5 new social features that help you stand out in your customer’s timeline
How do you stand out in an overwhelming stream of content on social media? This question concerns marketing and communication specialists each and every day. As an organisation, you of course want to appear at the top of a (potential) customer’s timeline, but this is easier said than done. Fortunately, a number of great new features have been added to social media in the past year. In this article, we’ll take you through the 5 most interesting features for your organisation, so that once you’ve finished reading, you’ll know how to stand out above the rest.
1. Optimal use of Snapchat with company profiles, AR lenses and Dynamic-Ads
Snapchat is used extensively among young people ages 12-24. Newcom‘s national social media survey shows that the use of Snapchat has increased this year from 1.3 million to 1.5 million daily users in the Netherlands. Worldwide, more than 238 million people use the popular platform (Statista, 2020) each day. In the United States, Snapchat reaches 90% of all young people between 13-24. Although company profiles haven’t been fully rolled out in Snapchat yet, the platform is currently going through a test phase within 15 large organisations, including Universal Pictures and L’Oréal Paris — a development to keep a close eye on in the coming period if young people are your target group, because it looks like this will all be coming before the end of the year!
Look at the world through different glasses. The increasing use of branded augmented reality lenses
“We believe that reinventing the camera is our best opportunity for improving the way people live and communicate,” says Snap.inc.
With Snapchat, you communicate using photos and videos, which are only visible for a short time — they disappear from the server just ten seconds after opening. It’s now possible to place augmented reality lenses over the images. Really want to stand out? Nowadays organisations can implement a branded augmented reality lens.
Makeup giant Sephora believes in the power of Snapchat to reach young people. This organisation uses various branded augmented reality lenses to increase involvement with their young target group. With these lenses you can try new make-up products, for example, without actually having to smear them on your face! The lenses are also available via Instagram and Facebook Messenger. It’s now possible to try out a new lip gloss or eyeliner digitally!
E-commerce is running rampant! Show real-time advertisements using Dynamic-Ads
Research by Kantar shows that one in three households worldwide makes more purchases online now than before the lockdown. Many brands are therefore putting their focus on e-commerce. Snapchat is responding to this by launching Dynamic-Ads. With the help of Dynamic-Ads, you can show real-time advertisements based on current offers. The advertisements change automatically when you adjust the specifications in the webshop. De Bijenkorf and Hema have recently completed tests with the new advertising tool that were proven to be highly successful.
“At the Bijenkorf we’re always looking for effective ways to get in touch with our target group with relevant messages. Gen-Z is an important target audience for us and during the lockdown period we looked for a way to get through all the noise and increase efficiency. With Dynamic-Ads, we can send personalised advertisements to our customers on a larger scale. So far we’ve seen impressive results, leading to qualitative interactions with Gen-Z customers ”, says Head of Online Traffic & Trading at the Bijenkorf, Jorrit de Groot.
2. Video content is king! Make a difference with Instagram Reels and TikTok
Snapchat, TikTok, IGTV, Reels, Facebook Stories, Instagram Stories, Youtube, Vimeo… There are countless ways nowadays to reach customers with video content. A picture says more than 1000 words, but a video says more than 1000 pictures. Cisco predicts that 82% of all online content will consist of video images by the year 2022. 87% of marketing professionals already use video in their marketing strategies (Wyzowl, 2019). And, if you consider that people watch online videos for an average of six hours and 48 minutes per week (Limelight, 2019), then you know that video content needs to be part of your marketing policy!
Instagram launches Reels
Want to really stand out and reach young target groups in a creative and authentic way? Make a cool video with Instagram Reels. This new Instagram feature has recently become available. With Instagram Reels you can edit videos, add fun effects and use pre-selected music or music you’ve made yourself. Reels can be found between the stories or you can share them on your profile.
The difference between Instagram Reels and TikTok
The concept of Reels is not completely new. The feature is almost identical to TikTok’s editing tool. It may also not be entirely coincidental that Instagram has launched the feature right at the time TikTok is under attack in the United States. However, there are some differences between the platforms and their tools:
- TikTok is a stand-alone platform and Instagram Reels is woven into Instagram.
- On Instagram you can make a video of up to 15 seconds. On TikTok you can upload a video of 60 seconds.
- Many organisations already have an Instagram account. They can already reach their existing followers with Instagram Reels. It is an obstacle for many organisations to rebuild a fan base with a platform like TikTok.
