Social media is an integral part of many lives today. Earlier, it was just the youth who was excited about the social media features such as connecting with friends, chatting, uploading pictures, and updating status every now and then. However, today people of all ages and professions are using social networking sites as a means of communication.

Now, the question arises that what factors make social media play a dominant role in our day-to-day life.

How social media is a part of our everyday life?

Social media has a huge impact on people of every age group. To stay in touch with our loved ones is the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind. The features, such as instant messaging, status updating, image sharing, and video sharing, are some of the major elements that play a role in attracting people toward social media. Apart from connecting people, social media extends a range of information to people through official pages on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. These pages are a faster source of credible information all around the world with a single click.

“Engage, Enlighten, Encourage and especially…just be yourself! Social media is a community effort, everyone is an asset.” – Susan Cooper, American Social Media Strategist

The advantages of social media marketing platform are not limited to the reasons listed above. Below mentioned are some more reasons why the world seems to be a smaller place:

1. The basic and primary advantage is it increases contacts with friends and family dynamically. Sharing of photos, videos, and status adds spice to interaction and communication every time.

2. Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter have allowed 15,000+ employees to learn about the wide range of job opportunities. It has created a positive impact on the economy by reducing the bar of unemployment across the world.

3. Social media also helps in finding potential customers as any company or brand can follow another user’s activity or be followed by individuals, ultimately establishing the brand name and value.

4. One can also leverage the power of product reviews through social media platforms. People tend to post their honest reviews after using a product, which acts as a guide to buy the right one and omit the not so good one.

Are you aware of these latest features of top social media platforms?

Previous to this year, there was continued growth and innovation in social media opportunities with new features, content formats, and dynamic creative capabilities to bring the brands closer to their customers. Platforms like Facebook and Snapchat have launched some immersive features, including augmented reality (AR). Therefore, the consecutive years – 2017, 2018, and 2019 have witnessed the launch of multiple features with the only aim to engage users and improve connectivity throughout the world.

“Social media is not just an activity; it is an investment of valuable time and resources. Surround yourself with people who not just support you and stay with you, but inform your thinking about ways to WOW your online presence.” – Sean Gardner, Forbes Social Media Power Influencer 

Below is a quick rundown of top features and formats social media marketers can explore in the year 2020, in case they have missed out.

Facebook

Messenger ads

These ads work like other ads across Facebook platforms to automatically deliver ads to a placement most likely to drive campaign results at a low cost. The creative used for Messenger ads can be reused for Instagram and Facebook. People will see these ads in the Chats tab, and when they tap on an ad, they will be sent to the detailed view with a call to action—which on a click will take them to the destination. It can be a website, app, or conversation.

Instant Experience ads

Call them Instant Experience Ads or a new and improved version of Canvas Ads. It gives an appearance of an immersive, full-screen mobile experience for a business enabling them to showcase their products with a wide-screen view. At first sight, it looks like a normal ad or video, but when you click on it, it redirects to a complete interactive page. For businesses, it will get created by clicking on Ads Manager and adding related details.

Creator Studio

It is a tool that gives marketers a one-stop-shop to post, schedule post, manage, monetize, and measure content across Instagram and Facebook pages. Page admins will be able to schedule video content for up to six months in advance via Creator Studio, and Facebook reports as it is working on new drafting features for videos published on Instagram and IGTV. Creator Studio will likely bring many updates to support brands and people managing content video across Facebook.

“Successful companies in social media function more like entertainment companies, publishers, or party planners than as traditional advertisers.” – Erik Qualman, Best Selling Author and Motivational Speaker

Instagram

Story ads

Story ads on Instagram rolled out two years back. And with no surprise, they are performing well. There are about 500 million accounts that are using this feature, and one of the most viewed stories come from businesses. Last year, Instagram confirmed that it would increase the ad load in the stories by looking at the engagement and response it is generating for official business accounts.

Shoppable posts

Instagram gave online retailers a seamless way to connect with customers. It allowed potential customers to look at the content of the story or post and directly make purchases without leaving the app. Customers can shop from the twenty pictures/products in a carousel, giving the retailers the option to upload the best of their products along with prices, and customers an option to scroll through the variety. To create shoppable posts, businesses will be required to make a Facebook shop account and link it to Instagram.

IGTV

IGTV is a hub on Instagram for watching and creating long-form video content, with a direct connection to the Instagram platform. They stay permanently on the platform and offers the ability to record videos up to an hour-long. IGTV videos show a glimpse first and then take the viewer to the page for watching the complete video. This is a feature that the brands and influencers can leverage to capture engaged audiences. Though there is a standalone app for IGTV, the majority of users access it on Instagram through the “IGTV” tab or “Explore” tab.

Pinterest

Catalogs

The brands can upload multiple products, organize the products by category, and turn the images into dynamic product pins. With the help of the catalog feature, the merchants can create a full product catalog on-site as they have claimed a domain on Pinterest. After the release of catalogs, Pinterest added dedicated sections for showcasing products from specific retailers, allowing shoppers to see more from those retailer brands.

Product ads

Pinterest made Shopping Ads available via Ad Manager, giving advertisers the ability to launch Shopping campaigns through a self-service interface. The feature of “Shop the Look” helps to create shoppable product pins. It helps the merchant to tag the items in the image and redirect to the page from where the user can shop the product.

YouTube

Original content

YouTube has removed the Premium paywall on the original content, making movies, events, and series free with ads for all the viewers. Soon after that, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported that the spending is majorly seen on video ads that feature original content. Since then, advertisers are encouraged to create original video content that caters to the varied interest of the brand’s audience.

Non-skippable 15-second ads

This feature of YouTube is accessible to all advertisers from 2019, but before that, it was only open to those advertisers buying through the YouTube reservation process and its premium Google-preferred network. The option to buy the non-skippable ads can be valuable for branding and reach of the product, and every advertiser can recreate the ads to be shown in the non-skippable environment.

With more people watching YouTube from a big TV screen, the ad unit advises advertisers to target audiences sitting in the living room and streaming YouTube.

Not only this, but there are also many more trends that keep coming up on the board every few months. The world of social media goes through continuous R&D to bring the users and businesses the right advantage of the platform. The curve of engagement and business generation has gone only up and will continue to do so in the coming years, probably. And, to make most of it, users need to hop on to these features and trends as and when they are up.

For new features of Twitter and Snapchat, wait until you see the Part 2 of our 2-part series. In part 2, you will also see how social media is going to take a 360-degree turn in the future.