All the news that's relevant to startups and SMEs...and only startups and SMEs.
Welcome to the July issue of SME²; your one-stop-shop for what you need to know in the world of social if you're a growing business. We focus on the larger platforms, expand on a few stories and throw in some exciting nuggets we find along the way, but always aimed at startups and SMEs.
Use SME² to stay ahead of the curve and if we can help you keep your social humming, let us know. Book in some time with a social specialist today!
INSTAGRAM REELS INTRO
What? Instagram has expanded the Reels (TikTik clone) product to new countries.
When is this happening? August (US) and other territories 'weeks' after this.
Where is it available? India, Brazil, France, Germany.
Why does this matter? Reels is Facebook's play to disrupt TikTok before Microsoft likely buys the emerging platform. The speed at which TikTok has taken off during (and before) lockdown has raised a few eyebrows around the world. Facebook doesn't want this data and advertising dollars to flow out of the Facebook ecosystem, so if you can't beat them, create a competitor and steal the audience.
- Another platform! More options!
- Being a part of the Facebook ecosystem will most likely mean Reels will be easier to manage and target from the get-go.
Less good things...
- Another platform! You're going to need more resource or have to reduce elsewhere to grow this platform.
- Unknown entity - it may not work. Risky but staying on TikTok may be riskier (even if Microsoft buy it).
- Either decide to jump on or not. There will be a first-mover advantage for people to jump on when available but also caution until more is known never hurt anyone.
- Think about the type of content you'll want to put up on the platform now - it's unlikely that simply cloning TikTok content will be enough to garner the same audience/interaction.
GAMIFIED BRANDED EFFECTS
What? TikTok is now letting you integrate your brand into an interactive effect that users can create. +20 formats exist and can be customised. The 'Gamified Branded Effect' allows creators to interact with branded elements through facial expressions, poses and other movements for a fun and competitive video shooting experience.
It's essentially Snapchat's Lens Web Builder but will less variety (right now at least) and is available in the TikTok For Business Platform which launched recently.
When is this happening? Now.
Where is this happening? Wherever TikTok For Business Platform is available.
Why does this matter? More engagement means less time to spend elsewhere and a deeper connection to your brand. These are dopamine givers and incredibly viral. Start experimenting asap.
- More engagement can't be bad for business.
- Moves like this show you TikTok is serious about the platform and targeting technologies.
- Massive budgets aren't needed to make a difference - creativity wins in this space, and it's early days, so get on fast.
- More resources needed - time, money and attention to make sure the desired effects are seen.
- Snapchat just got a direct competitor (although copying is flattering).
- Calculate what's needed from your resources and trial/experiment to see if these should become part of your mix.
TRIALS NEW PAGE DESIGN, REMOVES LIKES
What? Facebook is trialling (read: easing into acceptance) a new Pages layout. The new designs feature a larger, central profile image, a short statement beneath the name, and larger text for the main details. Oh, and no Like button... instead you now get a big blue 'Follow' button. No Like count is displayed, but a total 'followers' number now gets displayed.
When is this happening? You'll be notified in the app when it is available to you.
Where is this happening? Globally.
Why is this happening? To stop the false Likes and get more useful metrics. Many users stop following at some point which skews numbers. Your Like count may be 1,000 but some of those people won't ever see your content; however all Followers do. The move solidifies Facebooks focus on intent and expressed views versus pure vanity metrics.
- Better, more representative metrics that better show what your following is really doing.
- Likes aren't going away, just being hidden so the platforms gets used and not abused in the quest for numbers. Facebooks wants you to focus on quality and not quantity.
- Quality takes time and attention - easy never did cut it but now, the trend looks set to penalize as Likes value are likely being increasingly devalued in the algorithm.
- Start asking people to 'Follow' instead of 'Like' your page.
- Think about why people should Follow you - a long-term commitment/relationship - would you Follow you? Why? What do they do out of it? Has the benefit changed? Should it?
Snapchat turned on Minis; small bite-sized third-party apps that can do a wide variety of things. Snapchat also announced brand profiles. Large companies only for now, but they'll be opening this up later in the year. Start learning from the big folks what works and lining up your partners. HINT! ;)
Pinterest has changed its algorithm to show users more pins about their goals and not just what they have interacted with in the past. Pinterest also announced they now have 416 million active users. Here's a list of the latest key trends on Pinterest for SMEs too. Pinterest is also testing at "Story pins" (their version of Instagram Stories. These could be very interesting for SMEs so keep an eye on them and refresh your apps and logins to see if you have access.