In the Social Media Recap this month we have Twitter releasing custom profiles for bots, enhancing their Mute function, expanding their video streaming functionality to include professional videos, and Instagram allowing for geotagging and saving your Live videos.

See How Each New Feature Impacts PR:

Twitter, Twitter, Twitter

In Twitter news, if you’re using bots on Twitter you can craft a branded profile for them. In addition to building brand awareness, this helps it feel less, well, robotic as the bot interacts with customers. Savvy brands can now put branding on the cover image or as part of the bot’s bio, and use a real “photo” of an agent. Twitter has not set limits on how many customer service bot profiles a brand can make, nor have they restricted the feature by business size. The recent feature is great news for small companies who may rely on bots for customer service triage and public perception. This branded profile for bots feature is rolling out to some brands now and will be widely released later in the year.

Also in Twitter capabilities, to increase the utility of the Mute feature, they’ve released additional tools. Now accounts can be filtered on parameters such as those that don’t have profile photos or verified email addresses. Also, accounts can be muted for a predetermined amount of time, for instance, the length of Art Basel. Twitter is aiming to give users, even more, control over who, when, and what they choose to opt-out of seeing.

How will this impact you? Good PR shouldn’t see any downsides; your Twitter account should be operated with best practices and continue to do so. There is one aspect of the Mute feature that PR pros may need to keep an eye on, and that’s keyword muting.  

How does keyword muting potentially impact PR? If you are running an opposition PR campaign based on negative sentiment, you may need to rethink your strategy, as many muted words have negative sentiment. And, if you are running a campaign around a popular event, such as SXSW, you need to strategize using the official hashtag every other tweet. Doing this allows people attending who are watching the stream actively to see your content, but still shows your content to people who mute the hashtag because of high volume. If you represent a controversial brand, it may be vulnerable to this feature, so do some A/B testing with content with/without the brand name to see what garners the best response.

Twitter now allows media organizations and advertisers to stream live video directly on their timeline using professional camera equipment. Streaming video on your timeline using the Twitter mobile app and Periscope has been available for over a year, but until now, broadcasters had no way of streaming with professional equipment unless they directly struck a deal with Twitter.

The new interface will let brands use professional broadcasters to bypass the Periscope and Twitter app to stream professionally produced video directly from their Twitter accounts.

What does this mean for your PR content? If the amateur video quality of Periscope (Snapchat, Instagram Stories) has made you hesitate with producing branded video content for your social channels, that hurdle is eliminated. As we’ve mentioned before, a video content strategy in 2017 is an imperative for any effective PR campaign.

Save Your Instagram Live Video

Instagram has upped its game with two new features this month that PR pros should like. One is adding geotagging in its Instagram stories, similar to Snapchat. Geotagging is great for PR at events and onsite content. While that’s fun, the more useful feature for PR pros is the new ability to save your Instagram Stories. It may have been hard to get a client on board with creating videos that disappear, but being able to reuse them for other channels is a time-saving move that can impact future content strategy. The downloadable Instagram Live video will allow you to generate brand buzz from live events for weeks after it is over and give you more reasons to grab live video. 

All in all, it’s been a month of positive changes for PR pros working on enhancing brands on social media. Some of the honorable mentions from other platforms include Facebook adding a feature for video playback that auto-mutes videos in the timeline when your phone is set to mute and YouTube ending 30-second unskippable ads (a move sure to be popular with users). Both of these changes should make it easier to make relevant content while keeping your audience and community front and center.

And remember, relevant and effective content can be found around the critical insights of your company and campaigns.