Social Media’s Sizzling New Features You Need to Know About

Summer may conjure up lazy days at the beach, but social media platforms have been busy debuting new features. Here’s a summer roundup of features you may have missed, so you can incorporate them into your social media strategies.

Social Media's Sizzling New Features You Need to Know About

Is your brand utilizing all of the new features on your favorite social media platforms?

Instagram

It started in May with an improved inbox. More than 150 million active daily users converse with businesses through Instagram Direct each month, so the platform added more tools for business owners to manage these conversations. You can now star important messages for follow-up, and IG is testing quick replies. In addition, messages now come directly to your inbox instead of languishing in the oft-forgotten Pending section.

Related: Making it Easier to Do Business on Instagram

Then, the popular platform went crazy and introduced five new features in a month! Everyone is talking about IGTV, Instagram’s new platform for long-form vertical video content. It’s available in the upper right hand corner of your app (next to Instagram Direct), or you can download the standalone IGTV app. Will IGTV become a major competitor to YouTube or fade away over time?

Other new features that may benefit your business include group video chat (now available in Instagram Direct), music and question stickers in Instagram Stories and an updated Explore page. The new stickers can help you show personality, draw more eyes (and ears) to your Stories and increase engagement with fans and customers.

Related: 5 New Instagram Features to Help Grow Your Business this Summer

LinkedIn

LinkedIn continues to expand its features, so it’s important that you maintain an active presence. It’s no longer enough to post a resume and forget about it. Even if you’re not actively pursuing new employment, this platform presents a multitude of opportunities: making professional connections, strengthening relationships, seeking new clients and establishing yourself as a thought leader in your field.

We enjoy pulling a quote from an article to highlight an important point and encourage conversation, so we’re excited to see LinkedIn make it easier to do. Now you can highlight a quote, right click and share it to your feed or message it privately on mobile. It will automatically include a link to the article along with your quote as the caption.

LinkedIn's new capabilities

Another exciting new development is the ability to save drafts directly on the LinkedIn platform. Say you’re browsing articles and find three that you’d like to share. Share them, write your caption (or pull a quote) and save as a draft. You can share it at a future date in order to share your content at optimal times for your audience.

The Posts & Activity shortcut (now available on your account drop-down menu) is an easy way to see what you have shared recently with your network. The built-in translator will come in handy when connecting with professionals across the word, and video captions help you communicate with viewers even when they’re watching your video silently, which people commonly do today.

Twitter

Not to be outdone, Twitter has been rolling out new features too. The platform announced it will begin showing related topics in its Trending Topics listing, which could help you tap into trending news. The related topics can give you a more complete view of the trending discussion, so you can see if a tie-in to your brand is appropriate and what additional hashtags to use.

Twitter also removed millions of accounts from follower numbers, cracking down on suspicious and spam accounts. Remember that active, targeted followers are more important than quantity, and don’t ever buy followers. This update will help make follower counts more accurate and add more legitimacy to influencer marketing on Twitter.

Finally, Twitter is making an effort to improve users’ experience by adding the ability to dock videos, so you can keep watching while you scroll. This may lengthen the amount of time viewers watch your videos or even boost views overall.

Facebook

Meanwhile, Facebook has made changes while trying to climb back into users’ good graces. The beleaguered social platform removed its Trending section to make room for future news experiences, such as exclusive video news content on Facebook Watch.


 

The social giant also introduced Keyword Snooze to help users further control their News Feed. This feature allows users to temporarily hide posts with a specific keyword or phrase from people, Pages and Groups for 30 days. It joins Facebook’s other News Feed controls: See First, Hide, Unfollow and Snooze.

Speaking of Groups, Facebook introduced Subscription Groups, so admins can charge for the content they provide group members. This could be a new distribution option for your brand’s premium content, such as in-depth tutorials, live streams of event sessions and video coaching sessions.

As we were compiling this roundup of new features, some platforms dropped even more new features.

