So here we are! It is Saturday, February 3rd and I am in utter disbelief at how freaking fast this year is already going by! I mean wow! But I am also super excited because in just a couple of weeks I will be down in San Diego enjoying Social Media Marketing World! But for now, we will take a break from the fast pace of life and enjoy a little weekend update! (P.S. If you can’t make it to Social Media Marketing World this year but still want to get in on all that good content you can still get a virtual ticket HERE.)

 

More advertising options for Instagram Stories

Instagram announced that ads will now be able to “publish up to three pieces of content.” (That means multiple segments to tap through, similar to when a friend has updated their story three times in a day.) I am still torn on the ROI for story ads. From what I hear, they are low conversion and high priced with little reward. For now, I will hold off on using story ads BUT I will still utilize stories as a marketing and branding tool as I think it is one of the most powerful tools available to personal brands right now.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/1/16956486/instagram-stories-ads-three-parts

 

Schedule posts to Instagram

Instagram has updated their API to allow business pages to schedule posts via 3rd party partners. This is big news for social media managers who oversee the marketing efforts for many brands (like myself). There are some constraints to the auto post feature though. First, it is only available in Beta for official Instagram partners. (see a full list of official partners at https://instagrampartners.com/) also, you will only be able to post photos (so no videos or albums) and you will not be able to schedule tags and locations. All good things if you ask me as it will still require users to get into the platform and engage and interact (and do a couple of edits while they are logged in) instead of just setting and forgetting it. Although I suspect plenty of marketers will be doing the whole set and forget then go on to complain about the lack of reach and engagement they get blaming it on the algorithm…Do yourself a favor, use the scheduling tool as a base but make sure you still have a strategy to get on and engage, mix up your content and be an active part of the community.

Source: http://www.adweek.com/digital/instagram-graph-api-update-business-profiles-schedule-organic-posts/

 

Instagram rolls out type mode to stories

According to the official Instagram announcement “When you open the camera, you’ll see “Type” next to “Normal” under the record button. Tap “Type” and write whatever comes to mind — your favorite lyrics, a silly thought or a random idea — and play with different styles to change the look and feel. Then, you can pick different background colors, highlight words and phrases or add a background photo.” You will also be able to utilize the new type features over photos and video you upload to your stories.

http://blog.instagram.com/post/170384981887/180201-typemode

 

Twitter launches sponsored moments

Via Twitter’s official announcement “Now, advertisers can sponsor Moments from premium content partners and reach audiences at scale while they view the content they are most passionate about. Sponsored Moments include interstitial Tweets from the brand as well as a branded cover. Similar to other In-Stream Sponsorships, advertisers can promote the Moment to their specific target audience, expanding reach beyond the content partner’s existing followers.”  Now, Moments are something I have yet to personally use on Twitter but I have chatted with a couple of users who have said they are great for organizing tweets from an event. I will be experimenting with moments in 2018 but for now, I will leave the sponsored moments to the big boys.

Source: https://blog.twitter.com/marketing/en_us/topics/product-news/2018/How-sponsored-Moments-connect-publishers-and-brands.html

 

Snapchat releases some updates to ios

  • Tab to save a chat and hold for more options
  • Removed the white frame when you add snaps from camera roll
  • See friends on map inside group chat if they’ve shared their location

With these changes along with some other key features allowed in Snapchat (like sharing outside links without a minimum following like in Instagram which requires 10k followers) It almost looks like Snap Inc is making moves to take back some of the users who may have moved to Instagram stories. Only time will tell if these features will bring people back or keep them engaged on Snapchat.

Snap Inc. has launched a merchandise store

According to Techcrunch “the company opened the Snap Store, which lives in the Snapchat app’s Discover section and lets you buy Snapchat merchandise, like a $20 Dancing Hot Dog Plushie or a $30 Dog Lens T-Shirt.” Currently, the goal of this in-app shop is not about revenue but more about brand loyalty. Snap is the only merchant but it does beg the question, will they eventually roll out a store for outside merchants? Could this be a future money maker for Snap Inc? Only time will tell. For now, you can pick up one of the following branded items in their store:

  • Dancing Hot Dog Plush Doll: $19.99
  • Streak Hat: $29.99
  • Winkface Sweatshirt: $49.99
  • Dog Lens Tee: $29.99
  • Bring Back Best Friends Sweatshirt: $49.99

 

Facebook announces 4th quarter earnings for 2017

A lot of important things can be noted from the release of the Facebook 4th quarter earnings.

  1. Growth has slowed considerably. “Facebook now has 1.4 billion daily users, up 2.18% compared to growing 3.8% to 1.37 billion users in Q3. That’s a sizeable slowdown, and the lowest quarter-over-quarter percentage daily user growth ever reported by the company.” (Source: https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/31/facebook-q4-2017-earnings/)

 

  1. Facebook made some major bucks in the 4th quarter and revenue per user is now up to $6.18, up 27% from a year ago. “Average revenue was up 47% year-over-year, even though Facebook has been warning investors that it’s running out of space in the News Feed to put ads. Facebook raked in a record $4.26 billion in profit, down from $4.7 billion the previous quarter due to that big tax.”

 

  1. WhatsApp has become one of their best investments yet! Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp is showing returns left and right. In the 4th quarter earnings report, it was noted that WhatsApp now has 1.5 billion users and sees 60 billion messages sent per day. That’s compared to 1.3 billion monthly users and 1 billion daily active users in July. According to TechCrunch “Zuckerberg also noted that Instagram and WhatsApp are the No. 1 and No. 2 most popular Story-sharing products, referring to those apps’ clones of Snapchat Stories. Each now each has 300 million daily active users, compared to 178 million on Snapchat as a whole.”

 

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/31/whatsapp-hits-1-5-billion-monthly-users-19b-not-so-bad/

 

And that is your social media weekend update for this week.  Let me know if you have any questions.

These notes are from my podcast Business as Unusual. Listen and subscribe to stay in the know and get even more great info and insights on social media, entrepreneurship and online marketing.

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