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4 Major Social Media Updates in 2018

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A Social Media Examiner survey found that 96 percent of small businesses use social media for marketing purposes. While this is clear evidence that social media is an effective marketing tool, it also means you need to be always on your toes to stay ahead of the competition.

Popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, are constantly being updated to meet the changing needs and preferences of businesses and consumers. If you aren’t keeping up with the latest social media trends and updates, you’ll soon find yourself falling behind. Discover four of the most significant social media updates in 2018.

Facebook’s Updated News Feed

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In an effort to promote the sharing of high-quality and trustworthy content, Facebook has made significant changes to its News Feed.

The main purpose of News Feed has shifted from helping users find relevant content to providing more meaningful social experiences. This means posts from brands will take a back seat to personal posts from your friends, family members, and groups. Also, you can expect to see more content from local news outlets. According to Facebook, the News Feed feature was updated to discourage the passive consumption of content and the distribution of untrustworthy content and fake news. Consequently, it should improve the overall quality of content shared on the website.

So, how does the News Feed update affect your organic presence on Facebook? Following the update, News Feed’s algorithm will place content that it predicts will lead to meaningful back-and-forth discussion at the top of your News Feed, instead of giving precedence to posts based on shares and comments.

Because space is limited in News Feed, there will be less public content, including posts from businesses and publishers. If your followers actively want to see your content, they can still do so by changing their “See First in News Feed” settings. This means that you’ll have to step up your game to convince your followers to make an extra effort to view your content.

The limited space in News Feed will be given to businesses that post content that can spark meaningful engagement. To boost your organic reach on Facebook, you’ll now have to share content that can generate discussion and provide true value to your customers and prospects.

Instagram’s Auto-Publishing

For a long time, Instagram users had to deal with annoying reminders for posting content. Those days are over with the introduction of the new auto-publishing feature. Now, you can save time and improve engagement by scheduling and publishing content automatically. However, it’s important to note that this update isn’t built into Instagram itself. Instead, it’s built into the platform’s Graph API, meaning that you must have access to an Instagram Partner or Facebook Marketing Partner platform, such as SproutSocial or Hootsuite, to use it.

As a business owner, you’re currently only allowed to schedule photos but not videos. In addition, if you prefer to post hashtags in the comments section instead of the post copy, they have to be edited after you auto-publish a post.

Because Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube all have auto-publishing capability, creating an account on a third-party platform such as Hootsuite will allow you to schedule and publish content across all networks automatically and simultaneously. As a result, you’ll be able to manage a large amount of content, multiple social media accounts, and multiple team members more easily. The new feature also makes account management more secure because it eliminates the need to share login credentials to gain account access.

Snapchat’s Makeover

Snapchat is an increasingly popular app that enables smartphone users to share selfies, videos, and other types of content. In 2018, it underwent a major redesign that has generated mixed reactions. The updated app seeks to draw a line between “social” and “media” by making a clear distinction between personal interactions and content from creators and publishers. It’ll be automatically updated for most users of the latest Android and iOS devices.

While it still opens to the camera, Snapchat now shows a new Friends page when you swipe left and a redesigned Discover page when you swipe right. The Friends page enables users to view Stories from friends who interact with them frequently, while the Discover page contains Stories from creators, publishers, and the community. Instead of presenting content in a horizontal scroll, the Discover page now serves content in a vertical scroll and full screen in order of relevance.

The redesign also includes the addition of several other new features, including one for changing text font, additional moving filters and lenses, reinstatement of the “Best Friends” feature, and a sneak peek of a new analytics feature.

As a business user, you’ll benefit from having your content appear on Snapchat’s Discover page. Because it’s dedicated to content from publishers and creators, the page will attract users who are actually interested in interacting with brands. So, you can expect your content to generate higher-quality leads. Also, if you’re a member of the Official Stories community, you’ll have access to the new analytics feature, which provides useful insights into the behavior of your target consumers.

LinkedIn’s Groups Updates

Group activity on LinkedIn began to decline more than a year ago as a result of lack of engagement. In 2018, the popular professional networking website will be making some changes to reintegrate Groups into its core user experience. One of these changes is easier accessibility to Groups. You’ll be able to access the feature directly from the homepage and check out the latest content from the members of your groups in the homepage feed and notifications. To create richer interactions, LinkedIn also will make it possible for users to post videos in Groups, mention members, and reply to comments.

To effectively promote your content on social media, you need to know what you can and can’t do on specific social media networks. Knowing the latest social media updates will enable you to use all the tools at your disposal to achieve the best possible marketing results, while saving time, effort, and money.

About the author

John Hsu