As a digital and social media marketer, you must keep yourself abreast of the latest Social Media Updates.
The number of social media users worldwide in 2018 is 3.196 billion, up 13 percent year-on-year. – Smart Insights
With such a huge part of the world’s population being active on social media platforms, you just can’t afford to miss out on using them to promote your business.
81 percent of small to medium sized businesses use social media. – LinkedIn
Whether you have a small business or a large one, having a presence on social media platforms is an essential way to connect with your audience and build a follower-base for your business.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube keep adding new features on a regular basis. These changes pose a great opportunity for marketers to innovate and get superior outcomes from their Social Media Marketing efforts. Let’s look at some of the latest updates to learn and profit from them:
Social Media Updates on Facebook
1. Cover Videos
A Facebook cover photo is a very prominent part of your Facebook page. Facebook recently started allowing its users to add cover photos on the business page. These videos also come with the advantage of autoplay. Facebook cover videos are great for driving more engagement on your Facebook page. Facebook officially recommends that you add videos of length 820 X 462 pixels while your cover video should at least be 820 X 312 pixels.
Take a look at this very interesting example from Hello Social:
Hello Social ಅವರಿಂದ ಈ ದಿನದಂದು ಪೋಸ್ಟ್ ಮಾಡಲಾಗಿದೆ ಭಾನುವಾರ, ಜುಲೈ 2, 2017
2. Record GIFs within the App
Facebook updated its camera application to enable users to create GIF’s while taking a picture. The app allows you to create two second GIFs and add filters to your GIFs as well.
Image Source: CNBC
3. Closed Captions for Facebook Live
Facebook updated its live video feature to allow closed captions for video publishers. You can use the Facebook live API to benefit from this feature. The feature is helpful in making your videos more comprehensive and especially helpful for those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Image Source: media.fb
4. Updated Ads Manager
In September 2017 Facebook got rid of its power editor and merged it with the Ads Manager. The ads manager now includes the newly updated ad workflow from power editor. The workflow enables you to move around between different ad campaigns and ad sets. You can now review you ad drafts and hit publish only when you are fully satisfied with your ad.
5. Customize Your Ad Creative According to Placement
Facebook provides you with a variety of ad placement options. Some of these include newsfeed, In-stream videos, and Instagram newsfeed etc. Each of these placements requires creatives with different aspect ratios. Facebook now allows you to customize and use a different creative for each of the ad placements, helping you to optimize the results from your campaign.
6. Post Reach Update
This update helps you to measure the organic reach 0f your Facebook posts more accurately. Earlier, Facebook insights used to measure this on the basis of the number of times a post appeared in the Newsfeed. After the update, an impression will be calculated once the post has entered the person’s screen. The update helps you to analyze the organic reach of your posts, more accurately and also compare it with paid reach more effectively.
7. Cross-Border Solutions Update
These updates would help you to promote your business on Facebook, across the globe:
- Dynamic Language Update: With this update, businesses can run a campaign using multiple languages.
- Multi-Country Lookalike Audiences: Earlier, Facebook allowed you to find lookalike audience in a new country. With this update, you can find and target your ideal customers in any combination of countries and regions.
- Multi-Targeting: You can use this feature of Facebook to automatically select and target multiple cities above a certain population level.
- Facebook IQ Cross Border Insights Finder: The intelligence tool will now help you to find the relevant International markets with your campaigns and get better results.
8. Creative Hub
Facebook launched creative hub, a place where you can create ads for Facebook and Instagram. It’s an intuitive platform that helps you to find creative examples of different types of Facebook ads and create better ads easily and effectively.
9. Text Overlay in Single Image Ads
Facebook now gives you the option to add a text overlay on your ad image within the Facebook Ad Manager. This is a great new update that helps you to create awesome single-image ads super-quickly.
Image Source: Facebook
10. Collection Ads
Your target audience is mostly glued to the mobile device. Facebook launched the collection ads to improve ad experience for users and help them provide a more immersive experience of it. The platform recently added the Canvas format update for collection ads to further enhance the overall user experience. The format is helpful in showcasing a collection of images within your ad, to your mobile audience and get better results from your campaigns.
