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The users have spoken and platforms are answering. Responsiveness is a key theme as brands strive to adapt to both user feedback and criticism alike. Attempts to increase transparency continue on Facebook amid outcry from users, while Snapchat and Twitter continue to roll out highly requested updates to their platforms in an attempt to remain relevant and please vocal users and advertisers.

Snapchat Announces Launch of Snapchat Audience Network

  • At its first ever Snap Partner Summit, Snapchat announced that it will begin showing its ads in other apps, with the launch of Snapchat Ad Kit and the Snapchat Audience network. Similar to Facebook’s audience network, the Snapchat Audience network component will allow brands to utilize Snapchat’s vertical video ads across their participating partner apps. Brands will be able to reuse previously Snap-exclusive ads by serving to partner apps such as Postmates, Patreon, Eventbrite and Pandora, directly through the Snap platform itself.
  • What it means for brands: Snapchat now reaches 75 percent of 13 to 34-year-olds in the U.S., and 90 percent of 13 to 24-year-olds. The Audience Network will give ads previously only compatible with the Snapchat platform more reach, making it more worthwhile for brands to invest their ad dollars in Snapchat. For pharma brands specifically, this presents an incentive to advertise with Snapchat to gain access to their audience in and out of the app, while running ads in a full screen format that eliminates the risk of running adjacent to undesirable content. Caution should still be taken, however, as the current available guidelines do not yet specify whether advertisers will be able to choose which of the partner apps their ads appear on.

Additional Resources: snapkit.com

(via TechCrunch)

Twitter Tests New Easier to Follow Conversation Labels

  • In a continued effort to make it easier to follow conversations, Twitter is testing three new reply labels for its conversation threads. A previous test had used the term “original tweeter” to describe a person who first tweeted and then replied to the resulting conversation. In the newest test, this has been changed to “Author” in the interest of clarity. Additionally, Twitter has added two new labels, “mentioned” and “following” to further identify key players in a conversation.
  • What this means for brands: While there are a number of existing methods for keeping up with a tracked conversation, this latest update, if widely implemented, could allow key players in a conversation to be more easily identified, as well as leaders of those conversation. For pharma brands in particular, this could help identify accounts and influencers leading relevant conversation about topics that are less widely discussed, and present further opportunities for engagement and partnership.

Additional Resources: Tech Times

(via TechCrunch)

Facebook Adds Ad Transparency to Pages

  • On the heels of several other privacy and transparency-related updates, Facebook has introduced the Ads Library to all current Pages. Topline data available to users upon opening the ads library includes Page creation date, previous Page merges and name changes, primary country location of people who manage the Page and advertiser spend information for ads related to politics or issues (where the Ad Library Report is currently available). The Ads Library provides a searchable archive of ads, who saw them, and for ads deemed related to politics or “issues of importance,” their spend and impressions. Ad data will be available in the library for seven years. Users can filter ads by region, ad name or ad topic.
  • What this means for brands: For pharma brands, which tend to be high priority targets for trolling by disgruntled users, the pressure is on to remain honest and transparent while still protecting brand safety. Questions surrounding ad reach, impressions and, most notably, spend, are likely to arise now that this information is publicly available. Brands will need to take extra precaution in community management for the immediate future to ensure that they are monitoring conversation and replying where appropriate.

Additional Resources: AdWeek, Social Media Today, Tech Crunch

(via Social Media Today) 


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Social Media is a dynamic and constantly evolving landscape. To be a strategist in the space you have to stay on top of the trends, updates and tools that change on a regular basis, because social continues to be a space with constant updates and evolutions. When I joined W2O right before Thanksgiving of last year my first order of business was learning how my new team stayed ahead of the social media curve.

As I got to know my teammates, I quickly realized something… this was a different kind of agency and a different kind of social media team. Not only do we have a team of 25+ Social Media strategists who know the platforms and ad unit offerings inside and out… the team truly works together like a well-oiled-machine to share the insights they collect. On my second day I sent one internal email about Instagram Stories and I had 3 or 4 suggestions on how to handle my situation in my inbox in minutes. It was clear to me that this team loves helping each other stay up to date on the ever-changing world of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

I have more good news – you have regular access to some of the social media learnings our team shares with each other. Simply check out The Social Scoop, the W2O Social Media team’s regular blog highlighting the most relevant updates from the major social media platforms.

