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.
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.
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.
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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