Social Media Recap: April 2017
For social media and PR this month, it’s all about visual media. Companies from Apple to Snap are doubling down on images and video, and PR pros should be ready to do the same. We highly recommend that you enhance your video storytelling skills to bring the most impact for your clients. For PR pros with larger clients, it might be time to think about borrowing an idea from the film festival world and adding a “street team” to your strategy. Adding this team would allow you to have a roving band of mobile videographers as needed, especially useful for live events. That frees your time to navigate the parallel world of influencer marketing and social media partnerships, increasing the impact for your clients.
First up in This Month’s Social Media Recap: Apple
Apple hasn’t had much in the way of a social media strategy until recently (they weren’t even using social media for their brand until the last year or so). Apple Clips is intended to change that. Apple Clips is an iOS app that puts the power of viral video creation into the hands of every iPhone user. Not only will Clips have the usual array of editing tools for the video itself, but it will also have “live titles” that change according to the content of the video and a music library for users to access. That’s a bold move since music rights are often a stumbling block for the amateur videographer. PR pros will want to keep an eye on this new tool, as it could have an impact on both live events and user-generated content.
Facebook Video is back in the news in the wake of a new report released that states 90% of brands are using native video on Facebook as opposed to linking in from Vimeo or YouTube. Some who use Facebook in a browser and not through their apps find this a challenging user experience as it makes it difficult to share the video out from Facebook, however; if your PR strategy is Facebook-focused, your clients’ audiences should welcome the streamlined experience. Some social media influencers are calling Facebook Video the best place to spend your money right now, but your mileage may vary. We recommend testing different Facebook video formats with your audience and measuring their reaction, as every brand’s base embraces different technologies.
Last, but not least, Instagram makes our list twice this month. In a surprising twist, Instagram ads are proving to have more impact on older users than younger users. This new report specifically calls out the 44-54 and 65-74 age ranges as being more likely to seek out a product after seeing it on Instagram. People make an assumption that both Instagram and Snapchat are for the younger set, but in this case, the data proves otherwise. This reality is an intriguing twist for brands that need to reach and older demographic and may not be seeing results on Facebook or Twitter. Plus, Instagram Stories blew past Snapchat’s Stories with 200 million active users. Facebook owns Instagram, and it has had Snap in its sights in recent months, taking the small company on feature-by-feature and dominating each space quickly.
And now Instagram is emboldened and taking on Pinterest with collections. Pinterest is a platform that hasn’t had many direct competitors in its last five years of growth. This has allowed Pinterest to expand and experiment with its platform, unhindered. But now Instagram is moving into their territory. This new Instagram functionality enables common user behavior, bookmarking images for inspiration and future reference. For now, the collections functionality is private, but it most likely will have a public option once adoption rates increase.
These strategic moves prove that PR pros should keep an eye on Instagram and their parent company, Facebook; moving their efforts into the spaces Facebook chooses to occupy.
So what does all of this doubling down on video mean for the savvy PR pro? Invest heavily in the analytics behind video content and incorporating A/B testing of formats, length, content, and platform to find what resonates with each audience for your clients. Keep in mind while you experiment that your brands may have several different audiences on several different platforms. Visual content is definitely where a “one size fits all” approach to content likely won’t work, and good analytics will help you spend your time and money wisely.
And remember, a PR pro should fall back on creating relevant content around your brand and the critical insights of your company and campaigns.