After a difficult year so far, it’s very nearly Christmas and it seems the social platforms have some wonderful gifts for us all!
Over the last couple of weeks, leading social platforms including Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, have all rolled out their brand-new features.
We’re thrilled with the new additions and are optimistic that they’ll really add to the experience of social media - especially for business owners and marketing managers alike.
It’s time to delve into the new features...
First Snapchat, then Instagram, followed by Facebook and now LinkedIn. A ‘Stories’ feature seems to be a staple within social platforms.
(Side note: see below for another new addition to the Stories hype.)
It’s often discussed that LinkedIn isn’t the slickest and most attractive social platform and it is often behind in terms of new features. Arguably LinkedIn has a different objective and audience to other platforms including Instagram and Facebook, so they can be forgiven.
In October 2020, LinkedIn launched its own version of Stories. LinkedIn Stories enables individuals and brand pages to publish their photos, text or short videos which are only viewable within a 24-hour window. The feature is only available through the mobile app so that it stays true to its aim of being an instant way to share a ‘moment’ of your workday without too much thought and prep.
So what can you do with a LinkedIn story?
The premise is very similar to other Stories features. You can take a photo/video, or share a photo/video of up to 20 seconds of duration.
Once the media is added, you can add your text as well as business-related stickers. Plus there is an ‘Ask a Question’ feature and the ability to tag/mention other members including colleagues or contacts.
“That thing you didn’t Tweet but wanted to but didn’t but got so close but then were like nah.
We have a place for that now—Fleets!”
An introduction to the new feature ‘Fleets’ by the creators themselves, Twitter.
Following the same idea as LinkedIn’s previously mentioned feature, Twitter have just rolled out their own ‘stories’ feature to all users. Twitter is the place to go to share your thoughts and opinions, and now Fleets offer a place for users to go to talk about what is happening in the world, or their world, without any pressure to measure their validation against likes and retweets.
As expected, Fleets only stick around for 24 hours and you can find them along the bar at the top of your Twitter feed.
Interested? Here’s what you need to know about creating your Fleet:
- First, take a photo/ video, select a photo/ video from your camera roll or select text only.
- Then you can choose the colour of your background to suit your brand or image.
- Next, it’s time to add your ‘fleeting thought’ with the text option. Currently, there only seems to be one font available, however we expect this to change soon enough.
- Now, we’re slightly upset about this bit… There are no options to add stickers! Gutting, we know.
And now for the star of the show. Instagram Guides!
We’re pretty impressed with this feature and we’ve already started using it for ourselves and incorporating it into our client’s marketing strategies. Following Instagram’s recent release of ‘Reels’ (which was an almost exact reproduction of TikTok), Guides is an innovative concept that is brand new to all social platforms.
To put it simply, Instagram Guides are a way to share a series of posts with commentary, all within one page.
If you’re struggling to get your head around the feature and how you can use it for your brand then just think, 'blog posts'. The idea is to share a ‘guide’ that talks you through a series of images, which is similar to how you might create your blog posts.
Guides offer an extremely simple, quick and effective way to share a step-by-step guide, a new collection of products, or a guide to the best restaurants in a city. There are three different types of Guides:
Places - You can select posts from ‘places’ to recommend locations.
Products - Select posts from Instagram shops to recommend favourite products.
Posts - Here you can curate posts from your own feed or from your saved folder.
An important thing to note is that the media (images/videos) can only be pulled through from live posts on Instagram - therefore you can’t add new images straight from your camera roll directly into the guide.
Sounds great! How do I add a guide?
- If you’re ready to create your first guide then head over to your profile and click the ‘+’ (plus sign) and select Guide from the dropdown.
- Choose which type of guide you’re going to create (as mentioned above).
- Go ahead and select the posts that you want to include your guide.
- Next, you can add the headlines and commentary for each post. Use this to tell the story and tag any accounts that you've featured.
- Once you’ve curated your guide - post it!
Guides will appear on your profile, next to the tabs where posts, IGTV and Reels are located. Once your guide is posted, you can share this straight onto your story for all to see!
Currently, analytics do not appear to be available for Guides, however, we expect this to follow in the future.
But for now, have fun and get creating your guide!