Social media has come a long way from its early days of MySpace and “Top 10” friends. Today, there are dozens of social platforms to engage with and nearly 4 billion active social media users worldwide. No platform has made as drastic of a transformation as Facebook, which has evolved from a public diary for friends and family to one of the largest online advertising platforms and home to 50 million company pages.
Today, we share some of the latest and greatest Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) features in 2021 that no marketer can afford to miss out on.
Announced in June 2021, Facebook Bulletin is a new app from Facebook that allows creators to publish and share original content – and monetize said exclusive content to paying Facebook subscribers. With an elevated look and feel, Facebook Bulletin is meant to provide creators the opportunity to build a close-knit community and share their thoughts and expertise candidly. Bulletin content will be shared throughout the Facebook site, but each Creator page will live on a separate Bulletin app.
Not only will creators be able to write and share newsletters, articles, and other exclusive content, but they’ll have premier community capabilities through Bulletin as well. Using a combination of free or subscriber-only groups, livestreams, and live audio rooms, Facebook is looking to become the one-stop shop for building a brand.
Who can use Facebook Bulletin? Facebook defines creators as “individual journalists or subject matter experts not contractually bound to write exclusively for a platform or publisher.”
With the creation of Facebook Bulletin comes a host of opportunities for artists, writers, and influencers, but brands should still begin investigating business use cases as well. While you may not be able to own a branded company Bulletin, this new feature presents new avenues to explore in influencer marketing. Consider enlisting a creator as a brand ambassador for inclusion of your brand in their work. You can also begin to build relationships with creators to be one of the first to secure advertising or sponsorship opportunities in their content.
Alternatively, look internally for subject matter experts with interesting ideas to share. Bulletin could be the “next big thing” to send your thought leadership program to the next level.
Advertise on Instagram Reels
In late June 2021, Instagram announced that brands can now advertise on Instagram Reels. In case you missed it, Reels are Instagram’s attempt to compete for TikTok’s audience, allowing users to create short videos with a variety of fun add-ons such as transitions, sounds, and effects. Instagram has seen great success with Reels to date and is making a concerted effort to grow its Reels content and viewership, making advertising a natural extension.
The great news is that creating Instagram Reels advertisements is attainable for any brand, of any size, in any industry thanks to its short length and flexibility. You can create Reel advertisements that are as simple as a static image. Brands can also repurpose existing materials, such as promoting content garnered from an influencer partnership, showing how a user might use your product in real life.
Why should marketers pay attention to Reels advertising? It has the potential to greatly influence your reach. Not only will these ads appear in the Explore page (similar to other ads on Instagram), but also when viewing Reels in the Reels tab or a user’s feed. With Reels being one of the most popular forms of content on Instagram currently, marketers would be remiss to not experiment with advertising on Reels.
Building Your Facebook Community – Now Easier
Facebook Groups are one of the few original Facebook features that has stood the test of time. And for good reason, it’s a great way to build and nurture a community on a highly saturated platform. Many brands can benefit from creating Facebook Groups to help build their community by offering more intimate discussions and sharing exclusive content such as articles, promotional offers, and livestreams. While Facebook Groups has the power to create brand super fans, the management of said communities is time intensive and difficult.
But now, Facebook has just introduced a new suite of tools to make Facebook Group management easier. Today, admins and moderators will have access to:
- A full dashboard for an overview of your group and all the tools available
- An “Admin Assist” tool that can automatically moderate conversations based on set rules, such as users who have had a Facebook account less than 6 months or any comments that contain explicit language.
- A Conflict Alerts system, powered by machine learning, that notifies admins of potentially contentious or unhealthy conversations taking place.
- A tool to slow down conversations, allowing admins to set time parameters on how often users can comment. The idea with this feature is to encourage users to think before they “speak”.
- Member Summaries so that admins and moderators can track each user’s activity in the group, allowing you to identify both brand superfans and trouble makers.
Social media is constantly evolving, with new features, tools and trends emerging every day. If you need help staying up to date on what’s working in social media or are looking for fresh, creative social media strategy and execution, contact us.