For freelancers who write blog and social media content for brands, or who develop campaigns, it can be hard to keep up on every tool and tactic a publisher might use to promote the content you create. On the other hand, if you can do just a little bit to keep yourself educated about the latest tactics and updates in social media marketing, then your potential for giving your client optimal service grows greatly.
But, before you devote hours of your week to trying to understand the latest social media developments — on top of your exiting projects — let us help. Check out this list of some recent, useful social media information that will make you a better freelancer, strategist and creator.Social media marketing news... curated. Cut through the clutter and catch up on important items to improve your content marketing, whether you're a marketer or a creative. | #ContentMarketing | #SocialMediaMarketing Click To Tweet
1. The future of Facebook is private messaging.
What’s new: Perhaps the writing has been on the wall for some time already, but Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed what many social media insiders have been anticipating—the future of Facebook looks like it may not include the news feed. In fact, Zuckerberg shared on Facebook that he believes “the future of communication will increasingly shift to private, encrypted services where people can be confident what they say to each other stays secure and their messages and content won’t stick around forever.” (3/6/19)
Freelancer focus: Any adjustment by Facebook could play a significant role in how the content you develop needs to be created. If the delivery of the content becomes one-to-one, you may need to think more about creating spall audience groups to reach individuals.
2. Twitter may allow you to hide replies to your tweets.
What’s new: In coming months, Twitter will begin testing a new tool that allows users to hide replies to their tweets that they don’t want showing up as part of a conversation. Currently, account owners only have the ability to block or mute commenters. Hiding replies allows for a softer response from account owners, while still allowing them to have some freedom in how comments on the account are moderated. (3/1/19)
Freelancer focus: If you use your Twitter feed to showcase work to potential clients, this tool may be helpful for helping client reviewers focus on the comments on your tweets as a whole—rather than get stuck on a few random tweets that may not be representative of the larger conversation.
3. Instagram looks to release ‘Watch Party’-esque feature.
What’s new: An Instagram user has observed in the wild a new tool that would make watching videos with your friends in a direct message. Presumably, the feature would be most useful for helping Instagram promote content from its IGTV feed. (3/8/19)
Freelancer focus: Instagram is said to be struggling to get people to its IGTV feed and this seems to be an opportunity to get more people there. When the tool rolls out, it may be worth your while to become an early adopter and see if you can use the tool to connect with potential clients or current readers.
4. Twitter introduces ‘Timing is Everything’ tool.
What’s new: Twitter’s new “Timing is Everything” tool allows account owners to not only know when their followers are on Twitter—but it also allows them to see when these same followers are watching videos. Twitter hopes the tool provides content creators actionable information to help pinpoint the times when intended audiences might be most likely to engage with video tweets. (3/6/19)
Freelancer focus: If you are creating videos for clients or for external audiences, this feature can be a great tool to help you identify the times when you will be most likely to reach them.
5. Facebook and Instagram direct messages now will be in the same inbox.
What’s new: Instead of switching back and forth between your Facebook and Instagram apps to answer questions or respond to feedback from people who follow your accounts, you now can respond to Instagram direct messages within your inbox on Facebook. (2/7/19)
Freelancer focus: If you have a professional Facebook or Instagram account set up to collect feedback about the work you do, then this tool will be a helpful addition to allow you to stay on top of the messages being shared with you. The new functionality also allows you to more easily stay in touch with potential clients who want to reach out through Facebook and/or Instagram.
6. Two Twitter tests could make your visual content stand out.
What’s new: Twitter is looking to make it easier for users to upload photos and videos to the platform. In a current test, the company has started to roll out Twitter News Camera, which will allow users to add color overlays to live videos, recorded videos, and photos. Users can also add location tags. In a separate development, Twitter is also now allowing iOS users to tap on any @mention inside of a tweet to preview another users’ profile without leaving the tweet. (2/14/19)
Freelancer focus: For freelancers who want to increase their reach on Twitter, the ability to enhance photos and videos to promote the content they create is a tremendous win. Not only does it bring more attention to you as a content creator, but publishers will be thrilled to see you promote content developed for them in unique visual ways.
7. LinkedIn finally launches a live video feature of its own.
What’s new: LinkedIn has announced a beta launch of its live video service: LinkedIn Live. Though the platform is a little later to the game than most other social players, it hopes it will stand out from others thanks to its desire to feature livestream videos that have a higher production value than videos you might find on other platforms. To accomplish this, the company has partnered with livestream services to help provide video production assistance. (2/11/19)
Freelancer focus: Freelancers will be able to use live videos on LinkedIn to find and to be found. Livestream viewers will be able to like videos, submit questions, and leave comments. Among other uses, freelancers can use the feature to join in on company’s earning calls or use it themselves to promote their own content creation expertise in a Q&A format.
8. Instagram looks to expand direct messages to the web.
What’s new: After making direct messages a major part of its web app, Instagram is now looking for an opportunity to allow users to send and receive direct messages on the web. Instagram’s web and mobile direct messaging service has been seen in the wild, though Instagram has been mum on its plans. (2/13/19)
Freelancer focus: Assuming you do most of your freelance writing on a desktop or laptop and you correspond with clients through Instagram Direct Messages, having the ability to correspond while you are writing on the same device you use for writing may be advantageous. It’s not a game-changer, but it’s a nice addition.
9. Facebook makes it easier for admins to develop better online communities.
What’s new: Facebook announced a smattering of new features for Groups that will help admins build and foster better connections with group members. One of the features, a text formatting tool, allows admins to create posts that have block quotes, bulleted lists, and even larger text. Another tool allows admins to let users know why they were muted, had a pending post declined, or had a comment removed. (2/12/19)
Freelancer focus: If your client has given you the reigns for enhancing its Facebook presence, the ability for you to improve the development of the company’s online community should be an attractive prospect. Your continued opportunity to build connections between the organization you are working for and the users who engage with their content is huge.