It’s that time again when we dive into the whirlwind of social media, dissecting the freshest updates and trends to keep you ahead of the curve. As always, Luan Wise and Andy Lambert are here to provide specialist insight into the ever-evolving realm of social media. From data insights to feature enhancements, let’s navigate through the August 2023 edition of The Lighthouse Social’s Social Media Updates.
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In the realm of short-form videos, there’s been an intriguing shift in preferences. Recent data from IPA TouchPoints 2023 SuperHub unveils that “How to” content reigns supreme as the most viewed type of short-form video among UK adults. This is a really important insight for social media managers. Crafting informative and tutorial-driven short videos could enhance engagement and audience satisfaction. Additionally, the prominence of “News” as the second most popular genre emphasises the value of keeping users informed and up-to-date on relevant topics.
Instagram’s CEO, Adam Mosseri, has unveiled a trend that can’t be ignored—more content is being shared through Stories and DMs compared to the traditional feed. Reels, Instagram’s answer to short-form video, is making waves with a staggering 200 billion views per day, inching closer to TikTok’s prominence. This signals a call for social media managers to consider allocating resources towards Reels, if they align with your marketing strategy.
According to Emplifi, Reels tend to outperform TikTok in terms of reach, interactions, and views among brands with active profiles on both platforms. This finding underscores the potential of Instagram Reels as a robust engagement tool, further suggesting the significance of Reels for social media managers.
Instagram is leaving no stone unturned in enhancing creativity and engagement for creators. The ability to create Reels from improved Reels templates is a great addition for crafting polished, attention-grabbing content. Also, the addition of “Share” counts to Reels provides instant feedback on audience reception, aiding content refinement.
Instagram has also started auto-trimming Reels and allows for the management of “broadcast channels” from desktop computers, granting social media managers more control over their content delivery. The introduction of audio to carousel posts and the option to add up to 5 shop links to profiles opens avenues for diversifying engagement and driving conversions. What’s more, collaboration takes centre stage as Instagram enables collaborations of up to 3 creators in Feed posts, allowing your profile to be seen by more audiences.
The apparent rise of Reels as the top-performing post type is pivotal. Social media managers and content creators can now easily repurpose longer-form content into Reels for broader reach. This is something that Facebook is actively pushing from its creators. Also, improved editing tools and the ability to @mention followers directly on Facebook further enrich engagement possibilities.
As Twitter evolves into ‘X,’ Blue subscribers can hide their ‘Blue’ checkmarks while still enjoying subscription features. However, it is important to note that the usage of some ‘subscription-only’ features could demonstrate your account level, even if you opt to remove your ‘Blue’ checkmark.
There are also big updates to Twitter’s algorithm:
- Replies to Tweets are the single most important factor determining reach
- Video is becoming more of a focus point for the platform
- Video will continue to be emphasized as a content format
- Links kill reach, avoid using them
- The lifespan of a Tweet has doubled to 48 hours
Organic performance insights underline the value of native documents and videos. So much so, that they can actually generate 5x more clicks than any other type of content. In 2023, videos are classed as the most engaging content type (5.11% engagement rate, on average). And, LinkedIn users have increased their video content consumption over the past year (now at 20.67% video view rate, on average).
There are some important updates to LinkedIn’s algorithm:
- If you post on LinkedIn, it is more likely that your followers will see your post.
- Posts that share “knowledge and advice” are now prioritised throughout the platform. This is defined as:
- The post speaks to a distinct audience.
- The author is writing in their core subject area.
- The post has “meaningful comments.”
Now, users based in Europe will experience TikTok differently. Users who are 13 to 17 in the EU, plus Britain, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein no longer see ads “based on their activities on or off TikTok”. TikTok’s text-based posts arrival emphasises diversified content formats on the platform. Also, TikTok have extended their captions to 4,000 characters, allowing you to include the keywords for your content, directly in your caption.
Threads’ usage is down a whopping 79% since it launched relatively recently. If you were one of the many to download the app, are you still using it, or have you dropped it off too? Either way, it has not stopped the platform from developing new features. They have added a ‘Send to Instagram’ feature, which allows you to share Threads content with someone through Instagram DMs. A ‘Re-Post’ tab within profiles is coming to Threads, and a custom ‘alt text’ feature is on its way.
YouTube analytics receive a facelift with enhanced details. The integration of live streams within YouTube Shorts unlocks dynamic content options. Social media managers can leverage Shorts to promote longer content, amplifying visibility and engagement. Further, multiple links in the YouTube bio and improved analytics elevate strategic planning.
In conclusion, August brings a whirlwind of opportunities and many things to consider for those of us in the social media industry.
As we look forward to upcoming events and insights, mark your calendars:
Here are 5 key points for you to take away from this blog:
- Social media adoption and usage continue to grow…
- …As does social media’s impact on brand discovery
- Reels are becoming essential for brand growth as usage and engagement climbs
- YouTube Shorts now has 2 billion monthly users and holds a great opportunity for organic reach
- Take heed of the big (and positive) changes to LinkedIn and X’s algorithms
- The time spent on TikTok and the engagement rates continue to show how valuable this platform is for brands
So, if you are not currently implementing Reels into your content strategy, do the above insights persuade you to consider them?