If this is the first time you are learning about The Social Scoop, have no fear!  Below is a quick recap of some of the updates that stood out in early 2019. And what better way to catch you up on the latest and greatest than packaging the updates in a “March Madness theme”?

The Cinderella Story – Quora adds Keyword Targeting and New Ads Metrics

When people think social media content they typically think of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat. But there are new places where people go to share information and talk with each other. Quora is one of them and we’re excited to see this lesser known channel working to make their ad platform more accessible to brands. Read more here.

The Buzzer Beater – LinkedIn Adds New Ad Targeting Options

For years LinkedIn has been the place to go for thought leadership and industry updates. However many have wondered if they would ever beat the clock and update their ad targeting capabilities. We’re excited to see that LinkedIn got the message – and not a second too late.  The updates outlined in our 3/29 Social Scoop will make it easier to target the people brands and corporations want to reach with their story on LinkedIn.  Read more here.

The Full Court Press – Facebook Rolls Out Income-Based Targeting by ZIP Code

Facebook has embraced paid content promotion for years – they are relentless in putting the pressure on the other platforms to keep up with them. Their Blueprint certification program is much more robust than anything the other major players offer.  They also listen to brands and react with updates to their platform. The update outlined in our 2/25 Social Scoop post highlights how allowing income targeting by zip code will serve brands and corporations in their efforts to reach new audiences.  Read more here.

Defense Wins Championships – Twitter is Testing a New Option to Hide Tweet Replies
Unfortunately, Twitter has earned a reputation as a place for trolls to spread negative views and comments. We’re excited to see the platform following the lead of Facebook and experimenting with allowing brands and corporations to hide replies that don’t add value to the dialogue. It is all part of their attempt to create better “conversational health” on the platform.  This update also has the potential to help brands and corporations feel better about starting a conversation on the platform. Read more here.


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Change is coming! Most of the updates within the last fortnight have focused on updates to the backend of different platform’s ads and business managers. LinkedIn is adding more dimensions to their targeting while Facebook is updating and phasing out some of its less actionable metrics. Twitter is reviewing some of the API advantages of third-party platforms. Lastly, Instagram has launched a new checkout tool that’s currently in beta. Learn more about these updates down below!

LinkedIn Adds New Ad Targeting Options

  • LinkedIn has announced three new targeting features within its ads manager. After the addition of new interest targeting earlier this year, LinkedIn is broadening its ad targeting through:
    • Lookalike Audiences: Lookalike Audiences will enable you to upload an email list from your CRM, for example, or a list of people who have visited your website, then LinkedIn’s system will match those details against its database to come up with a new audience of user. It’s the combination of the traits of the ideal customer and company data to market to new professional audiences similar to the existing customers, website visitors and target accounts.
    • Audience Templates: Templates created by LinkedIn based on a market segment that companies are trying to reach that relates to their offering. The company simply enters the type of people (ex. members with a bachelor’s degree or Financial Decision Maker) they’re trying to reach and LinkedIn will provide a match based on system detail.
    • Microsoft Bing Search Data: To compliment interest targeting, it enables advertisers to reach LinkedIn users who’ve shown interest in certain topics based on related searches and information.
  • What it means for brands: LinkedIn has been updating its Ads Manager pretty consistently over the past year, as it tries to keep up with Facebook and Twitter. These new additions are a definite step in the right direction. The use of lookalike audiences has been very successful on Facebook and it could be even more helpful on LinkedIn, as it will be able to detect new users’ segments based on job title and position information, which could help the ads get in front of the right users. Audiences templates could be very useful for some smaller healthcare companies or companies who are just starting out and who don’t have the analytics to find their target market. Using a template would be extremely helpful as a starting point to pinpoint a business sector to get in front of. The audience templates are available to use now, but keep a lookout over the next two weeks for the lookalike audiences, as the rollout will be to all users.

