Over two months into 2018 and there already have been a ton of big social media updates across each network. Read on to see what some of the biggest updates are that impact influencers and influencer marketing across Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Facebook Algorithm Update:
Overview: A Facebook algorithm update is nothing new and, in most cases it has little to no impact on a brand page’s current reach and engagements. However, Facebook announced an update in January that their latest algorithm update will prioritize friends, family, and groups over businesses, brands, and media. This obviously presented a concern for many business pages with the thought that this was the end of organic reach. After the dust settled, the data showed that those creating engaging content, regardless if you were a page or not, benefited from the update.
Influencer Takeaway: What the data did show, however, is that many businesses did take a hit with this update while influencers saw an increase in their organic reach. When building out their content calendar, companies should consider tapping into Influencers more to generate higher reach and engagements around their brand.
Facebook Cracking Down on Improper Influencer Disclosure:
Overview: Facebook has been taking an increased interest in influencers since last year with the introduction of the branded content tool across both Facebook & Instagram. However, up until recently, sponsored content not using the branded content tool was rarely flagged. Facebook has started to increasingly crack down on sponsored content not using the tool by either hiding it in feeds, preventing it from being sponsored, or both.
Influencer Takeaway: Proper disclosure is extremely important, especially for brands who can be on the hook for hefty fines if sponsored content isn’t disclosed correctly through copy additions like #ad / #sponsored. At this point, most influencers are aware of the branded content tool and are proactively using it for their sponsored content. It’s still important to vet out all posts to ensure that they are being disclosed properly from both an FTC and Facebook perspective to avoid any negative impact on the campaign and performance.
Ability to Upload 3D Images:
Overview: This update has been flying under the radar, but I think it might be one of the coolest updates over the last few months. Facebook is letting users directly upload 3D images. Originally introduced in October via Oculus, this capability now has a bunch of new features making it easier to upload more 3D objects that you take from a 3D Camera. Here’s an example of 3D post by Sony Mobile: https://www.facebook.com/sonymobile/posts/10156168691733390.
Influencer Takeaway: This will be a really cool way for Influencers to showcase products they are promoting. Engagements on these posts will likely be higher than normal given their lack of critical mass and the ability for users to move around an image (similar to how they can move around a 360 video).
Instagram Carousel Ads in Stories:
Overview: Advertisers can now promote carousel ads in Instagram Stories. These follow a similar approach to Facebook Canvas ads, where users can swipe horizontally to view additional content within the ad unit.
Influencer Takeaway: Carousels on Instagram have shown to be an effective way in driving a high volume of Instagram engagement. While engagements on Stories are limited to swipe ups and private messaging, syndicating influencer carousel content through stories can help significantly expand qualified reach around this content.
Instagram Testing Re-sharing of Public Posts to Stories:
Overview: Instagram has always encouraged users to create their own original content, hence the reason why there is no “regram” option on posts. However, they seem to be taking a different approach with Stories. The network is testing a feature that allows users to take any public post (theirs or someone else’s) and share it to their Instagram story.
Influencer Takeaway: Influencers would likely use this to promote their public posts via Stories. It will be interesting to see the impact this will have on a post’s organic reach.
Following Hashtags on Instagram
Overview: Technically released in December, Instagram is now allowing users to follow specific hashtags on Instagram. Posts using a hashtag you follow will show up in your feed.
Influencer Takeaway: This is a great way to drive attention around a branded hashtag, especially for longer campaigns. Influencers can encourage their followers to follow a campaign hashtag to see other content going live during the campaign flight.
Overview: You can’t talk about Snapchat updates in 2018 without mentioning their redesign. As we’ve seen with Facebook many times in the past, a drastic redesign tends to result in major backlash from users and Snapchat’s is no different. Some features of the update include lumping in Stories and personal Snaps together, using an algorithm to sort updates, and a redesign of their Discover section.
Influencer Takeaway: The jury is still out on the long-term effect on Snapchat’s redesign on influencers. Some have abandoned ship and are putting more effort into Instagram, while others are benefiting from the prioritization of “public stories’ in the Discover section. I think influencer marketing is going to still see a lot of success from Snapchat, and even more after the redesign with the focus of public stories, but with a slightly lower pool of talent to work with.
Sharing Snapchat Stories Outside of Snapchat:
Overview: For the first time, Snapchat is now allowing users to share their Snapchat Stories outside of Snapchat as links across platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Sharing only pertains to public Stories only (i.e. “Discover” or “Our Stories”) and not ones shared personally with a select few friends.
Influencer Takeaway: The obvious impact is that the ability to share will result in more views of Influencer’s Snapchat Stories. I can see Influencers using Snapchat to create content unique to the network (i.e. Lens, Filters, etc.) and sharing it across networks where they might have a larger follower base.
Create Your Own Snapchat Lens:
Overview: Lenses were one of Snapchat’s original features and remains one of their best, especially with the launch of 3D World Lenses. However, these were always limited to a select few that Snapchat created or were sponsored by brands. With this update, users can now develop their own Lenses in Snapchat’s “Lens Studio” and share it with others using a Snapcode.
Influencer Takeaway: There are so many fun, unique ways to tie this into an Influencer campaign. Influencers can create a 3D Lens for a local business or event that gets people to engage and share Snaps with their network. Expect to see these Lenses pop up more in Influencer Snapchat campaigns.