With each monthly update we’ll add several new social media marketing tips and examples to the top of the list, while letting older updates gradually fall off the list as they fade from interest. (It’s also interesting to see how quickly some updates go from fresh to “that’s so yesterday” in the world of social media.)
Happy New Year! We’re bringing in a new decade with exciting new features and platform changes for #SocialMediaMarketing!
As you focused on internal content strategies and business planning, we’ve monitored the latest and greatest to keep you updated on all things marketing.
Here are this month’s top headlines for social media and marketing that may influence your business operations. Also check out 250+ nationally relevant hashtags on our 2020 Social Media Hashtag Holiday Calendar. And keep up with the calendar for 2020 and beyond with 500+ events to keep your editorial calendar full (with free access to our Google Sheet).
Here are 25+ social media marketing tips to keep your game on through 2020:
1. Facebook makes it easier to request profile verification.
At one point, attaining the blue checkmark from Facebook and Instagram’s platforms was an honorable, mysterious right of passage. The process was completely unknown. How in the world do you receive the Blue checkmark that makes you an official account?
Now, the process has clarity. Earlier this year, Facebook announced its removal of the grey badges (which further confused users of the differences between the two verified marks), and they have made the verification request process simple.
Whether on Facebook or Instagram, you’re now able to request profile verification directly from your business profile page.
Within the Instagram app, you can find the request within your business settings:
Although the steps to request verification are clear, the approval process is still not guaranteed.
Disclaimer: Begin your verification request process with patience and the willingness to try again should your request be denied.Are you verified on @Instagram? If not, you can submit your verification request directly. #SocialMedia | #MarketingNews | via @AltimeseNichole Click To Tweet
2. Pinterest releases ‘Pinterest 100’ to showcase 2020 trend predictions.
Unlike any other platform, Pinterest provides its users with the ability to create online vision boards. It’s futuristic planning, filled with aspiration and dream building! To showcase its predictions for the 2020 trends, Pinterest recently released its Pinterest 100, which highlights key categories and top searches on the platform
From conscious consumer consumption to mood booster playlists and staycations, the platform’s top trending list will get you inspired to visualize the possibilities.
Freelancer Angle: Do you ever find yourself in need of a mood booster or a creative boost? Use this list to get inspired by created new Pinterest boards designed just for you! If you’re a private individual who prefers to keep your inspirational juice mysterious, customize your settings, and build a private board. If you love the sense of community, create a collaborative board and cultivate a like-minded community of pinners to join you along the creative journey.
3. Canva rolls out video editing capabilities to help your brand stand out.
This year, Canva has made great strides to maximize the user experience within their platform that’s designed to help entrepreneurs and business owners to have the power and beauty of graphic design at their fingertips! As a part of their 2020 strategic planning, they recently released video editing capabilities to the platform.
The video editing features are available to premium users at the moment, but this added capability makes powerful branding more accessible to all brands, big and small..@Canva adds a video editing feature to the platform, and we're here for it! 🙌 #SocialMedia | #MarketingNews | via @AltimeseNichole Click To Tweet
4. Instagram attempts to move us away from comparison and closer to content-focused substance.
On November 8, the platform officially started the process of removing the Like metric from the visibility of the timeline experience. After announcing this change during this year’s F8 Conference, Instagram began the process in April with Canada, with Japan, Australia, and New Zealand immediately following.
As a result of recent studies that show the correlation between social media and depression, Facebook’s decision is a direct effort to diminish the effect of user comparison of success on the platform.
The metric is not going away entirely. Like other prominent data performance, the metric will be visible to admin users only. This shift encourages brands, businesses, and influencers alike to consider the desired conversion instead of general engagement.
The change will implement in phases to all U.S. platform users.
(Image courtesy of Later.com)
What does this mean to you? If you’re a small business owner, freelancer, or influencers, your likes will transfer from a visible metric to an admin metric. With this change, your followers will see your content and the comments from others. Review your content’s performance through Facebook Creator Studio, and incorporate a strategy that’s focused on the relevance and substance of your content.
