Although most of us spend a lot of time scrolling through endless social feeds, we probably don’t notice each new update our favorite platforms have rolled out. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter spend countless hours compiling and analyzing user data. Most of this data is used to make small-scale updates to improve user experience, like a new mobile layout or enhanced security/privacy measures. However, a lot of the data is also utilized by B2B and B2C social media marketers who aim to connect with potential customers.
WebRealSimple digs into newsworthy updates from the social media giants, which factors impact your marketing campaigns, and why keeping up with social media trends is essential to the success of your business.
Social Media Marketing Trends of 2019
With all of this data up for grabs, social media marketers are still falling short. One of the trends, which we’ll refer to as reactive social media marketing, could actually be hurting your business. Highly successful social influencers and businesses all have one thing in common: a goal-oriented social media marketing plan with consistency. This means planning your social media campaigns in advance by utilizing a content calendar and publishing tools. Staying ahead of competitors with consistent, targeted posts or ads is essential.
A robust yet free option for planning your social media marketing is already built in to Facebook’s Business Manager tool. By using the Facebook Business Manager, marketers can collect insights and reports that allow them to tailor their organic or paid ads. Planning is made even simpler with the Publishing Tools feature which allows users to choose when their content will be posted. Facebook also offers information on when their target audience is most active. This allows users of the feature to choose a specific time of day as well as which day of the week their post(s) will go live. This brings us to our first of 3 new updates for social media marketing platforms.
The Return of Custom Audience Reach Estimates (Facebook)
Seasoned social media marketers likely remember the Custom Audiences, a feature previously available for advertisers on Facebook. The tool allowed marketers to see an approximation of how many users were included in their targeted audience based on certain parameters they chose. The feature was a powerful tool for creating conversions by establishing an audience based on relevancy while staying within an advertising budget.
After discovering a bug in the feature in early 2018, it was removed from the platform. Facebook noted that the bug was allowing an audience to be targeted based on their gender or location. To avoid potential privacy violations, Facebook fixed the bug and rolled out reach estimates in July. Although it’s a small update, it will help social media marketers continue to target their campaigns and keep advertising costs down.
Hidden Likes (Instagram)
Social media users in the states probably haven’t noticed this change on Instagram, but it is slowly being rolled out overseas. The “hidden likes” update was tested and implemented in Canada, Japan, Brazil, Australia, Italy, and Ireland. Instagram chief, Adam Mosseri hopes to alleviate pressure on users to share content with a singular goal: the highest number of likes.
Users are now encouraged to engage with the community in a more organic way by sharing their stories without the fear of ridicule for having lower engagements than their peers. Some influencers believe the change will make it harder to continue growing their number of followers without the “crowd effect.” Others believe ridding the platform of its “popularity mindset” will help authentic users find success as influencers.
With new social influencers cropping up daily on the aesthetically-focused platform, Instagram marketing continues to be a growing industry. While this change is a move in the right direction for daily users whose self-esteem may be negatively impacted by the constant competition, could it also affect businesses who count on successful Instagram marketing? Likely not, according to Instagram insiders. The test will not affect measurement tools for businesses and users will still be able to click on the post to see the number of engagements it had. Additionally, businesses will still be able to compile their stats from the business manager tool and show the number of engagements to potential clients.
Updated In-App Camera Features (Twitter)
The microblogging social media platform made waves in early 2018 after a decision to double the character limit from 140 to 280. Social media marketers were abuzz with the possibility of utilizing the platform to reach potential clients. Some industry experts expressed concern that companies would become lazy with their messaging, no longer required to craft thoughtful messages in 140 characters or less. However, the multi-platform management app Buffer showed an interesting verdict: Twitter is outperforming other social media platforms when it comes to influencer campaigns. Instagram and Facebook are still on top, naturally.
With Twitter being one of the legacy apps when it comes to social media, insiders felt it was at serious risk of being outshined by Instagram. In an effort to keep active users on the platform and enhance the user experience, a timely in-app camera was rolled out in March. Even with third-party apps to enhance photos and add filters, users still enjoy the ability to further edit their photos on Instagram. Twitter answered the call to make their camera feature more user friendly, offering easier accessibility (swiping left from the timeline will bring up the camera), 6 new colors, the ability to overlay captions and hashtags, and of course live videos similar to Instagram/Facebook stories.