharing the own usernames or Snapcodes. Snapchat has recently added two things to remedy this. First up is Suggest, allowing you to send a follow suggestion to one of your friends.
The other is encouragement to use the Memories feature to send Snap-recaps – screenshots of other users’ content, saved to Memories, then sent out through chat or your Story.
And if you’re based in London, keep an eye out for the new Geostickers – stickers which only appear in specific locations – which will hopefully spread across the rest of the UK shortly.
If you’re an iPhone user, creating epic imagery on the go has never been better! The new Canva for iPhone app has arrived. If you haven’t used Canva yet, please give it a try to create some spectacular social graphics.
And the first hints of monetisation are coming to Pokemon GO. Whether you’re an avid player or wondering what the fuss is all about, B2C businesses might benefit from the ability to sponsor locations in-game. Or failing that, use one of the methods to boost your business that work by leveraging existing features in the app. A bar over the river from me did exactly that:
This month we’re taking some time to revamp our Facebook page – and we’re already loving Instagram stories! What do you think of this month’s changes?