Keeping up with the changes in social media can be like trying to count your reflections in a mirror maze. Marketers and users alike must navigate their way through constant changes and updates. But what effect do these have?
1. Hidden Likes
After an initial test in Canada in April, Instagram expanded the hidden likes feature to Australia, Ireland, Brazil, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand. As Instagram announced on Twitter, they “ want your friends to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get”.
It’s an attempt to remove the dependency of validation in a social media world full of selfies and product placement.
Facebook shortly followed the hidden likes trial. Mark Zuckerberg stated, “We want people to be less interested in how many likes a post gets, and focus more on connecting with other people.”
So what have the aftereffects been?
Influencers have had mixed feelings about the removal—some noting that they sell their services by promoting how high their engagement is. Conversely, it encourages not simply posting things for the likes but to curate a feed that best represents you.
Instagram stories, which don’t utilise public metrics, are still ragingly popular. The popularity of stories might be due to their impermanent nature, but it looks like hidden likes might be a permanent change.
2. Organic Reach for Businesses
Unfortunately for businesses on social media, since 2018 public posts aren’t been shown within the Facebook algorithm in order to make way for “meaningful interactions”. This means organic reach for brands has significantly decreased.
The aftereffect on personal users is that they now see more of their friends and family’s posts, which is overall a very good thing. We can connect with one another more, and don’t miss things we care about seeing.
However, for businesses, it means they need to pay money to be seen. Having regular, quality organic content is important, but to really engage and convert customers paid social advertising is crucial. Knowing what to post, the audiences to target, and how the algorithm works is a company’s best chance at success on social media. That’s why it’s best left to the experts when it comes to promoting your brand on social media.
3. Google+ Has Gone
You may not have noticed this, but Google+ has gone.
Google reported they decided to close down the Google+ network “due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations.”
The aftereffect of this is… minor. But we’re keen to see what will potentially replace Google’s first foray into a social network, and how it might come back better than ever.
4. Advertising on TikTok
This year, TikTok dived into advertising. Just like the big boys in social media, they now have interest-based targeting, pixel tracking, and custom audiences.
TikTok has seen huge popularity, especially amongst Millenials and Gen Z. The result of the new advertising potential with TikTok means marketers are evolving a digital marketing strategy for the platform.
The challenge is how to advertise to a demographic that has a vastly short attention span, is diverse, open-minded, and sceptical.
With over one billion users, it’s an opportunity that’s being leapt on.
5. Interactive Features
The presence of chatbots, virtual assistants, and AI has increased dramatically on social media. With people expecting instantaneous customer service, many businesses benefit from this kind of live chat.
It means they can give their customer’s 24/7 support, plus it’s cheaper and faster than hiring customer service. This is why we predict we’ll continue to see much more of it, and why chatbots will continue to learn at a fast rate and become indistinguishable from humans.
Behaviourally, 63% of us are willing to talk to a chatbot, so businesses without it are falling behind. While there’s also dissatisfaction around not being able to speak to a real human, the benefit of chatbots seems to outweigh any discomfort.
6. LinkedIn Advertising Updates
In 2019 LinkedIn decided to improve ad targeting and their algorithm.
Now? Posts are prioritised for being relevant and promoting engagement. So businesses are going niche with their audience, putting money behind good posts and promoting them with relevant hashtags.
It can be tough to keep up with the myriad of changes in the social media sphere. Rather than exhausting yourself following algorithm changes and the consequences they have, get the experts to worry about it for you.