Social in Short

Social in Short: May 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 Adds Caption Sticker to Stories

Instagram launched a caption sticker functionality in Stories, with plans to add it to Reels soon. Users can upload their videos and add the sticker to convert speech to text. The sticker allows users to watch Stories without sound, creating a better experience for those with hearing impairments and allowing all users to watch on silent.

What it means for brands: This is a win for accessibility. Brands that start using the sticker on a regular basis will not only be able to communicate with a wider range of consumers directly, but also convey their commitment to inclusion and accessibility.

TikTok Challenges Facebook’s In-app Shopping

This month, several major platforms made strides in ecommerce. TikTok is testing in-app shopping capabilities that are meant to rival Facebook and Instagram’s in-platform product browsing and purchasing functions. The functionality will keep users within their ecosystem by creating dedicated stores for brands, where consumers can order directly within TikTok. Unlike the in-platform selling on Instagram where there’s a fee for selling products, TikTok plans to take a commission on sales.

What it means for brands: Brands are already thriving on TikTok, but if this integration is as seamless as TikTok promises, this will create a shortcut from consideration to decision for consumers.

Facebook Nudges Brands to Try Live Shopping Events

Facebook debuted its summer-long initiative of “Live Shopping Fridays” events meant to encourage brands to consider using live shopping as a medium for amplification (digital version of QVC, anyone?). Over the course of seven weeks, brands like Abercrombie and Fitch, Bobbi Brown and Sephora will be live-streaming on Fridays with influencers showcasing products that consumers can buy directly from the stream.

What it means for brands: While mostly beauty, fashion and skincare brands are participating in this first round of live-streams, we could easily see this working for direct-to-consumer CPG brands who are engaging influencers to taste test and endorse their product.

Sprout Social Says Don’t Post on the Weekend

Sprout Social just released its latest report on the best times to post on social media. Given the last year and the many pivots we’ve all had to make (brands, consumers, social platforms), Sprout Social found some major shifts to optimal post times as compared to their last annual report. Facebook’s best times are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings; Instagram on Tuesday mornings; Twitter on Wednesday mornings and LinkedIn on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. Across the board, weekends are the worst time to post.

What it means for brands: This feels very similar to a pharmaceuticals ad: “If you’re unsure, ask your medical professional.” Ultimately, brands should make decisions on when to post based on their audience’s prior engagement metrics, but those just starting out or looking to test and learn can use this as a starting point.

Other updates of note

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