SPARKS

February 2021

February 2021 Roundup
We made it through January, and it has absolutely flown here at Hopkins Communications! The year changed and with it, social media: read on to see the updates January brought us.

Google – Partner System

Google’s partner system is changing. Soon, in order to become a partner and get that all-important partner logo, you have to agree to 70% of Google recommendations on your account, or your client’s account. This is an interesting move by Google, and one which is leaving a sour taste in the mouths of many marketers, including some of our specialists, who feel Google’s recommendations don’t always add value to their campaigns, and now feel their hands may be tied.

The industry reaction to this is still to be fully seen. Will marketers move away from becoming Google Partners in order to maximise the value they can derive for clients, or is this the beginning of Google fully automating their ads process?

Linkedin – Stories

Linkedin Stories are getting an upgrade! All Linkedin business pages, plus individual accounts with 5000+ connections or followers, who have their primary button set to ‘follow’, not ‘connect’ (change your button from connect to follow in privacy settings) will be eligible to use the new Instagram style swipe up feature, which is rolling out now!

The swipe-up will allow businesses to link their stories back to their websites and products. This could be a big new player in lead generation and capturing, especially for B2B businesses. Even better, users will be able to access and track statistics on their stories and swipe-up links in the app! Is your business on LinkedIn Stories yet?

Instagram – Dashboard

Instagram are launching a professional dashboard, a move sure to be welcomed by agencies, influencers, and brands, many of whom have been waiting for a more sophisticated insights platform. This is a management overview platform which will provide performance insights and give creators access to tools to help them maximise and monetize their Instagram presence.

The 3 key elements the dashboard will provide insights on are: performance tracking, business growth and educational resources. These are not new features by themselves, as all these insights have been available on Instagram in the past. However, the dashboard is bringing them together and creating a more streamlined, user-friendly experience. Will this dashboard be a useful tool for growth and actionable insights, or is it just a reframe of the existing data?

TikTok – Creator Portal

TikTok and Instagram had the same idea this month, with TikTok also launching a creator portal to provide guidance and tips for creators to maximise their in-app presence. This portal mirrors the educational aspect of Instagram’s new feature – however, it is not an analytics tool. The portal is accessible only through the TikTok website, and is solely an information and education hub. This portal is a fantastic resource for content creators, but also for digital marketers looking to get involved in the growing TikTok ecosystem.

Here you will find information on everything from account set up and community guidelines to content strategy and the creators fund, which pays high profile ‘tiktokers’. Whether you’re looking to start a side hustle as a TikTok superstar, or promoting your brand and products, the creators portal is the place to start.

Facebook – News

This new feature is currently rolling out in the UK but may reach Irish shores soon. Facebook News will serve users the top headlines of the day from ‘Facebook approved’ news sources, while also allowing users to completely customise what news they want to see. To control your news, you can remove any stories and sources you don’t wish to see. News will be stored in highlight collections – for example the Covid-19 news collection – which contains stories from major sources covering the non-stop Covid news cycle.

This tailored form of news is, as you might imagine, causing some controversy as many question Facebook controlling news distribution (fake news anyone?) and actively tailoring feeds (more openly than usual). However, utilising trustworthy and authoritative sources may help keep Facebook News honest and may contribute to the revitalisation of Facebook’s platform! Anyone taking bets?

Let Us Know About Future ‘Sparks’

That’s all from us this month, folks! If you’re looking for a bit of innovation or a ‘spark’ of your own for your next campaign, don’t hesitate to reach out and get in touch – just email [email protected].

For more on our digital offering, take a look at our Digital Marketing services or follow us wherever you get your social: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.