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Monthly update: August’s social and digital trends

Catch up on August's live social media update, featuring the latest trends and news from the world of content marketing,

27th August 2021

Every month ContentCal is committed to bringing you the latest headlines, trends, and updates from all across the social media landscape - the only difference this month is that we have now joined forces with The Content Marketing Association (in addition to our long term partner Luan Wise) to ensure these updates are as fully comprehensive and actionable as possible.

August may have been a quieter month in the office with much of the B2B side of the industry suffering from seasonality, but it hasn’t been quiet out there on social media platforms. There are two parts to this update so you can prioritize your reading - or read them all to be fully up-to-speed:

  1. Feature comparisons and platform data - which channel is best for which activity
  2. What’s new and what’s next

If you prefer your content in a video format, watch our on-demand replay of the live social media round up below. It’s about an hour long but you can change your playback speed settings to 1.5 to save some time.

Feature comparisons and platform data

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As all social media platforms continue to iterate and evolve, we are seeing increasing similarities between each of them - most notably is the rise in video based content (and encouraged video creation). Instagram now sees itself as a video-first platform, with LinkedIn and Facebook making moves in the same ballpark. This is very likely to be a result of the exponential growth of TikTok, increasing social users' appetite to consome and curate short videos.

Live audio remains the least popular feature, making us continue to wonder what the future for social-audio apps like Clubhouse and Twitter spaces really holds.

To add some context around how platforms are evolving, versus how content marketers are currently working across social and general marketing channels - and where they are seeing success - here’s a look at recent survey Hubspot carried out with 1,500 Content Marketers:

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Social media is now the primary approach organizations are taking for marketing, with Instagram being the channel of choice for use, but Facebook showing the most ROI. It’s questionable as to whether this proves Facebook is the best platform for revenue generation, or if Facebook analytics are just easier to track and use than Instagram Insights.

If you have been wondering how to better understand your content performance across all the different aspects of Instagram, we recently put together this how to use Instagram Insights guide.

Despite the Hubspot survey showing Facebook as the best channel for ROI, data shows that Facebook’s paid reach is actually decreasing and its organic performance is falling behind other channels:

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However TikTok downloads are not showing any signs of slowing down and are actually doubling downloads of other platforms:

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And TikTok user growth has been quite the global achievement:

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Our recent report into content marketing tactics versus challenges takes a deeper dive into how content marketers are currently prioritizing resource and workload - and how they wish they were doing it.

What's new and what's next

Let’s go back to our friend Facebook and look at some of the updates coming out on the platform.

Creating the perfect facebook business page in 2021

Reels are coming

Reels will give Facebook users the ability to create and share short-form video content within news feeds and groups. The addition is an expansion of tests launched earlier this year in India, Mexico and China and seems to be the next step in Facebook’s growing battle against TikTok.

Facebook is a Metaverse

In a recent Facebook Earnings call Mark Zuckerberg described the future of the company as being a Metaverse - a term for which the definition is far from clear, but involved people being present with others in a digital space. However, video now accounts for 50% of time spent on Facebook with Instagram Reels being its biggest contributor to growth

Facebook ideas contributor has launched

The AI based, smart feature will allow users to source idea for content and ads that match their business needs and help fill any creative gaps

Moving onto Instagram

How to use Instagram Insights hero

Instagram Reels can now last for 60 seconds

Previously a 30 second time cap kept Reels much shorter than its rival TikTok

The secret of suggested Reels is out

Instagram has revealed how it decides what Reels to show you and it is based on how likely you are to watch it, comment positively and be inspired to make your own reel as a result. The outcomes take into account your previous activity, history, information about the Reel and quality of the Reel

Audio tab for Reels has launched

It’s all about those Reels this month! The dedicated audio tab will make it easier to find music and voice clips to add to your videos

It’s Twitter time

How to use Twitter

New sharing options for Twitter Spaces has been rolled out

You can now tweet and share your activity from within the Spaces feature - make it easier to encourage people to join your session with ongoing conversation and activity

Co-hosts are now available

Also with Spaces it is now possible to have co-hosts for the same session

Shop as you tweet

Shopping features are being extended across the platform with direct click throughs to products and service pages

Let’s go to LinkedIn

Linkedin unsplash

LinkedIn has acquired Jumprope

Jumprope is a how to video creation app, with the capability of letting you share those videos across all your channels is now part of LinkedIn. Which makes sense seeing as educational content and networking are the biggest reasons for people using LinkedIn

New courses launch

Sticking with the education theme, an array of new courses have been launched across the platform

Reviews have been added as a feature

You will now have the option to add reviews for businesses and services - yet another thing for Social Media Manager’s to stay on top of!

And the star of the show - TikTok

TikTok will be banned in the US from Sunday

TikTok launches stories

In the style of Instagram, you can now create and share TikTok stories that disappear after 24 hours

TikTok is seriously impacting purchasing behaviour

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TikTok want more small businesses

Here’s how you can maximize TikTok for your small business, you should also checkout the advice of small business expert, Christine Gritmon, on how to make small a social superpower

Screenshot 2021-08-26 at 16.32.41

And the big, potentially game changing headline for content creation…

TikTok Announces New Partnerships with Vimeo and Canva to Streamline Content Creation

In summary...

  • Social performance metrics are shifting but strategies are not following suit
  • TikTok’s growth continues despite slight correction in usage trends
  • Expect to see continual downtrends of IG Feed performance in the wake of Reels

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