9 social media updates for PR pros to use

As media platforms continue to tinker with their offerings to draw new users and satisfy engaged communities, PR pros can take advantage of the latest tools to reach their audiences.

Social media updates look good for marketers.

If you’re keeping up with social media news and trends, you know there are a lot of things happening. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are all rolling out updates.

Here are nine social media features marketers should know:

Facebook

As a result of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook is trying a few things to win back its users’ trust. New offerings include the option to clear your history, a crisis response center and an investment in its developer community.

1. Clear history’

Users will be able to click a button and all the activity Facebook has stored for their personal account will disappear.

2. Improved crisis response

Facebook plans to add pages like Safety Check, Community Help and Fundraisers to allow people to share real-time updates on crises and support each other more easily during a crisis.

3. Developer community oversight

Facebook is re-opening its app-review process to make it more comprehensive and ensure that each API or third-party app is valuable and builds trust with its users.

Facebook and Instagram marketing updates

4. Sharing to stories

Facebook and Instagram are integrating with outside apps such as Spotify, SoundCloud and GoPro. For example, users can now instantly share a song they are listening to directly to their Facebook or Instagram stories. People already do this, but now it’s easier and faster. Plus, your followers can open the song directly from your story. If you’re a business, consider sharing songs or content that support your company’s mission and relate to your followers. Learn more about it here.

5. Groups

Facebook plans to make navigating through your existing groups easier, and you’ll be able to discover and join new groups all in one place.

How does this benefit businesses? You could discover and organize groups relevant to your industry or business. By joining the conversation in groups in your industry and positioning yourself as a thought leader, you can increase brand awareness, credibility and trust. Consider adding this tactic to your content marketing campaign.

6. New ‘Explore’ page

Instagram is redesigning its Explore page so it will be organized by topic channels based on a user’s interests, helping consumers easily find relevant content. This could be great for businesses on Instagram because people could easily discover your page if your content matters to them.

7. AR Camera Effects

You’ve probably noticed the proliferation of augmented-reality (AR) face filters. Does anybody even post a selfie without one anymore? What’s new is creators and brands can design unique, interactive camera experiences that include face filters and world effects for their followers in Instagram and Facebook Messenger. It’s a fun, engaging way to advertise your brand and increase your following.

Snapchat marketing ideas

Snapchat also has new features to think about for your business.

8. ‘Unskippable’ ads

According to Business Insider, Snapchat will be making changes to its ad strategy after the platform remained unprofitable in the last quarter of 2017. If you’re on Snapchat or advertise on Snapchat, you know how easy it is to immediately skip an ad within a second of seeing it. This month, Snapchat is testing six-second “commercials” that can’t be skipped. If the test is a success, advertising on Snapchat could be worth the investment.

8. Augmented reality lens studio

Users have been able to create their own AR experience on Snapchat since December when the platform released Lens Studio. There are 70 million Snapchatters who play around with AR experiences in Snapchat daily, and the average user spends around three minutes each day exploring different filters and lenses.

Marketers can take advantage of this by developing interactive and shareable lenses to increase brand awareness and sales. According to Snapchat and Nielsen Brand Effect Services, advertising campaigns with Lenses result in, on average, a 19 point lift in ad awareness and a 9 percent sales lift delta as measured by third-party partners.

Will you consider using any of these social media updates to your advantage?

Leah Brown is an account executive with S&A Communications. A version of this article originally ran on the S&A Communications blog.

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