I’ve always loved toys. Growing up, my parents would take my siblings and me to the toy store on our birthdays and let us pick out one special toy to play with that evening. My sister would always opt for some form of “toddler taxidermy” like a stuffed bear, rabbit, or penguin; but me, I liked a challenge, like the board game “Operation.”
The same is true for social media. It can often feel like an operation in itself to keep up with the latest toys and publishing platforms, but it just takes a bit of know-how and understanding to figure out how to best leverage these new platforms in your marketing strategy to increase engagement and stay ahead of the curve.
What is in the social media toolbox?
From Instant Articles on Facebook to Moments on Twitter, here are a few of my favorite new social media toys, and how to use them to your advantage.
Facebook Instant Articles
o What it is: This new feature just launched April 12 and is a mobile publishing format that enables users to distribute articles to Facebook 10 times faster than standard mobile platforms.
o My advice: Resist the temptation to publish every single blog post to Facebook Instant Articles, and instead choose only the blog posts that will be relatable to your Facebook audience.
o What it is: Despite having been available since August 2015, only a few brands are taking full advantage of this powerful tool that lets them connect with followers by sharing real-time video.
o My advice: Include a call to action at the end of live videos, even if it’s just to subscribe to more.
o What it is: This Twitter tool features the day’s most talked about stories in a curated feed for each user.
o My advice: Focus on contributing something funny, interesting, or beautiful, and try to not be too product-focused in this space. It’s a powerful way to tell a story if you have a brand announcement, giveaway, or product launch, like this example from Tesco.
Pinterest Visual Search
o What it is: This visual search tool lets users zoom in on a specific object in a pinned image and discover objects that are visually similar in color, pattern, etc.
o My advice: Pin often with board topics that offer a wide reach. Consumers now have a new way of finding your content with this tool, so try not to make images too abstract, but instead upload what your product looks like. Test pin content by pinning the same blog post under different images with the same captions.