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5 New Social Media Updates: Learn How They Can Help Your Business!

Phillip Reinhardt

We know that most companies are using social media as part of their digital marketing efforts, but still, we were surprised by a recent Social Media Examiner report. It stated that 92 percent of marketers say that social media is important to their businesses.

This was surprising because one of the top complaints we hear from small businesses is that they’re not sure how to use social media to support their businesses. Here are three questions to will help you determine how serious you are about social media.

We’re glad to hear the majority of marketers say that social media is important to their businesses. We know that a good social media strategy can turn the tiniest mom-and-pop shop into a huge success overnight.

And we’re also happy to report that social networks are adding new features that make it easier for marketers to track how their social media efforts (especially paid campaigns) are supporting their bottom lines. Here are five of the latest updates and how they impact your digital marketing strategies:

Twitter rolled out 280-character Tweets

The days of painstakingly editing your content to fit into 140 characters are over.  Twitter officially rolled out 280-character Tweets to users, which means you have twice as many characters to fit in your message, hashtags, and a link into your Twitter posts. While some users are on the fence about whether or not longer Tweets are better, the social network feels confident this is the right move – and that it could greatly improve the success of your social media content.

You can learn more about this update here.

With double the characters, you have the potential to create content that’s twice as impactful. According to Twitter, the initial roll-out of 280-character Tweets revealed that longer posts receive more engagement – more Likes, Retweets, and mentions.

It’s not a good idea to go overboard with this change. Your audience doesn’t want you to wax long about your products on Twitter. But it does give you those extra characters you need to complete your thought and avoid cringe-worthy substitutions, like 2 instead of to, or tho for though – unless that makes sense for your brand voice.

Facebook Introduced a Polling Feature

Facebook just launched a new Poll feature, which allows users and Pages to poll their friends. When you go to post, you can click on the “What’s on your mind” section and select the “Poll” button to create your quiz.

To learn more about this update, click here.

This means that you can now use your Facebook account to conduct informal focus groups with your target audience. It could answer some important questions about whether your audience actually likes what you’re doing, such as:

  • How helpful the information in a post is
  • What type of posts they prefer
  • Which of your products or services they’ve purchased
  • Which of your products or services they would like to try

Just make sure to throw in some fun questions for your followers, too!

If you have a strong Facebook following that actively interacts with you, you might want to use this function to pick their brains and keep them engaged. It’s a huge win for you because it provides a wealth of information that you can use to refine your marketing strategy.

Instagram Strays from Snapchat’s Recency Rule

If you’ve ever tried to add a picture or video from your image library to an Instagram Story, then you know that Instagram only allows uploads from the previous 24 hours to ensure recency. This was one way to keep its copycat offering competitive with Snapchat’s Stories.

However, that’s changing as Instagram is updating its policies to allow users to add older uploads to their Stories. (Keep in mind, these Stories still disappear 24 hours after posting. This update doesn’t change that rule.)

This means that your legacy photos, videos, etc. don’t just have to sit in a database gathering dust. You can get additional value out of your older assets by adding them to your Story content to get them back in front of your target audience. This is an easy Throwback Thursday post!

Snapchat wants to prove its worth to marketers

For a lot of businesses, Snapchat is the social network that scares them the most. They know younger customers are always on it, but they’re not really sure if there’s any real value in it as a marketing tool. Snapchat is aiming to change that, baby step by baby step.

The most recent change is the introduction of a tool called Snap Pixel. This conversion-tracking tool allows marketers to track the traffic they’re getting from their Snap ads, so they can see whether their promotion efforts are paying off.

You can learn more about this update here.

This means that there’s a lot less mystery in Snapchat, and a lot less risk if you want to give it a try. If you feel like the network is still too new, that’s OK. It looks like more changes are coming down the road that could make it even easier to track your efforts.

Facebook Announces Plans to Roll Out in-Message Ads

Facebook has been testing sponsored messages in its Messenger app. That means that you can pay to send a message or ad through Messenger to customers who you’ve engaged with in the past.

You can learn more about this update here.

It looks like it’s a great way to re-engage customers in a very direct way. They will get your messages straight from their messaging app, rather than seeing it on the side of their Facebook Newsfeeds.

If you have a budget for Facebook promotion, you should give it a try to see how it compares to your regular ads. Facebook’s initial testing found that people actually like it when brands reach out to them personally, so it could be a better way to advertise on the network.

Facebook announced that it’s giving all advertisers access to its in-Messenger ads to engage customers

This is all good news for marketers. These updates are all ways in which social networks are making it easier for you to run marketing strategies that will support your bottom line and allow you to engage customers in a meaningful way.

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