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March 2020: Social Media and COVID19

Rachael Luckham

How the relationship between social media and COVID19 has developed over the last few weeks

Keeping up to date with the latest changes in social media has never been more important. In March 2020 we saw some great updates from social media giants, who are responding in support of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.

Natalie, our Founder, will continue to live stream our social media roundups each month as normal. You can watch the replay over on our Facebook page, and enjoy this month’s round-up blog:

Facebook.

With COVID-19 having a negative impact on businesses worldwide, we were pleased to see Facebook stepping up to provide cash grants and ad credits to 30,000 eligible small businesses. The total value of support from Facebook is $100m and the first roll-out of grants has just started in the USA. We’ll keep you updated once we know more about the UK opportunities.

This month Facebook also added a ‘Mood Mode’ to their Facebook Stories. The mood mode will allow you to create a story using a GIF to relay specifically chosen feelings! Like your ‘feeling/activity’ option in status updates.

Finally, for Facebook, action has been taken on the number of fake profiles within the platform which will help make analytics more accurate. Facebook recently removed 6.6 billion fake profiles last year which, for businesses who are using the platform to advertise their product/service and who are struggling with the accuracy in reach numbers when they check their ad analytics.

WhatsApp.

It’s pretty quiet on the WhatsApp front this month, however, it’s finally offering dark mode!

Interestingly the request for dark mode has been as frequent and popular a request as the edit feature for tweets over on Twitter!

Well, finally it’s here! No more eye strain (or annoying light-ups in the cinema!)

Instagram.

With social distancing in full swing, it’s important to remain connected with family and friends as much as possible. Instagram has recently added a co-watching feature to help users connect during the pandemic.

This feature is going to allow users to connect and share content between a group of friends by allowing friends to view content through video chat. While you won’t be able to scroll through your feed, you are able to create a list of content by saving or liking posts and accessing those via the video stream.

Instagram is also doing its bit to support charities and fundraising efforts. An update to stories now allows users to be able to fundraise for a chosen charity via the new donation sticker.

When selected, the donation sticker will show a list of organisations to donate to. Right now. The top charities are those which are helping to fight COVID-19 like the United Nations Foundation but you will also see a suggested charity for you. These suggestions are based on the charities you’re following and you’re able to search for specific charities as well.

Lastly, on the Instagram front, the push to make IGTV more successful continues with Instagram adding a video response option.

Similarly to the response option offered by Tik Tok, this new feature could allow creators to permit their viewers to respond to their content with videos of their own. This move could be a good way to grow the IGTV community and of course entice creators with the monetization update.

Google.

With the demand for social media and streaming services being unprecedented since the COVID-19 pandemic, Google has made advanced group video calling tools available to their Gsuite users free of charge.

The roll-out of the free service means that Gsuite users can access google hangouts video conferencing capabilities and hold larger meetings for up to 250 people.

The move by Google was introduced to help support users who were looking to reduce group gatherings and will remain free until the 1st July 2020.

Facebook are providing cash grants and ad credits worth $100m to 30,000 eligible small businesses.

Twitter.

Twitter had created some tweet prompts as a way to support brands with their social content.

Being consistent on social media is key in any social media strategy, but this can be a struggle when you’re not sure what to post. So, to help, twitter created and published a list of 20 tweet prompts to help brands think about what they’re posting and should allow your twitter feed to keep flowing.

LinkedIn.

Sticking with the support for the business theme, LinkedIn has also offered some tips on what you should be posting on their platform.

LinkedIn has said that in order to maximise engagement you should be sharing posts that include personal experiences as those insights are key! Sharing a post on your feed about what your day to day work life looks like or posting questions like “how to boost team morale?” will allow you to gather different points of views that you’ve yet to consider.

The tips are certainly worth a read and could give you a better insight into the different content needed for engagement on this predominantly B2B (business to business) platform.

Snapchat.

There are a couple of new lenses being released and unlike previous lenses, where you’re able to transform yourself into a dog or a rabbit, these lenses help encourage social distancing.

Using AR, the newly released lenses will encourage social distancing and provide reminders to wash your hands.
My Social Distance uses your camera so show then distance that should be kept between you and someone else. Where the distance between people is 2m of more the ring on the screen will be green, however, when space reduces the colour changes to red!

The second lens includes animated reminders about staying home, washing hands and not touching your face.

Both lenses were developed with the help of the world health organisation and feature links to their website for more social media and COVID-19 safety tips.

We’re all getting used to hearing about zoom. Whether it’s for meetings or webinars I’m pretty sure we all know about it! So when we read that Snapchat filters are available via zoom too we couldn’t help but smile!

You don’t need a phone to access filters, but you will need some apps on your computer including snap camera (Snapchat’s desktop application). You’ll also need to make sure your operating system is either Windows 7 SP1 for PCs, macOS 10.11 for Macs or newer.

Our tip, make sure you know how to turn off filters if you are going to utilise these filters! No one wants to accidentally be a potato for a whole meeting!

Pinterest.

Last but certainly not least is Pinterest and if you missed our announcement earlier in the month, Naturally Social is now on Pinterest too!

The verified merchant programme (verified accounts or blue ticks!) has finally landed and includes its own verified red tick to show shoppers that you’re vetted. You’ll also get early access to conversion insight tools which will allow you to measure the sales impact of organic and paid pins.

Brands can connect their catalogue to Pinterest which will give you a shop tab on your profile meaning all your shoppable items will be in one place.

And…breathe! It’s certainly been a busy month for social media as COVID-19 continues to impact our day to day lives.

We hope you all stay well and safe and if you would like to stay up to date with all things Naturally Social via our monthly newsletter.

If you’re looking for hands-on advice around social media head over to The Social Media Academy.

Natalie & Team

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