It’s been a busy month on social media. Many of our favorite social platforms have been finding ways to break the “fourth wall” and extend their reach into the real world. For PR pros this is an important step in connecting the dots between online and offline ROI for their clients. Here are five announcements that will resonate for PR this month: 

1. New from Pinterest: Ad Groups for Paid Campaigns

If your clients have been advertising with Pinterest using campaigns and promoted pins, they now have more options for targeting their audience. Pinterest added the ability to target ad groups. Why is this valuable to PR pros? Control. Now each group can have its own targeting, budget, time frame, and analytics. This is fantastic if you want to A/B test your campaigns and hone in on what is most successful for your client.

2. Twitter Doubles down on Live Streaming in a New Partnership with Dick Clark Productions

Investing in new live streaming partnerships is at the top of the list for Twitter, as we saw with last year’s NFL partnership. Collaborating with Dick Clark Productions offers new audiences for Twitter and the brands who want to advertise there. PR pros should pay attention to this development as Twitter live streaming could provide a new kind of “TV” audience: connected, highly engaged, and data rich. The combination of online and offline real-time engagement is a giant opportunity for savvy pros, as Twitter has been selling ads similar in style to TV commercials spots during each live streamed event.

3. Snapchat Targeting Ads Based on What People Buy Away from Snapchat

In a surprising move using Oracle‘s Data Cloud, Snapchat is giving advertisers a way to target their users with ads that matter based on what they buy outside of the Snapchat app. Both companies assure users that the data is anonymized, and Snapchat gives users a way to opt out of the process on their Audience Match preference page. For PR pros representing brands that sell a product, not a service, this development is one to watch, as Snapchat audiences are in the coveted younger demographic. We file this under one to watch for PR pros, as it could successfully tie real-world purchases to Snapchat use.

4. Instagram Stories Has Begun Monetizing

If you use Instagram Stories, you may have noticed a new full-screen promoted post that lasts for five seconds. As this new feature rolls out, more users will see these five and fifteen-second video posts popping up between stories. According to statistics from Business Intelligence, Instagram has more users that follow a brand than Snapchat. In fact, 70% of Instagram users follow a brand–that’s huge! This means that a successful roll-out of these new promoted stories features could give PR pros a boost in the reach of their visual content. 

5. Facebook Page Owners Can Now Use Their Desktop or Laptop To “Go Live”

Many Facebook Page managers couldn’t take advantage of some of Facebook’s cooler new features, like Live video streams, because they weren’t able to utilize their mobile devices for generating content. Facebook opened new doors for Page managers who want to try out Live video by enabling them to use their desktop or laptop to start a feed. Even more important for brands with PR pros, Facebook is now allowing Pages to designate “Live Contributors” – meaning you don’t have to be a Page admin to create content for a Live stream. PR pros will also appreciate the added Insights available with video streaming, including length of time their video was viewed.

All of these announcements give PR professionals a boost in 2017, expanding how their message can reach new people. These changes also reinforce campaign strategies that prioritize video and visual content. With this content shift, PR pros can also increase their audience satisfaction by using transcripts and subtitles. Remember, a significant portion of your audience still can’t watch your video with the sound on for a variety of reasons, so subtitles and transcripts give them a way to participate, even as you explore new mediums.