Image Source: Facebook
11. Privacy Tools Update
In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica Scandal, Facebook has recently updated its data privacy settings to enable its users to have more control over their data privacy. Facebook has redesigned their settings menu to ensure all the account settings are available from a single place. The platform has launched an easy to use privacy settings menu and tools to find and delete your Facebook data so you can control your Facebook privacy more easily and in a few taps.
Image Source: Facebook
Social Media Updates on Twitter
1. In-App Video Feature Twitter
It has been quite a while to this update but its still worth a mention. With the popularity of live videos, Twitter also enabled the live video feature to its app. You can use the app to go live on Twitter using your smartphone.
2. New Layout
In the month of June, Twitter completely revamped its desktop site and mobile app to make them more user-friendly. A few of the most important changes could be seen in the form of a decluttered UI. Other major changes included:
GIF Source: blog.twitter
- Real-time count on replies, re-tweet, and likes.
- Clearer typography and iconography.
- Profile pictures round instead of square.
3. New “Moments” Feature
Social media updates are rarely as important as this one. ‘Moments’ is a feature first introduced by Twitter in 2015. It lets the users see curated tweets about a specific topic at a single place. This translates to an opportunity for marketers to connect with and engage their audience. It doesn’t matter whether you use your own content or use other people’s content on the platform, one can easily make a shareable Moment to tell a narrative. Take a look at this example:
⚡️ "Snapchat Spectacles and Circular Video 👻 https://t.co/ZwtygXR47z
— Ash Read (@Ashread_) September 29, 2016
Moments present a great opportunity for users to get discovered and shared on Twitter.
4. More Characters to Reply
Previously, Twitter users had to @mention the Twitter handle of the person they wanted to reply to. This ate away a few of the precious 140 characters. In order to give users a little bit more room, Twitter has integrated this function directly into the reply button. Take a look.
Image source: blog.twitter
Bookmarks, as the name suggests, helps you to save tweets that you can view sometime later. Suppose a tweet has a link to an interesting article and you wish to read it later, you can do it using this feature. The feature is available for iOS, Android, mobile.twitter and Twitter Lite.
Instagram Social Media Updates
1. Monitor Instagram Engagement on Facebook
A lot of marketers find it simpler to be able to carry out various aspects of their marketing campaign through a single platform. Instagram and Facebook have come one step closer to this. Marketers can now monitor Instagram engagement through Facebook! It’s possible to review and engage the comments, all through the Facebook desktop version. This comes as a huge advantage for marketers.
2. Threaded Comments
Instagram has finally rolled out threaded comments on its mobile app. Prior to this update, all comments were posted straight down, in one line. This would result in a conversation.
Though this update seems to be insignificant to most, it is of immense importance for marketers. You can now provide personalized answers to audience questions and build stronger relationships with your followers.
3. Replay Live Videos for 24 Hours
It was just a few updates ago that users of Facebook and Instagram provided users the option to broadcast live videos. While this certainly did help marketers engage their audience, this update will do a better job. Earlier on, the live videos on Instagram could not be re-played.
This update on Instagram allows users to share their live videos as their stories with one simple touch. The video is then available to the audience for 24 hours just like a story. The platform also shows the original live video likes and comments ensuring the engagement to continue further.
4. New Face Filters
In May, Instagram announced the addition of new face filters. They announced a total of eight filters, which include animal features, glasses, and a variety of crowns. These filters can be used when you click pictures/videos, etc. using both your front or back camera. Filters are a fun way to engage with your audience.
Image Source: MakeUseOf
Image Source: MakeUseOf
5. New Hashtag and Location Stories on Instagram
Instagram now allows users to search popular stories in a particular location or a hashtag. As a marketer, you can tag the location of your stories and use the relevant hashtag and get showcased on location/hashtag-based searches. Location-specific stories can be found in the Stories section of the Explore tab as shown in the image below.
