It seems that every other day we’re faced with a new update from Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. Just this month, Snapchat announced new Geostickers and Instagram expanded its Explore feature for live event streaming. Which of these updates should you pay attention to?
Fear not! The Prichard team vets each social media update meticulously to draw out social media trends and understand where you should invest your time.
Here are the three most viable trends that you should take to heart:
Invest in Video
Social media video has been on the radar as a proven tool to spark engagement, and we expect that it will become an essential best practice within the next year. Facebook announced that the average user spends a whopping 50 minutes on Facebook each day, and collectively they’re watching video eight billion times a day.
Instagram, too, is seeing video outperform static content. It reported this summer that video viewing has increased 150% since the beginning of the year. The platform is responding with a new, personalized video channel in its Explore tab, sharing live video from multiple perspectives.
We expect that mobile video viewing trends are here to stay, particularly as social media platforms continue to add new features that encourage video viewing. Check out Addie’s Six Easy Ways to Hit Video Out of the Park for more on how to get started.
Explore What Users Want on Each Platform
With so many social media updates, it can be easy to get to content-fatigued and simply copy-paste the same written post to each of your platforms. However, as users spend more time on social media, they expect different experiences on each platform. Understanding those expectations and creating content that matches their needs will help you engage audiences in an authentic and long-lasting way.
Luckily, there’s research that can help. A new survey from Facebook (which owns Instagram) finds that while Americans spend 20 percent of mobile time on Facebook and Instagram, they expect different things from each platform. Users turn to Instagram for relaxation and fun, browsing photos and video to get inspired and discover new places. Conversely, they use Facebook to maintain and build relationships. A Pew Research Center study also reports that 66 percent of users get news on Facebook, which indicates that you should consider timely and useful content for that platform.
The national nonprofit Playworks accomplishes this really well by publishing distinct content on each platform. Playworks posts fun, inspiring visuals on Instagram, like the recess game suggestions below.
On Facebook, Playworks focuses on timely, helpful resources, like this back-to-school post.
Despite distinct content on each platform, all of Playworks’ posts ladder up to its overall vision of the power of play, unifying its content under one central theme.
Monitor Changes at Snapchat
Social media platforms have their eyes on Snapchat and you should, too. The powerhouse photo and video channel has experienced tremendous growth in the last few years with unique features like video filters, photo stickers and Snapchat Memories, which allows users to share photos from a saved stockpile.
The other major players are responding with updates that mirror Snapchat’s successful features. Twitter recently launched Stickers to motivate its younger audience to decorate, share and search photos. Instagram launched “Stories,” which riffs off the same model with which Snapchat has seen success. And, Facebook purchased a photo and video filter app Masquerade to compete with Snapchat after it denied Facebook’s $3 million acquisition offer.
You can also keep tabs on Snapchat to stay ahead of the curve. Subscribe to the Prichard blog, or check out these resources we like:
What social media trends do you think are worth investing in?