Before I went into my own business, I looked at every new social media platform that popped up like another chore.
“Ugh! I have to be active on ANOTHER platform if I’m gonna be cool…”
Mind you, this was back in high school and college.
But now that I have started my own business and learned the benefits and demographics of each, I can finally understand the power each new app and platform holds for reaching my target audience. So when a new feature on a social platform is introduced, the first thing I do is dig a little deeper and see how I can leverage it for my business.
If you’re not up to date on the latest social trends and don’t follow HubSpot, Sprout Social, us (Marketing Solved), or didn’t get a chance to watch any of the 13 YouTube channels to inspire your marketing, then keep reading to learn more about 8 new(ish) social media features you’re (probably) not using.
1) Facebook Groups
First of all, if you’re not part of our Facebook group but landing on this blog, then I’m a little offended!
All jokes aside, with the recent algorithm update that Facebook launched, often referred to as the Facebook apocalypse for businesses, you can be sure that Facebook Groups are going to skyrocket in popularity.
Because the content that gets priority in peoples’ news feeds now are friends and groups. Fan and business pages get pushed to the bottom. But lucky for you, you can create a Facebook group around your business to build and engage with your community AND show up higher in the news feed of your customers.
Want to know more about engaging with your Facebook community? Check out this handy Facebook Lead System.
2) Facebook Stories
Honestly, when this first came out I rolled my eyes.
Great, here comes Facebook copying SnapChat and Instagram.
I didn’t realize how great this would be for businesses. Going back to talking about how Facebook’s new update really messes with the organic listing of your business page’s posts, Facebook Stories puts your business’ message front and center at the top of my cellphone and desktop screen!
I run Spartan races frequently so I liked their page. They realized the success of Facebook Stories and have utilized it to get in front of me.
But there’s a catch…
Like SnapChat, stories only stay around for 24 hours. So really make this something people want to see, a day in the life of your business, something fun your business is doing, or even daily advice.
3) Instagram Stories
Facebook owns Instagram, so you know it was only a matter of time before both platforms had it.
But there really isn’t much to say here, it’s just like Facebook stories but capturing a different audience. But I think the important thing to note here is that Instagram typically features your highest quality photos of your business posts. Whereas the stories on Instagram should be more raw. A much more real representation of your business.
4) Live Streaming
If I had a nickel every time my I got a push notification on my phone for a live video on a page I liked.
These are one of those features now on multiple platforms like Facebook and Instagram where they can beat the algorithm updates. Facebook realizes 80% of media consumed by 2019 will be video. So they’re capitalizing on that effort and hitching a ride on the gravy train before it arrives.
If that’s the case, Facebook knows the best way to compete with the likes of YouTube is to use its platform as a video consumption platform. This is why they’re so adamant about sending me push notifications on live videos.
Also, they’re live. With live videos, your viewers can interact with you right here, right now and get a sense of the real you and not just the business.
5) SnapChat Lenses
I feel like SnapChat isn’t covered as much as other social medias. That’s probably because in order to run ads on the platform in the past you needed a high tech development firm to produce one for you.
Fortunately SnapChat has come a long way with businesses and their ability to create ads on their platform.
With the SnapChat Lense Studio you can create animations and stickers just like a developer with a super easy to use interface.
All someone has to do is download your Snap Code and they can use your augmented reality creation for 24 hours. The PERFECT thing to put on a product label, gift bag, or even an email.
6) Twitter’s 280 Character Limit!
I don’t think I need to tell you Twitter’s tweet limit increased from 140 characters to 280.
You might have noticed our president’s tweets getting longer.
Or is that just me?
Either way, Twitter is struggling to stay in the game and they’re doing what they can to stay alive (cue the Bee Gee’s).
Although people have attention spans shorter than a goldfish, somehow we’re finding a way to read and consume more content.
It might be worthwhile to point out that Google took a page out of Twitter’s playbook at the beginning of 2018 and increased their meta description limit form 160 characters to 320.
Who’s following who?
Either way, use it. People are consuming more and more content and they want to get more out of what you have to say in fewer tweets.
The day’s finally come when I can write a full tweet without having to figure out which letters of the post I need to sacrifice. Thank good
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7) Instagram Carousel
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on my ex…. uhhh I mean on an Instagram profile and trying to thumb left through the photos.
Historically, Instagram has never been like Facebook. You couldn’t just thumb through profile pictures and see everything. You had to back out of each picture and go to the next.
Fortunately, Instagram came out with Carousel, which is essentially the ability to upload multiple photos at once into somewhat of a mini-album that someone can thumb through in one post.
This also doubles as a kind of a content check. If you have a lot of photos from an event you attended or multiple shots of one product you want to feature, this is a good way to create an album for it and someone can swipe through it easily. This way your users don’t see 10 uploads of the same event or product. Just one cool little album.
And just like Instagram Stories, all of these aren’t meant to be your best shots. Those are what the single posts are for.
8) Paid Promotions
Hey you know what else wasn’t affected by Facebook’s algorithm change? Did you guess paid ads?
The best way to reach your market on social platforms that doesn’t already follow you is with paid ads (sans organic engagement).
You can run a pretty good campaign with a relatively low budget and can even cancel or pause your campaigns if the spend gets too high for you. And your spend only goes up when people click on your ad (if it’s not an impression based campaign) and is that so bad?
Just make sure you have your ducks in a row first. Make sure you have good content, a good image that passes the platform’s ad guidelines, a good target, and most of all an effective landing page.
A good landing page should look like this one:
Social Media Ad Lab: A Complete Guide to Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest Ads
Oh, who put that there?…. How… Convenient. 😉
Well there you have it! 8 new social media features you’re (probably) not using… but should be!
So to recap, we have:
- Facebook Groups
- Facebook Stories
- Instagram Stories
- Live Streaming
- SnapChat Lenses
- Twitter’s Increased Character Limit
- Instagram Carousel
- Paid Promotions
Listen though, a tool is a tool and is only as good as the content it’s deploying. If you’re stuck on what to write or post for content, take a tip from us and check out our Monthly Marketing Solved program. We’ll create your content and even tell you what to post for the biggest results.
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