Additional Resources: Adweek, Social Media Today

(via Adweek)

Instagram Launches “Checkout on Instagram”

  • Earlier this month, Instagram announced its first commitment to eCommerce and launched “Checkout on Instagram”, a new checkout option within the app. Taking the previously announced “Shopping Tags” to the next level, this new feature enables users to make a purchase right then and there instead of being taken out of the app before returning back to their Instagram feed. As of now, the process is not available for all brands and Instagram is also charging businesses a fee for each transaction facilitated, giving it another revenue stream.
  • What this means for brands: This step into eCommerce for Instagram will definitely revolutionize how people use Instagram in the future, by enticing users and finding new ways to keep them on the app for longer and longer. As this feature is currently only being tested by 23 companies and available to US audiences only, it’s not going to be all over everyone’s feeds right away, but it is something to keep an eye on because this will allow users to go further into the funnel on social. Medical meetings could advertise and have users buy tickets without leaving their feed. It’s no longer just purchase-intent on Instagram; it can be an actual purchase.

Additional Resources: TechCrunch, Verge

(via Social Media Today)

Facebook is Phasing Out its Ad Relevance Score

  • In its constant evolution of Ads Manager, Facebook announced that is replacing the “relevance score” metrics, a rating from 1 to 10 that estimates how well your target audience is responding to your ad, with three new relevance-related metrics. Additionally, Facebook is also updating how they are calculating potential reach and is set to remove other metrics that are used less often. Potential reach will now only include people who were shown an ad on Facebook in the last 30 days, instead of total monthly active users on Facebook. Some of the metrics that will no longer be available are “Offers Saved”, “Messaging Replies”, and “Mobile App Purchase ROAS”.  The new relevance dimensions are:
    • Quality Ranking: How the ad’s perceived quality compared with ads competing for the same audience
    • Engagement Rate Ranking: How the ad’s expected engagement rate compared with ads competing for the same audience
    • Conversion Rate Ranking: How the ad’s expected conversion rate compared with ads that had the same optimization goal and competed for the same audience
  • What this means for brands: It’s always important to know what metrics are being updated or phased out on a platform, in case one of them in consistently reported on. Relevance Score has always been an interesting statistic, but it does make sense for Facebook to focus on more actionable insights. With the new dimensions surrounding relevance, it will be clearer how the ad is performing against other ads targeting the same audiences instead of how relevant the ad itself is to the audience. These new relevance metrics will help advertisers understand whether changes to the creative, audience targeting, or the entire post might improve the overall performance. An ad targeting a rare disease might have been shown as being “relevant” in the past but now, Facebook will show how the ad is performed based on comparison to other ads targeting a similar audience.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today, MarketingTech

(via Social Media Today)

Twitter is Updating Limits on Third-Party Usage

  • Twitter is changing to two API (Application Programming Interface) endpoints as a way to better review how developers are using these endpoints. This means that apps which send more than 100,000 API requests per day (aka highly used third-party tools) will need to justify why they need that level of access. If a developer can explain that their usage is for research purposes, they’ll be able to keep using the API as always. But if they’re using this access to serve business customers, then they’ll need to pay more for the privilege. Twitter is giving developers a three-month window to assess and update their processes, but it is worth keeping an eye on third-party Twitter tools in the coming months based on these changes.
  • What it means for brands: A third-party tool is any application that someone uses to check Twitter that isn’t Twitter itself. This will affect some third-party management tools for Twitter, so if you or your client uses one, there might be some changes coming in the following months. This new review could see a lot of businesses facing an increase in access costs, which could put more of them out of action, and limit the range of third-party tools on the market – meaning the big players will get bigger, while smaller ones will die out. It also could lead to some third-party tools charging more for monthly or annual usual to try and counteract the increased cost on their end. While this might not affect every third-party tool that utilizes Twitter, it important to watch this kind of news and see if anything changes are afoot.

Additional Resources: TechCrunch, Social Media Today

(via Social Media Today)

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It’s all about control. The focus of this scoop is on an advertisers’ ability to create premium content and have more control and creativity on what is on the feeds. Facebook announced a new premium video views ad program for Watch videos and also released a new set of stickers for Women’s History Month for Facebook Stories. Twitter is testing the ability to hide a Tweet reply to allow for moderation of what the feed looks like and Quora launched new parameters for ad targeting. Read on to learn more!

