Social media is undoubtedly one of the biggest constants in our lives. Most of us check our newsfeeds from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. several times a day. While the presence of social media never changes, some of its features certainly do. Let’s look at some highlights from the changes that have been made to our favorite social media platforms in 2016.
Instagram has made several changes to its platform over the course of this year. A lot of these changes are great for business owners. Specifically, the new option to make your Instagram account a business profile. This gives you access to great tools such as being able to tell customers how to contact you and Instagram’s on-page analytics tool.
Other changes that Instagram has made provide opportunities to really brand yourself and reach new audiences. For example, the new live video feature, which is slowly rolling out right now, is a great way to grab viewers’ attention because of the urgency of a “live” video. Videos are made in the stories section, and are displayed as being live for your followers at the top of their feed. Public live videos are also compiled and placed in the Explore section, meaning you can reach an even wider audience.
One of the best changes for business owners that Facebook made this year are its new call-to-action buttons. Previously, the call-to-action buttons that businesses could use were fairly limited. Now, having partnered with various service providers, Facebooks can offer the following:
* Start Order (with delivery.com or Slice)
* Book Now (with Home Advisor, MyTime, Microsoft Bookings, Front Desk, Porch, and other services.)
* Buy Tickets (with Eventbrite or Ticketmaster)
* Get Showtimes (with Fandango)
In order to use these new call-to-action buttons, you’ll need to have an account set up with one of the services listed so that users can order or book with you via Facebook.
Another big change Facebook made this year included Facebook Live. Facebook is now prioritizing live content over videos that have been recorded previously and uploaded because it found that live videos are viewed 3x longer. This is a great to take advantage during special events that your business might have, to draw users’ attention to you.
In September, Twitter finally made a change to its 140-character limit. Media (such as videos, gifs, photos, and quoted tweets) no longer count in the character length, giving users more room to express themselves. The 140-character limit also no longer counts towards usernames when
they’re at the beginning of replies. For business owners, this means more room for creating engaging and visual promotional posts on your Twitter account, as well as more room to communicate with your audience.
At Hot Dog Marketing, we’re always on top of the changes social media platforms make to their user experiences and algorithms. To learn more about how you can best capitalize on current and upcoming social media trends, and work with a team who does it best, contact us today!
Ashley Walker is a writer and content marketer focused on creating engaging content that helps business owners piece together the marketing side of their enterprise. In her spare time, she writes creatively, binges network comedies, and entertains her corgis.