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

Social media moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and read our monthly updates once in awhile, you might miss it!

Here are the top April 2017 updates social media managers need to know.

Facebook is Beta Testing Star Ratings in Ads

We’ve learned that Facebook is testing an exciting new advertising feature that allows star ratings to appear alongside local business ads. Titled the “Star Rating Experiment” in the Facebook business page settings menu, the new feature is not yet widely available.


Facebook included this message with the Beta test invitation:

“We are testing to determine if showing business ratings increases conversions from ads. Star ratings will only appear when the average star rating is 4 stars or higher and when there are at least 5 reviews.”

Assuming the Beta test goes well, this function will provide a compelling opportunity to combine brand messaging with a tangible representation of the brand’s good reputation in the community. The rating will give brands immediate credibility with users who may not have any familiarity with the company before seeing the ad.

LinkedIn Rolling Out “Matched Audiences” Ad Targeting Features

LinkedIn announced a new suite of advertising options that allows businesses to target people using a customer list, website retargeting, and company targeting, meaning you can show ads to people who work at a certain company—which will be huge for B2B brands.

The Matched Audiences features will be familiar to anyone who has managed Facebook ads—similar features can already be used there. But now, LinkedIn offers a compelling option for diversifying your ad spend with a channel where you can catch people while they’re in a business-y mood.

Twitter Eases the Character Limit (Again)

The 140-character limit is a hallmark of Twitter communication. But over the past months, the platform has taken multiple steps to allow people more leniency in their posts. The latest change has removed usernames from character counts in replies. This means that users replying to one person or to an entire group will be able to use the entire 140 characters in each message, instead of the initial account tags immediately taking you down a few characters.


Last year, Twitter similarly excluded media attachments (pics, GIFs, and polls) from counting against a Tweet’s character count.

While it may seem like a small detail, these updates will make it easier for people to have back-and-forth conversations on the platform. Brands who want to be able to speak one-on-one with their customers (in other words, all brands) should be grateful for this update.

One in Every Five Facebook Videos is Live

On the one-year anniversary of the feature, Facebook announced that a solid fifth of the video content posted on the platform is now of the “Live” variety. According to AdWeek, the daily watch time for Live broadcasts has also “skyrocketed by more than four times over the past year.”

^ a recent Facebook Live we did for the #SmartCincy Summit.

This is yet another strong indication that Live video is catching on for both for users and brands who go Live, and for users who are tuning in to watch. If your brand is still waiting to try a Facebook Live video, hop on this train NOW.

YouTube TV Offers a New Option for Cord Cutters

“YouTube TV” is now available in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia. The “TV over the Internet” option costs $35 a month and, after its first week, had over 150,000 subscribers. The service includes ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN, Fox Sports Network, Comcast SportsNet, and more.

Considering that it dominates the Internet video space, it makes sense that Google-owned YouTube would want in on the online television market, which already includes Dish’s Sling TV and others.

Unless you’re creating high-profile TV shows (or advertising on them), this new offering probably won’t directly affect you. It does, however, serve to illustrate that YouTube is staying on top of its game. Friendly reminder: because of YouTube’s dominance, remember that even if your primary distribution vehicle is Facebook, your new video content should always be shared on YouTube to take advantage of the SEO benefits.

Facebook Messenger as an Ads Destination

Facebook really wants you to appreciate the opportunities it is trying to create for brands on its Messenger platform. Allowing you, as an Ads Manager, to send people directly into messenger vs. to your app or website - is a pretty cool feature. Plus, Facebook blasted us with this news using the banner message (see below), hinting a strong desire to direct our attention to Messenger’s possibilities.

Those who click these ads will open a new Messenger conversation where they can interact directly with your brand. The brand rep could be a live person or a chat bot, depending on what you have at your disposal. Facebook encourages brands to use the chat conversation as “a unique way to provide a coupon code and a personalized experience for your customers.”

Introducing the Social Media Show & Tell Website!

After successfully throwing two Social Media Show & Tell events over the past several months, we’re pumped to announce a brand spankin’ new home for the event: socialmediashowandtell.com. Check it out, bookmark it and tell your friends!

Our next Show & Tell gathering will take place on May 23, 2017 @ 6 PM in Union Hall in OTR, Cincinnati. Our expert panel includes:

  • Lisa Braun, Director of Digital Media for the Cincinnati Reds
  • DJ Switzer, Director of Communications for FC Cincinnati
  • Steven Hudy, Manager of New Digital Production and Social Media for the Cincinnati Bengals

*Notice a theme?

Tickets are going fast, so register online NOW. Then, join the Facebook event to get reminders as we get closer to showtime.


Which new features are you going to try this month? Will you be there for the third Social Media Show & Tell? Let us know on our Facebook page!

Catch up on more recent updates to the top social media platforms:

●      March 2017 updates

●      February 2017 updates

●      January 2017updates

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