Respond don’t react: All the changes you need to know on the big 3 Social Platforms

By February 19, 2018Social Media

In a world that moves a million miles a second it can be hard to keep up.

In an industry that moves equally as fast it can be even harder. Our job is one that is constantly evolving and it becomes even more important for us to be able to respond to those changes, rather than react.

That’s why we’re also searching for new and innovative ways to help our clients reach their audience, responding to those changes that will have an affect on us, our clients and their audience. We’ll turn a negative into a positive and push a positive as far and as wide as we possibly can.

Since the start of the year there has been several huge changes to our industry and we’ll discuss those and how we’ve responded throughout this blog.

Perhaps one of the most disruptive announcements we’ve seen on Facebook since it launched Instant Messenger. Since the 2016 US Election Facebook has been getting its fair share criticism. This has ranged from accusation of fake news to more recent stories surrounding behavioural science, user experience and the addictive nature of its platform. On Friday morning Facebook announced a new algorithm change to their newsfeed. As per any change within digital, there’s winners and losers. Facebook will de-prioritise videos, photos, and posts shared by businesses and media outlets, which Zuckerberg dubbed “public content,” in favour of content produced by a user’s friends and family. However as usual we’ve read between the lines and it’s not all bad news.

Unfortunately its going to get tougher for publishers who’ve not prioritised on-platform engagement, (think your e-commerce news sites like Guardian Online and bloggers) but good for content publishers who don’t encourage users to click off platform – pages like UniLad, video content producers, brand fan pages, etc. Facebook’s News Feed algorithm will also prioritise “meaningful social interactions” over branded relevant content. Mark Zuckerberg was quoted saying,

“I expect the time people spend on Facebook and some measures of engagement will go down. But I also expect the time you do spend on Facebook will be more valuable. And if we do the right thing, I believe that will be good for our community and our business over the long term too.”

As the slick cogs of the Facebook PR machine move forward this will inevitably means costs increases for advertisers. This is nothing new, Facebook has been a pay-to-play media space for years and brands should not be surprised by this move. At present our weekly scheduled call with Facebook’s UK office provided no more information at this time, we’ll communicate increases as we find out.

The good news is for clients is that we’re well positioned to create richer, relevant and increasingly high quality content for social audiences. As with any change we see a real opportunity to build even stronger connections between your company, the people you care about, and your profitability. In 2017 we steadily invested in our video, motion graphics and editing capabilities so that any content created with us can be held to the high standard’s that social audiences demand.

Responding to these changes has meant a complete overall of our strategies so we can continue to secure the same results, if not better than 2016.

A new feature coming down the Facebook pipe we’ve heard rumblings of online is a downvote button, similar to that seen on Reddit. What that means is users will be able to ‘dislike’ your post. How this will roll out or affect engagement and reach remains to be seen, but it will certainly make it easier to know how many people dislike the content or message you are pushing.

As Facebook makes this long rumoured change a reality, eyes fall on Instagram (also owned by Facebook) as the new home for brands. Not only do you have ‘access’ to Facebook data to promote your posts you also have all the ‘new’ features Instagram has devoured from other platforms, such as Stories (now boasting 300 million users), Live Video and Private Messaging are all great ways to reach your audience.

The feed on Instagram still remains important, but after the introduction of their own algorithm last year, reach and engagement dropped, however all hope was not lost. Stories emerged as the best way to grab your audiences attention more easily and the new Explore tab filled with people and brands outside your own circle. For brands that have mastered catchy visuals, this is nothing but a good thing…

Instagram are also jumping feet first into the world of in-app shopping, another bonus for those in the e-commerce space. The feature isn’t open to everyone (yet) but you’ll be able to tag a product in your posts with a direct link to purchase. Integrations with Shopify and other e-commerce platforms allow all this to happen without leaving the app. A big plus for Instagram and a huge plus for brands.

At the end of January, Instagram launched a feature that brought rampant joy to the masses – scheduling.

There’s always been software to preplan your content and schedule it, but you still needed to manual upload the content to Instagram, now that has gone. Currently, the feature only works for individual photos, not multiple images, videos or stories, and it’s only available through third-party social management tools for now, such as Falcon the management software we use.

Instagram says that the update will make its way to regular profiles by early 2019.

Not much has changed on Twitter recently… except the introduction of the 280 character limit last year. However, after the company reported their first ever net-profit at the beginning of the month we can expect they may use that to refuel the fire and launch some new features.

Quite an eventful first quarter if you ask us! Keep your eyes on our blog for more insights as we get them!