With far more time on our hands, the world has embraced streaming services and social media during lockdown and as expected, there have been some interesting developments to emerge from the pandemic. Here’s what you need to know:
FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM SHOPS
Facebook as seen an increase of more than 50% on its platforms in the countries worst hit by Covid-19, while voice and video calling has more than doubled on Messenger and Whatsapp.
In May 2020, the company introduced Facebook Shops, with a view to help small businesses sell online.
According to the social media giant, Facebook Shops makes it easy for businesses to set up a single online store for customers to access via both Facebook and Instagram. The feature is free and simple, with businesses able to customise how shops look and feel, using colour to showcase the brand – and selecting products available for customers to buy. Whatever the company, whatever the size or budget, the new Shops feature allows businesses to connect with customers at home.
With a direct link, customers can also message businesses direct before making a purchase to check on specific product details, or even purchase items as part of live stream interactions.
SMALL BUSINESS STICKERS
While we’re all keen to back local businesses, Instagram launched a new feature in April 2020 to support small businesses, who form an important part of its community, while allowing enhanced discoverability.
The platform introduced small business stickers to Instagram stories, making it easier for users include details to their favourite small businesses to share with their community, The functionality allows users to share gift cards, online food orders, and fundraisers so everyone can help to support the brands they truly care about.
For users with business accounts, a shortcut to the Covid-19 business resources can be found at the top of your profile page with plenty of tips for updating customers, connecting with those who follow you, as well as facilitating donations and showcasing lockdown offers.
According to Sprout Social, as daily routines have changed with lockdown, so have the most engaged times on social media. A timely reminder when looking at when might be best to share your content.
- Currently, the best times to post on Facebook are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10–11 am
- Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 11 am and Tuesday at 2 pm are the best times to post on Instagram
- The current best time to post on Twitter is Friday 7–9 am, with 9am showing the peak of activity
- Best times for LinkedIn posts are Wednesday at 3 pm, Thursday at 9–10 am and Friday from 11am-noon
TWITTER ADDS SCHEDULING
Talking of timely, in May 2020 Twitter also added a scheduling feature to its offering for desktop users.
Scheduling allows user to set a date and time for tweets to be published in the future, meaning you can get yourself ahead for the week!
The company is also trialling a new reply function, meaning users can control unsolicited replies – and of course hit the headlines by announcing it was one of the first companies to move to a work from home model, extending this to forever if employees choose to do so.
It’s probably fair to say that the world has embraced TikTok in lockdown, influencing the music charts and making users the stars!
In May the platform introduced TikTok For Business with a view to inspire creative and bring joy through storytelling.
According to the team, brands are an important part of the TikTok experience. Whether they are starting trends, connecting communities, or bringing awareness to critical public service initiatives, brands are creating authentic audiences built on the foundation of sharing joy and giving users a new way to discover and engage with the products they love.
TikTok brings something very new to brands and it will be an interesting one to watch as this is adopted over the coming months – and engagement and user figures are released.
INSTAGRAM REELS & FACEBOOK PAGE LIKES
Hot off the press, Instagram has announced a new Reels function to rival TikTok. Instagram Reels introduces a new way to record 15-second clips set to music. Reels can be added to stories or sent to friends, and sit on a new Reels section on a user’s profile. And is it the end for Facebook likes? The social media giant is said to be testing a new design for Pages, without the like count and like button. Watch this space. These functions are being rolled out and tested as we type!
Sources: https://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/facebook-usage-is-soaring-due-to-coronavirus-lockdowns/; https://about.fb.com/news/2020/03/keeping-our-apps-stable-during-covid-19/; https://about.fb.com/news/2020/05/introducing-facebook-shops/; https://about.instagram.com/blog/announcements/how-to-support-small-businesses-during-covid-19/; https://sproutsocial.com/insights/covid19-social-media-changes/; https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/product/2020/testing-new-conversation-settings.html; https://blog.twitter.com/en_us/topics/company/2020/keeping-our-employees-and-partners-safe-during-coronavirus.html; https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-us/introducing-tiktokfor-business; https://later.com/blog/instagram-reels/
Our consumer lifestyle PR team specialises in connecting everyday brands with everyday people across four core sectors; Consumer Lifestyle PR, Food PR, Retail PR and Sport, Health & Wellbeing PR. More information on these areas of knowledge can be found at www.escapadepr.com/about-us.