The world of social media is one that has demonstrated tremendous evolution and continues to do so each day. This is one of the reasons we began writing our weekly Social Shoutout blogs. We saw it as a way to encapsulate the key points of this ever changing platform and to also provide others with this information in a bitesize blog.
Working in the marketing industry, the smallest of changes to the way social media works always has a knock on effect to the way in which we work, more often than not, making our lives as marketeers easier. We did a round-up at the KC Communications office to find out what our standout developments in the world of social were this year and why.
Following on from the launch of Instagram Stories at the end of 2016 (as a big fan of Snapchat Stories, this was a great feature for me!), Instagram have done it again at the end of 2017… having just launched the ability to follow hashtags!
This new capability hit the app earlier this month and makes it nice and easy for users to follow a specific topic they might have interest in by following chosen hashtags… For me #InstaFood was an instant follow!
Put simply, when a user follows a specific hashtag, Instagram will use its algorithms to pick and choose some highlights from posts that feature that hashtag. Genius!
I was thrilled earlier this year when Twitter rolled out their 280 character count to all users and oh my, it has made life so much easier!
As someone who manages multiple social media accounts on a daily basis, I was excited as the prospect of being able to write full sentences without having to abbreviate and remove punctuation! The little things ey’!
We pushed out a Twitter poll to see how everyone felt about the shiny new character count and to my surprise it was almost a clear split. With 48% voting that it was a game changer and 52% fearing the change!
All I’m asking the Twitter Gods for now is the ability to edit a posted Tweet and then I’ll be happy!
Instagram is my favourite social media platform. As a fan of photography I was initially attracted to the visual aspect of the site yet it has continued to evolve with many additional developments in 2017.
One of my favourite features in 2017 was the launch of Instagram Polling Stickers. This allows the user to customise a question and provide two optional answers. The default answer being “yes” or “no” although these can be changed.
I’ve seen the use of polling grow on Instagram Stories as users find fun ways that friends can seek real time opinion and encourage their followers to tap on the screen with their answer. Questions such as red dress or black? Long hair or short? The results appear instantly too.
As well as the fun element to Instagram Polling there are some significant benefits for businesses too. Not only does it allow brands to engage with their audience through Instagram Stories, it can be a useful research tool or a new source of lead generation. These tools could become a vital part of a multi-channel product launch or bring a different dimension to a market research project.
So what will we see next year? I absolutely cannot wait for the regram button which I hear Instagram are currently testing. Just a like a Facebook Share or a retweet from Twitter, we will soon be able to share user generated content. This will surely make the lives of businesses and social media managers much easier and introduce us all to new content in 2018!
For me one of the biggest moves in social media during 2017 was the decision Snapchat announced late in November to start “separating the social from the media”.
Some Snapchat users will have noticed the redesign, others may not have it yet – Snap Inc did say it was going to take a few weeks to roll out – but essentially it puts all the messages and stories from friends to the left of the camera, and is sorted by the people you interact with the most often.
To the right of the camera is where all of the premium and advertiser content sits, along with aggregated stories from search and Snap Map from the discover section, and is sorted by your past viewing behaviour. This seemed like a move to make the platform more user-friendly, but in time they may find that it could also have the opposite effect on advertisers, with a cost of over £180,000 for a spot on the discovery page! Only time will tell.
When Facebook and Instagram came under one roof earlier this year it was definitely something that helped with the work we do in the KC Comms office.
With the basic ‘messages’ tab turning into a general inbox, we can now manage all of clients messages from their various social media platforms in one place (moving between each social platform to look at messages can be time-consuming and complicated)!
It has really helped with the organisational aspects of social media of developing business’ worldwide.
I think the biggest thing for me, which we haven’t covered yet is Facebook announcing that they plan to clamp down on clickbait posts which beg for likes, shares etc.
Facebook announcing they are to down-rank posts that use engagement bait is set to mean big changes for the way businesses manage their social media in 2018. In the past people have used these methods to increase reach through “Tag a friend who..” and “Like this if…” type content.
With this in mind, organisations are going to have to get more creative with their content for Facebook to deem it worthy enough to show up in their followers feeds and for followers to engage with it. And for those organisations who engage in such activity are going to see their organic reach slashed as Facebook rolls out the activity (which started on Monday) – it’s also been said that consistent offenders will be punished further, but what that means at this stage we’re not quite sure!
I can hear people crying out about these changes already, but if it gets people thinking creatively then that can only be a good thing, because who really wants to open their Facebook app to find themselves tagged in a load of spam? You wouldn’t spam your mates inbox so why do it on their social feeds?