Have you heard the buzz over what social media marketing can do for your business, but are overwhelmed by all the new features and updates?

If you’ve ever felt like while you’re sleeping your favorite social networks changed the way you can share and promote your business, you’re not alone.

As one of the fastest changing industries, it makes sense to find yourself a little lost sometimes.

For the marketer, entrepreneur, social media guru, or small business owner that wants to stay on the leading edge of social media (and also get some sleep), we’re here to provide a weekly list of the mostly rad, sometimes tricky, updates to your favorite social media platforms.

1. Interactive Face Filters via Instagram

Instagram took a page straight out of Snapchat’s book with the brand new “interactive” face filters. Now you can hide your face while ‘storying’ (perfect right?)

Takeaway for your business: This is a chance to show your followers your fun side, not to be used inappropriately or too frequently.  If you are celebrating an anniversary, partnership, company event or are participating in a local event; that is when these filters would be ideal.   

2. Instagram Links via Direct Message

Instagram has made it possible to send links via Direct Message now, something that was not possible prior to this week.

Takeaway for your business: This makes brand promotion, outreach, and general interactions with followers far less complicated than before.  

3. The Hashtag Sticker via Stories via Instagram

It can be described as a new way to draw people into your account, by including something like a branded hashtag in your story, viewers check out all your other posts with this same hashtag.

Takeaway for your business: This will be a huge resource for businesses who have been feeling the loss of likes and followers since stories have grown so much in the past year, they can now draw in a potentially larger audience by bringing their story viewers to their latest posts.  

4. Location Based Stories Feature via Instagram

With the new “location” based story feature from Instagram, you can now post a story to your city or current location so that people in your area can see the latest and greatest! This is the perfect place to promote your business.  

Takeaway for your business: Since the creation of stories, personal accounts and business accounts have experienced a loss of followers, likes, and engagement.  You can now show off promotions and products while marketing to local audiences faster than ever.

5. Personal, Group, or Private Stories via Snapchat

Snapchat Inc. is still trying to wow us and aren’t letting Instagram’s additions intimidate them into a hole of commonality. They have added a new feature to their stories to create personal, group, or private stories. Instead of posting to your public story (for all of your followers) to see, you can now personally select which people will be able to see a set picture and then it will disappear as always.  

Takeaway for your business: For local businesses, interest groups and partnerships drive their outreach and growth in the area.  If you can market your Snapchat account to a similar interest base, the creation of personal stories to these specific businesses/people could create an all new type of brand equity. Tip: Release exclusive promotional and sale codes this way, it will drive people to join and keep up with the account!

6. New Filtering Function for News Sources via Facebook

Facebook has taken on fake news and created a new filtering function that will provide us with a variety of news sources.

Takeaway for your business: This is an extremely overwhelming feeling for a lot of business because having the proper sources, posts, and being published in the right places is important for brand equity.  

7. Joint Facebook Live

The other potentially fun and really cool feature is a joint Facebook Live, this is going to be huge for partnerships.  

Takeaway for your business: You can partner with influencers in the area, other businesses, or have employees jump on the live!  This is going to change the way that business interact with their customers.  Engagement is extremely difficult to maintain on these live feeds. This new feature could potentially take your views even higher with the right promotion and partners.

Social Media Discovery of the Week

After laying out the latest in updates and features of our favorite social media platforms, we wanted to include something that will make your life a whole lot easier as a marketer or business owner.

Adobe Spark  is a designing tool that will help you create a variety of customizable and beautiful social media posts. The platform just released a video feature specifically tailored for Instagram stories. You can now create video sized for Stories with images, video clips, music, and themes that can then be downloaded and shared. Utilizing this feature will give you the ability to create video content with neat effects and that professional looking touch.

Stay tuned for next week’s recap of the latest and greatest social media updates!