SMM NOW: Top News and Trends in Social Media and Digital Marketing (Vol. 1)

8 min read

Staying up-to-date on the top highlights and trends in social media news is crucial in SMM and digital marketing.

(Plus, besides being legit research for work, some of the crazy stunts that go on in social media are pretty entertaining.)

A really easy way to catch up on big trends in social media and digital marketing is with mini SMM news segments on YouTube, especially the #SocialRecap. Each Recap briefly fills viewers in on top highlights and trends in social and online marketing from the past 1-2 weeks. Episodes run about 6-10 minutes, quickly going through topics that have been making headlines in the world of social media marketing.

Basically, press play and catch up on recent SMM-related news!

Forgot your headphones? Read about the top social media news and digital marketing trends below.

1. Burger King discovers the perfect Whopper recipe on Instagram Stories

Burger King recently came up with a great Instagram campaign in Spain that might have helped them discover how to make a perfect Whopper. They polled their audience through Instagram Stories, asking them to customize their ideal whopper using ingredient stickers.

In just one day, BK Spain had over 270,000 brand interactions, and more than 30,000 Whoppers were created through Instagram Stories. And the campaign had so much social media reach, that it even grew their amount of followers by 10% overnight!

The perfect Whopper, based on data from the Burger King Instagram polls, must have: 2 patties, cheese, bacon, ketchup, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. The most important thing, at least in Spain, is to hold the pickles.

The campaign was a great success – beyond the overnight increase in audience engagement, they were also able to take the data and use it for in-store customer acquisition by turning it into a real burger. You can buy the InstaWhopper at Burger Kings everywhere in Spain for 7 Euro.

2. Insta users will be able to post directly from their Feed to Stories – finally

Instagram stories display of avatars

Speaking of Instagram, if you’re a user who only posts directly to the feed, you might want to give Stories another look, especially since it has now reached over 300 million daily active users. Which is why Instagram is trying to make it easier for users to post from their Instagram feed directly to Stories.

Soon, when scrolling through your Instagram feed, if you see something interesting, you’ll be able to just tap on ‘Share’ and then select ‘Create a story with this post’. The name of the original poster will be visible and linked in the Story. So far, this update will let users create stories from posts by other users in their feed, and not from their own feed posts.

3. Facebook Stories has reached 250 million daily active users… time to bring in the ads!

Stories aren’t just growing on Instagram.

In just 14 months since its launch, Facebook Stories now has over 150 million daily active users. The numbers look so promising that, of course, it’s time for the platform to try to profit from the feature with advertisements and developing FB Stories even further.

4. Voice posts coming soon to FB Stories

Some of these developments include updates for Facebook Story voice posts, letting users save photos & videos taken with FB’s Camera directly in Facebook, instead of on their phones – as well as Facebook Story Ads.

Facebook Story voice posts will let users record audio clips for their Facebook Stories that they can then share with a picture. Or they can upload an audio file and post it as a Story.

Facebook Story ads are being tested in the US, Mexico & Brazil. Right now, these are 5-15 second video ads that don’t contain any links, which users are free to skip. Advertisers can easily cross post their Instagram Story Ads to Facebook Stories, or they can automatically reformat their Facebook News Feed ads to get them ready for Facebook Stories.

5. IG lets brands turn organic posts into Ads

The surge in popularity of Stories doesn’t mean that Facebook and Insta are going to give up on their other features, especially since most advertisers currently advertise outside of Stories.

Instagram is coming out with a new feature that will let advertisers turn their organic Instagram posts into ads within Facebook’s Power Editor and Ads Manager.

Previously, advertisers had been restricted to the “Promote” button, which is IG’s answer to the “Boost” button on Facebook. But now, they will be able to use FB’s Ads Manager & Power Editor. At the moment, advertisers will be able to create ads from single video & single photo feed posts. Stories, Carousel, Branded Content, and Instagram Shopping Ads won’t be supported yet.

6. Facebook is creating its own influencer marketing platform to match brands with influencers

Influencer marketing is one of those phrases that you hear everywhere now, especially when you think about Instagram influencer marketing, YouTube influencer marketing, Twitter influencer marketing, TikTok Influencer marketing, and, of course, Facebook influencer marketing.

A German website called AllFacebook recently spotted a new tool on Facebook that is designed to help companies find the right influencers for their brands. It’s called “Branded Content Matching”.

There are 3 main components in the tool: Search, Saved Lists, and Suggested Creators.

The “Search” filter will help you find influencers based on their audience and personal demographics. So, you could look for a content creator who is influential among young women, and is herself a young woman.

The “Saved Lists” provide more information about your potential influencers. You can view them according to engagement, views per video, or take a look at their portfolio.

“Suggested Creators” looks like it’s going to be a list of potential influencers based on the search information that you provide, and your saved lists.

By helping its users cash in on the time that they spend on their platform, FB not only encourages the creation of better content (at least for brands), but also increases the amount of time that users will spend on their site.

And with the introduction of Facebook Story Ads, a lot of businesses might need a hand getting started with the new format. Matching them with content creators who specialize in this may be the perfect solution.

7. Snap is thinking outside of the circle and testing a 16:9 export format for SnapChat Spectacles



A post shared by Snapchat Spectacles (@snapchatspectacle) on

Snapchat Spectacles are those nifty little camera sunglasses that you can use for photo and video-recording. The snaps look cool inside SnapChat, but seem kind of awkward when you have to export them in circular format with a big white border to other apps. How many other apps use a circular format?!

That’s why Snap is testing new export formats for their Spectacles. Instead of a white border, you can choose a black border, and more importantly, you can also select a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is a lot more popular on YouTube and other video platforms. Making the Spectacles more compatible with other platforms will, hopefully, make them more appealing to a wider audience, especially since the first version only sold 220 thousand pairs, which was well below projections.

8. Google Assistant may or may not inform you when it’s recording your calls

Google Assistant working on a smartphone

Google Assistant is getting smarter and smarter – the technology has even learned how to make appointments for you over the phone. Well, GA sounds so lifelike, that Google will now require its Assistant to identify itself as Google Assistant at the beginning of every call. And calls will be recorded so that customers can review the conversations.

Google will alert those on the receiving end of the phone call in certain jurisdictions, that they’re being recorded. Many states require consent from both parties if a phone conversation is going to be recorded, to protect the invasion of privacy. Hopefully, Google Assistant will notify everyone it calls that they’re being recorded, not just the recipients that it has to.

Top social media news from SMM and digital marketing (June 1, 2018)

Hope you enjoyed Volume 1 of SMM NOW, our new recurring column on the top social media and digital marketing news stories of the week!

And remember: whenever you feel like taking a break from reading, you can also watch or listen to a quick recap of weekly trending headlines from the world of social media marketing with the #SocialRecap on YT. (Or if you’re *really* strapped for time, you can also check out the FB mini Recap, which is 1-2 minutes long – just the headlines, plus a few fun facts.)

Any other topics that you think we should cover? Feel free to let us know in the comments section below. We’ll be listening!

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