July's Social Shake

July's Social Shake

It’s blue skies and post-Glastonbury blues this month, with social channels rapidly updating to claim their moment in the sun

This summer, it feels like every channel is on a quest to showcase its point of difference. But as society’s hive mind spits out a metronome of demands for each platform, uniqueness becomes increasingly difficult to access. In Snapchat’s bid to rise from the grave and TikTok’s continued ping-pong of trends, new social standards are being set and it’s up to us as marketers to find and define them. So, let’s look at the updates from 2022’s halfway mark.

Snapchat’s shooting
the moon

The ultimate photo-sharing app from your teenage years is on a mission to regain relevance. After a consistent dip in usage, Snapchat is chugging along the charts, launching new features to boost its popularity.

The newest update to join the moment-sharing app’s collection is the Snapchat+ subscription service, which allows users to pay a $3.99 monthly fee and gain access to exclusive in-app features. These include:

  • Custom icons
  • New Snapchat+ profile badges like the friend solar system
  • Insights into friends’ 24-hour location history
  • Details on who viewed your story multiple times
  • Ability to pin someone as your ‘#1 Best Friend’

What does this mean for you?

Many social media managers have declared Snapchat dead in the water for years. Now, the question is whether this new paywall is a sign of a revival or simply a desperate move to gain profit from die-hard fans. Whatever the case, it’s time to put Snapchat back on our radars, both as a platform and as a live experiment in their revival attempts.

Instagram keeps it ‘Reel’

After months of trial and error from Instagram users, the platform has given an inch of the algorithm’s mighty prophecy and offered new tips on how to make your Reels hit home.

  1. Nail the hook. Keep your objectives in mind and highlight your brand within the first few seconds of your Reels.
  2. Get creative with transitions. Imagination is key, so experiment with transitions to both entertain viewers and show off brand personality.
  3. Match the rhythm. Music is a key element in the rise of short-form video, so syncing your content to a beat can play a big role in its performance.
  4. Stay on-trend. Engagement often relies on aligning with the organic feel of users’ feeds, so be aware of the latest trends and hop on them when relevant.
  5. Explore collaborations. Working with experienced creators can be a great way to boost your brand story in ways you likely wouldn’t have thought of on your own.
  6. Be authentic. Authentic content works best in short-form video. In contrast to past social media trends, people are looking for real, unvarnished content in Reels, which can help them to connect with your brand ethos and approach.

What does this mean for you?

Those who are already familiar with TikTok marketing may not meet these tips with surprise, but it’s never a bad idea to create your best practices straight from the horse’s mouth.

TikTok’s around the clock

As if taking up hours of our free time wasn’t enough, TikTok is all over the social media marketing map. The app itself is smooth sailing with its interface, but creators never fail to spark new trends on the daily. Here are a few that caught our eye this month:

Things People Have Said to Me
Try it for yourself: Audio

Put on your dancing shoes! It's time to show off some moves while poking fun at all the questions you receive as an entrepreneur, creator, teacher, chef or social media manager – whatever your choice.

Feel No Ways
Try it for yourself: Audio

This trend is very specific, mixing Drake's "Feel No Ways" audio with the Horace animation filter and using the text tool to spell out a time you "took one for the team".

What does this mean for you?

Experimentation is key, so don’t be afraid to have fun with these quirkier trends. But, if it doesn’t fit your brand to throw an animation of a dancing bald man on your feed, that’s fine too. Regardless, we look forward to seeing the creative (or cringe) ways in which these trends will be utilised at a brand level.

Facebook regroups on group features

In a sea of social media, where most apps look nearly identical, one of the spotlight characteristics of Facebook is its Groups. In fact, this feature is one of the platform’s engagement champions. It’s no surprise that this channel has capitalised on its strengths, focusing on uplifting the Groups’ feature.

The newest update boasts a dedicated notification space for Groups on the app and more options for discussions within these spaces. A sidebar allows users to sort through Groups with new listings, displayed in order of the latest activity.

Group members can now pin Groups, discover new ones and create spaces from available prompts. For those who favour a more intimate conversation setting, Facebook has added Community Chat Channels, audio rooms and topic feeds, which allow Group members to talk in real-time on the main page and in Messenger.

What does this mean for you?

The gobbling of social media features to create the ultimate platform appears to be never-ending. With Facebook highlighting its strengths by drawing from Reddit-esque forum updates, we can only assume that no feature is safe. This update trend simply means that social media managers everywhere can increasingly conquer two platforms with one deep dive.

YouTube experiments
with exclusivity

As the stomping ground for ghost viewers, YouTube is making a play for increased engagement. Its newest update is all about Community Posts, testing out disappearing content and Membership Gifting.

Disappearing posts are the latest sequence in YouTube’s experiment. This feature allows select creators to set a time limit on their Community posts, making the content automatically disappear after 24 or 72 hours. The classic ‘limited time offer’ psychology is expected to enhance engagement from users who want to be in the know.

Membership Gifting allows members of Channels to purchase memberships, which are then distributed to other viewers who are not yet subscribed. Ideally, this would be used as a support measure for creators rather than a gift for friends to build their community.

What does this mean for you?

It doesn’t appear that the name of YouTube’s game is changing quite yet, but this update is a step in the direction of higher engagement on the platform. For now, it may be time for social media managers to take the creation of these new features for what they are – a search for community in online spaces.