August Social Spot: Three social updates you NEED to know this month

There are no summer holidays in the world of social media! In fact, August has seen a rise in social media updates. Account Manager Rachel Carroll outlines three big innovations brands can utilise in their own comms.

Update #1: YouTube’s added a new option to cut long form videos into Shorts

YouTube is making it easier for brands to lean into Shorts with its latest update — ‘Edit into a Short’. The feature lets brands convert segments of their existing long-form videos into 60-second Shorts.

For more information on Shorts, read May’s Social Spot here.

Why is this important?

According to YouTube, over 1.5 billion users now consume Shorts every month and with Shorts reportedly reaching a daily average of 30 billion views, it’s a format worth considering!

Not only does this new feature enable brands to increase brand awareness and reach but creating bite-sized clips of standout moments in videos should help boost traffic. Especially because all Shorts include a link back to the original, long-form video, making it easier for viewers to ‘watch more’ than any other channel!

However, for this new update to be successful, it’s vital brands create Shorts carefully, ensuring they have a clear purpose.  For instance, brands should avoid adding a complete summary of the video in one minute as this may deter viewers from watching the full-length clip. Instead, brands should include a funny moment or a teaser as this will have a better chance in enticing viewers to the long-form video.

Update #2: Instagram has announced new videos will be shared as Reels

As discussed in May’s Social Spot, Instagram is putting more focus on short video content by tweaking the ranking algorithm so original content gets better visibility.

The latest update means all video uploads (excluding those over 15 minutes) will automatically become a Reel, whether brands want them to or not. All existing videos, however, will stay the same but will show up in the Reels tab in user’s profiles.

How will this impact engagement?

 Reels is the fastest growing content format in the app and the rising popularity of TikTok means users are now instinctively better aligned to the format. In turn, this new update should have a positive impact on overall engagement levels, especially because Reels have enhanced editing options including adding music, filters and trim clips compared to standard videos.

What’s more, with Instagram testing a new, full-screen display of photos and videos on the main feed (read June’s Social Spot to find out more), uploading standard videos is no longer considered best practice. Instead, brands should be uploading all videos in a 9:16 aspect ratio to ensure it looks right on the feed.

Update #3:  Instagram rolls out new searchable map to make it easier to discover local businesses

Instagram has launched a new map search feature, which will allow users to explore popular tagged locations around them and filter results by specific categories including restaurants, cafes, and beauty salons.

Prior to this update, the map experience on Instagram only included posts but, with this new update, users can search the map, access filtering options, and move the map around to look at what’s nearby. If they find a location they are interested in, they can save it and revisit it in the future. Plus, users can share places via direct messages to friends or groups.

How can brands make the most of this update to maximise exposure?

This new update can offer great value to businesses, particularly small businesses that offer a service, so it’s important to tap into these new discovery options.

To do this, brands must first ensure the business information is correct (address, opening times etc.) and up to date so visitors can tag them in their posts.

Secondly, brands should think about adding ‘Instagrammable’ features to their business such as photo backdrops and visually appealing décor, to encourage guests to share content when visiting. This also includes advertising your Instagram handle on menus/brochures to make it clear to guests who they should tag.

Stay tuned for our monthly Social Spot updates and, if you are looking to enhance your social media strategy, get in touch. 

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