Additionally, make it a point to be clear on your content’s primary objective, making the engagement a secondary goal.
5. Influencers shift from engagement to conversion.
With the recent news of Instagram hiding platform Likes, there’s an elephant in the room of social. What’s going to happen with influencers that build their influence based on platform engagement?
This change will require influencer marketing to have more significant substance to a business objective than engagement, and this shouldn’t be considered a bad thing!
Brands partner with influencers to gain an authentic connection with people that align with their target audience through association. In addition to having a stronger metric than engagement, brands and influencers will need to build a structure around the desired conversion and ROI.There will be a clear shift in influencer marketing on the Instagram platform, but it's a shift in the right direction. #SocialMedia| #InfluencerMarketing| via @AltimeseNichole Click To Tweet
6. Marketers and brands need to pay attention to TikTok as it continues to rise in popularity.
Have you heard of TikTok? If not, it’s time to put it on your radar.
TikTok is a mobile video app that highlights short video snippets among friends launched by Chinese developer, ByteDance. The app released in 2017 and recently reached over 1.5 billion downloads in the Apple Store or Google Play.
Highly popular among Generation Z (the generation after millennials), the app is the third most popular non-gaming app, right behind WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
TikTok’s success isn’t going unnoticed. Instagram Stories recently launched a new feature called Reels that mirrors the TikTok platform. This release can be a complete coincidence, but both platforms are maximizing the power of video content for their users.
Check out a demo of the feature within Instagram Stories, courtesy of TechCrunch.
7. Canva + Hubspot Integration makes your life easier.
The Australian-based company Canva has recently announced its partnership with the marketing engine, HubSpot. Beginning Nov. 4, HubSpot users can incorporate more options for creative design to enhance the consumer experience of email marketing campaigns and more.
Cameron Adams, co-founder and CPO for Canva said: “At Canva, our mission is to empower people to take an idea and communicate it effectively through engaging visuals. This collaboration with HubSpot is a natural fit for us — together we’re streamlining the design process for every marketer and making it incredibly easy to grow and engage with their audiences.”@Canva and @HubSpot partner to create platform integration. #MarketingNews| #EmailMarketing| via @AltimeseNichole Click To Tweet
As of November 4th, users can create designs directly from the Canva platform and transfer the designs through the Hubspot interface within Marketing communication templates.
8. MarketingProfs B2B conference recap
The highly respected MarketingProfs B2B Conference recently concluded at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, from Oct. 16-18.
Marketing experts and leaders traveled from across the east coast, sharing best practices and compelling insights that make us all better marketers and content creators.
Here are three compelling themes from the conference:
- Powerful marketing encompasses the human experience, not the transaction of meeting an objective. Many industry leaders re-enforced the importance of keeping your clients and customers first through the value of implementing a feedback loop. It’s one thing to gather the sentiment of your audience, but it’s another to incorporate the feedback into your marketing strategy.
- Influencer marketing from a B2B perspective still requires personalized relationship management. When we think of influencer marketing, we automatically apply the impact to B2C marketing initiatives, but it’s undoubtedly applicable (and powerful) for B2B strategies as well. Your influencers are your brand advocates that can help amplify the reach of your message.
- When done right and with care, a long-term content strategy can secure lasting relationships. From the comeback of email newsletters to strategic marketing campaigns, ensuring a holistic, always-on approach to your marketing efforts will not only increase your growth but sustain it. (10/18/19)
Did you miss the #MPB2B conference? There are three compelling themes from the conference that you should consider. #MarketingProfs | #Marketing | @AltimeseNichole Click To Tweet
9. LinkedIn incorporates events into the platform experience.
As the most powerful professional networking tool, LinkedIn recently released a new feature that allows users to create, manage and track professional gatherings directly from the platform. The events tab is now available for users to create their own events and manage all event happenings directly from its page.
