by Brittany McSorley
The 2021 season on Cape Cod was a busy one — so busy, in fact, that we couldn’t keep up with blogging! Rest assured, we’re still here, and we’d like to share some insight on what’s changed in social media marketing since we last checked in. Here are a few key developments to note:
Facebook Got ‘Reel’
In September, Facebook decided to share the wealth and give its iOS and Android users the ability to create Reels (which Instagram users have been able to do since August 2020). Reels, which I like to call Facebook’s panicked answer to the explosive popularity of TikTok, are videos that users can customize with filters, music, and a variety of special effects. The feature is so popular that Reels now has its own feed on Instagram, so you can scroll through video content to your heart’s… content. Sorry, that was weird. Anyway, now you can do it on Facebook, too.
…And Changed Its Name
Facebook also announced a name change. Sort of — the name of the app itself won’t change. But on October 28, Facebook held an augmented and virtual reality conference, where it was announced that the company would be changing its name to Meta. What a subtle way to acknowledge its ambition to dominate every aspect of modern life!
Mark Zuckerberg explained, “Today we are seen as a social media company, but in our DNA we are a company that builds technology to connect people, and the metaverse is the next frontier just like social networking was when we got started.” Meta will be spending around $10 billion over the next year on developing the technologies required to take over everyth — I mean, explore said new frontier.
Instagram Handed Out Stickers
Instagram rolled out several new features in 2021, many of which offer more user control, like deleting specific photos from a carousel (hubris!) rather than having to trash the whole thing, and favoriting posts to customize which accounts are given priority in your feed (the ones with dogs!).
Perhaps noting how many social media marketers have struggled with the inability to link anything on the platform, Instagram has also finally launched the Stories Link sticker, which is available to all users. This long-awaited update is huge for small businesses; marketers can add a sticker to their story and instantly link products, blogs, and the like to their followers. Show of hands: who else was getting tired of typing “link in bio”?
TikTok Kept Growing
Oh, TikTok. Remember when we were like, “What’s TikTok?” And now everyone is like, “If I am awake, I am likely on TikTok.”
For the most part, this platform is still the realm of Gen-Z and on-the-younger-side millennials, so if your business is trying to reach that demographic, you know what to do. If that age range isn’t necessarily your target audience, you don’t need to start learning viral dances, but we’d still suggest keeping TikTok on your radar.
LinkedIn Also Kept Growing
Good old LinkedIn. A reliable, reasonable friend in these troubling times! LinkedIn has been consistently gaining monthly users and increasing engagement throughout 2021.
They’re keeping up with other platforms as well, adding new features like Stories (can’t imagine why), updated messaging and video meeting capabilities (can’t imagine why), and the ability to record and feature the exact pronunciation of your name on your profile (I don’t have a joke for that one; it’s an awesome idea). I don’t think any small businesses are thinking of leaving LinkedIn, but, you know… don’t.
So that’s what the big four have been up to recently. It’s clear that every platform is doing all it can to stay relevant, adapt to the changing social landscape, and keep launching unique and innovative features. The competition is great for business owners, but we’d like to offer a friendly suggestion: don’t spread your marketing efforts across too many channels. You may end up doing a lackluster job on several platforms; it’s better to market expertly and efficiently on just one. Choose your fighter.