Facebook Introduces “Showcase” for Premium Video Advertisers

  • Facebook recently announced a new premium video ad program: Facebook Showcase. From Facebook, Showcase will give advertisers “new opportunities to reach their target audiences within the highest-quality videos on Facebook.” The program aims to provide larger scale ad opportunities through the most popular Watch programs. Though Facebook has not announced a launch date for Showcase, it will include three different promotion types:
    • In-Stream Reserve: video views ads that reach people watching Watch videos with the placement having been bought in advance at a fixed cost and delivered to in-target audiences verified by Nielsen
    • In-Stream Reserve Categories: video views ads that allows advertisers to reach people within contextually relevant content
    • Sponsorship: the ability to become the exclusive sponsor of a program and an opportunity to place their ads in specific shows
  • What it means for brands: Brand safety is always an important consideration when making an advertising decision and Showcase will provide “In-Stream Reserve Categories”, which allows advertisers to pick the content they want their ads to be shown around. For pharmaceutical companies, this feature would make it possible to choose a specific category that is specific to the target audience and is brand-safe. In regards to the audience itself, TechCrunch found that Watch currently serves over 400MM monthly viewers who are consuming at least one minute of content, with 75 million of those averaging around 20 minutes watch time each day (TechCrunch). Facebook states that 43% of people who watch In-Stream Reserve-eligible content on Facebook were 18-34-year-olds, which is 14% higher than the TV audience of the same age. Another added plus is that the audience on Facebook Watch are becoming harder to find on linear TV so an advertisement on the Showcase program could be beneficial for hitting a target audience.

Additional Resources: Adweek, Social Media Today

(via Social Media Today)

Facebook Announces New Themed Stickers for Women’s History Month

  • With March being Women’s History Month, Facebook has released a set of stickers, enabling users to show their support for the event in a creative, engaging way. There are three new stickers: one specific to International Women’s Day, one specific to Women’s History Month, and one about women in general. This builds upon what Facebook has encouraged in the past, allowing multiple user-created frames for profile photos for an awareness day or month like Rare Disease Day.
  • What this means for brands: Themed tie-ins like these can serve a dual purpose: to enable the platforms to show support for relevant causes and to promote the use of their tools. Brands could be able to take advantage of this and possibly partner with Facebook to create stickers for awareness months, like Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October or Men’s Health Month in June. While frames on profile photos have been used quite often for disease awareness days, creating a specific sticker for Facebook Stories for a medical meeting or an awareness day could bring in a new type of engagement onto the platforms, similar to the Snapchat geo-filter. While these stickers are only on Facebook Stories at the moment, Stories usage is rising and tools like these will no doubt help to boost interest and get more users trying out the option to show their support.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today

(via Facebook)

Twitter is Testing a New Option to Hide Tweet Replies

  • Twitter is testing a new feature that would hide tweet replies on a thread not just from the user’s timeline but from anyone else as well. From Social Media Today, the new ‘Hide Tweet’ option has been added to the reply tweet drop-down, though all users will still be able to choose the ‘View Hidden Tweets’ option on any tweet to see what the poster has chosen to hide, ensuring there’s still a level of transparency and accountability. Twitter has confirmed that this option is development and will be rolled out for broader public testing within the next few months.
  • What it means for brands: While this feature already exists on Facebook Pages with the “Hide comment” option, the ability for brands to hide specific tweet replies could be a big help to healthcare and pharmaceutical companies that previously would not want to post on Twitter due to the fact that they cannot control comments on the organic posts or ads. On Facebook, the ability to hide replies can help weed out spam and junk comments in order to boost genuine engagement on the posts and this feature will allow Twitter to do the same. Having control over the replies visible on an organic or dark Twitter ad will allow the brand to control the conversations around their tweets.

Additional Resources: CNBC, Wired

(via Social Media Today)

