February flew didn’t it? Everyone always says it’s because it’s a short month, but in reality it’s only 2 or 3 days shorter… But, as February goes, we know we’re moving to warmer, longer days which I am grateful for as we’re still in our lockdown here in Wales. Onto the social media updates from February then…
Note: I’ve not actually talked about Clubhouse yet, because as an Android user… I’ve not got access. By all accounts though, it looks great.
- According to Matt Navarra, a new feature is being rolled out called Account Status, which basically puts your pages and groups all in one easily accessible place.
- Some changes coming into force with privacy and cookie rules, might result in Pixels not working as expected.
- Shopify can now integrate with Facebook and Instagram, which is big news!
- Twitter annouced, on the back of Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces will soon be launched – they’ll be in the Reels bar, and I suspect, work in a similar way to Clubhouse. More on that probably in the March round-up if not before.
- Fleets sees a little upgrade, more on the visual side – keep an eye on these if you use them, I suspect they will only get better and better.
- Twitter also annouced a subscription model might be coming in soon, so you can posgt exclusive content to only a select few followers. From what I’ve seen on social media so far, it doesn’t seem very popular. Will it even launch?
- The big Feburary news was that Instagram won’t promote any Reels with a TikTok watermark. It had been super easy to make your excellent Reels over on TikTok and then share them to Instagram. Looks like this will be no more! Sad, because TikTok does have superior features at the moment.
- Other big news that I was a tad saddened by is that Instagram is also tested removing the share posts to story feature. This would be a huge blow for many marketers I think! Will it happen though…
- The ability to have more than 1 person join you in a live is coming… and this will be exciting!
- Stories may soon be in a vertical feed (oh hi, TikTok), rather than horizontal. I think I do prefer this actually, it’s how YouTube and TikTok work.
- Will we soon see Tweets being shared into Stories? There are rumblings…
That’s it for February, but lots of ‘coming soon’ and ‘rolling out’ next month. Plus, tweaks and updates to functionality already – it’s busy out there in the social media world.
Social media world moves fast, so I’ve decided to do a round-up at the end of every months with the updates I’m aware of – because there are surely, countless more! It definitely feels like every platform is rushing out updates left right and centre at the moment. Let’s see what’s happened in January.
I’d like to mention first of all, there just seems to be a lot of change going on on Facebook, and a lot of glitches because of it. I think this’ll carry on for a while…plus, lots of the news released about upcoming updates don’t have specific dates. So, there will be a lot of sitting around patiently.
- News released that the “Story” section on your Facebook pages will be removed – this was where historically we’d write a nice about piece for business pages.
- Pages got a makeover – which I love, what do you think?
- News also that the Like feature will also be removed soon, bringing in Following of pages instead
- News feeds for your pages is making a comeback! This used to be available many years ago, and now it’s on the return. I’m excited for this one, it’ll make business networking so much easier.
- Facebook also announced new user roles will soon be coming too, no idea when though.
- A huge 70,000 removed from the platform so you might notice a slight dip in your followers count.
- Exciting news that the blue tick verification will be coming back this year, after a couple of years of accounts not being able to apply for it!
- Clamp down on accounts that are violent towards others – welcome news.
- Interesting news that Instagram Reels might soon be found over on Facebook too, personlly, I’m still on TikTok.
- Over in India, Instagram Lite is being trialled, for communities with limited access to reliable internet.
- Ah, didn’t already mention this… Trump is banned from Facebook and Instagram indefinitely!
- I don’t personally use Instagram on the desktop, but it looks like they are testing new ones the Stories features show on the desktop. Is there a move to more desktop functionality coming? I do hope so!
- LinkedIn Stories gets a swipe up feature – if you aren’t already on the Stories here, it’s only available on the app and not desktop. I do know some who have yet to get it though!
- YouTube adds hashtags to their search facility, so you can now search hashtags!
And that’s it for January… back soon with more!
Safe to say July has been a busy month in terms of helping people with social media, and also taking on new clients to run their social media.
I thought writing a post about this would be useful, because I feel like we do this very differently at Gwe Cambrian Web, and we offer a lot of value for money too.
Social media is, as we know, about being social. It isn’t about scheduling in a month of content and feeling chuffed when you send off your invoice. There really is a lot more to it!
So when I tell people they need to be posting consistently, I also tell people they need to be engaging and networking too. In essence, you need to be spending time on the platforms as well – watch the stories, explore the feed, interact with your followers. In fact, on Instagram, this is essential! It’s even a part of their algorithm!
I always include this allocation of time in my packages, I spend time chatting away (my favourite thing) and engaging with people in the sector and the audience. I see so many times businesses just posting and saying how much they will post per week per platform – but you could do so much better by making sure you network and engage.
So, if you are looking for someone to run or help you with your social media, make sure they will be social online. Also, make sure they understand your business! It’s essential!
Facebook really is such a powerful tool for small businesses, and large businesses! During lockdown, I’ve delivered many webinars about social media and Facebook specifically, and it really made me realise that a lot of people do not know how powerful it is.
Even just looking at Facebook in a basic sense, it’s potential for you as a small business is a great. You can set up a specific business page which you fill with all of your business information, and you can post to your followers. You can just try and grow your page like this but it’s the networking and features that Facebook offer which is where you can really boost your social media.
