social media 2017 year in review

The daily social media grind can be a lot of fun… or it can feel like a chore. But in my opinion, new innovations and tools are what keep it feeling fresh and exciting! Unfortunately, it’s impossible for just one person to stay up to date on all of the changes that happen spanning social media on a daily basis. So if you’ve had your head down, hustling, trying to just get your message out, here are the most important things you may have missed out on.

Instagram Sweetens Up Their Stories

Sorry, Snapchat. Instagram stories are the big winner for 2017. These short videos are more dynamic than your average Instagram post, and have cool built-in effects like their infamous Bomerang and now (finally) stop-motion! And while their face filters may not be as fun as Snapchat, it’s certainly a more active place for brands and millennials alike.

One easy way to start using Instagram Stories is to use it to get your photos more visibility. If your reach has been squashed due to Instagram’s algorithm, stories are another way to get your message out in front of people. Just don’t abuse it or you risk being unfollowed.

And in other news, Facebook stories are a flop (but you never know what 2018 will bring…)

Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Stories 

Facebook Went GaGa Over Groups

Groups have become an integral part of Facebook, whether you’ve noticed it or not. And so Facebook has armed group admins with the tools to make their groups more engaging. This includes more analytics, more controls as to screening members, and scheduled posts.

For those that value community and 2-way conversation over blasting out your message into the new feed, this may be a great tool for you!

Read more: What Facebook’s New Group Features Means For Community Managers 

Twitter Doubles Its Character Count

For us long-winded Tweeters, can I get a hallelujaaaaaahhhhhhhh? Twitter changes its character count from 140 to 280, allowing us all to express ourselves just a little more. And why should you care? Twitter is still here, my friend. And it turns out that people are liking the longer tweets.

Read more: 140 Vs. 280: Users Engage With Longer Tweets Data Shows

Google Gets Updates

For local businesses, this is a BIG one: your local listing can now include posts. Not enough businesses are leveraging this incredible new feature. Thousands of potential customers are stumbling upon your Google listing. These are warm leads for you, so give them a good reason to put down the phone and actually patron your business.

Read more: Google Posts now live for all Google My Business users

Bad Marketers Ruin It For The Rest Of Us

Click baiting, fake news, and those horrible “like this post if you…” posts have the social media police cracking down on all businesses. Bad content not only makes social media a miserable place to be, it also makes your business look bad (ok, really bad).

In the future, anyone using these tactics will be demoted in the news feed and see less reach (less than you’re already getting). So what’s the magic word? Authenticity.

I know it sounds cliché, but whenever you go to post something on social media, ask yourself: would I stop scrolling to read/engage with this post? While you may not be 100% your ideal target market, you are human. And if the post does not appeal to any of your senses (makes you laugh, educates you, entertains you, makes you feel any kind of emotion…) then it’s probably no good.

Read more: Fighting Engagement Bait on Facebook

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