Image Source: Techcrunch
Here is how users can search for stories related to a particular hashtag:
6. Stories Highlights and Stories Archive
Stories have become an essential feature for Instagram users as well as marketers. But, sadly stories show up only for 24 hours. With this update, you can re-share our business stories with your followers. You can now group some of your most popular stories and group them as highlights and feature them on your profile. Highlights can stay on your profile as long as you wish and you can remove them when you’re done. All your older stories will now be saved as Archives and you can always revisit them from this section to create story highlights for your business.
Image Source: Instagram
7. Type Format on Instagram Stories
Similar to Facebook status messages, you can now create a story out of a typed message and a background template. The feature is very helpful in creating a quick text-based story that catches audience attention.
Social Media Updates on LinkedIn
1. LinkedIn Video
It’s crucial to get more engagement from your LinkedIn connections to ensure that you get a consistent supply of leads. The platform recently made all that easier by allowing you to publish native videos. Like other posts, you can analyze the top locations, companies, and designations of your viewers along with the video view count.
2. LinkedIn Active Status of Messenger
LinkedIn introduced the active status on LinkedIn messaging. This has been done to let you see when your connections are available for a quick chat. LinkedIn is all about making connections, and this cannot be done without starting a new conversation. The green dot will tell you who’s online so you can be confident about initiating a conversation.
3. Managing Comments on Your Post
Comments on a post are one of the best ways to share your perspectives with the world. They do a lot in order to extend the reach of your posts on LinkedIn. However, LinkedIn also lets the user have control over the comments of a post and has therefore given users the option to disable comments on their posts.
In addition to this, users can also remove mentions of themselves from comments or posts where they’ve been tagged. The option helps you enjoy greater control over the conversations you are being mentioned in.
4. Post Multiple Pictures in a Single Post
LinkedIn now allows users to post multiple images in a single post. At the moment, this feature is available only on iOS, and Android devices, while the desktop updates will come out soon as well.
5. Sharing Article Draft
Now, you can share a draft of your new blog post without having to publish it. There are times when you write a blog post, but you’re feeling iffy about it. These are occasions when you need to consider the opinions of your colleagues, mentors, and friends, etc.
With this new update, you can share the draft of your LinkedIn blog post with anyone just by clicking on the “share draft” button. The draft can be seen only by those people who you share it with.
6. New Search Features
In January’17, LinkedIn came out with an updated search feature. Now, there is a single search box at the top of the LinkedIn page where you should search for people, jobs, companies, schools, groups, etc.
This update also added five new power search features. They are:
- First Name: This power search feature finds members based on their first name.
- Last name: This power search feature finds members based on their last name.
- Title: This power search feature finds members based on their current title.
- Company: This power search feature finds members based on their current company.
- School: This power search feature finds members based on schools that they’ve attended.
There were some more features added to LinkedIn search in Feb’17:
- Sticky filters: Your search filters will stay active until you clear them up
- Saved searches: You can save your favorite searches and reuse them
- Search for posts: You can now use the search box to search for posts
7. New Profile Picture Filters
In March, LinkedIn introduced photo filters and editing options. Your profile picture is one of the things that connections and prospective connections notice first when they visit your profile. A good profile picture is therefore necessary for increased visibility on LinkedIn. However, you need not hire a photographer for your profile picture. LinkedIn allows users to make changes to their profile pictures using six filter options. You can also choose to crop your picture as well as edit its brightness, contrast, saturation, etc.
8. Images in Comments
LinkedIn now allows users to post images in comments. Images are seen as an extremely effective way to communicate with the audience. This update was welcomed by all users alike, and especially marketers.
Image Source: LinkedIn blog
8. Filters and Text in Video
LinkedIn, recently made its video feature even more interesting. It enabled users to add filters and text to video while uploading it to the platform. This feature is available on the latest version of the LinkedIn, Android and iOS app. You can use the filters and the text overlay while uploading or recording a video from the LinkedIn mobile app.