Quora adds Keyword Targeting and New Ads Metrics

  • Quora has recently announced new keyword targeting that allows advertisers to bid on keywords they may already be leveraging in search campaigns. This enhanced targeting will be used to show the ad against relevant questions on the platform and will be visible on the ad group or ad set level. Additionally, Quora offers six primary types of ad targeting – topic, question, audience, interest, broad and keyword targeting. There will be two match types – broad match and phrase match – and the ability to add negative keywords. Advertisers will also have access to three new metrics in the ads manager:
    • Auctions Lost to Competition: the percent of auctions which the ad set entered and was the best ad set in the advertiser’s account for the auction but did not win the available slot
    • Impression Share: the percent of auctions which the ad set entered and was one of the winners
    • Absolute Impression Share: the percent of auctions which the ad set entered and won the top available slot
  • What this means for brands: For those of you do not know, Quora is a question-and-answer social platform where users ask and answer questions within their community. Quora continues to build out their advertising features and capabilities with new metrics that can give the brand a better sense of the frequency with which competitors might be beating the brand for the top slot. Pharmaceutical and healthcare brands can use Quora as a way to interact with the conversation surrounding their corporate brand on Quora, as some major pharmaceutical companies have almost 30k followers. The new keyword targeting will also assist companies on creating more specific targeting to ensure they are reaching their target audience, with the new metrics showcasing the percentages of auctions they won or lost.

Additional Resources: Marketingland, Search Engine Land

(via Quora)


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Consolidation and integration are common themes we saw across social channels in the past few weeks, as Facebook and Instagram take further steps towards unifying their platforms. Instagram is placing IGTV previews directly into users’ feeds. Facebook is completing the merge with Instagram notifications by adding Instagram direct messages to the unified Facebook and Instagram notification feed. Additionally, Facebook is removing ad set budget control from advertisers’ pages, and reintroducing an ad targeting by income feature.

  

Facebook Makes Instagram Messages Accessible to Page Admins

  • As part of a growing push to combine its platforms, Facebook announced that admins will soon be able to respond to Instagram messages from their corresponding Facebook page inbox. When Facebook introduced the unified notification stream across Facebook, Messenger and Instagram in 2016, the merge did not include Direct, Instagram’s messaging feature. With this addition, communications between the platforms will now be available in one location. Approximately half of all Instagram users use direct messaging. The merging of Direct into the unified notification stream will allow admins one-stop-shop access to a brand’s notifications across the two platforms.
  • What it means for brands: With the growing popularity of Instagram, and a growing interest from users in interacting directly with brands, anything that makes engagement easier should be seen as progress.This update will enable brands to more easily keep up with comments in real time, and stream line tracking of audience sentiment and conversations. Pharma brands particularly can use this new unified function to respond efficiently and consistently across platforms, keep track of patient, caregiver and HCP comments, and ensure that they respond appropriately and in a timely manner.

Additional Resources: Mashable, Social Media Today

(via Marketing Land)

Facebook Rolls Out Income-Based Targeting by ZIP Code

  • Facebook has introduced a new ad targeting parameter in the form of average household income by ZIP code. In contrast to the previously removed feature that allowed brands to target users based on actual household income, the new feature will allow income level targeting based on the percentage into which a ZIP code falls (i.e.; top 10, 20 or 50 percent of all household incomes).
  • What this means for brands: As with any ad targeting feature, this will allow brands to add another layer of customization to the audience they are targeting. With the reintroduction of a targeting by income feature, brands are once again able to factor income into their paid strategy. While not household specific, the income by ZIP code feature may still help narrow audiences down to the geographic areas most likely to engage. Healthcare or pharma brands that feature cosmetic products/procedures may find greater success with this update, as they now have the option to target audiences who may have a higher disposable income, and therefore are more likely to engage.

Additional Resources: Marketing Land

Facebook to Remove Ad Set Budgets

  • Starting in September, Facebook advertisers will have limited control over ad-set budgets. All new and existing campaigns will be moved to Facebook’s automated campaign budget allocation system, which optimizes campaign budgets across all ad sets within a single campaign. Advertisers will only have the ability to set minimum and maximum spend limits, as all other parameters of budget allocation will be controlled by Facebook’s automated system without the possibility for advertiser intervention.
  • What this means for brands: Facebook’s optimization system will allocate budget based on performance, meaning top-performing ads will continually receive a greater percentage of the campaign budget. The system of allocation may present a challenge when there is a large disparity in audience sizes. For pharma and healthcare brands, particularly those in the rare disease space attempting to reach small, harder to target groups, larger audiences will likely dominate the budget allocation if left in the same campaign. A lookalike audience, for example, which is typically considerably larger than the targeted group it is mimicking, would perform better by virtue of its size, and therefore command a much larger portion of the budget. As a result, it may become necessary for brands to run ad sets in separate campaigns when first building out a page’s audience.

