November 2017 Edition: The Social Media Updates You Need to Know

It's time for another edition of dooley media's Social Updates You Need to Know! In this November 2017 episode, you'll learn about Instagram Polls, Snapchat Context Cards, Pinterest Search Ads, a potentially HUGE change coming to Facebook, and more. 

Let's get started...


Non-Paid Facebook Posts May Be Moved to a Separate News Feed

Facebook is running a trial for a new feature called Explore Feed in a handful of countries that moves publisher/brand content into a secondary News Feed. If implemented globally, organic page posts would be shifted away from the standard feed and into a new feed effectively "hidden" in the desktop sidebar and the app's hamburger menu.

To put it bluntly: This setup would mean the only way to get brand content into the regular feed would be to pay for it.

Reports about this trial have shown up on all the standard news sites. Notably, The Guardian mentioned that the change led "engagement with Facebook pages [to] drop precipitously, with publications reporting a 60% to 80% fall." Filip Struhárik, a journalist who has been documenting the trial from the perspective of his Slovakian newspaper, shared information on the huge drop in organic traffic their page has experienced:

Here's the explanation from a Facebook spokesperson:

"People have told us they want an easier way to see posts from friends and family, so we are testing two separate feeds, one as a dedicated space with posts from friends and family and another as a dedicated space for posts from Pages.”

This change would be BIG for anyone who relies on Facebook to promote their message. The official statement concluded by saying they "have no current plans to roll this out globally," but one can never be certain. 

We'll keep you updated as news of this trial breaks in the coming months! For now, get comfortable with regularly publishing videos to the platform.


LinkedIn Homepage Gets a Facebook-Style News Section

Have you noticed trending topics on LinkedIn?

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Verdict: USEFUL!

If you're someone who uses LinkedIn as a platform for staying on top of the day's business-related news, then this makes trending topics much more accessible. If you're not someone who uses LinkedIn like that, then it's safe to assume LinkedIn is betting you might become one with the introduction of this new sidebar area. 

Here's what it looks like when you click into one of the stories. The way top comments are summarized and highlighted in the carousel is a nice way to quickly see reactions from other LinkedIn users.

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Expect more of these Facebook-style changes coming to the platform soon!


Instagram Polls = A New Way to Engage

Early in October, Instagram announced a new polling feature for Instagram Stories. The simple, 2-option survey function is a fun way to get reactions and responses from your followers. 

 
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While this is definitely a fun way for friends to ask which donut they should eat, it could also prove to be a useful and quick utility for getting customer feedback or participation in a new product.

Here's how to do it:

Can you think of any fun ways to involve your followers in your next promotion using IG Polls?


Instagram "Live with a Friend" Launches Globally

Back in August, we told you about the new Dual Live Streaming feature coming soon to IG. Well, it's now available to all users!

Check out our August 2017 updates for more information.


Snapchat Introduces "Context Cards"

Context Cards, announced on October 10, are a fun new feature that combines Snapchat's Snap Map and Geofilter tagging with information you might be used to finding on Google search or local listing apps like Yelp and Foursquare. 

Here's part of the quick and 'snappy' (ha?) value statement released by the company:

"With Context Cards, Snaps have become the visual starting point for learning more about the world, empowering our community to get more information about anything that catches their eye."

TBD if the feature catches on, but we'd bet it's here to stay. The information is relatively easy to find and navigate through (which is definitely saying something for Snapchat) and it makes the Snap Map feature a lot more useful. On the professional side, this is yet another motivator to make sure you're business listing information (name, address, phone number, etc.) is consistent across the web.


Pinterest Search Ads Now Available to All Businesses

In January, Pinterest announced new search targeting via keyword campaigns and shopping campaigns. That feature is now available to all brands via the Pinterest Ads Manager

With over 2 billion searches per month (97% non-branded), Pinterest is a great place to reach people early in their customer journey. Since the platform's users aren't sure what they want to purchase yet, it's become a great place to introduce your brand to potential new customers with great, valuable content. Now, the paid options make it easier to target users based on what they search for in addition to demographic and location-based targeting.

Another impressive stat: 75% of all Pins saved by users come from businesses. (That's crazy!)

Are Pinterest Search Ads a good fit for you? Some items to consider:

  • Do you have great visual content? 
  • Do you need to reach new customers who don't know about your brand yet?
  • Do you already have someone on your team who understands how to work PPC campaigns?

If you answered Yes to these questions, it might be worth testing this feature now. If not, you may want to adjust your resources and/or wait to see if this particular advertising feature withstands the test of time.


RIP AIM

We didn't really know it was still alive, TBH, but AOL Instant Messenger announced it will be officially shutting its doors on December 15th.

 
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Once the king of chat, AIM, which has been running since 1997 (20 years!), was effectively run out of town by SMS text messaging and social-based chat platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, GroupMe and Skype. 

Pro tip: If you have anything sentimental you might want to save before it's gone forever, head over to AIM.com and see what's what before December 15.


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