9. Sponsored Video Content
LinkedIn recently announced this feature for marketers to engage with their audience more effectively and collect more leads. You can now run auto-play video ads that will show in the newsfeed of your target audience. These ads will enable you to add a Call-to-Action and a lead generation form to start collecting leads from your ad.
Latest Social Media Updates on YouTube
1. Turn Videos to GIF
In a world where the attention span of users is getting lower and lower every day, a GIF can work wonders. It is one thing to share a video but it’s totally innovative to share a highlight of the video as a GIF. YouTube now makes it possible for users to convert videos to GIFs at the click of a button. However, this option is available only when the author of the video has enabled GIF creation.
2. Live Video Streaming
Following the footsteps of platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, YouTube finally released an update which facilitates live video streaming within the app. Live video streaming is becoming an increasingly popular way of sharing some compelling content with your audience.
3. YouTube Community
YouTube helps channel owners to build deeper relationships with their audience with the help of ‘YouTube Community’. The community tab enables marketers to post polls, images, text, videos, etc. so the subscribers can engage with such content. This feature is available to those YouTube channels with more than 10,000 subscribers.
4. Messaging and Share Features in App
With this social media update, users can share videos, and chat with each other without having to leave the app. Generally, YouTube videos are shared on social networking sites or personal messaging apps, etc. This update allows users to share content within the app.
5. Flexible Format for Mobile
This update works only on the YouTube mobile app. Your YouTube app now adapts the aspect ratio of any video, irrespective of whether it is filmed vertically or horizontally. This has been done to improve the technical quality of the videos, so as to engage a wider audience. This flexible format might attract content creators and other brands on YouTube.
6. Captions, Chat and Geo-Tagging on YouTube Live
This is another interesting update for YouTube’s live video feature. The update has been announced by the video sharing platform and shall be live soon. It enables automatic live captions for your live streams with the help of speech recognition technology. The chat feature allows the audience to replay the chat that happened during the live stream. Another cool update that YouTube is adding to the live feature is the ability to geo-tag your live stream, so your audience would know where exactly is the event happening. The platform has also added a location filter to its search feature to enable users to search videos using location.
Social Media Updates on Pinterest
1. Promoted Videos
Pinterest understood the importance of videos in user-engagement. In fact, there was a 60% increase in the videos being added to the platform. Promoted videos is a feature that allows brands and companies to run ads on videos published on Pinterest.
2. Ad Groups
With this update, Pinterest now allows advertisers to group their advertisement campaigns. Pinterest ad groups give advertisers much more control over how to budget their campaigns. This new feature allows marketers to choose the kind of money they’d like to spend on certain regions and better target certain audience groups.
3. Taste Graph for Enhanced Targeting
Taste Graph helps you analyze user data and improve your ad targeting. Taste graphs help in personalizing advertisements for users. By understanding the tastes and preferences of users by analyzing their activity on the website/app, the Pinterest Taste Graph connects the people to the content that’s just right for them. This is a very helpful feature for marketers to improve their conversion rate.
4. New Measurement Solutions
With this feature, Pinterest provides marketers much-needed analytics for their Pinterest audience. This feature would help you to Analyze your Pinterest performance and improve your strategy.
5. Lens Feature
This simple social media update on Pinterest lets you use your phone camera to identify a variety of things, ranging from clothing, food, decor, etc. For example, if you point your camera at a leather jacket, you’ll get to see similar styles on Pinterest or get ideas on how to wear the jacket. Pinterest has recently doubled the types of objects that the Lens can recognize giving its users a much wider choice. Pinterest also launched its version of QR codes called Pincodes – the users can now scan these codes using the app and visit the related web link or Pinterest board.
Social Media Marketing is an integral part of building a brand online. You can produce innovative and interactive content on these channels. Social platforms allow you to initiate and build lasting conversations with your target audience and get them to know your business better. Social Media is an essential medium to entertain your audience and at the same time build trust with them. Last, but not the least, with the right efforts, the channel could even help your brand to go viral and get massive amounts of reach and publicity, quickly.
Hope these Social Media Updates will help you to get better results from your current Social Media Marketing efforts. I would love to learn more from your experience. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.