Social Media Hot Topics, August 2016

Caitlin Genoe - 01/09/2016 - 4 mins read - Community Management

August has been a big month in the world of Social Media. For starters, there were plenty of viral videos and huge moments being captured and shared online from the Rio Olympics. Then we witnessed mass panic on Twitter as the #SaveTwitter hashtag kicked up a storm and led people to believe Twitter would shut down. To many people’s delight, Twitter is safe for now! The internet also celebrated International Cat Day and National Dog Day… aww!

Let’s take a look at our top five social media stories for August.

1. The Pokemon Go Aftermath

Pokemon Go took the world by storm back in July and brands clamoured to get a piece of the Pokemon marketing pie. The month of August allowed us to take a step back and have a look at all of the brands who took advantage of this to make timely and successful marketing moves.

Smaller “bricks and mortar” brands were able to use local marketing in their area as a way to attract footfall to their businesses in the real world. Those lucky enough to be close to or located at a Pokestop or Gym saw increases in footfall and sales. Some savvy small businesses used features in the app, such as ‘Lures’, to entice more users inside.

This was also a fantastic opportunity for larger brands to step into the spotlight. For example, Amazon were able to connect their content in a very simple and witty way, capitalising on the battery-draining nature of the app.

2. Instagram Stories

“They’re just copying Snapchat!”

Well, yes. However, to Instagram’s credit, they have managed to offer an alternative to Snapchat that could potentially rival them. Snapchat will always have loyal users, but Instagram Stories offers a great feature to those who don’t already use Snapchat.

It’s possible that brands feel more comfortable on a platform like Instagram and will therefore choose to use the Stories feature exclusively. Credit to Instagram, who have been able to put their own spin on the feature and offer it on an already solid platform. It’s early days yet, but it will be interesting to see how this affects both Instagram and Snapchat.

If you want to see how they weigh up against each other, you can check out our blog post about Instagram Stories..

3. Instagram introduces business profiles

Instagram has started to offer brands business profiles, which allows their profiles to stand out from regular users and offers better insights on the platform.

Instagram has always been a great place for advertisers and brands, however in the past it has lacked its own native analytical tools and ways to measure the impact of posts. This is something that Facebook and Twitter are much better at.

The business profiles feature a contact button, a hub for analytics and a ‘Promote’ tool which allows brands to put their best performing content at the top of newsfeeds.

We reckon this step towards giving brands more metrics and a greater ability to reach users is really positive and could potentially attract more businesses and advertisers to Instagram. It’ll make our lives easier too!

4. WhatsApp shares information with Facebook

WhatsApp have loosened their tight grasp on user privacy. This means that more information can be shared between WhatsApp and parent-company Facebook. By giving user information such as phone numbers, this should make it easier to target ads to Facebook users. Combining the data from both platforms provides a bigger picture, which could be an advantage for brands.

Users have shown their disdain for this, citing fears over data protection, and many want such information to remain exclusively with WhatsApp. However, WhatsApp claim this will make Facebook a better platform for finding friends and providing ads, which are more relevant to them.

We can understand user reluctance and fear about having private information shared in this way. However, ultimately, as a heavy user of Facebook’s advertising services, we’re interested to see the different ways in which brands can use WhatsApp to communicate with users.

5. Twitter DM button on websites

Twitter has always been one of the best (if not the best) channels for social media customer service. Tweets are public, giving brands no place to hide! However, Facebook has been making great strides to provide better customer service options for brands, such as the introduction of Messenger Bots. In an attempt to remain top for customer service, Twitter recently introduced a “message” button that can be embedded into websites. The button allows users to send a Direct Message to a related Twitter handle directly from the site without the need to open Twitter.

While Facebook has similar offerings, Facebook Messenger and Twitter DM integration with websites must signal a threat to Live Chat services that have grown in popularity over the past decade.

Other August Honourable Mentions

Some of our clients

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