A lot has happened this Spring in the world of social media. This is largely thanks to the hugely popular South by Southwest (SXSW) conference, where social media platforms, apps, and other digital media resources announced major updates and upcoming launches.
Understanding the trends in functionality and the options available on social media platforms allow us to prep campaigns and digital media rollouts across each unique platform. Meaning the business owners we work with can take full advantage of the trends that will affect their daily reach, and interaction.
Here’s what popped up on our radar this month.
1. Updated Comment Threads in Real Time through Facebook
At F8 (Facebook developer conference) Facebook announced that they are launching an updated commenting system that unifies the embedded comment threads on websites and Facebook brand pages in real time. This means that if you have installed the embedded commenting system on your website, you will now be able to more easily track conversations and conversations across their site and brand page while driving more engagement to their blog posts.
This means that the more blog content you create, the more participation you will get on your Facebook comment threads (embedded and on your brand page). This provides you a great opportunity to treat your comment threads like a live chat. So, it’s time to prep your community managers!
2. Instagram Layout
Layout is Instagram’s second new app launch (following Hyperlapse in August 2014). Essentially, Layout is Instagram’s very own collage-making app. The app will give you the options of combining up to 9 photos from your own snaps or previously Instagrammed images into a single glorious image. It will assist you in media creation with “custom layouts” as well as 10 suggested “collage templates” to help save time on creation. Editing options include the usual pinch to zoom to unique options like mirroring. There is a “photo booth” mode that snaps four quick front facing pics and combines it into one.
Even though the trend of creating collages for your Social Media channels to showcase your services and products, is not brand new, the reliability of an Instagram native app for creation of these collages may be worth checking out.
The last Social Media trend that you may consider using is the Twitter-owned live streaming video app Periscope. Users can live stream videos through their phones and live comment on what they are seeing. This provides you a great opportunity to showcase a process, event, product or service, while engaging with your customers and online community directly.
But remember, this is a LIVE video. Meaning any and all potential branding mistakes you make will be seen (and stored for 24 hours). Secondly, anyone that appears on the video who doesn’t work for your company should sign a release form to protect your business from any legal proceedings should a worst case scenario happen. Lastly, although you’re using an app, you’ll have to worry about the same things as a TV spot – libel, slander, copyright, defamation, trademarks and other logos that may be in the background.
It may be a trend to steer clear of for now, until more brands hop on board, and you can see the mistakes they have already made!