Its been a hectic few weeks on the social media front. Week on week there have been some pretty big updates from the big players in the market. These were discussed by yours truly and Steve in our BlueChief weekly video slot (shameless plug there). I decided to also look at these updates in one blog and show what they mean for business. The key updates recently have come from:
It will be interesting to see how these updates impact not only on businesses but also the general user. Because lets face it we’re all customers in the world of marketing.
Twitter thinking of getting rid of the 140 character limit
Now I will admit it when I first heard this I wondered why would they want to do this!!! The 140 characters is what makes Twitter unique. However then I realised that:
- I’ve been using Twitter for 5 years
- I use it every day and throughout the day as well
For me crafting a tweet (which is what you have to do) is second nature. Then I remembered talking to friends whose first reaction to Twitter was:
“Yeah I just don’t get it”
For a noob Twitter can be pretty daunting. Start talking in hashtags and peoples eyes begin to glaze over. The new tactic from Twitter is made for new members. The learning curve to begin with isn’t as steep and as a result people pick it up easier and most importantly become an active user. Considering Instagram just surpassed Twitter users wise Twitter needs to look for ways to attract more people. From a new user perspective this is a good idea.
What does this mean for businesses? If you’re new to Twitter or haven’t started using it then this creates a great opportunity to jump on board a platform that for me is one of the best. You don’t have to worry about the dreaded minus symbol either.
The Twitter Buy Button
Twitter recently announced the introduction of the buy now button. It’s a tactic that Pinterest has also used recently. This is going to be really interesting how this develops as it will make Twitter more relevant for businesses. Rather than just taking things half-hearted and putting up a few tweets here and there (something I would never recommend!!) this feature will result in businesses taking a more serious approach to social media for the simple reason that they can earn sales directly from it. The benefits of the buy button are two fold
- For Twitter people will spend more time on the website (one of the biggest goals for social media channels these days)
- For businesses access to the online market
People love browsing on their phones while doing the daily commute (like yours truly) or when watching tv or live streaming. The Buy Button now gives them access to products at the click of a button. This could be a big feature for social media and really make it a competitor to the Amazons and eBays of the world.
What this means for businesses? Very often the e-commerce option is a big issue for a small business due to lack of resources. This option now gives hundreds of thousands of businesses access to another potential revenue stream
Facebook Live Streaming Feature
Have you heard about Meerkat and Periscope? We may have talked about this before. 2015 has been the year that Live Streaming has made its grand entrance and Facebook has taken note. They have recently announced a live streaming feature and straight away it is having a big impact due to one of the biggest strengths that Facebook has:
Over a billion people have been on Facebook on a daily basis, imagine having access to an audience that big. Several big events have been live streamed and this feature has a lot of media coverage in comparison to YouTubes Live Stream feature (the Video Wars continue!!). From democratic debates to NBA teams training live streaming could result in Facebook becoming a genuine competitor to television when it comes to events. From a numbers perspective it is already starting with a huge advantage
What does this mean for businesses? Simple if you’re at an event you can live stream and engage with your Facebook audience. It’s still early on for this feature but it could potentially be the next era of engagement between businesses and their customers.
Recently while scrolling through my newsfeed on the way to work I saw the first ad on Instagram and I realised that this meant one thing,
Instagram had made it to the big time.
This is for a good reason Instagram is one of the most popular mobile social media platforms and as the chart below from VentureBeat shows the one that’s used regularly.
As well as this it is the network used by younger people and 90% of users are below 35. These stats show that Instagram has become a big player. Personally when it comes to Instagram the reason I use it regularly is:
- It’s so easy to use
- Its photo-based
All these stats make it understandable that advertising has come to the platform.
What does this mean for businesses? Simple if your target market is on this platform then look into using advertising. However be careful when starting out as there have been some teething problems for advertising between the ads being of poor quality and the number 1 issue that people have with advertising, it’s invading your newsfeed/space.
Social Media is Evolving
These are just some of the big updates that there has been in the world of social in the last few weeks. From the structure of your content, to making max use of the camera on your phone to targeting your ideal customer it will be interesting to see over the next few weeks and months how these impact on the platforms and the users experience. If you have any questions or want to find out more about the wide range of social channels then check out our services page. You can also check out our weekly updates on our YouTube channel.
P.S. Did I mention Facebook 360 Video?
One other feature I’ll briefly talk about is the Facebook 360 degree video. In a nutshell this video lets you engage with the screen and look around at all angles of the video. While this is out of the reach of most businesses I’m really excited as to the potential there is in this from a business but also entertainment perspective. In an era where to be a good marketer you need to also be a good story teller then this could result in some pretty interesting things. To find out more about this just check out the video for a certain Star Wars movie.
You’ll really enjoy it.