Additional Resources: Marketing Land

Instagram Adds IGTV Previews to Feed

  • In a post on their own platform, Instagram has announced that previews for the platform’s longform video service, IGTV will now appear directly in the newsfeed. IGTV, which was introduced in mid-2018, exists as both a separate app, and a function of the Instagram app itself. IGTV allows content creators to upload videos up to an hour in length, in contrast to the 60 second cap imposed on videos posted directly to the feed. Since November of last year, previews of the broadcasts can also be added to a user’s Instagram stories. With this latest update, IGTV broadcasters will now be given the opportunity to select a clip from their latest broadcast to be added to their followers’ main feed, with the option for users to tap the post to view the full broadcast. While IGTV has not gained as much initial popularity as Instagram had hoped, due in large part to the requirement that videos be vertically formatted, the added convenience of this recent update looks to bring Instagram closer to competing with platforms like YouTube for longform video streaming.
  • What this means for brands: The addition of IGTV previews represents an incentive for brands to move away from outside platforms in favor of placement in the feed. Rather than attempting to build a follower base on an outside platform, brands can now leverage their existing Instagram followers by ensuring that a clip of their content appears directly in their followers’ feed. For pharma brands, legal and regulatory processes can make participating in live video functions difficult, and mandate that short-form videos are devoted in large part to highlighting important safety and prescribing information. IGTV would allow these brands to post longer videos with more in-depth content, so that a smaller percentage of time is devoted to regulatory requirements. The ability to utilize segments of pre-recorded videos in both stories and the feed provides the opportunity for pharma brands to participate in the growing video trend without the legal risks associated with Instagram Live.


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A Quick Take on Unlocking the Power of Digital

It seems to go without saying that in 2019 organizations are fully digitized. The truth though is far from the perception.

That’s why, as I look at the year ahead on this Chinese New Year of the Pig, instead of sharing a slew of predictions I want to focus on the one strategic imperative for leaders in the new year.

Becoming a digital organization is no longer a competitive advantage it’s a competitive must.

Yet, for many companies and leaders, being digital is still elusive. What gets in the way of adopting a digital model and mindset? What specifically needs to change in the business?

In a word, everything. From the overall business model to the entire employee and customer experience. Product development, innovation, HR, supply chain, manufacturing, services, culture, communications, and marketing or the ethos surrounding the enterprise.

So, delving into the layers necessary to achieve a true digital transformation, organizations and brands can cross the divide separating their current state with the future potential.

First and foremost, a digital mindset starts in the head and with the leadership team. It’s about improving current business practices and approaches, optimizing processes, and identifying new streams of revenue and value.

Second, it must be viewed not as a disruption but a renaissance throughout the enterprise. A pathway to see things through new eyes and apply behaviors and expectations to situations that demand new thinking. 

Third, a new set of measures to organize decisions and knowledge creation. Companies often implement digital initiatives but do not comprehend a macro digital strategy. Digitization is based on how the entire business better serves employees and customers throughout the new journey including myriad touch points, channels, platforms, and feedback. It means allowing key audiences to “choose their own adventure.” 

Fourth, digital is about expressing yourself as a corporate brand in a manner every audience can identify with vs. the analog model which is based on a one size fits all concept.

Fifth, it involves melding technology, consumer behavior, and employee competencies to generate a better customer experience.

Organizations in a range of sectors and industries have made the transition to digital. They have done so to avoid extinction and evolve their business models to reflect a world of seamless connectivity and communication. But there are many other organizations trapped by their own thinking and inertia that creates the digital divide we now see. Breaking through requires tenacity, nurturing, focus, and design to create engagement and agility.

In my opinion, there is no more important priority for businesses and brands in 2019.

Here’s to a Healthy, Happy and Digitally Prosperous New Year!

Jim


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New year, new feeds! Through the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019, social platforms have been testing and rolling out new updates to their feeds and dashboards. Instagram tested a horizontal tap-to-advance feed along with a new feature to post the same photo and caption to multiple accounts. Twitter announced at CES that they are planning on releasing new analytics and events dashboards on the backend. And to round out the pack, Facebook released a new set of Call-to-Action stickers for Facebook Page stories to help increase visibility. Read on below to find out more about these new and upcoming changes!

