In order to build a flexible social media strategy you first need to know whats going on with the social platforms. Are there any new features? How do the algorithms work? How can I utilize this into my strategy?

This is an important thing to do, not only before creating your own social media marketing strategy, but also on a weekly and sometimes daily bases. Why? Because social media is constantly changing and improving.

So, to help you get ahead of the game, here are some important social media news and updates you need to know about:

Hashtags & Profile Links in Bio

Instagram has introduced hashtags and profile links in bio. They said this new update will give “a new way to express yourself and the things you care about. Now when you include a # or @ in your bio, they become live links that lead to a hashtag page or another profile.”

So whether you’re a #guitarlover, into #pencilsketching or have a #makeuptutorial account, now you can link to any hashtag or profile you want.

To add a hashtag or profile link in your bio, just tap on Edit Profile and go to the bio section. When you type a # or @, you will see a list of recommended hashtags and accounts in the typeahead. Once you select the hashtags and accounts you want, they will automatically be linked in your bio.

When you mention someone else’s profile in your bio, they will receive a notification. They can choose to remove the link from their profile. Their profile will remain in your bio but without a link.

Ideas on How to Use This

This isn’t for everyone. There are some people I know that don’t find this new feature useful. That’s not a bad thing, in fact if this doesn’t benefit you at all I would recommend not adding hashtags and profile links to your bio. But if you find this to be useful then here are some examples to help you out:

Profile Link

  • A realtor has his/her own Instagram page and wants to direct their followers to their real estate companies profile page. Add the profile link in your bio so they can get a direct link to it.
  • You just created an Instagram account for your bakery. You want to drive traffic to it. Use your personal profile (which already has followers) to direct your users to the bakery page. Add that bakery profile link to your personal page bio.

Hashtags

  • If you use a hashtag on a regular bases and want to direct other users to that specific hashtag page then add it in your bio to make it easy for them.
  • You’re running a contest where your followers have to post a picture or video of themselves wearing your product. You require your followers to use a specific hashtag so you know they participated. Add the hashtag in your bio so they know what the hashtag is when visiting your profile. That way they don’t have to scroll through your profile feed to find it.
  • If you are crowdsourcing for content, have your followers use a specific hashtag (place it in your bio) on their posts so you can pull their posts from the hashtag page.

“New Post” Button

It can feel unexpected when your feed refreshes and automatically bumps you to the top. So Instagram is now testing a “New Posts” button that lets you choose when you want to refresh, rather than it happening automatically. Tap the “new post” button and you’ll be taken to new posts at the top of feed — don’t tap, and you’ll stay where you are. Simple as that. They believe this will make browsing Instagram much more enjoyable.

Instagram Algorithm

Instagram is also making changes to ensure that newer posts are more likely to appear first in feed. With these changes, your feed will feel more fresh, and you won’t miss the moments you care about. So if your best friend shares a selfie from her vacation in Australia, it will be waiting for you when you wake up. Over the next few months, Instagram will be sharing more about improvements they’re making to the feed. Their goal is to be the best place to share and connect with the people and interests that matter most to you.

Twitter is introducing an easy way to Tweet your brief moment of what matters most from longer, live videos. Twitter says of this new feature, “Sometimes, we want to draw attention to the specific moment in a live video that made us think, surprised us, or made us laugh. Previously, we could only Tweet an entire live video, which made it difficult to discuss what matters most. We saw people Tweeting with the specific time in the video directing us to the part they wanted us to watch.”

So, Twitter has built Timestamps which lets anyone Tweet a live or replay video starting from the exact moment they want to discuss.

Twitter Timestamps

Sharing Timestamps is easy. When you tap to share a live video, you can easily slide back to the exact time you want your audience to watch. From there, add your thoughts, and Tweet it to the world.

Anyone seeing your Tweet will start watching at the time within the video you shared. If the broadcast is still live, they can easily skip to what’s happening by tapping “live” at any time. The feature is available for any live video, whether from a professional content publisher or someone broadcasting from their phone.

LinkedIn announced two major updates that let you use sight, sound and motion to tell more compelling stories: Video for Sponsored Content and Company Pages.

Video for Sponsored Content

Video for Sponsored Content lets you engage with business decision-makers throughout the buyer’s journey on Linkedin.

Unlike pre- or post-roll video ads, video for Sponsored Content ads live directly on the news feed as standalone posts.

Video for Sponsored Content helps you achieve your marketing objectives across the funnel by:

  • Building brand awareness by telling visual stories in the premium context of LinkedIn
  • Driving traffic to your desktop or mobile website, and
  • Collecting high-quality leads with a persistent “call to action” button or through the integrated Lead Gen Forms product.

What’s more, LinkedIn’s integrated tools that LinkedIn marketers love, including Matched Audiences, Lead Gen Forms, and Conversion Tracking for video to help their achieve their goals.

They’ve also begun serving impressions not just on mobile, but also on desktop.

Take Note: On average, LinkedIn members spend almost 3x more time watching video ads compared to time spent with static Sponsored Content.

Company Pages

LinkedIn’s also making video sharing available for all companies and publishers. With Company Page video, organizations can now share first-hand looks into their:

  • Culture
  • Products
  • News
  • Events to attract talent
  • Drive engagement & conversation with professional audiences right from their Company Page on LinkedIn.

Take Note: Company Page video is 5x more likely than other types of content to start a conversation among members, based on results in our beta program.

Onward and Upward

Start utilizing these new features into your strategies so you stay ahead of the pack. Remember, if you don’t, there will be others who implement them and already be ten steps ahead of you. So act now before you are left behind.