There have been so many changes and updates - all good - that it’s made our head spin. Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Microsoft and Reddit all made some pretty exciting announcements, so hold onto your keyboard, we’ve got the highlights.
Let’s dive in, shall we...
Google - YouTube
Google announced YouTube is testing YouTube Previews which not only is designed to help with audience retention but also give you insight into other content they’re consuming on the platform. That’s awesome. Why?
- You can get to know your audience better.
- What they're watching
- What channels they’re drawn to
- Where they are spending their time
- What can you do with this information
- Adjust your content topics to be more relevant to other videos your audience is watching
- Look for opportunities for collaboration with other brands and influencers within your space
- Modify your channel’s layout, use of thumbnails, descriptions and other features to appeal to your followers.
Google - Analytics
The future is HERE people. Google is working on adding predictive capabilities to their analytics. How does this work? Basically all the people who come to your site are being followed by cookies. Google is kicking things up a notch and is adding a layer onto those metrics to give you insight into the likelihood of your users converting - making a purchase, signing up for your newsletter, downloading your “best practice” guide.
What even more awesome about this update… it’s the capability to tie into your app and your ads! Pro tip: Don’t just look at the data. Take action! Adjust your ad sets and make appropriate tweaks to maximize the info you have at your fingertips.
Facebook - Music
Launching officially licensed music videos is HUGE for artists in the Facebook space. In a world where everyone is trying to “keep up with the Joneses” Facebook is pushing into capabilities YouTube has been dominating.
- Artists select the music category when setting up business pages and these features will be available.
- You can add your music or it can sync with an app you are using to preview or display your music so you can schedule it to be shared on a certain date.
- Great way to announce new releases, promote new music, build up your tribe, and notify followers of when new content is coming out.
Facebook - Hashtags
Hashtags aren’t new. However, they’ve been embraced on other platforms and given more credence than on Facebook. That’s changing. Facebook is making it easier to use them as predictive text helps populate popular hashtags as you type them, algorithm tweaks are helping posts extend their reach and if used thoughtfully they’ll help to amplify your message.
What does using hashtags thoughtfully have to do with it… well, they aren’t just random words. Using unique hashtags created for your brand and researching relevant keywords your audience cares about will help you cut through the noise and clarify your message.
Facebook - Messenger
Finally. Screen share! Knocking on Zoom’s door, Facebook just added screen sharing in the messenger app. How can this work from a business use standpoint? Good question. As we are rolling deeper into dark social conversations this option creates an intimate environment for connecting with your consumers. Use this a “help-desk” tool, it’s an easy go-to for team training and to showcase how-tos.
Facebook - Tips
Facebook IQ’s creative research team has done a deep dive into identifying which creative approaches tend to be more successful with audience engagement and sparking action. They explored text, timing and format. We’re sharing the link so you can take a peek at how small considerations when creating your content can help create an optimal strategy across platforms.
Instagram - Personal fundraising tool
Similar to Facebook’s fundraising tool, Instagram is jumping in the game and is testing a fundraising tool that gives non-profits the opportunity to build their advocates and raise funds directly through the platform.
Instagram - online shopping
We know the ability to shop on Instagram has been around for a minute now. As eCommerce continues to build and grow apps like Shopify have been making it easier for consumers to do business with you through social platforms. Instagram has taken it up a notch and added a Shop tab to the Explore area of the platform. Take my money IG people.
Instagram - Reels
TikTok has catapulted itself into the social scape with its short interactive videos that can cross-post to other social platforms and download into your camera roll. It’s created a new army of influencers and is a platform for creators to shine. However, TikTok has also seen a few challenges. Instagram will be launching their version of “TikTok” by releasing Reels. With similar functionality, Reels enables IG users to create short videos, loop clips and add music. There will be a dedicated spare on the user profile and its own section in the Explore tab.
Snapchat - Brand Profile
Snapchat is known for keeping it organic and hasn’t allowed brands to trickle in - outside of the media, influencers or those running ads. They’re now dipping their toe in the water. They’ve selected 30 anonymous companies to test brand profiles with the hopes of opening the option to all businesses by year-end.
Snapchat - Minis
Snapchat minis is an integrated app that is totally functional and built within Snap’s platform. What do we mean? Rather than a business having to prompt users to download an app, they have mini, bite-sized versions that can replicate the experience within Snapchat’s app. They are launching Headspace as their first mini, as a mindfulness and meditation tool.
Microsoft - Customer Voice
Microsoft is introducing a real-time customer feedback tool. Now more than ever customer experience is so important. Creating a frictionless way to capture customer feedback, as close to the transaction/interaction as possible is key to your customers actually sharing their experience. There are a few other pretty cool updates including tools designed to help stores manage in-store and curbside traffic as pandemic consumerism has changed how we shop, and also added a level of automation and fraud protection.
Reddit is now enabling users the ability to upload “Image galleries” for photos or gifs to attach to their posts. The galleries will be a welcome update to those DIY, food and style industries looking to showcase step-by-step tutorials or how-to's.
These are just a sampling of recent updates and announcements, share with us what changes you’re seeing and what has you amped to test for your own brands. And if you’d like to stay “in the know” about changes happening in online marketing as well as how they can keep your brand ahead of the competition, join our Facebook Group: Relationships & ROI.