Instagram Tests Tap-To-Advance Feed View

  • Since October 2018, Instagram has been testing a new, horizontal “Tap-To-Advance” feed in place of the normal vertical scroll method. The test was meant to encourage more engagement, similar to the design we’re used to Instagram Stories. Unfortunately, Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri, confirmed in a tweet that a bug mistakenly rolled out the massive change to the feed for a broad set of users versus a small percentage of users they were expecting. Public response to the new feed was not positive, and Instagram will have to continue tinkering to experiment with how people want to spend time in the app.
  • What it means for brands: The tap-to-advance feed makes it easier to move between posts while keeping the entire post in view and without having to scroll up or down to see the original poster and caption. This would have allowed businesses to focus on a singular post as more than just a photo. With the account, photo, and caption seen all together at once, companies could include the booth number of an upcoming medical meeting in their account name as it will always be with the context of the photo and caption. Additionaly, with a large change to the Instagram feed probably coming this year, new advertisement placements will probably follow. While change is inevitable, companies and businesses should be prepared to be agile and change strategy along with the updates to these social channels.

Additional Resources: Inc, Recode

(via TechCrunch)

Instagram Allows Photos to be Posted to Multiple Accounts

  • Instagram has rolled out the ability for users to publish a post across multiple accounts that a user controls at the same time. While it started testing back in December, the company has pushed out the update to most iOS users. As of now, there is no clear timeline for when it will be available to all users worldwide. The ability to cross-post across your accounts appears on the share a new post page. Underneath the options to tag people and mark your locations, there is a new section labeled “Post to Other Accounts”, which lets users toggle which accounts content should be posted to.
  • What this means for brands: From a high level – the most beneficial part of this new feature is the cut down time spent posting. The feature will be extremely helpful for businesses with multiple Instagram accounts for different offices or practices. Publishing press releases, industry news or cause awareness posts across multiple accounts will be much easier with a smaller margin of error. The caveat here will be to stay cognizant of user experience: audiences may not want to see repeated, duplicated content across multiple accounts. The crossover potential of your audience on each account should dictate if, and how often, this new feature should be used.

Additional Resources: TechCrunch, The Verge, Forbes

(via TechCrunch)

Twitter is Building a New Analytics Dashboard

  • At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, Twitter announced a new analytics tool in an effort to become more essential to an organization’s overall business activities. The new tool helps publishers better understand what kind of content is resonating with readers with two new dashboards: one to better track real-time information around events and another focusing on analytics and results. The concept for this new Twitter publisher dashboard is to “offer insights and analytics that can better inform organizations’ content strategies” (TechCrunch). The rollout for these dashboards are in the early concepting phase but the overall goal is to allow organizations to create and publish the most effective and engaging content; and most importantly, understand why they’re successful.
  • Additionally, Twitter announced that Events will be getting a revamp with a new dashboard. Events like CES,  a major medical meeting, and breaking news will appear in the dashboard with context of the tweets surrounding that event. As the self-proclaimed “World’s Town Hall”, this Events dashboard is another way for Twitter to harness conversations in a more actionable way. The idea behind this new dashboard is to allow publishers to figure out in advance “how they want to participate in that conversation on Twitter – either in terms of the content they publish or (more hopefully, perhaps) through advertising and promoting content” (TechCrunch). An added plus to the Events dashboard is organization: users can “tune in” to live events without following the users creating the conversation (publications, journalists, attendees). The Event dashboard will be pinned to the top of the timeline, in Explore, and accessible through Seach.
  • What it means for brands: Understanding and gaining more insight into the audience reading and engaging with your content is exciting. Analytics should always be ingrained in the foundation of social media strategy, and with Twitter’s new tools, brands can be even smarter about their content strategy. A deeper understanding of what works will help brands better optimize effective content production. While brands should already be calculating this data to inform content and strategy decisions, the new dashboards on Twitter will help visualize the data without having the leave the platform itself.

The Events dashboard will be an incredibly helpful real-time tracking tool during medical meetings or major conferences. The new ability to organize and follow a conversation without having to follow multiple parties will help give a bird’s eye view into larger events. In turn,  companies can decide if and when they want to participate in conversations as they are unfolding in the real world.

