New Social Media Features Guide Brands Through The Pandemic

by | Aug 20, 2020

We’ve now been under quarantine sanctions for five months, thanks to COVID-19. This pandemic has given social media outlets plenty of time to make some changes to their platforms to help brands engage with their audience. So what features have been added, and how do these facilitate a better customer experience? Let’s find out.

Instagram

Instagram remains the app with the most emphasis on visual impactfulness. The app can also be engaging when used correctly.

Most recently, and probably most notably, Instagram launched Reels to compete with TikTok. In a 15 second timespan, Reels allow users to add music or different effects to their videos. Reels show up in the regular feed or on the explore page. On the explore page, you can keep swiping up to see more Reels, similar to the motion on TikTok.

Instagram also launched new stickers to help consumers buy gift cards, order food, and help fundraise.

Instagram Story stickers, which now features a Donation sticker.

Among other useful tips and tricks, Instagram published a guide of best practices on how brands can use Story features to connect with their audience.

  1. Use the newly launched stickers to sell gift cards, fundraise, or sell food. You may want to save the stickers to your highlights for even more exposure.
  2. Share positive and inspiring stories within your community. If you share any information regarding the virus or any updates on your business, make sure the information you provide your viewers is accurate.
  3. Share your own personal story by showing behind the scenes content. Keep it honest, and don’t shy away from telling how your business has been doing since COVID-19.
  4. Start a conversation with your audience by using engaging stickers like the poll sticker, countdown sticker, or question sticker.
  5. Answer your FAQ to keep your customers updated on new policies so they’re getting accurate information.
  6. Engage your community through stories with content such as templates and challenges that your audience can share on their own page and tag their friends.

Facebook

A new way of life brings new advertising. Facebook released a guide to consider when advertising on its platform.

  1. Simplify your strategy to understand any shifts in the market.
  2. Re-evaluate any tests you may be performing with ads in case the conditions may be impacting the results.
  3. Use A/B testing to quickly optimize under the current behaviors.
  4. Consider the impact of the industry you are in when making your ads.

Facebook also launched Shops, which is also available on Instagram. This allows businesses to set up a singular online store. The store is free and businesses can pick what they’d like to feature.

LinkedIn

If you want to be a name within your industry, LinkedIn is the place you should be. With new changes to the platform, there are rising opportunities for brand growth.

With a following of people within your industry, there is more of a want to foster a conversation with your fellow industry professionals. LinkedIn launched a poll feature meant to engage audiences.

LinkedIn Learning Platform

LinkedIn Learning is also a great resource for learning new skills. Now, LinkedIn started offering free diversity and inclusion courses to help create deeper conversations about unconscious biases and cultures within the workplace.

Twitter

Normalcy seems hard to come by under current sanctions. Twitter conducted a user survey on how people thought brands should act after COVID-19. From this survey, they found 52% of people thought seeing or hearing ads gave them a sense of normalcy. Brands can use this survey further to understand what type of content their users would like to see. For example, 82% of respondents said brands should show support of frontline health workers.

Twitter also launched a new feature allowing users to attach Tweets. The audio clips can be up to 140 seconds long. This can be a new way to communicate with your audience in a new format they may adapt well to.

What Features Should My Brand Use?

All of these new features can be advantageous to your business, but it can be overwhelming. Deciding what you should and shouldn’t use is totally dependent on your brand. COVID-19 has really affected social media use so it’s good to be aware of the options available to you. Find what works for your business, and really engage with your audience in an authentic and honest way.

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