Instagram Adds Active Status Notifiers to Fuel Real-Time Connection
Facebook Adds Option to Merge Instagram Contacts into Messenger
Bring Your Conversations to Life with New Updates in LinkedIn Messaging
Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter partner for ambitious new data project

Watch for more insight on these new features and how they can help you build your brand and connect with your communities in future articles. What new feature are you most excited about? Does one or two platforms work better for you than the others? Do you utilize different platforms for different reasons?

We would love to discuss social media marketing with you! Leave your comments below, contact us to discuss your needs or connect with us on social, so we can stay in touch.

Let’s get social,
Jaime

https://www.facebook.com/ClearlyConveyedCommunications/ LinkedIn_2013_30x30 Pinterest_2013_30x30 Twitter_2013_30x30 https://instagram.com/jaimeshine

How to Incorporate Reactions into Your Facebook Strategy

Facebook Reactions are here. Now that people are getting used to them, how can you incorporate them into your strategy?

How to incorporate Facebook Reactions into your strategy

Feel the love by incorporating Reactions into your Facebook strategy! Photo courtesy of Facebook

 

Here’s how to feel the love from your Facebook community with the new Reactions:

  • Share controversial or complex issues that are in the news and relevant to your page. Ask community members how they feel about the subject, now that they can respond with a greater arrange of emotion. This is also a good way to encourage thoughtful comments and discussion. (Just remind everyone to stay civil!)
  • Take the This or That? post in a new direction. Post two pictures — salted caramel brownie or chocolate chunk cookie, for instance — and ask fans which one they love. (They may like both, but they can only love one!) Add another element by sending samples to random people who voted.
  • Ask questions about people’s experience with Reactions so far or their thoughts on how they’ll use them in the future. Have you used the Angry button to direct anger at a person/brand or at content only? Should a brand block fans who use inappropriate emotions (i.e. Haha or Love on a post about someone dying)? Have you ever scrolled past a post because you couldn’t decide which Reaction button to use? Which Reaction button do you use most often?
  • Encourage fans to use the full range of Reactions on your posts, so you can use their feedback to drive future content. For example, if a topic elicits more love or wow Reactions, you may want to publish more content on that subject than one that draws only likes. It never hurts to reward community members who consistently make the effort to engage with your posts by utilizing appropriate Reactions and leaving thoughtful comments with prizes, samples or spotlights.

For now, Facebook is viewing all Reactions as positive engagement, a sign that someone wants to see more of your content. We’re hoping that more options increase engagement, especially with mobile users, by giving people quick ways to respond to posts and join a discussion (even if only in emoji). So encourage fans to utilize the newly available range of Reactions to help strengthen your relationships with your online community.

Your Reaction to Reactions

Have you seen a change in your engagement since Reactions were rolled out?

Do you use other Reactions regularly or is the like button still your go-to?

Have you not engaged with a post due to confusion over which Reaction to use?

Leave your thoughts or questions on Facebook Reactions in the comments!

Loving the new Reactions,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about Reactions, marketing on Facebook or otherwise):
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Facebook Pages: Now Open for Communication

Facebook for Business announced updates to Pages’ messaging capabilities earlier this month, and we’re all for making communication between brands and their audiences easier. But can it be too easy?

“Over a billion people visit Pages every month looking for more information from businesses.”

-Facebook for Business

Are you utilizing the enhanced Pages messaging capabilities?

Picture courtesy of Facebook for Business // text & thumbs up added by author

We’re always fans of helping brands and consumers communicate more clearly, so we love a number of these updates.

Send private messages to a Page from a local awareness ad.

You can now add a “Send Message” call-to-action button to your local awareness ads. What a great idea! Encourage prospects to initiate a private conversation with your business to learn more about your products or services, RSVP for an event or to place an order. A private conversation fuels a more intimate connection between brand and consumer. We’ve already begun brainstorming ideas on how to best utilize this new feature for our business and clients alike.

Reply to comments privately with a message.

We love this one! If a customer (or prospect) posts to your wall, you’re now able to respond privately in Messenger. The message links to the original comment, so the person who posted the question understands why he’s receiving a message from you. Plus, a notation is left under the person’s comment on the page letting others know that you responded privately and didn’t ignore him. This new feature applies to many situations, including order tracking and quoting.

