As we stretch further into the COVID-19 crisis, businesses are adjusting to a new normal and thinking of creative ways to get ahead.
New tools and trends are surfacing. This means new opportunities for marketers and digital specialists.
Find out all the latest from social, Google, and brands below.
The Latest Social News
New Facebook features to enhance eCommerce and engagement
After years of dipping their toes into eCommerce, Facebook have finally taken the plunge by launching “Shops” for Facebook and Instagram, enabling businesses to direct-sell from the platforms. Starting in the US, the new feature will later be rolled out to businesses worldwide.
Facebook have also released a range of new video tools and updates, including doubling the capacity of group video calls on WhatsApp from four to eight participants, adding 360° virtual backgrounds on Messenger, and introducing a Messenger Rooms feature for users, groups, and events. Rooms will allow people to set up virtual hangouts which, Zuckerberg says, will be great for “neat, serendipitous, spontaneous interaction”. Unfortunately, it’s not a business-friendly new feature, as they won’t be available to Facebook Pages.
Twitter makes retweets with comments listings visible on iOS
Though it’s a commonly noted annoyance, the decision to exclude retweets with comments from engagement stats was an intentional one by Twitter. But now the issue has been put to rest, with Twitter releasing an all-encompassing listing of your total retweet count to iOS, as well as allowing you to view related comments and responses. The update is currently being tested on Android.
LinkedIn publishes guide to new key content trends amid COVID-19
Sharing their latest insights into content and customer engagement, LinkedIn have just released a handy 22-page guide for marketers. The guide includes an analysis of the sharp rise in engagement around COVID-19 content. It also outlines three key areas to focus on with your on-platform content. LinkedIn VP John Addison notes “we have seen huge amounts of ingenuity and resilience as people come together on our platform to find ways through this.” The examples included in the guide from real brands might inspire your own innovation – download your copy here.
The Latest Google News
Google releases dark mode update for search app on iOS and Android
The long-awaited dark mode update has been rolled out on Google’s flagship search app. It will be available to everyone with a relatively up-to-date operating system (at least Android 10 or iOS 12/13).
If your device is set to dark mode, the app will automatically mirror this. The update also allows you to manually switch between light and dark modes.
Google creates new centralised hub of business resources
To help brands optimise their use of Google’s tools for marketing and outreach amid the COVID-19 crisis, Google have grouped together a listing of key resources and guides. This new centralised hub includes highlights of notable COVID-19 search data trends, as well as useful tools such as the new Retail Trends tool (to uncover emerging products of interest).
The Latest Brand News
Reopening after lockdown: brands need a thoughtful strategy
Many brands are starting to take tentative steps towards reopening. In the UK, home improvement stores like B&Q are leading the way. Amidst the marketing for reopening, research from reputation intelligence firm Alva shows that brands should be careful to strike a balance between advertising and assuring customers it’s safe to visit.
Both Homebase and B&Q have stressed the importance of in-store mandatory social distancing measures. Alva’s data shows that this approach left 81 per cent of people feeling positive towards the brands.
Communicating safety measures effectively and proving that brands are not putting profit before public health is becoming a key aspect in the success of campaigns amid COVID-19.
Facebook buys giphy
It may have come as a surprise move, but Facebook has completed a deal valued at $400 million for the purchase of Giphy, bringing with it 700 million users to the platform.
Not much will likely change in the short-term for advertisers, though in time it is reasonable to expect a tighter integration with Facebook paid advertising.
Campaign of the Month
KFC pokes fun at at-home imitations
Along with the news that they’re beginning a gradual reopening of 500 restaurants for delivery and takeaway, KFC have put together a brilliant tongue-in-cheek ad featuring images from its #RateMyKFC social media campaign.
The campaign encouraged consumers to make their own versions of KFC’s chicken wings, with some recreations definitely turning out better than others.
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