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10 New Social Media Products and Platform Updates Marketers Need to Know About

Marketing

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Whether you missed their release, or haven’t tested them out yet, check out these 10 platform features to amplify your message on social.

1. LinkedIn Video For Business

Get 5x more engagement on your videos

By one study, videos are being interacted with on LinkedIn twenty times more than other types of content on user feeds. To meet that demand, and to adapt to the form in a way that other platforms haven’t, LinkedIn has gone all-in on video as a key part of their strategy for business and company pages.

The strategy seems to be working: according to their beta testers, Company Page video is 5x more likely than other types of content to start a conversation among members.

2. WhatsApp for Business

New features specifically designed for business users

Just over a year after its official launch, WhatsApp for Business has topped 5 million monthly users. The differentiated platform, at times described as a Facebook Page-like business hub on WhatsApp, “helps companies better connect with their customers and establish an official presence on WhatsApp’s service.

Its Quick Reply, auto-reply, and away messages make it easier for business owners to manage communications with curious customers or leads.

3. TikTok Ads

Ads are now on TikTok. Are you?

TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez wants you to pay attention to TikTok. Given their meteoric rise and unique interface, we’re inclined to agree. And if you’re a brand who is aiming to grab the attention of Generation Z, you’d be wise to listen. Ad “units” are being introduced to a subset of users, with an ad placed by Grubhub appearing for the first time in late January.

The type of engagement it cultivates by allowing users to work together to create content, is highly attractive for advertisers aiming to target younger social groups. And given its dominance in an app ranking that’s otherwise flooded by Facebook-owned products, the ability to effectively bring in advertisers will allow it to stay competitive in the popularity contest it’s currently in…and improbably holding its own.

4. Instagram Stories Editor

Design, beyond the platform basics.

Instagram Stories have skyrocketed in popularity, quickly surpassing its inspiration Snapchat and now reportedly twice as popular. With that spike, apps are proliferating to allow creators to develop standout stories and polish content for the fast-moving space.

Our favorites include InShot (designed to help you format content for the vertical medium) and Hype Type (which can handle some of your more rudimentary video captioning needs). Check out these roundups from Later and Refinery29 for even more ways to help your content stand out in this highly trafficked space.

5. Instagram Stories Direct Links

Spread your stories far and wide.

Instagram is rolling out a “Share Link to Entire Story” feature, allowing accounts to share direct links to full stories. In this way, self-contained features like user takeovers or Q&As can live a life beyond Instagram Stories alone. This feature can also be boosted with their “Promote” feature, which allows users to follow a CTA to the account’s website, profile, or Direct Messages. If stories-style sharing truly is the future of social media, this ability to spread its influence will become more common…and more essential to success.

6. LinkedIn Ads

Coming soon to a feed near you…ads for movies, products, and more.

Speaking of spreading influence, look for LinkedIn to take advantage of this trend in ways you might not expect. The platform, often thought of as the “professional” social network, is expanding its view on the type of ads that can appear on its platform. Users can be targeted in their professional areas of interest, like “arts and entertainment,” “marketing and advertising,” “and “business and management.” The result? Ask users who saw ads for the Paramount Pictures’ film What Men Want on their feed, an example that previously would have felt out of place on the platform.

7. Reddit Cost-Per-Click Ads

Don’t sleep on Reddit as a home for your ads.

LinkedIn isn’t the only platform looking to rethink their ad strategy. Reddit is gradually introducing cost-per-click ads to its advertisers, and is already seeing their utility through companies like Wayfair and Hired. Though the cost-per-click model is far from new, it is new to Reddit, where ad revenue previously came from a combination of reach, video view, traffic and conversion-based ads. Ad revenue has grown five times over the past three years and sales have more than doubled year-over-year. With this affordable option now in Reddit’s arsenal, that growth seems likely to continue.

8. Facebook Petitions

Bringing people together for a common cause.

Facebook remains in favor as a means of gathering people, a fact that likely informed the company’s recent move to connect Stories to Facebook Events. Another way Facebook plans to capitalize on its people-gathering power? Its recently deployed Petitions feature. Designed to help people reach out to elected officials, Petitions will allow users to rally around a cause, engage in discussion around the issues at hand, and will be connected to Events and Fundraisers for even more involvement potential.

9. Twitter Morning News Catchup

Recaps and reviews to catch you up.

After a brief but unpopular foray into algorithmic feeds, Twitter now understands the appeal of its real-time setup. With that misstep in mind, it wants to make absolutely sure you won’t miss anything newsworthy…and is doing so by testing a Morning News Catchup.

This differs from their “while you were away” feature, in that it focuses on current events rather than popular site content. For brands aiming to capitalize on the news of the day, this feature is a welcome one to ensure that your prospective consumers are as informed as you are.

10. Twitter Auto-Response

Make it easy for them to come back for more.

As you look for new and different ways to engage with your followers and fans on Twitter, we hope you haven’t overlooked the Auto-Response feature. Launched last year by the platform, it allows users to opt into additional contact from an account for a very specific purpose. For example, Netflix’s Stranger Things allowed its Twitter followers to opt in for a “trick” or “treat” from the account- they need only indicate their preference with an emoji. The tool is a fun one for engaging with followers in an unexpected way, and provides the kind of surprise and delight that can feel rare in our often predictable world of social media.

There you have it: 10 new features (and, for some, platforms) to experiment with, in pursuit of growing your brand’s presence online. We can’t wait to hear the amazing things you’ll do with these tools…they’re waiting for you to test them out!

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