The event can be open to the public or accessible to a select group on the platform. There is no option for discovering local events in your area (yet), but personalized invitations will appear in the My Network section of your profile. (10/15/19)
10. Facebook makes a commitment to improving how it measures organic page impressions.
For a few years, social media advertisers have seen a steady decrease in the value and performance of organic content. Sure, we can figure out all the unique hacks and tricks to make organic posts effective for the Facebook and Instagram platforms, but it’s a known fact: organic content can only reach 1-3 percent of your page fan base. This harsh reality requires advertisers, including small business owners, to “pay to play” for true conversion.
As Facebook updated its advertising algorithm, there was minimal attention to organic performance — until now. According to a recent update announced by Facebook, the company is shortening the time-frame by which it calculates the metric, which updates the organic impressions to align with the methodology it uses for paid performance. This change will allow organic content to maintain comparable metrics to the sponsored (or paid) content for a business page.
Freelancer focus: Organic content will see a slight shift with impressions, which are the number of times a person views your content. This update may or may not improve your engagement rate, but it’s a step in the right direction of leveling the playing field for business marketing regardless of your budget size (or lack thereof). These changes will reflect within the upcoming weeks.Facebook commits to improving organic content's metric calculations. #ContentRadar | #SocialMediaMarketing | @AltimeseNichole Click To Tweet
11. Facebook hosts ‘Boost with Facebook’ Holiday Bootcamp Edition in New York City.
Boost with Facebook is an open forum community initiative geared toward small business owners, entrepreneurs and non-profits for networking and receiving best practices tips and success stories from businesses utilizing the Facebook family of apps (Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp). All events are free and open to the public!
The latest event, held in New York City, speaks directly to Holiday Planning and campaigns. During the session, Facebook announced new product releases, including Instagram Stories Creative Templates, which allows you to upload copy and creative through. Facebook also announced updates to the Facebook Page Inbox for a better communication experience with customers.
Watch one of the sessions during the New York Community Boost event here.
If you’re interested in learning about future events, you can review them and sign up here. (10/10/19)
12. Facebook is testing a dedicated feed for news in the U.S.
In lieu of the political season and the platform’s issue with misleading news content, Facebook recently announced that it’s testing a dedicated feed for news for U.S.-based users.
According to the press release, the new feed will have key features to help make Facebook News valuable:
- Today’s Stories chosen by a team of journalists to catch you up on the news throughout the day
- Personalization based on the news you read, share and follow so that you can find new interests and topics and Facebook News is fresh and interesting every time you open it
- Topic sections to dive deeper into business, entertainment, health, science & tech and sports
- Your Subscriptions, a section for people who have linked their paid news subscriptions to their Facebook account
- Controls to hide articles, topics and publishers you don’t want to see
For marketers and advertisers on the platform, this feed will not be available for ad placements. If the new feature takes off, it is a possibility that this decision may change, especially considering advertisers recently gained access to users searching content through the Search Results Feature. (10/25/19)
13. Tips and tricks for Instagram video creators.
With only nine posts and over 18.8K followers, Instagram’s newest handle titled @creators is a “place for creators… to get inspired and up [their] game on Instagram. 👋” It looks like it is becoming a platform that will be designated to users that are looking to create more videos, perhaps as a YouTube substitute or maybe even a replacement in the near future.
Additionally, this platform provides a bunch of wonderful hints, tricks and stats “like pointing out that 60% of people listen to stories on the platform with the sound on.” According to Sprout Social, video posts receive 38% more engagement than image posts, which pushes the type of content that is being published out on the platform.
The @creators app offers tips specifically targeted towards video creators. Looking forward to seeing higher engagement on Instagram and more video features being rolled out. (9/30/19)
14. The never-ending scrolling and pinning of inspiration on your Pinterest feed.
Pinterest has made scrolling on your feeds a daytime and nighttime binge. This new update will display the usual Pinterest Pins from a white background to a black, dark menu background, which will allow you to Pin endlessly when your phone’s dark mode is activated.
