Christmas music is playing in stores, trees are shedding their leaves and fuzzy socks are finally making an appearance — the holidays are officially around the corner. During this time of the year, shoppers are on the lookout for all types of purchases. As a business, you can reach your ideal customer with strategic and innovative solutions, and social media platforms are making it easier for businesses to win sales with new tools and features. From new Pinterest ad options to TikTok’s latest eCommerce partnership, here are the top social media updates this November.
Social Media Updates
Instagram and Messenger Cross-Platform Messaging
There’s a new integration in the social media world and it’s between Instagram Direct and Messenger. People using the Messenger app can now reach you on Instagram without you needing to download a new app, and vice versa. This means that you can cross message from Messenger and Instagram, and you’ll be able to see your Messenger threads in Instagram Direct. But your existing Instagram messages and call details will only be available in Instagram, at least at this point.
The holiday period is fast approaching and Pinterest is on top of it. To help retailers make the best out of this busy shopping season, Pinterest announced a range of new features designed to help merchants maximize reach and sales, including new ‘storefront’ profiles and a new shopping ad format. Here are the latest updates:
New Ad Slots
With the holiday shopping season around the corner, Pinterest is helping businesses reach more people with new ad slots. As more people use Pinterest to shop and look for ideas and products from brands and retailers, Pinterest is integrating ads into more shopping experiences across the platform to deliver relevant content where it’s welcomed by shoppers.
Now, advertisers will be able to place ads in Pinterest Lens matches, the ‘Shop’ tab within Pinterest search, and even shopping matches on Pins. Pinterest is also looking to give marketers more data on the path to conversion from each Pin with new, in-depth insights on specific Pin performance.
New Ways to Shop
Pinterest’s updated the Shop tab on business profiles, putting more emphasis on the presentation for browsing in an effort to replicate the in-store shopping experience.
According to Pinterest, the updated enables merchants to ”transform their shop tab into a storefront with featured in-stock products organized by category, featured product groups and dynamically-created recommendations.”
The update provides businesses with more ways to showcase their products on the Shop tab, encourage shoppers to make a purchase.
Merchant Storefront Profile and Discovery
A “recommended for you” feature goes a long way and especially on Pinterest. When users search for shopping-related ideas, they will now also be shown a list of recommended merchants in their search results. Talk about a boost in traffic and exposure for your business – this feature could see significant traffic pushed in your direction, if the products are a good match for the search query.
New Product Tagging
Make your store a one-stop-shop for users by tagging your products alongside your photos. Pinterest is testing a new product tagging option which could give merchants the ability to tag their own images with exact products. However, note that businesses have been able to tag products within Collection pins for some time, but this new option gives businesses additional options for product tags, which provides added promotional opportunities.
For an even more streamlined shopping experience, Pinterest is also improving its catalog ingestion process, making it faster and simpler for merchants to upload their catalogs and activate shopping ads. This new improvement will include “faster Catalog feed ingestion, video as the main hero image in collections, collections as a new shopping ad format and a new preferred scheduling tool” that enables retailers to upload products on their own time.
Lastly, Pinterest is improving its paid promotions by bringing together Catalogs and collections to make collections a shopping ad format. For an elevated look, brands can now also select a main asset and a corresponding product group to create a multi-image ad unit.
Additionally, take your brand’s story to the next level with a new video option as a hero in a Collections ad unit, further expressing your brand story. Seeing that video views on Pinterest have increased more than 3x in 2020, this video unit could provide a great opportunity to maximize your Pin promotions and increase interest in your products.
Facebook Removes 20% Text Limit on Ad Images
Facebook is removing its restrictions on ads which include more than 20% text in the main image. This new update removes any reach restriction for this, meaning that ads with more than 20% text in the main image will be displayed, as normal, and will reach the same amount of people as any other Facebook ad. Facebook still maintains that ad images with less than 20% text perform better, and recommends that advertisers keep their text short, clear and concise in order to get their message across effectively.
With less than 50 days to Christmas, Facebook has released a range of new products to help retailers make the most of the season. These include:
Ads with Product Tags on Instagram
Businesses can now add product tags to their Instagram ads within Ads Manager, enabling people to discover and shop your product more easily. Product tags are not a foreign concept to Instagram – brands have been able to tag their products in organic posts since 2016, but until now, businesses couldn’t add these tags directly in their ads. The available formats for ads with product tags include photos, videos and carousels.
New Custom Audience Options
Facebook’s adding some new Custom Audience options to help businesses retarget the warm audiences who’ve showed an interest in purchasing from them.
According to Facebook, “With Shopping Engagement Custom Audiences, businesses now have the ability to reach people who’ve already shown interest in their product or brand by doing things like saving a product, viewing a shop or initiating a purchase. And with Shopping Lookalike Audiences, you can grow your customer base by reaching shoppers who have similar interests to your existing customers on Facebook and Instagram.”
