By: Jessica Austin, eLocal Social Media Manager
Social media is constantly evolving. It seems like every day a new platform, widget or feature is being rolled-out. Staying on top of the revolving door of trends is imperative in order to reach consumers in new ways. Consumers today have short attention spans so messages need to be easily-digestible and effective. Social media is the paradigm of rapid consumer intake. Just think of how long your eyes rest on a single Instagram post or Facebook image. A quick flick of a finger and you’re on the next piece of content.
This week saw the announcement of two somewhat counter intuitive changes to popular social media platforms. First, Twitter caused a mini uproar by announcing it was expanding the character count for tweets to 280. In a world where #140characters has become a standard way of thinking, many are still wrapping their head around what this means for them. Next, Instagram announced that users could now use content older than 24 hours in their popular Instagram Stories. While these changes have some baffled, if used correctly, they can be a positive addition to your social media marketing plan.
Twitter expands to 280 characters
Although this may seem like a breath of fresh air, don’t run out and start tweeting novellas just yet. A study conducted before the official launch found that many users in the test group quickly grew tired of the bigger limit and went back to more concise tweeting. This new freedom should be celebrated, and then reigned in.
Here are smart ways to utilize the new wiggle room:
All social media marketers know that feeling of having so much amazing stuff to say and so little space to say it. Even after you cut out words and change all the “ands” to “&”s and abbreviate the content to within an inch of its life, that pesky character counter is still red. Now is your chance to make sure your content includes all that relevant information you had to leave out before. Hosting an event? Add all the juicy particulars. Launching a new product? Throw in all the enticing attributes. However, don’t go wild with your character count just because you can. As always, KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid).
So you managed to fit all the information in there but had no room to tag all the awesome people related to it. Tags and mentions are critical to building a following, encouraging re-tweets and increasing overall engagement. Use that extra space to include relevant people, places and things that may have missed the cut before.
Like tagging, hashtags themselves are a vital tool in any marketing strategy. With a little extra space, you can now up your hashtag game. Hash-tagging is a strategy so make sure you approach it that way. Use only what is appropriate, has a larger, goal-driven purpose and always make sure to research, research, research.
Instagram Stories Grow Up
The 24-hour limit on Instagram Stories is no more. You can now upload photos and videos to your Story that are more than a day old. Instagram nixed the limit after hordes of people found workarounds. Though the original idea of a disappearing story format made users feel like they were following along real time, Instagram found that users were eager to dive deeper into their library
While this may not seem like a huge change, it deserves thought and planning from a strategic standpoint. Instagram Stories are best used to give your followers a behind-the-curtain glimpse into your business. Showcase behind-the-scenes looks of your products or your team that make your business relatable and engaging.
Prior to the change, Stories were also a great way to promote very limited specials, deals and coupons. It’s still an effective option for this but be extra careful and deliberate with your timing.
Most importantly, keep the content relevant. You now have access to your entire library; that doesn’t necessarily mean you should use it.
Is your social media plan up to snuff? Don’t have a plan at all? Contact us to learn about our social media marketing plans and how we can help you grow your brand, engage your customers and increase sales.
E-Local Solutions specializes in marketing your business via the digital marketplace. We use search engine optimization, social and review promotion, and Email marketing for all types of businesses from local to global. We utilize various digital marketing techniques to increase your Internet presence, optimize your traffic and generate new business.