Additional Resources: Adweek, Social Media Today

(via TechCrunch)

Facebook Ads CTA button on Page Stories

  • On business pages, Facebook has released a new set of Call-to-Action (CTA) stickers for Pages to use on Facebook Stories. A CTA button was added to the top of Facebook Pages back in 2014 to help drive business objectives effectively (like allowing users the opportunity to learn more information or complete an conversion on or off Facebook). The stickers are similar to the existing CTA button options available on a Facebook Page like “Shop Now”, “Call Now”, or “Get Directions” which can link to any destination that aligns with business goals from the Story. This is part of a continuing effort from Facebook to encourage advertiser use of their Stories.
  • What this means for brands: With Facebook Stories slowly growing in daily users, business should continue to consider utilizing the format as a extension of their larger digital advertising ecosystem. These new stickers allow businesses to create more effective stories via direct response tools, instead of using Stories on Facebook simply for awareness. Having these stickers gives businesses a new way to drive conversions back to a landing page, press release, or other important content.

Additional Resources: Social Media Today

(via Social Media Today)


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Happy Holidays! We’re reporting on the latest social media news on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. Facebook is testing out a new search placement for advertisers to show up in searches on Facebook. YouTube has enabled autoplay videos on the homepage that will most likely see an increase in views overall. Lastly, Instagram has created a “close friends list” so users can share Instagram stories with specific people rather than their whole follower list. Learn more below about these updates!

Facebook Adding Search as an Ad Placement Option

  • Facebook is running a small test of ads in search results that will be a new placement in Ads manager. The new search ads will provide another way for brands to reach interested Facebook users based on their platform activity. In this stage of testing, advertisers won’t be able to select specific keywords to advertise against, but they’ll be allowed to appear in search results for queries such as auto or retail topics. Search ads will have a “Sponsored” tag denoting them as ads within the search results.
  • What this means for brands: With the new search ad placement, brands will have another opportunity to promote their page or products to relevant audiences on Facebook, further optimizing their results for success. This placement can be especially important when brands are looking to stand out in a broad search on Facebook, as they’ll be able to be at the top of a broader search with their company’s page. For healthcare brands, this placement will be helpful when working with a rare disease that has less keyword options, as it will offer another opportunity for their pages to be found as users search for them.

Additional resources: TechCrunch

(via Social Media Today) 

YouTube Adds Autoplay Videos to the Home Page

  • YouTube has announced that videos the home tab of its mobile device app will now autoplay, muted, with captions. Users will be able to control how the autoplay functionality works, including having the option to disable it completely, or to keep it on only when connected to Wi-Fi. YouTube will delay the videos autoplay feature momentarily to allow viewers to clearly see the thumbnail of the video because beginning to play. YouTube also released a video explaining the logic behind the change, including the benefits of activating videos as users scroll.
  • What this means for brands: Having videos on autoplay will likely increase video view metrics for brands, similarly to the increase in videos views that brands saw following Facebook’s update to autoplay. As healthcare brands make a shift in content away from still images to more informational video content, it continues to be of importance to make sure that video content is engaging within the first 3-seconds to prevent audiences from swiping to the next autoplay video.

Additional resources: Social Media Today, Tech Radar

(via YouTube)

Instagram’s New Option to Share Stories with Chosen Friends

  • Instagram has created a new option that allows users to share their Instagram stories with a “close friends list.” This means, that users will be able to choose followers to see specific stories, encouraging users to post more frequently. This update means you don’t have to show your stories to all of your followers, just a select few. On Instagram, there has been an uptick in private messaging on the app, with reports showing that 85% of messages shared on the platform are distributed to the same 3 friends, showing the desire for more private and intimate sharing.
  • What this means for brands: This update could provide value to brands by giving them a way to share their posts with more targeted audiences based on their activity with the brand’s content. Once this tool is rolled out to business profiles, corporate healthcare brand pages can share Instagram stories specific to disease areas to a more targeted audience.

(via Social Media Today)


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Building your audience on social media is all about listening and executing. It sounds simple, but many brands, organizations, and individuals still struggle to make this happen. This week’s guest, musician Alex Aiono, does not.

Amassing nearly 1 billion views on Youtube, Alex, has become a master of social strategy. He discusses how to build your audience on social media, the importance of individual channel strategy, and being a hopeless romantic. Take a listen below.


Don’t miss an episode of What2Know, subscribe to our podcast on iTunesStitcher or Spotify!

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