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S.M.I.L.E. in July 2020

Welcome to the July 2020 edition of the Social Media Innovation List Email, or SMILE! Here are resources to help keep you up to date on the latest announcements, articles, features and reports related to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest… and more.

eMarketer: Social Media Update Q2 2020

This latest update of their quarterly report covers new ad revenue forecasts for the major platforms, a prediction on whether the pandemic-related gains in social network usage will persist, and addresses whether or not the Facebook Boycott will have an impact on the platform’s revenue this year. (Long story short: not likely.) They also discuss the latest feature releases, focus areas, and audience data for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.

Report: Activism on Social Media

Pew Research Center discusses how experiences and attitudes related to political activities on social media vary by race, age, and party. Taken from a survey of US adults conducted last month, they asked Americans about four different types of activities: whether they have posted a picture to show support of a cause, looked for information about rallies or protests in their area, encouraged others to take action on issues, and used hashtags related to political or social issues. There have been shifts in how some users view social media’s role in activism from 2018 to today, according to these findings.

The Inside Story on the Twitter Hack

If you haven’t heard: this week, hackers were able to take control of prominent verified Twitter accounts belonging to Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Elon Musk and others. While the investigation continues into what happened and how it happened, The New York Times was able to interview four people involved in the attack from the inside. This recount explains how the hackers were brought together, and where the idea from the scheme stemmed from. The security incident has prompted a full security review from Twitter, which you can read more about here.

Facebook Tool to Help Businesses with CCPA

Called Limited Data Use, this feature lets companies limit how Facebook processes information about people in California. There will be an initial transition period where the feature is automatically enabled through July 31st, and after that date – businesses must decide whether to implement the feature long-term, or not.

Facebook Messenger Adds Screen Sharing Capability

Users can share their mobile device screen with other people during one-on-one chats or in a group video call with up to eight participants via Messenger Rooms. Previously, screenshare was only available via the Desktop version of Facebook Messenger.

Social Listening: Why the Pandemic is Sparking New Use Cases

Because consumers are using social media more heavily than ever before, social listening is evolving (again) as an important part of media strategy. It can help marketers keep tabs on real-time trends and audience sentiment—an important benefit at a time when consumers are demanding more information from the brands they care about. As this report says: “Social listening is, literally, a way to say ‘We hear you.’”

Simmons Leverages TikTok to Target Young Consumers

The 150-year old mattress company recently developed a campaign aimed at targeting Gen Z shoppers with products under a $500 price point. This interview with their head of marketing talks through the campaign’s strategy, their shift from TV to an almost 100% social/digital mix, and why they felt TikTok was the perfect partner for the job.

Instagram Expands TikTok Clone To New Markets

Reels, which launched last year in Brazil, is now available in France and Germany as well. With this release, they also relocated the new feature to a dedicated space in a user’s profile and in Explore, making it easy for people to create and share with their followers. Instagram has not yet said when they plan to release Reels globally or within the U.S., but it’s likely coming after they are able to further test and expand the functionality of the product.

Instagram On Pace to Overtake Twitter as a News Source

According to new data from Reuters, a similar percentage of users now turn to Instagram for news as much as they do Twitter. This is especially true among younger audiences, who prefer visual storytelling formats over text.

Snapchat Lets Some Brands Have Profiles

Currently in closed beta, “Brand Profiles” can offer a permanent place for companies to interact directly with Snapchat’s audience. The new feature will let brands showcases AR Lenses, highlight their best public snaps, share Stories, and include an optional store experience for users to browse and purchase products directly within the app. Brands who are approved for the program will also get access to new mobile and web management tools and analytics.

Snapchat Launches First Mini-App with Headspace

In June, Snapchat announced the upcoming “Mini” feature and shared that they are micro-versions of full apps, built within Snapchat, and accessible to users without requiring a separate app-download. This week, the first version is going live in partnership with Headspace. It allows users to engage in guided meditation sessions with friends, directly from the chat screen.

Pinterest: 2020 Media Agency Guide

This new report includes statistics, insights and information on all aspects of Pinterest, including how the platform influences purchase decisions, the various ad formats available, and what makes a good Pin. If you’re looking for a comprehensive overview of capabilities and best practices for the platform: this is a great resource.

Reddit Adds Image Galleries

The platform’s new feature lets users post up to 20 images or GIF’s in a single post from any device. While this seems a little obvious, before this update users were limited to only being able to accomplish multi-photo posts on a desktop computer, on the latest version of the platform, using a tool called the Fancy Pants Editor (yes, for real.)

Predictions: Social Media Marketing Post-COVID

In this article, social media professionals came together to discuss what the future might look like for people working in this field. They predicted that social media jobs and creativity skills will be more valued, video content will continue to rise in popularity, authenticity remains important (as does honesty, empathy and social consciousness), social listening and community engagement will have a resurgence in importance, and we’ll be required to adapt to new technologies faster as consumer needs evolve.

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