Newsletter: January 8, 2021



Research & Reports

  • In a sign of increasing competition, Twitch has doubled the number of streamers on its platform during the pandemic — but viewership remains steady. (Marker)
  • Reddit has seen an uptick in activity during the pandemic, with active daily users increasing 44% year-over-year to 52 million. (Reddit)
  • A LinkedIn blog post reveals that the platform is garnering nearly three new members each second, livestreams have jumped 89% since March and 1 billion engagements occur monthly. (LinkedIn)
  • Of the 10.2 billion engagements on Instagram in December, 411 million were driven by IGTV content. (Shareablee)
  • Podcast: What Insider Intelligence analysts expect in 2021: the rise of social entertainment. (eMarketer)

Hootsuite’s 2021 Social Media Trends Report

In another excellent year-end report, Hootsuite’s “Social Trends 2021” identifies these major trends to come:
  • Quick targeted performance marketing on social — acquiring new customers and increasing brand awareness are the two most common business goals on social.
  • Using social to build innovative digital experiences that win long-term loyalty: reimagining the online user experience with social media at the core. Tactics include live-streaming on social and short form entertainment videos like TikTok.
  • Social listening and using it to find your place in the social conversation: Wise brands prioritize listening over talking, which will help you find the right time to talk (examples: COVID “uncertain times” ads, #BlackoutTuesday). Take the time to understand your role in people’s lives: Is it for humor? Fun? Escape? News and information? Historical context?
  • Investing in social to reach baby boomers: There has been a 66% increase in boomers discovering new brands via social over the past four years. Focus on Facebook, target by interest and only age, and don’t underestimate the tech savviness of older audiences.
  • Tying social media engagement to customer identity: Invest is social data integration into your Martech stack, and integrate paid and organic social media strategies. Put a basic UTM framework in place to track all data from both organic and paid efforts, to help you understand which channels and content is driving results.
  • Boardroom decisions made by social media data: Knee-jerk reactions by junior staff to social media pressure are inadequate; consumers and fans will hold companies accountable for meaningful changes, not just statements. Revisit your social media policies to meet the moment, set up a social media crisis communications workflow, and use social listening for intelligence.
Hootsuite also identified platform priorities for the coming year, such as where companies plan to increase their investment (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn) and platforms with highest ROI in reaching business goals (Facebook and Instagram). Download the full report here.
Bonus: Here is a link to a repository of 2021 digital and social media trends reports published over the last month.

Social Media Headlines

Case Studies

Social Media Best Practices

Social TV

Below is an excerpt from the GBH Emerging Platforms team’s monthly newsletter, which offers both project updates and news from the world of original video content on digital and social platforms.

  • Programming: Fans turned to TikTok to create Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical, a benefit that has so far raised more than $1 million for The Actors Fund; Snapchat dropped new AR series Move It!, an immersive dance show bringing together Snapchat’s AR lenses, body tracking technology, and music and dance influencers Michael Le and Dytto.
  • Platforms: YouTube’s Premieres feature now includes trailers, redirects from live pre-shows, and customized countdown timers; Twitter is shutting down Periscope, its live streaming video app, but will still provide live streaming services using other tools.
  • Research: YouTube’s end-of-year report outlines three major digital video shifts in 2020: The evolving archetype of the content creator, the increasing interactivity of video, and audiences that increasingly look to digital media for help navigating challenges.
  • Good Reads: This is why you heard so much about TikTok in 2020 – The New York Times
If you’d like to receive the monthly Emerging Platforms newsletter, let me know!

Platform Updates

  • Facebook has redesigned Pages. Updates include a simpler layout, dedicated News Feed, and the elimination of page likes — changing the focus to “followers” exclusively. Check your Page now to see if you have the new design yet. (Facebook)
  • Twitter will no longer prompt users to quote tweet in lieu of the standard retweet. (Twitter)
  • Twitter will be shutting down Periscope as a service by March, but will continue to offer live video streaming through its integrated Twitter Live feature within the main Twitter app. (The Verge)
  • Twitter launched its audio-based social networking feature called “Spaces.” Spaces is running only on iOS during the beta. (TechCrunch)
  • Twitter rolled out its new verification policy, with clear rules on who can get a checkmark on their account, and also how they can lose it. (The Verge)
  • A new label on Twitter accounts will indicate when an account is a bot. (TechCrunch)
  • Facebook’s new features for Group admins allow you to temporarily pause a group rather than archive it, new moderation options to require post edits to be approved, and an “Engagement Alerts” feature. (AdWeek, Matt Navarra)
  • LinkedIn rolls out the ability to “swipe up for Stories” to all members and Company Pages. (Digital Information World)
  • Facebook’s feature “Paid Online Events” now allows admins to offer time-based discounts. (Facebook)
  • Branded Content tools are now available on Reels and Instagram Live videos. (Instagram)
  • Facebook’s Creator Studio rolled out an Instagram calendar mode to view past and upcoming Instagram feed, IGTV, and Stories content. (Social Media Today)
  • Instagram expanded the time-window for available metrics within Instagram Insights to 30 days. (Instagram)
  • Instagram introduces new comment controls on Reels. (Embed Social)
  • Instagram added new creative tools in Reels and Stories. (Social Media Today)
  • Instagram now lets you show your other accounts on your profile. (Matt Navarra)
  • TikTok introduced text-to-speech support for accessibility. (@TikTokCreators)
  • TikTok added support for 1080p video uploads. (Matt Navarra)

Weekend Reads

  • Instagram, YouTube and TikTok are burning out their creators. Here’s how platforms can fix that. (Hunter Walk)
  • Inside the hyper-local world of Facebook’s ‘buy nothing’ groups (The Guardian)
  • How TikTok Changed the World in 2020 (BBC)
  • The President is Losing his Platforms (New York Times)
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Article by: Tory Starr

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