Not only will the dark background help conserve your phone’s battery life, but you will not have to strain your eyes while scrolling through your feed at night while in bed. “The network says that an increasing number of users browse the app at the end of the day — supported by statistics like the 474% increase in searches for relaxing videos and 77% for calming phone backgrounds.”
What great community management, and listening to fan feedback from Pinterest! Gotta love Pinterest for the newest update that they are rolling out, which should increase the platform’s engagement in the upcoming months. Want to figure out how to turn on the Pinterest dark mode? They provided instructions: here. (9/30/2019)
15. Google is giving podcasts a lot more love.
Google is finally giving podcasts a little bit more love on their SERP (search engine results page). As of the first week of August, “Google has announced that it will now highlight links to individual podcast episodes within relevant search queries, adding more potential brand-building value to the rising practice.”
If you’re currently housing podcasts on your website, will this change your SEO ranking? Currently, Google can detect certain words within podcasts, which means that as Google works to perfect its software and algorithms, podcasts will become more valuable for SEO.
Google is diligently working on helping podcasters build their audiences and grow their businesses, and will “soon add the ability for publishers to specify where you can listen to their podcasts, such as other apps or websites.
This means [listeners will] be able to discover podcasts that may be exclusively available by purchase or subscription.” If you are looking into expanding your content into the realm of podcasts, now is a great time to start. (8/9/2019)
If you’re interested in starting a podcast, focus on the story behind your podcast idea and build your foundation from there.
16. Twitter makes it easier to initiate a conversation.
Twitter is working on improving its DM (direct message) capabilities with its newest update. If you are looking to connect with a follower and can’t seem to relocate your conversation, Twitter is adding a search bar option for DMs, which makes it easier to sift through your Twitter “inbox.”
Why now? Similar to FB messenger and Instagram DMs, Twitter wants you to have more personal conversations through direct messages. It will be interesting to see if you’ll be receiving more direct ads in your Twitter inbox in the next couple of months as Twitter continues to develop the functionalities. (8/14/2019)
17. The next cause for car accidents or the coolest thing yet?
Do you love streaming videos and binging on Netflix? Now you can in the comfort of your Tesla! Elon Musk has tweeted that he’s looking into the capabilities for streaming YouTube and Netflix from his vehicles.
Sounds slightly hazardous, especially when distracted driving is already a huge concern! You might be wondering what the benefits might be?
Imagine being stuck in traffic after a long day at work, or waiting to pick up your child at school, or maybe even waiting in the parking lot for your spouse as they shop at the supermarket — the option to start watching your favorite show while you’re waiting is pretty neat!
Musk is pushing for this video streaming capability as self-driving cars are on the horizon and “drivers” need to pass their time as they’re being escorted from point A to point B. (7/27/2019)
According to a Capgemini report, “70 percent of highly emotionally engaged consumers spend twice as much or more on brands they feel loyal to, compared to only 49 percent of the not-so-emotionally-engaged ones.”
Utilize the power of emotional engagement to connect with your customers and turn them into loyal fans. (5/22/19)
18. Does the quantity of subscribers affect YouTubers? It just might with their recent update.
So much of social media is all about the number of subscribers you have, or maybe it’s not? YouTube’s most recent rollout is hoping to consolidate your subscriber list and make a more consistent number count of your subscribers across all devices: mobile and desktop.
By August of this year, YouTube creators with less than 1,000 subscribers will be able to see their full subscriber count, but for all those with more than 1,000 subscribers, their count will be abbreviated on a scale.
Who will this affect? Both YouTube creators, as well as, third party analytics and tracking sites that help pull in your followers/subscribers to provide you your social rank. “With this sliding scale, YouTube creators with more subscribers will find it more challenging to get a higher count displayed in public.”