Facebook has a lot of features for business, it’s really there to make promoting your business easy and dare I say it, enjoyable! The more you use and get stuck in with Facebook, the easier you’ll find growing your page and your following.
You can post in loads of different ways on Facebook, which really helps to keep your page looking diverse and interesting. I’d always recommend making sure each post looks good – that could be by using an image or video, or even a website link which pulls through a good picture. You can also use polls, background colours, you could go live, make slideshows – lots of difference features. Facebook even helps you choose them!
Facebook has a good stories feature, which works in a very similar way to Instagram – although personally, if you do have an Instagram page and post to Stories on there, I would share them directly over. The options on Instagram feel more sleek!
This is the big one for Facebook and it’s growing and growing in popularity. So there’s a two prong approach here really – the potential for joining groups and networking, and then also creating your own group around your page and business community.
On Facebook you can search and find a group for pretty much anything – the key is finding one that will be valuable to you. So, for me, I like groups that are talking about digital or helping small businesses feel empowered. I want a group that has a lot of discussion and nattering (because it’s what I like to do as well), answering questions and sharing information. I’ve joined many groups that end up just being post after post with no engagement – that’s not for me. So, find your group on Facebook and then remember – be a part of it.
I’ve honestly had a lot of business through Facebook groups and networking in them. My top tip, forget the “sell sell sell” and concentrate more on providing valuable answers and comments, and working on your repuation that way.
Did you know you can book appointments via Facebook? It seems to be a little known feature, but incredibly powerful depending on your line of work. I’m thinking especially beauticians and hairdressers. You turn on the appointments tab on your page, and set up what appointment slots you have available on what days.
Visitors to your page can then book that slot, and you can confirm and communicate with them via messenger.
Now that the new Facebook shops has rolled out in the UK, a huge new potential for anyone selling online!
First though – don’t rely on just Facebook shops, please! It’s a fickle beast, and if you put all of your energy into this and don’t look at an ecommerce website or other platforms, you might be left hanging if your page gets taken away from you – and they do!
The new Facebook Shops comes with a lot of features, and from my small amount of dabbling – you can create catelogues with collections and products, link your shop to your website or take payments via Facebook (for a small cost, of course), link products and of course link it over to Instagram too.
The beauty of a shop is, when you then post to your page, you can tag your products and promote them. Even if you’re only tagging them in the picture and not directly “sell sell sell-ing”, it just makes your page a lot more flexible, and helpful to you.
The new shops will also soon be able to link up to your websites, so if you’ve got a WordPress ecommerce shop, you can link the two and it manages your stock control. Swanky! I’m not sure yet of the full list of platforms it will work with, but I know WordPress is on the list!
Similar to the appointments tab, you can also advertise jobs on Facebook and they get brilliant reach too! Within the tool, you can set up how people apply for the job (be it through Facebook or an external website, do they send a CV or fill in some questions you can set up) and reply to them. You can tag them as making the interview or shortlist stage, you can really keep on top of the process all from within the one area.
What’s great about this is that from experience, the jobs do get a lot of local traction, so if you are a hotel or seasonal business with jobs coming and going often, Facebook is a great avenue to go down… and it’s free!
This is a fairly new feature, where you can create video rooms either on your personal profile or within a group.
Think – Zoom or Teams, it works in the same way with a maximum of 50 people. Great way to create networking sessions within the groups!
You may have spotted the webinar blog post earlier in the year – and this has been something really popular for us. We’ve been as a company providing free webinars on a weekly basis in Welsh and English – about websites, social media, platforms in particular… it’s been really enjoyable and I’ve loved the buzz from the webinars, chatting to loads of different people and businesses across Wales and further afield!
So, then I thought why not just offer a free, informal , 45 minute “consultation” about anything digital marketing or websites. So if you’re wanting a natter about your website or social media, digital marketing strategies or just small business in general – get in touch and book today.
I’ve already worked with companies like Home Start Cymru on this – just chatting away on how best to use social media in general. It’s surprising how much you can fit into 45 minutes, and I’m always happy to help where I can!
Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
I probably run my social media training in very different way to others in my area. I really do much prefer the 1-2-1 or small group setting, than larger workshops… but why?
I remember years ago when we first started Gwe Cambrian Web in 2013, going to a lot of workshops and events about websites and social media. One of the ones I remember vividly had around 40 in the room, and I came away learning nothing. The range of experience was so varied, it was impossible to cover all aspects for all in the room.
So, when we decided about 2 years ago to branch into digital marketing more officially, I knew that I wanted to concentrate more on the smaller, intimate workshops/groups. I also believe you can’t provide truly useful training without a good understand of the business you’re helping – its values, ethos, goals.
That’s not to say large workshops are impossible, quite the opposite. In fact, it just doesn’t strike a chord with how I’d like to provide training for social media. That’s just a personal thing.
Before I host a training session, I take time to complete a detailed audit of the social media activity for my own records. This gives me a really good basis to understand what’s already going on and where training will help. I also spend time going through the website, making sure that the message the website provides is the same as the social media – especially in terms of goals, ethos, attitude, branding.
Hosting my sessions like this means that no matter how experienced you are, if you feel like you want to come to me for training, I’ve done plenty of research to help and discuss your social media with you.
Don’t forget, training isn’t just showing you how to navigate creating a post or going back to basics. It’s boosting your social media at the moment.