The Weekly (04/10 – 08/10)

In the week when Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp experienced a global outage, and we were all left wondering what to do with ourselves, here’s everything else you need to know…

  • LinkedIn makes up more than 50% of all social traffic to B2B websites and blogs (SUMO)
  • Posts on Facebook with less than 250 characters get 60% more engagement (invesp)
  • 83% of Instagram users discover new products and services on the platform (Statusbrew)

Twitter Launches ‘Professional’ Accounts

After months of testing, Twitter has now opened the Professional Profiles option up to all businesses.

This is a new tool on Twitter that enables businesses, publishers, developers, and creators to have a unique and clearly defined presence on the platform for the first time. 

Twitter has kicked off the launch of Professional Profiles with the rollout of the  ‘About Module’, which allows you to display your business’ location, hours of operation, and additional contact methods. Features of the About Module include:

  • Business Location: Listed directly in the module and shown on a small map in the module. People can tap on the location map/listing to open Google Maps, or their default map app, for easier navigation to the business’ space
  • Hours of Operation: This field is optional but can be customized to showcase the days and times businesses want people to visit their location
  • Methods of Contact Information: When the contact button in the module is enabled, it can kick off one or more of the following directly to the business: Phone call, Text message, Twitter Direct Message and Email.

Twitter has also announced the launch of two additional modules the ‘Newsletter module’, built in partnership with Twitter’s recently acquired newsletter service, Revue, and the ‘Shop module’, part of the platform’s growing efforts around Twitter Shopping. These modules are currently only available to a small group of people in select markets, however, Twitter says that it will be expanding access to the options over the next month so we’ll keep you updated!

Professional Profiles are still in the early stages at the moment but it’s a significant step for Twitter, which could open up a range of opportunities for brands and creators on the platform.

You can now apply for a Twitter Professional Profile via this form. 

Click here for more on this.

Spotify interactive polls and Q&As

In a step to make the platform more interactive, Spotify has announced the rollout of podcast polls and Q&As to creators and users worldwide through its podcast creation app, Anchor.

To use the new options, creators who publish and distribute using Anchor will be able to post a question or poll alongside their episode. At the moment, Anchor supports adding just one poll and one Q&A to an individual episode.

When the podcast is published on Spotify, the polls and Q&As will appear at the bottom of the podcast’s episode page on the Spotify mobile app, on both iOS and Android. Listeners can then respond to the poll or Q&A in the app.

Once users respond to a poll, you’ll be able to see immediately how other listeners voted, while Q&A answers will be sent to the podcaster privately, similar to how these features work on Instagram and other social media platforms. Podcast creators can then choose to pin and publicly display the Spotify username of the person who replied.

These new features are a good addition to help keep podcasters on the app where their listeners live, reducing the need for other social media platforms to foster engagement and encourage feedback from their audience. The Q&A feature will also be helpful to get feedback about topic choice, suggestions for future podcast guests and to add a gamification element to their episodes.

As mentioned earlier, for now, the functionality is only available to Anchor podcasters and it only works on the Spotify app, but we will keep an eye out for any updates on this and keep you posted. 

Find out more here.

Instagram Click-to-Whatsapp Message Ads

All businesses can now connect their WhatsApp Business account to Instagram by simply adding a WhatsApp business number to their contact information.

As you can see above, by connecting your WhatsApp business account, you’ll be able to add a new WhatsApp connection tab to your Instagram business profile, providing another way for potential customers to get in touch, and create direct conversations with your business.

Additionally, once you’ve connected your WhatsApp business account to your Instagram account, you’ll also be able to run boosted posts that drive people to message your business on WhatsApp. 

Instagram said in a blog post, “This feature was developed based on user behavior, where businesses were creating ads on Instagram that drove to WhatsApp via a third-party link. With this launch, we look to create a more seamless way for businesses to connect with people on WhatsApp and provide another way for businesses to reach their goals. We recognize that every business is unique, and this ad destination provides another way for businesses to reach their objectives.”

A handy addition from Instagram here that creates a seamless way for businesses to connect with customers on Whatsapp and help reach their goals. Even if your business doesn’t currently use WhatsApp all that much, your customers might, so it’s definitely an option worth exploring and testing out to see the results. 

Click here to read more on this.

TikTok new commerce features

TikTok has announced a range of new commerce solutions to help brands capture the untapped potential of TikTok to influence purchases and ultimately drive sales.

The first advancement being TikTok Shopping, a suite of solutions, features, and advertising tools that empowers brands and merchants to meaningfully engage with their customers. 

As explained by TikTok, “With TikTok Shopping, merchants have the option to enjoy a full-service commerce solution, wherein TikTok manages everything from product upload to point of purchase, shipping and fulfillment all within TikTok.”

Secondly, TikTok announced that brands can now include custom, swipeable product cards in their In-Feed video ads by using Collection Ads.

When a user taps on an item featured in a card, they’re brought to a fast-loading instant gallery page, where they can browse through more items — and make a purchase.

This is an effective way for brands to move their audience from awareness through to conversion without leaving the app and is a great step towards creating a seamless shopping experience on the platform. 

TikTok is also developing a new option called Dynamic Showcase Ads, which will enable brands to automatically promote their products, with ads aligned to specific user preferences and interests.

As explained by TikTok, “Dynamic Showcase Ads can be used to generate awareness and drive app downloads by promoting popular, relevant products to potential customers. They can also increase purchase intent through targeting based on product inventory and customer activity, such as viewing a product or adding to cart.”

Some really great additions here for both brands and consumers set to come to TikTok over the coming months, showing that eCommerce is clearly a key focus for the platform.

Find out more here.

Back in July Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, announced that Instagram is “no longer a photo-sharing app” and that going forward, Instagram would be prioritising video content. This week Instagram acted on this statement by retiring IGTVs and merging video feedpPosts into a single format called ‘Instagram Video’. 

As explained by Instagram: “Starting today, we’re combining IGTV and feed videos into one format – Instagram Video. We’re also introducing a new Video tab on your profile, where this combined video format will live, to make it easier for people to discover new video content.”

This new format comes as part of Instagram’s broader effort to simplify the app, which has become progressively complicated and harder for users to navigate with the addition of Stories, IGTV, Reels, and various other new features. 

With these changes, it has become clear Instagram is following in TikTok’s footsteps to make Instagram a more simplified, video first platform, but the question is, have Facebook waited too long to make this move and has this delay already turned users away to competitor platforms like TikTok instead? What do you think? 

This week we’re loving Network Rail’s ‘Brighter Journeys’ campaign in partnership with national mental health charity, Chasing the Stigma.

Inspired by the wellbeing benefits of spending time in nature, the campaign aims to bring the outdoors into the station environment and put smiles on passengers’ faces in the lead up to World Mental Health Day, whilst also signposting those struggling to access support on the Hub of Hope app. 

The Brighter Journeys installation will visit a number of stations across the UK to help welcome back passengers during the first two weeks of October, so keep your eyes peeled at your local stations👀

Stay safe and have a great weekend!
SHC Digital 👌

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