Latest Social Media Updates That May Affect Your Small Business

Social media platforms are constantly updating their platforms with new useful features for businesses. If you’re not up to date, you may be wasting time using obsolete strategies and techniques. Audiences interact with social media differently and there are new trends every day. A recent shift we've seen is users being a lot more selective in which brands they chose to follow on social media.

In January 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that “public content -- posts from businesses, brands and media -- is crowding out the personal moments that lead us to connect more with each other.” As a result, Facebook is starting to make changes that will focus on helping users time be more valuable. They admit this will lead to a decrease in engagement, but claim it will be beneficial for the community and businesses in the long term.

We are now starting to see the new features roll out that Zuckerberg disclosed earlier this year. Keeping up with all the changes can be challenging, but lucky for you, this blog post is a quick summary of what you need to know about the most important updates and how they may affect your small business.

Pinning Comments and Customer Review Update: Facebook

Page engagement has been decreasing for the past few years and Facebook is trying to figure out how to fix it in order to stay relevant. One new feature they are introducing is allowing page administrators to pin user’s comments. Pinned comments will be the first visible comment on a post. This is a way that pages can steer their community’s conversations and more affectively use user-generated content. This feature was introduced as an attempt to adapt to how users have been engaging more in groups than on their newsfeed.

User reviews now have a 25-character minimum in an effort to make Facebook Reviews more meaningful and accurate. This could make Facebook Pages a better resource for users looking for a product or service. Consumers are increasingly using and trusting online interviews to learn about product quality. One study suggests that “consumers are primary influenced by the quality of information and subsequently influenced by the customer ratings and overall rankings.”

It might be time to consider incentivizing your customers to leave a review! Here are some ways to generate customer reviews:

  • Ask your customers to review you on the sites that matter to your brand. Pick the channels that your potential customers are going to for reviews on your products and services. For example, Google & Facebook tend to be two big research channels for e-commerce companies.

  • Incentivize customers to provide reviews by offering them something like discounts on future products and services or even an Amazon gift card.
  • Ask at the right moment! Send a follow up email after purchase or connect with your customers online to ask for reviews, and make it easy.

Setting Time Usage Limits: Instagram and Facebook

Instagram and Facebook are now beginning to roll out an update that will show users their activity time analytics through their mobile apps. Users can set a daily ‘limit’ in minutes. When they hit their limit, the app will send you a notification reminding you that you are going over your limit, but you are still able to continue to use the app. Whether this feature will actually decrease the average users time on the app will depend on users’ self-control. If it does affect users’ usage habits, it could make it harder for business reach audiences and grow their social media communities.

As more people become media literate, they are being more selective about who they follow. People may be beginning to realize their power as an audience, which may be why Instagram and Facebook are introducing tools that promote users’ well-being and providing more free services. This change may mean users start spending less time on social, which makes reaching them when they're online even more crucial! Looking for ways to stand out with our social media marketing? Get in touch!

Video for All Advertisers: Pinterest

Pinterest originally launched wide-format Promoted Videos to a select group of brands in May 2018, but it is now available to all businesses. These ads are four times bigger than the standard videos, which means they will be spanning across Pinterest’s two-column grid, making them impossible to miss. They are available in 16:9 (16 units for width, 9 units for height) and 1:1 (square) aspect ratios.

Many of the test brands saw big results from the video ads. John Lewis, a U.K. retailer, saw a 20% increase in brand awareness and a 33% increase in purchase intent during their Pinterest video ad campaign. This could be a big step for Pinterest as an advertising venue. For small businesses in the retail and e-commerce space, video is a great way to reach potential customers. To learn more about how and why to use Pinterest for business, check out this article.

Job Search Tool: Facebook

Facebook wants to become your one-stop shop for all your online needs. While many users only use Facebook for their private lives, Facebook wants to be involved in users’ professional life. Earlier this year, Facebook’s job search tool has finally expanded to 40 countries. Many companies use tools like LinkedIn or Indeed for this but if your business does not have a LinkedIn page yet, you can still create new job postings, see applicants, and even schedule interviews through the Facebook Pages tool.

Will this feature compete with other job networking sites? Unlikely for the first few years, especially since people still use Facebook as a personal platform and my not want potential employers finding their Facebook profile, but the way people interact on Facebook is constantly evolving. While this update may not directly impact your small business, it's interesting to note the change Facebook is making in an attempt to compete with LinkedIn.

Conclusion

Staying up to date with social media updates is essential for businesses to generate leads through their social platforms. Many of these social developments are designed to help the users’ well-being, which is sometimes detrimental for businesses.

So how are businesses going to keep reaching new audiences? By making better content that generates a ‘meaningful’ conversation and utilizing all the new features as soon as possible. This could mean investing more money and time into creative and social media services. Want to learn more about how MarketTap can help you manage your social media accounts? Book a free consultation call today.