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Social on Tap: Q3 2021 - Looking Out For What's To Come

July 13, 2021

As the world opens back up again, the rise of social media continues to flow. From added features and new influencer categories, to content that drives performance, we've rounded up some quick industry updates and tips for how to move forward with social media in Q3 2021.

Twitter Monetizing Is Here: At the end of June, Twitter debuted a new 'Super Follow' experience to US creators who qualify and are accepted into the Creator Program. This allows creators to charge their 'Super Followers' a fee for viewing their content every month. Learn more here.

Instagram Is Keeping Busy: Between exclusive stories and updated swipe-up capabilities, to new testing and desktop publisher capabilities, Instagram has been keeping busy these past few months. Check out some top highlights below!

  • Exclusive Stories: Instagram is in the early stages of developing its own version of Twitter’s ‘Super Follow’ with what its calling ‘Exclusive Stories,’ where online creators will be able to publish “exclusive” content to their Instagram Stories that’s only available to their fans — access that would likely come with a subscription payment of some kind. Discover more here.
  • Additional Swipe-Up Capabilities: Instagram Story Swipe-up links were always limited before, but now the platform is testing to let everyone publish links, regardless of following. This is a big shift as previously creators needed to reach over 10K to utilize this feature. Current testing is being done with activist, and if all goes well, the feature could debut later this year. Details here.  
  • 'More Like This' Feature: Instagram is also testing a new ‘more like this’ feature which would allow users to click on similar ads relevant to the one just engaged with. This would allow people to discover more brands in feed. Good to know for paid social efforts! Read more here.                          
  • Desktop Publisher: At the end of June, Instagram rolled out a browser publisher option to select accounts for testing. Eligible accounts can now post directly from their computers. Learn more here.

Facebook Launches 'Bulletin' Newsletter: Facebook launches its own ‘Substack’ newsletter competitor ‘Bulletin,’ which offers a way for creators to sell premium subscriptions, and access member-only groups and live audio rooms. Mark Zuckerberg noted “More and more independent writers are discovering ways to use their voice and make money through other avenues, similar to the ones we’re introducing here.” Details here.

#BlackTikTokStrike: To protest the appropriation of certain dance trends, black creators on TikTok have gone on strike, refusing to choreograph moves in an effort to show how essential they are to the platform and demonstrate how their work is co-opted by white creators. Read more here.

TikTok Adds Link in Bio: Everybody can now add a link in bio on TikTok. This will help drive traffic to your website, increase email newsletter sign-ups, or push out a certain product launches just like on Instagram. Discover more here.

Is Clubhouse Already Over?: It seems that app downloads for Clubhouse have drastically declined in the past few weeks. This may be due to the fact that already established platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Spotify, have launched their own clones of the audio platform, which was predicted to conquer them just a few months ago. Though the app single-handedly popularized live audio conversations, its future is now looking more and more uncertain. Read more here.

New Categories Of Influencers:

  • Gigfluencer: As a result of the pandemic last year, there was a significant rise in first-time influencers who were leveraging their social platforms to monetize as a side gig. These have been dubbed as "Gigfluencers." This is an important area to watch as this category of influencers have really been pushing the pedal in terms of diversity, and have emphasized the idea of relatability further. Read more here.
  • Affluencer: While not a new term, the rise of affluencers have began to pick back up as the world begins to open. Affluencers are defined as consumers with a household income of more than $100,000 and more than 5,000 followers on social who influence others’ shopping and buying behaviors, especially towards the luxury market. Learn more here.

What's The Best Way To Work With Influencers? Check out these tips below from Forbes:

  • Focus on Authentic Connections
  • Keep Measuring and Adapting
  • View Them As Relationships, Not Transactions
  • Combine Thought Leadership with Specific Influence
  • Be Specific About What Your Final Outcome Is

Leverage Facebook and Instagram Stories in creative ways: Here are some tips to make the most out of your stories and ensure higher audience engagement and response.

  • Humanity is key to stay approachable
  • Use the shop feature for can’t miss promotions
  • Tease your content in a playful way
  • Use paid advertising to gain a broader reach
  • Continue to use polls and questions to gain direct insights into your target audience
  • Use stories to expand on other social posts from the brand to extend the life of a single creative
  • Try an influencer story takeover
  • Use carousel ads and follow an “attention, benefit, action” format to increase performance
  • Divide larger content into smaller, more digestible pieces
  • Show users your behind-the-scenes

Honing In On Content That Performs: Content is at the heart of every social strategy. It’s how brands make their first and lasting impressions on social. It’s the essential ingredient for how brands communicate and connect with new and loyal customers. Here are the top 5 types of content performing the best right now according to Sprout Social:

  • Video: Low-lift, creator-style videos can add a level of relatability that viewers appreciate. If you don't have the funds to produce hi-end content, collaborate with relatable influencers who can create these types of video for you, leverage video series like 'Expert Q&As,' and test out new video content on Instagram first, then debut it to other platforms such as Facebook, TikTok and YouTube.  
  • Images: Social media users crave the convenience of looking at a picture, rather than read a thousand words. Marketers should include images into their content strategy for every social network, but especially if they want to have a large presence on Instagram and Pinterest. For example, Williams Sonoma, known for its kitchenware, home furnishing and gourmet foods, maintains a strong following and brand identity by leveraging vibrant images to showcase recipes, dinner ideas and cooking- related searches. Check out their feed here.
  • Text-based photos: While businesses should always prioritize visual content, it's important to not lose sight of the power of words. Developing a distinctive brand tone and voice that aligns with your visual brand will help your written content stand out from the crowded social chatter.
  • Stories: Stories should be such a pivotal part of your community engagement strategy. Across platforms, stories get top placement and their interactive and timely nature make them engaging for consumers. Utilize interactive elements, give a sneak peak and be diligent and intentional about your Instagram Story highlights.
  • Live Video: Live video enables businesses and creators to broadcast conversations, performances, Q&As and other virtual events. Live video works best on YouTube, Facebook Live and LinkedIn Live and when planned for a consistent schedule.

Have a question about social media beyond what was shared above? Need some assistance with your social media efforts? Contact our team below!

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