Social in Short

Social in Short: June 2021

Each month, our team of social experts dig through the trenches of the internet to find the biggest, best and most important news coming out of the social platforms we and our clients use daily.

Instagram Creator Week Recap

Instagram hosted its first ever Creator Week: a three-day, invite-only virtual conference for creators meant to provide resources for growing their audiences and businesses. 

Instagram Tests New Affiliate Tool

One of the most significant updates launched during Creator Week is Instagram’s new affiliate tool. Starting with a small test pool of US creators and businesses, the new tool will provide an opportunity for creators to earn commission on products they share with followers. Products eligible for commission must be available for purchase in-app through Instagram checkout. 

What it means for brands: For now, the affiliate tool is only available to some select creators, and we don’t have more information on a full rollout timeline. Long term, the update will offer yet another opportunity for brands to increase sales across the platform and a more concrete way to see conversions on influencer initiatives. 

Instagram Allows Shopping Link in Personal Profiles

With Instagram’s latest release, all creators can now add shopping links to their personal profiles. This function was previously reserved for business accounts.

What it means for brands: This update could be helpful for expanding reach and collecting data, particularly for small businesses. Brands linking their shop(s) to their personal page could increase product engagement with their followers and allow for more tracking on where those purchases originate.

Tipping and Bonus Mechanisms Incentivize Creators

Instagram and Facebook “tipping” mechanisms, known as Badges and Stars, released late last year to help creators continue to earn revenue through Live content. Updates unveiled during Creator Week now create additional opportunities for creators to earn even more. Creators can now earn bonuses for hitting specified goals, such as sharing Reels, going Live with another account and more. 

What it means for brands: Incentivizing creators is a great way for Instagram and Facebook to encourage more engaging content and reward creators for community-building. And better content benefits everyone, from viewers seeking entertainment to brands introducing or optimizing influencer marketing efforts.

Pinterest Rolls Out the Shopping List

In addition to expanding shoppable pins to Australia, Canada, France and Germany, in early June, Pinterest also launched its Shopping List feature, available now in the US and UK. Users can pin their favorite shoppable items to one list so they can keep on browsing and purchase later. Think of it as an add-to-cart with less commitment. The Shopping List allows users to compare their saved products and evaluate options prior to buying.

What it means for brands: Pinterest’s internal data shows that users are 7x more likely to buy products they have saved on the platform. And they spend more. A report from Dyanata for Pinterest shows that “people who visit Pinterest weekly outspent non-Pinners by 2x every month and have an 85% larger basket size.” So, while its audience may be much smaller than Instagram or Facebook, Pinterest is making moves to increase shopability and profitability for brands using the platform. 

Pandemic-Related Insights from Social Platforms

As more and more people become vaccinated, platforms like Pinterest and Snapchat have recently released insights on how users are planning to (or not to) return to normal. 

Snapchatters Have Already Gone Back to Normal

Snapchat found its users are more likely to return to pre-pandemic activities that involve seeing friends and family, such as eating out at restaurants, going to movies or live events more than non-Snapchat users. Users are also outpacing non-users when it comes to making summer travel plans. This is no surprise considering Snapchat’s audience is primarily Gen Z. 

What it means for brands: Brands that are experientially focused (dining, live events, travel and tourism, etc.) should consider Snapchat geo-filters or uploading to local stories to engage with patrons. 

Pinners Embrace the “New” Normal 

Pinterest users, on the other hand, while thrilled to see people, are more apprehensive about the world opening and believe that the pandemic inspired positive life changes. More time with family. New hobbies. Healthy lifestyle shifts. Again, this is no surprise considering Pinterest’s female, Millennial-heavy audience. Pinterest outlined five consumer personas and how their search habits indicate the last year has changed them for the better. 

What it means for brands: Brands that embrace their consumers’ personal growth over the past year will resonate with this audience. And while the world is re-opening, brands shouldn’t just go back to pre-pandemic messaging, but rather tweak communications to be supportive of where their audience is.

Other updates of note

Looking for previous issues of Social in Short?