With all the challenges that COVID-19 has presented to businesses, families, and individuals across the country, social media has become more important than ever in keeping us all connected. This is why we wanted to dedicate this post to share a few of the latest social media features. Knowing about and incorporating these new features into your business’ marketing strategy can not only help your business stay afloat during this unprecedented time, but it can also lay a solid foundation upon which your business can look to for solid growth when life returns to normal.
Today we want to feature ten of the biggest rollouts across Instagram and Facebook that we think your business should know about.
- Instagram Analytics - You can now view Instagram analytics in a few simple steps. The recent addition of the Creator Studio gives Business Manager users access to Instagram account analytics on desktop (finally). The capabilities aren’t customizable at this time, but one useful feature offered is insights about your account follower’s demographic information and times they are active (by day and hour). Use this information to guide the content that you are putting out, as well as the ideal times to schedule your posts. These simple tactics could jump-start the engagement your posts are seeing on Instagram and ultimately result in more followers and increased awareness of your brand.
- More desktop ability - In addition to the desktop features available through Creator Studio, Instagram has also rolled out the ability to respond to DMs and comment on IG live streams from your desktop.
- Saving live stream video to IGTV - If you despised putting in all that effort to a live video, only to see it disappear 24 hours later, this feature solves that problem! Once your live broadcast ends, your video can now be saved to and live on in the IGTV section of your profile!
- Scheduling posts through Creator Studio - yes, the beautiful moment so many business owners have been waiting for! Facebook, of course, has a simple how-to drafted here.
- New Stickers for Stories - In an effort to help struggling industries during COVID-19, Instagram stepped up with new Donations, Food Delivery, and Gift Cards stickers. Now you can add these stickers to your Instagram stories and make it quick and easy for your customers to donate to a non-profit of your choice, place a food delivery order, or purchase a gift card from your business. This feature is huge for many companies who have seen a dramatic decrease in foot traffic and business over the past few months and has already seen a lot of success with its Instagram rollout.
- Charging for Facebook Live - in a response to the increase in hosting virtual events and the hit that the entertainment industry has taken, Facebook rolled out the ability to charge attendees for Facebook Live. We especially love how Later Media breaks down this feature in their blog.
- An entire Facelift - Facebook rolled out a new layout for user dashboards featuring: dark mode, smaller notifications, an emphasis on Facebook watch, groups, gaming, and marketplace, & a look and feel so completely different that Facebook is referring to it as the "New Facebook"
- Running ads in groups - audience placements notoriously allow for a wide variety of Facebook ads to live in spaces such as blogs, marketplace, the right sidebar, instant articles, and other locations. Starting in March, we noticed a new placement in Facebook groups during our monthly reports. The reach and exposure were low overall, but a surprising development, as this was not previously allowed. With Facebook’s push for users to participate in groups and the fact that they are featured in the top bar of the “New Facebook” - it was expected, if not a bit questionable with the rollout timeline.
- Messenger Room - a similar feature to Google Hangouts and Zoom, messenger room can host up to 50 people with no “time out” limit. It’s geared toward connecting families and friends but can also be utilized for professional purposes.
- Creator Studio updates + it’s Mobile App - Facebook has also rolled out a new Creator Studio App that makes it much easier to check your page’s insights, publish new content, and engage with your audience on the go. While businesses that are already using scheduling software such as Hootsuite might not reap as many benefits from this app, for those that are scheduling and analyzing all their content in Facebook directly, this makes it much easier to check in on your business’ page whenever or wherever you are, no desktop needed!