The Pit Stop: Our Top 5 From 2018

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  • December 21, 2018
  • Carly Ilvento

As 2018 comes to a close, we want to take a second, sit by the chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and press replay on some of The Pit Stop’s top social media features of 2018.

1. Like food recos but not as fulfilling.

Instead of searching the ‘gram for other accounts you might like (I don’t know who does that anyway), Instagram might just be delivering them to you through your personal feed.

Instagram is testing a new Recommendations feature to bring users content similar to that of accounts they already follow. As an alternative to finding your own way to follow new accounts via hashtags and comment threads, recommendations will appear at the bottom of the feed after you already seen all of the seemingly-average posts from already-followed accounts. Instagram then plans on blowing your mind with shiny new content by welcoming users with open arms to their own recommendations feed. Like the recommendations? Take a chance and follow the account. Your follower:following ratio will survive because, “Not all who wander are lost.”

B2B tech brands should consider this potential update a golden opportunity to reach (and possibly grow) their optimal audience. Who else would you want to show your posts to than users who follow accounts similar to yours or your competitors? Think of how your content needs to act as a pitch to get users to follow your brand. How can you stand out from the others similar to yours? Why should they follow your brand when they’re already following your competition? Ultimately, how will you get them to tap “Follow?”

2. Pinterest is Now The Life of The Party

This just in: Brands not only need to be advertising more on Pinterest, but they also need to be switching gears to make these ads appeal to pinners outside of the U.S. Advertising on Pinterest may seem like a foreign land to most brands. Well, you better hop on a flight and take an immersive safari tour to get up to speed, because now with 250 million active users (a 25% increase from last year) and 80% of those new users coming from outside of the U.S., certain brand markets should be fighting to get to the front of the DIY Halloween costume, wedding dress inspo, and better than Betty Crocker cookie recipe-filled starting line now.

Not sure where to start? Here are some best practices for pushing your products on Pinterest:

  • Figure out who your audience is, where they’re from, and what they’re searching for when trying to find your product on Pinterest.
  • From there, develop a list of keywords. Think of alternative search terms, events, and competitors that can be used to describe your brand on Pinterest.
  • Utilize Actalike Audiences: This is similar to Facebook’s Lookalike feature and Google’s Similar feature. A major difference, though, is that Actalike only requires an audience size of 100 users to create the audience so you can be exclusive.
  • Pick images and videos optimized for desktop, mobile, and for the users’ beloved Pinterest boards. Sizing and text matters. Think about it some more.
  • Choose the best landing page possible. Once you get a user here, then you’re smooth sailing.

3. Facebook Wants To Collab

Like T-Pain and auto-tune, Facebook wants to collab (with influencers). The soon-to-be-released Brand Collabs Manager helps brands and relevant influencers swipe right on one another for a match made in content partnership heaven.

Once in Brand Collabs Manager, filter through a list of “creators” deemed relevant by Facebook based on brand promotion requirements, if they already like your Page, or if they’re within your designated geographic region. Could it be any easier? Yes. There’s also a percentage match on each creator’s profile to show how relative he or she is to your brand, audience reach, and creator category (like food, fashion, or travel). You can then use follower audiences of up to 8 million people to promote product and brand awareness. Teamwork makes the dream work so give Brand Colllabs Manger a spin. Brands: get ready to meet your creator.

4. No surprised reaction, there. Instagram Stories are getting all the feels.

Not long after Facebook announced reactions for Facebook Stories, Instagram is coming in hot with fire flames, tears (both happy and sad), and applause. I may have just listed the emotions users may feel with this new feature but only time will tell.

While I thought the sliding bar reactions were enough, Instagram continues to be the EOAT (extra of all time). As a result, brands get a little something extra with reactions: another way to measure viewer feels and interest in their content and/or products. Is no one answering your “Ask us a question!” poll? Not shocking. Users will only click through if you don’t get their thumbs moving. Brands can make it easy for users to engage with their content by using reactions. Be sneaky and measure content interest and sentiment to determine what products, events, or types of content need more or less promotion. Brands, this is basically a fun way to find out what works for you, and what’s already working or not working for your followers.

Heart eyes emoji to that. PS: Reactions are becoming even more popular on Facebook. So, use that to your advantage, too.

5. I feel like there’s something between us. A language barrier, maybe?

If you’re a small business, a thrill-seeking thrifter, or a small business supporter, the new Facebook M suggestions for translations connects people of different languages. While English to Spanish and Spanish to English translations will be the first to roll out in the US, be on the lookout for additional languages as the feature makes its initial descent into your messenger. Brands can most effectively use this feature for customer service and general inquiry purposes. Further connect with all of your closest fans, simplify your live chat strategy, and make new fans from all over the world (once more languages are launched). Customers take their inquiries personally. With M suggestions for translations, brands can too.

PS: Facebook stories may seem a little out of your comfort zone. May we suggest trying it now that there’s an audio feature, letting you say what you want and how you want (in any language you want).