5 New Social Media Tools That You Should Know About
If there is one thing that is constant about social media platforms (besides their URLs), it is that they change fast. There are some recently released social media tools that communication and marketing professionals may find very helpful…or at least find good to know about.
In this post I want to take a look at some new tools that are available for the more prominent social media platforms and give an idea of how they can be helpful for PR professionals and marketers.
1. Facebook Search
Facebook search has been around for about a year, and its utility has been suspect. Recently, Facebook changed their search feature to include ALL (2 trillion and counting) Facebook posts. This means that when you search for something on Facebook you will get results from your timeline, your friends’ timelines and any public posts. Presumably much more robust.
This adds a deeper relevance to contextual hashtags, presumably will make search more helpful, and of course may create some concern about privacy for some users. Incidentally, if you want to change your past posts so that they don’t show up in search you do that pretty easily by following these instructions.
How communication and marketing professionals can use the new Facebook Search: This makes hashtagging for your public posts hyper-relevant. Hashtagging on Facebook should be as important now as it is on Instagram and Twitter. From a user standpoint it should give you a little more context to your Facebook searches, although many people only share posts with friends by default.
2. Twitter Polls
I wrote a couple of weeks ago that Twitter is making some developer and user tweaks in an effort to increase advertising revenue, and a cool feature that they have recently introduced are polls. It’s a pretty straightforward and limited feature: you press the poll button, write a question and two answers (this is the big limitation) and tweet.
The poll shows up on the timelines of your followers and you are able to access (anonymous) polling data based upon responses.
How communication and marketing professionals can use Twitter Polls: This may be a way to make your Twitter content more engaging to your followers, or to promote your Twitter channel.
3. LinkedIn New Apps
Like Instagram (mentioned below), LinkedIn has an interesting mobile strategy where they are building out standalone apps for each of the specific functions of the platform. There is their flagship app, LinkedIn Pulse (content), LinkedIn Recruiter (recruiting), LinkedIn Connected (contacts), LinkedIn Lookup (for internal search), and two new apps: LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Job Search.
- LinkedIn streamlined their parent app, making messaging more straightforward and making the look more clean
- The Groups app (launching soon) will allow group interaction within the app, coinciding with a revamp of the Group feature
- The Job Search app is an app specifically for job searches
How communication and marketing professionals can use LinkedIn’s new apps: If you manage or interact in groups, LinkedIn Groups will make it more convenient to do that. And the job search feature should be a helpful tool for professional seeking a transition.
While they probably aren’t game-changing apps, allowing access to the platform by specialization should make the Job Search (and possibly the Groups app) popular.
4. Instagram “Boomerang”
We can all probably agree on the universal truth that GIFs are awesome. Instagram is banking on this with its “Boomerang” app which creates “looping videos” (they’re technically not GIFs, although they serve the same function) with the same stop action feature implemented in Instagram video.
Think of Boomerang as an abbreviated Instagram video — a one-second Vine.
How communication and marketing professionals can use Boomerang: This has potential to be a very popular content-creation feature on the most engaging social platform. Anyone doing social content creation will likely want to get to know Boomerang.
5. Reddit “Upvoted”
What would it look like if Reddit was professionally curated and didn’t allow comments on its articles? That’s the concept behind Upvoted, an offshoot of Reddit that launched last week.
The intention behind Upvoted isn’t to offer an alternative to Reddit, but to offer a different audience a Reddit-lite experience and to capture web traffic that is diverted from the parent site when other sites poach articles from Reddit.
The content itself is taken from Reddit, vetted and edited by the editorial team, and despite its name there is no “upvoting” that happens on the site. The lack of commenting is an attempt to differentiate the content from Reddit, where the tenor of commentary is a bit harsher than the average site.
How communication and marketing professionals can use Upvoted: Like any new content site, you probably want to be bearish about the distribution or promotion potential of the platform. But it may be a source of content inspiration that serves as a kinder, gentler Reddit. Also, the curators are all accessible through Reddit so there may be opportunity to pitch a Reddit story for consideration on Upvoted.
Understanding all of the tools and techniques that communication and marketing professionals use is tough. Prognosticating where a specific audience will be in six months is surprisingly tough, too (especially if you’re resource constrained).
When you are overwhelmed, hopefully this will give you solace: Mona Chalabi (one of my favorite columnists) announced last week that she is leaving FiveThirtyEight. If you’re not familiar with Chalabi’s writing – she is an amazing data scientist who interjects a lot of humor and insight into her articles. In her final post she wrote this lament of the questions people asked her that she couldn’t answer:
When you wrote to me saying that you were going to propose to your girlfriend and wanted to know the probability she’d say yes, I couldn’t find any good data. I’m sorry for that. I was equally stumped when you asked me what percentage of text messages are sent while people are pooping or how often you should be eating quinoa.
Point being: if there are answers that perplex Mona Chalabi, it’s okay for you to be overwhelmed from time to time.
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