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Facebook and Instagram Updates: What You Need to Know

Facebook and Instagram Updates: What You Need to Know

Posted on Sep 12, 2017 by

Facebook and Instagram are constantly evolving platforms, therefore, the company continues to update algorithms in order to stay ahead of marketers needs. While these updates provide us with new ways to capture our audience, it is challenging to keep up with the latest capabilities and ensure we are capitalizing on every opportunity. This month, Facebook and Instagram are releasing game-changing updates—here’s what you need to know:

Facebook

Facebook Watch has officially launched, seeking to be the ultimate binge watching destination. With intent to rival YouTube, Facebook aims for “Watch to be a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of passionate fans and earn money for their work”. How does this affect your brand? Watch will incorporate ad breaks into their content, giving your brand the opportunity to be viewed by a heavily engaged audience. Facebook is very heavily populated, so advertising on Watch could be the perfect way to connect and expand your reach. Influencers have also become a hot topic in the world of marketing over the past couple of years, many of which have built their following on YouTube. With YouTube as a strong competitor, Facebook Watch offers influencers an innovative platform to reach a larger audience in addition to their current subscribers. While it is still in the testing phase, be on the lookout for ways you can utilize Facebook Watch as it continues to unfold.

Instagram

As Instagram continues to evolve as a successful marketing platform for businesses, it is important to stay informed on updates in order to take advantage of the best ways to build your brand visually. Bolster your brand with these three updates:

Targeting Options

Instagram now has the capability of targeting users by tracking their engagement on your business account. You can utilize this in two ways: first, you can create a custom audience of people who have viewed three seconds of your Instagram video, and then target and serve ads to that specific audience. Second, you can target users based on their activity on your business profile. This feature allows you to set a time frame for the designated conversion, and include or exclude certain audiences and activities. This update will allow you to target an audience that has already engaged with your brand, and ultimately increase your ROI.

Broadcast with friends

Instagram Live has already been extremely successful since its launch, and they are about to roll out new features that will allow marketers to continue connecting with their audience on a more intimate level with original content. Instagram is currently testing a new feature that will allow you to add and remove a “guest” to your live video. Brands will be able to hold interviews and broadcast testimonials with real customers live on their Instagram stories. With Instagram’s new capability to save the story to the camera roll, these videos can be posted at any time for users who missed the live broadcast. This new feature offers promise to brands engaged in event marketing tactics and promotions. This is an exciting opportunity for brands to showcase real conversations with their consumers while increasing their visibility and potential reach.

Banned Hashtags

Up until this update, you could hashtag anything—#Kansas, #Food, #HumpDay, #Hashtag. While this allows branded content to show up on different feeds, this has been problematic in keeping Instagram’s content appropriate. In order to start censoring content, Instagram has put a halt to certain hashtags in an effort to ban posts that violate community guidelines. What does this mean for your brand? No content will show up when you click on a banned hashtag. Don’t let your post be missed—review this list of banned hashtags.

Facebook and Instagram continue to revolutionize the way we connect with consumers, and it is imperative that we as marketers keep up with the latest capabilities in order to stay relevant on social media. Finding ways to utilize every function of Facebook and Instagram helps brands grow their social media presence and connect with a larger audience. Don’t get left behind, stay ahead of the trends.

Anna Vehslage

Advertising Student, UT Austin; Marketing and Social Media Intern, Blogger for HMG Creative; Hook’em Horns, Coffee connoisseur, and burgers on Saturdays. Follow her on Instagram @annavehslage

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