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Social Media Roundup: Updates & Features for Facing Our New Reality

By: Sophie Maerowitz

March 26, 2020

Facebook’s stated mission has long been to “bring people closer together,” but never before have people needed social media so much to dissolve the walls and miles separating them from their loved ones. Now, more than ever, social media professionals require tools to ensure their audiences are connected, supported, entertained and—perhaps most crucial amid the pandemic—receiving truthful and accurate health information.

To meet the challenges of entertaining, informing and connecting social media users, the major platforms have unrolled a number of features and hubs for COVID-related content in the last several weeks. Here are the updates for social marketers to be aware of, and some use cases for each platform’s offerings.

Instagram

Why scroll alone, when you can scroll social-distance style? Instagram has accelerated the rollout of Co-Watching to allow for joint enjoyment of content on the platform. The company is also taking a number of steps to help prevent the spread of coronavirus misinformation.

Co-Watching—The new feature allows users to view content together while in an Instagram video chat.

instagram co-watch screenshot

Instagram

In addition:

instagram COVID header

Instagram

Takeaways: Unless you run social at a credible public health organization, Instagram is not the place to offer health advice. Likewise, e-commerce ads promising miracle cures or needed medical supplies will not fly. However, nonprofit communicators and those working at organizations who are fundraising for COVID-19 relief will find the Donate stickers particularly useful. Meanwhile, the Stay Home stickers are a great way to build community and source user-generated content from followers and employees.

Pinterest

The company said that from March 21-22 it had hit an all-time record in global number of weekend saves and searches. In the U.S, the use of Pinterest’s Send a Pin feature was up by over 30 percent. In response, Pinterest accelerated the timeline for a new feature released March 24 in the U.S. and U.K.

Today Tab—Pinterest’s new tab, located at the top of the home feed in the app:

pinterest new tab Today

Pinterest

In addition:

Takeaways: Marketers should feel empowered to re-share inspirational Pins with audiences, while gathering their own ideas for providing value to audiences and maintaining those relationships during tough times. Does your company have employees working from home who can share parenting advice, lighthearted anecdotes or quick recipes? Or maybe your boss has a motto or mindset that helps your team get going on rough days (read: all of them right now). Pinterest could act as an idea pipeline and barometer for what is resonating with quarantined people yearning for useful and entertaining content.

Snapchat

In response to millennials’ anxiety around coronavirus, the platform accelerated a preplanned mental wellness initiative in the form of its “Here for You” tool, Snapchat told Axios’ Sara Fischer. Broader mental health mental resources will be available starting March 26, with coronavirus-specific content rolling out the following week.

“Here for You” Tab—Within its search bar, the feature pulls vetted health expert content when users input terms related to anxiety, depression, suicide and other mental health issues.

In addition:

Takeaways: Keep an eye out for Snapchat’s coronavirus-specific resources, as they may offer insight into the exact questions (i.e., pain points) on its users’ minds. This could inform your content strategy as relates to millennials and Gen Z audiences in particular.

Twitter

Twitter is actively promoting its Live Brand Studio offering, which has been in play since 2018.

Live Brand Studio—Twitter’s paid live streaming service offering includes:

In addition:

Takeaways: While your brand may not have the ad budget to partner directly with Twitter via its Brand Studio, it should probably be looking into some kind of virtual events process. Add Brand Studio to your list of comparison research; likewise, check Twitter’s Marketing account and Company blog periodically for inspiration when you’re feeling stuck.

 

Follow Sophie: @SophieMaerowitz

At The Social Shake-Up