2018's Social Media Updates --- and How To Stay In The Loop

Those already in the social media marketing game know very well that keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and changes is essential to avoid losing ground to your competitors.

Most of the major social media platforms are constantly updating their terms and protocols to meet the changing needs of both businesses and individuals, and these alterations can have a profound effect on the success of your marketing strategy. Here are some of the most notable social media changes this year so far.

 

Facebook

We’re not even through the first quarter of 2018, and Facebook has already made over a dozen changes that can significantly affect your marketing results and costs.

The largest of these changes are directly related to advertising. The A/B testing feature on Facebook can certainly help you choose the best ad image, but it can also make things a bit muddy-- you might end up with many more versions than you intended if you try to test copy variations alongside ad images.

The new Dynamic Creative feature, however, helps eliminate some of the need for trial and error. This feature uses Facebook’s own algorithms to find you the best combination of headlines, images, and text, as well as offering you the ability to include up to 30 creative assets. And once the ad goes out for publication, Facebook will mix and match these elements to find out which combination delivers the best results.

Marketers can also expand their audience reach using the new Dynamic Language Optimization feature, which enables the creation of multilingual ads. Marketers once had to have translations in-hand before the publication process, creating different sets of ads in each language they wished to display. With the Dynamic Language Optimization setting, you can simply create one ad and select from up to six different language options. Your ads will automatically be delivered in the right language, to the right audience.

In addition to merging Ads Manager with Power Editor into a single tool, Facebook has also been working hard to promote authentic content for its users. Prioritizing posts from friends and family over advertisements within the News Feed, the greater emphasis on these personal posts means that public posts from businesses are less likely to pop up organically.

Users will also see more content from local news sources-- this update is meant to disrupt the distribution of fake news and unverified information, improving the overall quality of the news shared to Facebook.

In order to keep up with these developments, businesses will need to make it a priority to create high-quality, personalized content. Endorsements by relatable influencers are at a premium, as their content flies under the radar of ad-minimizing algorithms. Many of these updates, especially the ad creation tools, will be a major boon to advertisers if they are mastered quickly and used to their fullest potential.

 

Instagram

Instagram is a true force in social media marketing, and several of its recent updates only cement its place as a top player for advertisers.

The platform has become more engaging and dynamic for both businesses and individual users over the past year, rolling out a number of important updates that can impact your social media marketing strategy.

For starters, users can now follow hashtags. As CROWD. has covered before, this new ability means users no longer need to search manually for content that interests them, as appropriately-tagged images will simply appear in their main feed.

Although it is not yet available from the platform itself, Instagram users have long been asking for a “regram” feature. It’s possible through third-party apps, but Instagram is now examining options to fulfill this wish directly. At the moment, the lack of such a feature means users are taking screenshots of others’ content and re-uploading it, often without proper credit.

User-generated content is the bread and butter of digital marketers, and it’s a crucial part of sharing updates. With a regram feature, sharing UCG and other kinds of content will be a lot easier, and will result in better attribution to the original poster.

The “follow hashtag” feature will allow businesses to monitor their hashtags more efficiently, and keep eyes on their competitors’ engagement levels. It will also give you better insight in to the types of content that are generating the most interest.

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has rolled out a number of major updates over the past year. Among these is a refresh for LinkedIn groups.

The groups feature had been losing favor with users because of its influx of spam, and subsequent lack of engagement. Now, however, the business platform has made the feature accessible from the homepage-- users can post videos for group members to view, and the latest content from your groups is visible in the homepage feed and notifications.

Secondly, LinkedIn has made changes to its Sales Navigator app, making it quicker and easier for businesses to access information on their customers and target demographics. Also part of the overhaul are LinkedIn’s account pages, which have been redesigned, and the addition of improved search filters and email alerts. LinkedIn also now allows users to transfer data to corporate accounts with a self-serve tool.

The updates to this platform may mean a return of interest from users who have fallen off in recent years. They also spell opportunity for better communication, simpler data and account management, and greater capacity for connection and engagement.

 

Snapchat

Snapchat’s recent major redesign, meant to help bring influencers back on board, has received its share of negative feedback.

The redesign separates the media content from the “friends” content-- a move that upset many users of the platform, even resulting in an 800,000-signature petition demanding a reversion to the old layout. Snapchat has held firm, however, stating that its users will eventually become accustomed to the new version. However, earlier this week, several users reported seeing a switch back to chronological feed. Snapchat has not released any official word on whether it’s bringing back the old interface, but we’ve got our eye on them.

Now that publisher and branded content are out of the main feed, however, businesses may need to consider paying to advertise on the platform if they want to achieve the same level of reach and engagement they had before the update. Brands are also under additional pressure to pay for ads on Snapchat thanks to changes to the algorithm, which controls what users see in the Discover tab.

 

Keeping Up

As we explore the brave new world of social media, things are constantly changing and evolving.

Finding consistent success in your social media marketing efforts, therefore, means staying on top of all the new features your preferred platforms introduce.

Thankfully if your social media business strategy is adaptive and willing to experiment with new and creative formats, you’re more likely to draw in new business. Being quick to explore ways to leverage each update as it comes out, gives you a significant edge over your competitors. It’s absolutely crucial to stay sharp. For more hidden gems of social media business strategies, visit  CROWD. or send an email to our team of experts, at hello@crowd.agency.

 
 
TRENDSVicki Frid