The Digital Round Up - May 2021

We round up some of May's biggest social media stories.

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Social media has the power, the platform, the audience AND the appeal to dominate headlines across media platforms. Whether it’s online or in traditional media, the need and desire for the latest social media stories is paramount across the board. So, if you’re looking for the place to read about the latest social media news stories, then you’ve come to the right digital marketing agency. For May's digital round up, we are looking at the biggest social media stories from the past month.

Hide & Seek - Instagram introduce the option to hide likes.

After selective testing over the past couple of years, the option to hide the number of likes you get on a post has now been rolled out globally by Instagram. Initially tested in 2019, Instagram said the aim was to remove pressure on users, and now the feature is available for the masses. When announcing the introduction of the feature, Instagram noted it was all about trying to “depressurise people’s experience” whilst they spend time on the social media platform. Rather than enforcing the feature on everyone, it has been introduced as an option, with Instagram boss, Adam Mosseri, stating “the spirit of this is to give people a choice”. So, how does it work? Now, instead of seeing the total number of like’s that a post has, when the feature is turned on it will instead say that the post has been liked by ‘others’. The original account still sees how many likes that their post has got, and if someone really, really wanted to, they could comb through a post and see everyone who has liked it and count up the total themselves – but who’s got the time for that?

Good idea? Well, the jury is still out. Whilst the feature was added in a bid to help the mental health of users, trying to help them feel better about the time they spend on Instagram as opposed to worrying about likes – there are some who have questioned the new feature’s use. Many brands and influencers have had issues with the feature since it was first introduced in its testing stage. They felt that the like count metric is vital in communicating value to brand partners and helps to validate a brand or influencers worth – metric worth, not human worth may I add… It's of course far too early to tell what impact - if any - that hiding likes will have for how users feel about posting content and flicking through their feeds. In the spirit of choice, as Mosseri put it, I guess only time will tell.

Out of the blue - Twitter to roll out new social subscription service, 'Twitter Blue'.

If you’re like me and you sometimes make a typo or two (or five), then great news – a brand new Twitter subscription service called 'Twitter Blue’ is looking increasingly likely to be coming very soon to your timeline. Whilst there has been no ‘official’ confirmation just yet, it has been widely speculated that Twitter has been working on a subscription service behind closed doors, as first uncovered by Jane Manchun Wong. Now, Twitter’s App Store listing has been updated to include the in-app purchase listed as the mysterious ‘Twitter Blue’ for £2.49 – seemingly proving Wong’s investigative tweeting correct. Whilst the service isn’t available even after the latest iOS updates, all the stars seem to be aligning, suggesting it will be available very soon.

Twitter has been looking to further monetise its platform – telling Bloomberg in February that they will be considering ways to do so. Currently, the vast majority of revenue comes from Twitter ads, which increased last year, whilst the growth in users has slowed down – prompting Twitter to research and develop sustainable profit. Previously Twitter had announced ‘Super Follow’ – a creator subscription that allows users to subscribe to their favourite content creators on Twitter for access to exclusive content and supporter badges behind a paywall. Between ‘Super Follow’ and ‘Twitter Blue’, it would suggest that those in charge are going all in on monetising the timeline. But whilst ‘Super Follow’ has been announced along with its perks, what will ‘Twitter Blue’ feature? Wong’s scoop seemed to uncover some of the potential features, including the ability to ‘undo’ tweets for those typo-prone users, and the ability to bookmark tweets and organise them into ‘collections’. Really getting your monies worth with this subscription service… Whether or not more features will be added remains to be seen, but brace yourselves as I think you can expect to see some kind of official confirmation coming very soon. Still no sign of the ‘edit’ tweet function just yet though.

Playing catch up - 6 / 10 UK Businesses don't use Social Media to promote their businesses.

And finally, in news that should make you feel more confident about your competition, a staggering 6 out of 10 businesses still don’t use social media to promote their business and expand their customer base.

The poll, administrated by Adzooma, was sent out to 500 small to medium sized business owners across the UK, with the results coming back proving to be a shock for many. As well as the 6 / 10 who don’t use social media, more than a quarter of the 500 surveyed don’t post on Facebook despite it becoming more and more important for businesses to use as a marketing tool. I mean, 55% of customers will look at social media profiles to help inform their purchase (IBM). That’s a huge figure to just ignore, so why would you? Well, the survey also pointed out that 40% of those businesses were almost completely unaware of how best to market their business. Manpower, ability, timekeeping, it's important to note that all of these factors may contribute to the lack of social media presence for many small business owners across the UK. Trying to successfully run and manage a business - especially within this past year - is no easy feat, and for many there just isn't enough time in the day to even think about creating a social media presence, let alone managing it and running it well.

There is hope in here though, nearly half that were polled did admit they could be making more sales if they marketed themselves online and across social media properly. Adzooma director and co-founder, David Sharpe, said of the results that “Marketing your business online to be seen and gain greater client exposure is so invaluable in today’s market. Having no online presence at all can pose a huge risk to sales and long-term relationships. It’s understandable that business owners struggle with this part of the process, as they’re not necessarily marketers.” Well, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

So, if by chance you’re one of those small business owners who weren’t sure how to make the most of social media and how to market themselves online, you’re in the right place. Minto are here to help. We do know how to get the best out of social media, and we know how to market online. Get in touch today to take the first steps your business needs in order to make the most of the online world.

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