Is the "Very responsive to messages" badge helpful to small businesses?

Picture courtesy of Facebook for Business

“Very responsive to messages” badge

Here’s the new feature we’re not sure about. We love prompt responses and timely communication, but does every question require an immediate answer? Pages that respond to 90% of messages with a median response time of less than five minutes will now showcase a “Very responsive to messages” badge.

As a small business owner, are you glued to your social networks 24/7? Whether we’re waiting on customers in our store or working on a client project, sometimes its best to give our full attention to the task at hand (like driving, for instance). Is it even advisable to jump at every social notification during these times? We’re interested in hearing from small business owners and professionals on this one. Will this new feature help or hurt small businesses?

“Messaging has become a preferred communication channel for people, and now people and businesses on Facebook can start real-time conversations with each other in more ways.”

-Facebook for Business

Page admin tools for managing messages

As a Page admin, how can you handle the increase in messages these updates should deliver? Saved replies, for one. While your communication with clients and prospects should be personal, it will be handy to save replies to common questions for easy retrieval later. Only save the replies you’ll use most often though. Otherwise, you’ll be digging through so many saved replies to find the one you want that this cool feature won’t be helpful. You’ll be able to edit saved replies, so you can still personalize your message.

Related reading: Facebook Messenger Is Now a Platform — And Open For Business

Comment on Facebook Pages’ new messaging capabilities

Which one of these updates will most help your business?

What do you think about the “Very responsive to messages” badge?

Do you manage your company’s Facebook page or do you delegate it to someone else?

p.s. If you need help making Facebook work for you business, we’d love to talk!

A fan of communication,
Jaime

Let’s chat (on Facebook, a new project or otherwise):
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Facebook Is An Enigma To Marketers But Its Still #1 (Most of the Time)

Social Media Examiner recently released its highly anticipated Social Media Marketing Industry Report. If you want to know how 3,700 fellow marketers are using social media to grow their businesses, then you’re in the right place. We’ll discuss a few key findings and surprises over the next few weeks that you can incorporate into your own plans.

Planet Facebook or Planet Earth?

“Planet Facebook or Planet Earth? by Paul Butler” via Duncan Hill via CC BY 2.0

Key Findings, Facebook Edition

Facebook, the ultimate enigma, at least for marketers. “While 93% of marketers are using Facebook, 68% want to learn more about it and 62% plan on increasing Facebook activities. Only 45% of marketers think that their Facebook efforts are effective,” however 52% would stick with the social behemoth if only allowed to utilize one platform. So you use it and are planning on increasing efforts but aren’t confident your current efforts are effective. Got it.

These conflicting findings aren’t surprising given the overall size of the platform and marketers’ struggles with connecting to their audiences on it. You realize the potential in Facebook but have yet to see your substantial efforts pay off. It is interesting to see that marketers are planning on increasing their activities despite the number of “I’m quitting Facebook” articles making the rounds.

If you’re frustrated with Facebook (which we all are from time to time), take a step back and look at the big picture. What are you trying to accomplish? What type of content is your audience most receptive to in this environment? While general tips are helpful to get started, you need to utilize Insights or 3rd party analytics to build your own knowledge base. Your audience is unique, so what works best for another page may not be music to your audience’s ears.

Check out these new resources for Facebook marketers and get ready for some exciting updates coming in the near future, such as Facebook Messenger now being its own platform — and open for business. This is a game-changer for small businesses, especially the upcoming payment feature. If you haven’t heard, Facebook is adding a feature to Messenger that will allow you to send payments to other users, including businesses, for free.

Discover more helpful tips and tricks for succeeding on Facebook by checking out our blog posts on the subject. Or message us (here or on Facebook), so we can discuss your current status and how to get where you want to go.

SMM Industry Report: Facebook Edition Feedback

What’s your favorite way to use Facebook for business?

What feature is it missing?

What’s one tip that you would share with others using Facebook for business?

p.s. You can download a free copy of the Social Media Marketing Industry Report here.

Facebook fan and foe,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about the SMM Industry Report, Facebook or otherwise):
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