- TikTok is often seen as an authentic and personal platform. Instagram, on the other hand, is more often seen as a more serious platform when it comes to lifestyle and aspiration. It therefore takes more originality and technical skills to reach a target audience with Reels.
Be on the same platforms as your target audience
Is using TikTok or Instagram Reels perhaps “a bridge too far” for your organisation? Don’t be afraid of any potential obstacles. It’s important to be on the same platforms as your target audience. Try it. The implementation doesn’t have to be perfect right from the start, as long as it’s human, accessible and recognisable for young people. The Red Cross sets a good example of this. The organisation has used TikTok to reach the younger target group and at the same time remains faithful to their mission. In a humorous way they share videos about, for example, first aid. The account now has more than 62,000 followers.
Chat with customers on Instagram and Facebook through the same messenger channel
Today, more than a billion people use the Facebook Messenger app every day to connect with family, friends and organisations. However, it is sometimes difficult to find out who to approach via Instagram and who to approach via Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg already indicated in January 2019 that he wants to integrate the chat services of Facebook and Instagram more with each other. This feature has just been rolled out and makes it possible for Messenger users to chat with Instagram users and vice versa. With this great new feature you can easily get in touch with people who are not on the same platform.
The new integration is rolling out with ten new features, including selfie stickers and the ability to watch trending videos on IGTV together. There is also a so-called “vanish” function available, where messages are automatically deleted after they have been opened. The new feature is currently being tested in a few countries. The cross-platform feature will soon be available worldwide.
3. Host a webinar through Facebook Messenger Rooms
Facebook recently launched a new feature. With Facebook Messenger Rooms you can have a video conversation with 50 people at the same time. There’s no time limit on the conversations and it’s not even necessary to have a Facebook account.
Facebook Messenger Rooms was announced as an alternative to Zoom, Skype and Google Hangout. A smart move, especially during Corona, when video calling has become part of “the new standard”. It works basically the same as the other platforms, but the advantage of Facebook Messenger Rooms is the possibility to integrate it with the other functionalities of Facebook. For example, you can share the “room” in Facebook events and groups and invite people with a specific area of interest. Organising a webinar? Now it’s easy with Facebook Messenger Rooms!
4. Increase engagement with LinkedIn Live
LinkedIn is the platform for staying in touch with your professional network. With LinkedIn Live, you can broadcast a live video stream that your customers and partners can follow the moment you go live. And it’s very easy to interact with the viewers. The public live chat allows spectators to ask questions and respond to the video.
With LinkedIn Live, you can, for example, broadcast your product launches in real time. It’s also possible to do a live broadcast of an event or to involve your network in the celebration of a milestone. Consider, for example, a Q&A, in which you actively enter into dialogue with your customers and partners.
Brand communications agency Loyals was one of the first to use LinkedIn Live in the Netherlands in order to organise a Q&A. They brought interesting content to many viewers, with minimal resources. In just thirty minutes, they had created an enhanced sense of involvement within their network. “No advertising budget, no rental of an expensive direction set, but just a fun and great experience. Pure and simple”, says Loyals.
LinkedIn Live isn’t very new. It was launched in April of last year, but still isn’t widely used yet. This broadcast feature is currently in beta and only available to LinkedIn members and the LinkedIn Pages that meet specific criteria. LinkedIn prefers established content creators with a significant LinkedIn audience. You can use this form to submit an application for LinkedIn Live.
Don’t miss the opportunities of LinkedIn live
Live content is viewed three times as much as content that is not shared live. Live content is also actively promoted by platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook, which makes it appear higher up in the notifications. Let’s be clear; live content is indispensable for your online strategy!
5. Show your human side in a professional way with LinkedIn Stories
Stories shouldn’t be ignored in our use of social media these days. You can scroll through them easily, they’re addictive, and they’re available on almost every platform. LinkedIn obviously couldn’t lag behind in this respect so they recently introduced the feature on their medium as well.
On Facebook and Instagram, Stories are mainly used for the B2C market. LinkedIn Stories now offers a nice alternative for B2B organisations. With Stories on LinkedIn, you have the opportunity to show your human side, in a highly professional way. In addition, with the help of this feature, you can share your work in a creative and an informal way as well. For example, share how you tackle the current working-at-home situation. What happens behind the scenes during an event? Do a “cheers” to a successful rounding-off of the week in a fun Story. With Corona, it may not be possible to have that Friday-afternoon drink with colleagues, but we can still improvise digitally …