March 1, 2024

Q1 Update: Navigating the Latest Social Media Trends to Boost Engagement and Visibility

Q1 Update: Navigating the Latest Social Media Trends to Boost Engagement and Visibility

In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, staying updated with the latest features and trends is crucial for maximizing engagement and reaching your target audience effectively.

Here’s a breakdown of the latest updates across major platforms and how you can leverage them to your advantage.

TikTok: Harnessing the Power of Photos and Original Audio

TikTok is revolutionizing content creation by encouraging users to post photos, which have shown to significantly increase engagement, with 2.9 times more comments, 1.9 times more likes, and 2.6 times more shares compared to videos.

TikTok-specific creative content garners nearly 3 seconds longer watch time and elicits a 1.2 times stronger emotional response than adapted creative. Here are some best practices to consider:

  • Original Audio: Use and label your original audio strategically. This enhances your content’s uniqueness and discoverability.
  • Auto-Captions and Commercial Music: Leverage auto-captions and the commercial music library to editorialize your content, making it more accessible and engaging.
@tiktokforbusiness Get the breakdown on our Commercial Music Library and all of its benefits. 🎶 #learnontiktok #businesscheck #tiktokbusinessaccount ♬ original sound - TikTok for Business
  • Growth Hack: Optimizing for 11-25-second content is recommended until a successful strategy is identified.
  • Adobe Premier: The direct integration of Adobe Premiere Pro on TikTok is expected to aid in more seamless Lofi content creation both in and out of the app.
@adobevideo Learn how to directly share your content to TikTok without leaving #PremierePro! ♬ original sound - adobevideo
  • Longform Content: The platform’s algorithm now favors longer-form video in landscape mode, up to 30 minutes, opening new storytelling avenues. For instance, the 50-part series “Who TF Did I Marry?” has already captivated millions, showcasing the potential of long-form content on TikTok.

TikTok is diversifying content by testing and encouraging the use of 16:9 videos, especially for longer content over a minute, through a “Full Screen” mode that adapts to landscape viewing without black bars. 

For content creators and brands, this shift means reevaluating content strategies to include horizontal videos that can take advantage of the new “Full Screen” mode for a more immersive viewing experience. 

@davidbrickley Exciting TikTok algorithm updates are here, just in time for the #SuperBowl 🚨 1. Post more 16:9 videos, TikTok is boosting that horizontal content that is one minute or longer 2. LIVE streams over 4-hours are gaining more visibility Share those behind-the-scenes moments and adjust your TikTok strategy to leverage these new opportunities! #longervideos #tiktokalgorithm ♬ original sound - David Brickley
Instagram: Interactive Features and Millennial Engagement

Instagram continues to innovate with features that enhance interactivity and user engagement:

  • Polls in “In-Feed” Posts: This new feature can significantly increase engagement, making content more interactive while also offering an excellent opportunity for brands and creators to collect feedback and enhance their profile engagement rates. The response significantly simplifies the process of accumulating interactions and positive algorithm signals.
  • Reels and SEO: Instagram is experimenting with Reels Photo-Mode and SEO
  • Add Clip: Instagram is testing an app called Add Clip, which will let users watch a Reel in the app’s native interface even when they don’t have Instagram installed.
  • Carousel in Reels: Mirroring TikTok, Instagram is testing carousels within Reels, which will enable users to post multiple videos and/or still images in a single Reels post. This allows for new options to showcase your products and business through expanded storytelling and display within the Reels stream. 
  • Millennial Reach: With the largest millennial user base, Instagram remains a key platform for reaching this demographic in their peak purchasing years.
  • Hashtag/Search Experience: Instagram is streamlining the hashtag and search experiences to consolidate results in one place, allowing users to see, follow/unfollow, or report hashtags directly from the search results.
  • Reels: Users are now allowed to upload up to three-minute Reels.
  • Carousels: Instagram is testing up to 15 photos/videos in carousels.
Threads: Trending Topics and New Features

Threads is officially testing Trending Topics in the U.S., aiming to enhance content discoverability. Despite skepticism from Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, about the effectiveness of such features in growing the platform, the introduction of options like saving posts indicates a commitment to evolving user experience. Additionally, the launch of Bluesky, a decentralized competitor, signals a growing trend towards more open and accessible social platforms.

Leveraging Search on Social Media

Both TikTok and Instagram are emphasizing their capabilities as search engines:

  • TikTok: Encourages adding their dedicated search shortcut to devices, highlighting the platform’s utility for information discovery.
  • Instagram: Aims to remind users of its search capabilities, amidst running ads to promote it as a “go-to” for finding content.
Emerging Trends: The TikTok Dominance and Search Evolution

Social media is increasingly becoming the primary source for information, especially among Gen Z and younger millennials, with 74% of TikTok users starting their search on the app. TikTok’s engagement levels are unmatched, with users spending an average of 55 minutes per day on the platform, surpassing even YouTube. 

According to Adobe, over 2 in 5 Americans use TikTok as a search engine, and nearly 1 in 10 Gen Zers are more likely to rely on TikTok than Google as a search engine. 

More than half of business owners (54%) use TikTok to promote their business, posting an average of 9 times per month.

@falter.media Tiktok is now a Search Engine, and it actually competes with Google SEO! #tiktokseo #tiktoksearchengine #tiktokforbrands ♬ Chhamak Chhamak - Santosh Sunar
Remember Facebook Poking? 

Facebook wants to start Poking Again. Facebook pokes are having a moment with a 13x spike in poking on Facebook in the last month, according to HuffPost.

Facebook: Unmatched Scale and Reach

Despite the rise of new platforms, Facebook’s vast user base of 178 million in the U.S. remains unparalleled, maintaining its position as a fundamental platform for reaching diverse audiences.

Adapting to the latest social media updates requires a strategic approach tailored to each platform’s unique features and audience preferences. By staying informed and flexible, content creators and marketers can leverage these updates to enhance their online presence and engage with their audience more effectively. For further insights and updates, keeping an eye on industry news can provide valuable guidance in navigating the dynamic social media landscape.

Facebook also plans on bringing back Poking. Facebook pokes are having a moment with a 13x spike in poking on Facebook in the last month.

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