2020 was certainly an interesting year, to say the least (and has unfortunately carried over to 2021!) While the pandemic raged on, people started running out of things to do, and as we went into lockdown around the globe, the social media tech-heads put their brains together to come up with some new social media features to keep us all entertained. While you may have heard of some of them (Instagram Reels, we’re looking at you!) there are a few others that may be news to you.
Let’s take a walk down memory lane and have a look at the latest social media features launched, platform by platform in 2020.
First and foremost, let’s talk about Instagram Reels – one of the biggest features to be released in 2020.
(If you missed our blog on it towards the end of last year take a peek here)
While many were quick to point fingers towards this being a “Tik Tok rip off”, Reels have allowed businesses to create short, quirky videos to showcase their personality through product demos, how to’s and DIYs. Reels can be seen by anyone if your profile is on public, so has been a hit with businesses trying to expand their following and reach a larger audience.
In July of 2020, Instagram Shop hit our feeds, making it easier to discover products from brands and creators. This one is super exciting for businesses for a few reasons, mainly that their shop can easily be discovered. It also allows consumers to view the cost of items with a simple tap and visit the website with a click of a button instead of having to search for the company website. Shops are also categorised, along with editors picks, collections and the option to save items to a wish list. This new social media feature is an extremely important one for online stores wanting to expand their reach and get discovered.
One of the more recent social media features to grace Instagram is the professional dashboard that many businesses and creators will have noticed pop up.
The Instagram professional dashboard is to track your performance, grow your business and stay informed.
Performance tracking enables you to see all of your insights in one place, including accounts reached, content interactions, promotion statistics and individual story and post insights from either the last 7 days or last 30 days. Very similar to the insights button, but with an added graph under the professional dashboard tab.
The grow your business section provides you with options for promotions, branded content approvals, online shopping set up and the ability to create saved replies to common questions.
Staying informed gives you a section to view tips and best practices from the Instagram team, including posts on how to plan content, boost engagement and set up an Instagram shop.
Facebook and Instagram are both owned by Facebook, so it totally makes sense for you to be able to message across platforms, right? Well, an update late last year merged the messaging platforms across both Facebook Messenger and Instagram Direct messages – basically meaning that you can message someone’s Instagram account from Facebook Messenger and vice versa.
This makes it a lot easier to share memes with your Facebook friends who may not have an Instagram account or share a cool event you’ve stumbled across on Facebook that you want to send to an Instagram pal and everything in between.
You may have noticed your Facebook pages app stop working, and that’s because Facebook Business Suite rolled out towards the end of 2020. This platform is available across both desktop and mobile sites, with easy access to all business tools such as posting, messaging and advertising capabilities. Business Suite was designed to make it easier for businesses to manage their Facebook and Instagram accounts – if you want to schedule posts to go out to Facebook and Instagram, you can!
All the capabilities that were available in Facebook Business Manager have migrated over to Facebook Business Suite, the difference being that you are now able to see all of your business accounts and pages in one place – including Instagram accounts – making it a lot easier to swap between accounts, post content and ads, respond to messages and view analytics.
Facebook Advertising Capabilities:
Facebook ads have implemented more features to improve the advertising process for businesses. It is now easier than ever for businesses to use Facebook ads, no matter what type of business they are.
There are now creative tools in place to make your dynamic ads as compelling as possible to your target audience. Facebook now lets advertisers turn their existing images and text assets into videos with video templates. These templates are made to create videos for mobile ads. Speaking of videos, you are also now able to see more in-depth metrics for video ads that you post.
In the middle of last year, Facebook ads also brought out story carousel ads for Instagram. According to Digiday, carousel ads are ten times more likely to produce a result than other ad creatives.
One of the major features to hit LinkedIn in the past year is the live video feature. Live video on LinkedIn allows brands and creators to connect with their audience on a more personal level, allowing them to reach a larger amount of people. According to Later, LinkedIn Live has seen x24 more comments on average than any other type of LinkedIn post.
Following Facebook’s lead, LinkedIn introduced reactions for posts. Instead of users only being able to ‘like’ a post, they now have the option to engage by throwing out a reaction – a like, celebrate, support, love, insightful or curious.
Again, similarly o other social media platforms LinkedIn has introduced stories – posts that are published to your profile that last for 24 hours. Your audience can engage and respond as they would be able to on Facebook or Instagram.
Add an Event:
This feature is something that can be super useful for networking. You can now create an event on LinkedIn (like how you would on Facebook) and invite your connections to attend. This feature also allows you to add an online booking link so that you capture the data of participants, as well as providing you with the option to add a video meeting link.
Everyone loves a good poll! They are one of the easiest ways to capture engagement, as they are generally catchy questions that where audiences choose between one answer or the other with a single tap. Polls have been rolled out on LinkedIn giving businesses another way to engage their audience.
New social media features are getting rolled out all the time, making it easy for some to fly under the radar. But getting ahead of the game and on top of these features will allow you to advance and scale your business – and learn a thing or two in the process!
Get in touch with one of our team members today to chat about what features could benefit your business.