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Happy New Year!

How is 2020 treating you? We’re a few days in and starting to get back into the swing of things.

We had a fantastic 2019 and hope you did too. Our highlights included growing awareness and engagement for some amazing causes and organisations, training local businesses and smashing Black Friday sales targets for some of our brilliant clients. How about you?

We’re beginning this decade helping some new clients with January sales campaigns and developing new content. We also have a social media training workshop planned with Action in Rural Sussex on Wednesday 22nd January in Battle, the workshop is designed for local community groups and volunteer organisations, and there’s a still a few tickets left. Find out more here.

So, without further ado here’s some of the news, advice and tips you may have missed in December 2019. Be sure to read to the end for some other new year specific content to help you plan for the year. 

Instagram

#SpottedInTheWild
New features, news and updates already in play.

It was a busy year for Instagram, with updates almost weekly, so we thought we’d start with this great round-up of updates from Vamp and Social Media Today. They’re worth keeping in mind when planning your Instagram strategy this year.

Instagram has published two new guide books for parents and teens. They are designed to help them better understand how to use the app safely, and how to manage the potential psychological impacts of navigating the feed.

Instagram say “We want your time on Instagram to be positive, inspiring, and intentional. This toolkit, a collaboration between Instagram and The Jed Foundation (JED), is here to help you figure out the best ways for you to use the platform.” As always we’re happy to see platforms trying to ensure social media is a positive place to spend time.

In May 2019 Instagram started working with third party fact checkers in the US. The program means that once a post has been marked as potentially false or misleading third party fact checkers can confirm how true or false the information is and display that for all users to see. In December they expanded that program to the rest of the world. A great idea in our opinion.

A welcome increase in the enforcement of advertising for these products in our opinion.

#OnTheHorizon
Features and updates coming soon, probably.

Keep an eye out for these new layouts. There’s no massive changes but they could confuse you if you’ve not been using Stories for a while.

Poses would create quick reels of different images, which could be another way to create more interesting, engaging Stories content, according to reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong. Keep an eye out for it, it looks like it could be a nice edition to your Stories.

Similar to Facebook’s Group Stories option this new update will allow up to 32 users to collaborate on a Story. Could be interesting for an event or location.

A nice new feature we hope will curb negativity in Insta (although we don’t see it nearly as much as other platforms). Eyes open for this, they haven’t confirmed when it’ll be global.

Facebook

#SpottedInTheWild
New features, news and updates already in play.

Facebook Groups have become massive and Facebook are constantly trying to push their use to businesses, for good reason – they have become what Facebook used to be about, having conversations, building relationships and community.

But with that popularity come administration issues for instance managing membership requests, that’s where this new feature comes in. Talking about it in their community blog Facebook says: “To help you more easily manage your member requests, we’re launching a new feature that can automatically approve new member requests based on certain membership requirements that you set.” If you run a big Group this may be worth enabling.

If you’re new, or even a veteran, Facebook’s Admin Education blog is really worth keeping up to date on. Take a look here.

This will only affect you if running ads in the US / targeting US audiences but it is worth being aware of. We have been running ads for a client regarding jobs in the US recently and had to adapt how we were targeting people – just in terms of age ranges (you aren’t allowed to target specific age groups when running employment ads).

Facebook say they have “made significant progress reducing misinformation through our partnership with some of the world’s leading fact-checkers.” and in December 2019 they looked to further their efforts by starting a program to involve Facebook users, thereby helping fact-checkers address false information and fake news quicker.

Twitter

#SpottedInTheWild
New features, news and updates already in play.

In December 2019 Twitter published its latest listings of key events, celebrities, sports teams, and more which drove conversation in 2019. You can read their full insights on this thread.

Data security has become vitally important to all, from individuals to businesses, the public sector and social media platforms. That’s why Twitter recently launched their Privacy Centre, which “facilitates direct connection to the platform’s rules and policy documents, as well as your personal data settings and privacy tools.” A development that is welcome but a little late considering Facebook and Instagram already have similar pages. 

A nice new feature for Apple users. Now when you upload an image from your iOS device, which you’ve taken with Live Photo enabled, you’ll be able to convert it into a GIF by tapping the icon on the preview.

Download the calendar to find opportunities to connect with your audience year-round. Whether its a single Tweet or entire campaign, don’t miss a chance to be part of what’s happening.

To help improve content discovery Twitter have added two new features. First, you’re now able to share lists with a card on Twitter for iOS and Android. Secondly, when creating or adding people to a list on iOS, you’ll see suggested accounts to add based on the list’s title or who’s already on it. Small new features but worth using.

#OnTheHorizon
Features and updates coming soon, probably.

As already noted Twitter have recently added new options for lists and topics but that isn’t the end of their tinkering, they are planning several more updates and a shift change in the way we all use lists. Take a look at what’s to come.

And finally…
Some other news and tips to help you plan and strategise this year.

Need help planning your social media in 2020? Get in touch.

Happy January,
Mel and James

Join us and over 6,000 other local business every Thursday on #SussexHour 10am until 11am. Where we network, share ideas, events and tips, and generally just get to know each other.


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