The last few weeks have been busy for the social media world. Instagram and Snapchat are churning out features at top speed as they battle for dominance, Twitter debuted several new partnerships, including a first-ever concert stream with Live Nation featuring the Zac Brown Band, and Facebook introduced several new features and functionalities PR pros will love. One skill everyone in PR will need for the rest of 2017 is agility. With the rapid rate of product change happening at the same time that a churning news cycle is keeping PR pros on their toes, PR pros that can move quickly and assertively will lead their space.

Instagram Throws Marketers and PR Folks a Bone

Instagram announced that they have finally answered the call of busy marketers and PR pros everywhere this month, allowing you to post pics on Instagram without the app. This is big news, though it is currently limited to the mobile web site, and should help both teams manning a single account and people in low-cell-service areas to be more active. Instagram also took a swipe at rival app Snapchat, adding face filters right in the camera, clickable hashtag stickers, new Boomerang and Rewind functionality, an eraser, and more fun tools. 

Snapchat Increases Geofilter Options

Snapchat now offers brands more ways to buy geofilters that layer text, graphics, and other fun images over user generated content. Additionally, Snapchat is offering new ways to create geofilters for one-time events, partnering with event planners like WeddingWire and Eventfarm. This gives PR pros more options for serving clients who are active on social media during live events.

Twitter Doubles Down on Live Video

As we mentioned in March, Twitter continues to capitalize on live media and have announced additional new streaming partners. These 16 new partners include sports, news, and entertainment. The first stream, featuring the Zac Brown Band, was a smashing success. It was made doubly so by the live stream polling by Live Nation, actively seeking out users’ needs and wants for future streams in real time. The quality of the sound and video in the Twitter live streams has been consistently amazing. Savvy, pop-focused PR pros and their brands would do well to time Twitter participation and ad buys around relevant streams, and do so in a way that feels organic and that doesn’t hijack the stream.

Facebook, Facebook, Facebook

Facebook is continuing to try to be everyone’s everything. Relevant for PR clients, Facebook is testing video as page cover photos. This can be a fun way for brands to leverage additional video for PR campaigns. Challenging for PR pros is another change to the algorithm: reducing links to low-quality web pages. This is overdue move should help fight the spread of false news stories. However, PR pros should make sure their brand pages are fully updated and not being flagged as spam, misinformation, or any other offending category to ensure they continue to be seen by fans. 

Additional PR Platforms

One platform that we think PR pros should keep an eye on is LinkedIn. Now that they are owned by Microsoft and are changing and tweaking their user interface and features, it’s worth paying attention to the new ways PR can leverage this formerly staid platform. We’re also keeping our eyes on the new paid version of Medium to see if could become a useful outlet for PR pros.