With 70% of customers more likely to convert when retargeted with display ads, this update could prove to be a highly effective tactic. Facebook’s Lookalike Audience are also a powerful opportunity to reaching people with similar traits to those who are already purchasing from you.
Discount Feature for Facebook Shops
If you have a Facebook Shop, now’s the time to take advantage of the upcoming holiday season by sharing your discounted products on Facebook and Instagram.
According to Facebook, “You’ll be able to put individual products on sale, create offers that can be automatically applied – like “Spend $50 and get 10% off each eligible item” – or offer a discount on an item by letting customers apply a promo code. To make sure customers know of the discount options available to them and pique their interest, you can get creative by adding a banner to your shop.”
Facebook’s discount feature will make it much easier for businesses to run quick promotions in their Facebook shops, which could play a key role in getting more customers interested in your products.
New Business Features
What started as a messaging app is now evolving into a business-savvy solution for brands to connect with their customers in a faster, more efficient way. In recent weeks, WhatsApp announced that it will focus on expanding its in-app shopping options and give brands new tools for managing their interactions to maximize its business potential. Here are the latest updates on WhatsApp Business:
Shopping: Due to the increase in business activity in 2020, WhatsApp is making it easier to expand ways for people to check out available products and make purchases right from a chat, with the availability for businesses to integrate these features into their existing commerce and customer solutions.
Facebook Hosting Services: To accommodate the varying technology needs that businesses require to best accommodate their customers, WhatsApp is planning to expand their partnerships with business solution providers. Additionally, the messaging platform will also provide businesses the option to manage their WhatsApp messages via hosting services, which will be offered by WhatsApp.
WhatsApp will charge business customers for some of the services offered. At this point, it’s not clear what services WhatsApp will be charging for but as you consider the next steps for your business in WhatsApp commerce, keep the potential costs in mind as these services roll out in the months to come.
New Partnership with Shopify
With businesses continuing to rely on digital tools to serve their customers, TikTok has now integrated more eCommerce options by announcing a global partnership with Shopify.
As explained by TikTok:
“Today, we’re announcing a global partnership with Shopify that will help more than a million merchants create and run campaigns directly geared toward TikTok’s highly engaged community.”
Shopify merchants can access core functions of TikTok’s Ads Manager without leaving the Shopify dashboard. Highlights include:
- New, “1-click” pixel: Shopify merchants can install or connect their TikTok Pixel with a click of a button, making it quicker and easier to track conversions.
- A One-Stop-Shop for TikTok Campaigns: Merchants can create campaigns, target audiences and track performance in one place.
- Creative Made Simple: Everyone has a story to tell on TikTok, and the TikTok channel enables Shopify merchants to create native, shareable ads that resonate with the community. TikTok’s intuitive creative tools help turn merchants’ products into high-quality TikToks in minutes.
- Free Ad Credit: Eligible merchants can claim a $300 ad credit to jumpstart their first TikTok campaign.
It’s an exciting time for businesses of all sizes to reach their ideal customers on TikTok. Looking to get started with advertising on TikTok? Get in touch with us today.
New ‘Sounds’ Option within Snaps
Snapchat is bringing music to its platform with a new feature called “Sounds,” which similar to TikTok, allows users to add song clips to their Snaps and Stories.
With Sounds on Snapchat, users can add music to their Snaps (pre- or post-capture) from a curated catalog of music. When you receive a Snap with Sounds, you can swipe up to view the album art, song title, and the name of the artist, an opportunity especially relevant to music marketers. Beyond TikTok and Instagram’s Reels, Sounds will help Snapchat stay relevant and competitive, even if only iOS users get access at first.
LinkedIn Launches Stories to all Users
LinkedIn has a new look and at the heart of it is the platform’s own version of Stories. The Instagram-style format will enable brands to reach out to members using photos and videos of up to 20 seconds long, offering a more casual and immediate way to share news, insight and highlights.
According to LinkedIn, Stories is inspired by the platform’s community of members and organizations that come together to help, support, and inspire one another, which seems to be especially beneficial during these times. Have you found success connecting with your network on LinkedIn Stories? Let us know in the comments below!
Quick Recap (Social Media Updates):
- Instagram: Instagram and Messenger cross-platform messaging
- Pinterest: New Ads Slots, New Ways to Shop, Merchant Storefront Profile and Discovery, New Product Tagging, Catalog Updates, Paid Promotions
- Facebook: Facebook Removes 20% Text Limit on Ad Images, Ads with Product Tags on Instagram, New Custom Audience Options, Discount Feature for Facebook Shops
- WhatsApp: New Business Features
- TikTok: New Partnership with Shopify
- Snapchat: New ‘Sounds’ Option within Snaps
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn Launches Stories to all Users
Tune in next month for another round of social media updates!
If you are looking to improve your social media results or have questions regarding the latest platform updates, we’d love to chat!