The overall sentiment regarding this change has been negative, yet YouTube is still moving forward with this plan in order to create consistency for all creators, users and third parties. (5/23/19)
19. Instagram has created in-app purchase features for e-commerce brands and influencers.
For brands looking to sell more products and participate in influencer marketing, Instagram is the platform for you. Instagram is rolling out a new update that allows users to purchase products within the app in order to help cut down on follower questions such as, “Where can I buy this?” or “How much is this item?” This new tool will be tested with some of the app’s top influencers.
(Hmmm, I wonder what will happen with the swipe up feature to purchase items on e-commerce landing pages. Will the CTR (Click-Through-Rate) drop tremendously if consumers are able to purchase within the app itself?)
“Creators will also receive additional insights with shopping posts, such as engagements and shopping insights,” which will help brands understand which products sell best. This might be the next transition from an e-commerce website to Instagram purchases. Stay tuned for more updates. (5/1/2019)
20. Instagram is exploring a video-scrubbing feature.
Even those who love Instagram have likely found themselves desiring to fast-forward or rewind videos. Up to this point, that has not been an option.
However, it now looks like Instagram has started to test a scrubbing feature that allows users to move videos forward and backward. Instagram has provided no word if it will do more testing of the scrubbing feature or if it will make the feature universally available.
Some predict the inclusion of this new functionality means that Instagram may increase video length to longer than 60 seconds. See the feature in action here. (3/27/19)
21. Facebook explains to users why they see specific posts.
Figuring out the Facebook news feed has always been tricky — but this has been especially true in the last year or so since Facebook started to put a greater emphasis on building personal connections.
In a move to be more transparent (or perhaps because Facebook just feels sorry for us), the company has made it easier than ever for users to better understand why they see the content they are seeing.
Users can click on the dropdown menu on the right-hand corner of a post and select “Why am I seeing this post?” Upon selecting this option, Facebook shares with you some of the past interactions you have had that make you a candidate to receive the content in question. Watch this video to see Facebook explain it. (3/31/2019)
22. Messenger rolls out message replies to global audiences.
Facebook Messenger is trying to simplify how people converse with one another, especially in group conversations in the app. Messenger users now can choose any item that has been communicated anywhere in a one-on-one or group chat and comment specifically on that item.
This feature allows Messenger users to develop mini conversations with one another among the larger group conversation.
To respond to a specific piece of content in Messenger, a user will long-press on text, an image, a GIF, emoji or video, then press the “reply” icon to share a response. If Messenger updates are intriguing to you, check out our advice on how you can utilize chatbots to improve your marketing efforts. (3/21/2019)
23. Facebook introduces new Watch Party experience.
Although the Facebook Watch Party functionality was first developed to facilitate allowing people to watch more video content inside of the app, the development team has expanded the usage of the app to allow people to hold watch parties that focus on content appearing on live television.
As Facebook tests this functionality, it is starting with sports events. Party hosts will be able to choose a sporting event, then Facebook will provide the score and other updates while those in the watch party react to what they are watching on live TV. (3/13/2019)
24. 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.
25. 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.
More social media marketing tips and updates from the past year:
26. 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. 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)
27. With One Billion active users, Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms. It is no surprise that the platform frequently rolls out new stickers and fun interactive features that allow users and brands to actively engage with their followers via stories. (4/24/2019)
28. Now that Twitter has released its prototype application — twttr — to an initial group of testers, some interesting information about its functionality is being shared — twttr does not showcase hearts, retweets, or replies in the main feed. (3/13/19)
29. 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. (3/6/19)
30. Facebook is addressing privacy concerns. At the most recent F8 conference, Mark Zuckerberg stated, “Privacy gives us the freedom to be ourselves.” He hopes to achieve this through the following six steps: “encryption, private interactions, safety, reducing permanence, secure data storage, and interoperability” for Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and more. (5/4/2019)
See more monthly roundups and tips for social media marketers: