By Drew Boehmker

The social media landscape is constantly evolving, and successfully maneuvering the sharp twists and turns of this ever-changing road can be a challenge for even the most proficient PR pros and business owners. We’ve done the work for you and compiled everything you need to know.

Here’s our monthly roundup of all things social media.

  1. Facebook Blasts Off

The annual Facebook Developer Conference (F8) was held last month, bringing with it a slew of announcements about new features and changes coming to the platform. Although many of the major innovations discussed at the conference won’t be seen for quite some time—Facebook’s move into augmented reality, for example—the platform has continued to implement numerous smaller features that you should know about.

According to Mashable, some mobile Facebook users are now seeing a new “Rocket” icon on their dashboard. This icon, positioned directly next to the main News Feed button, gives users the ability to see a completely separate feed containing popular posts from people and pages that they have not already friended or liked. This alternate News Feed (or “rocket feed,” as some have dubbed it) prioritizes local content that is popular with other users around you—so you never have to feel out of the loop with what’s trending in your area again! This feature is expected to go live for all users soon.

  1. Instagram Creates Collections

Have you started your collection yet? “Collections” is a new feature on Instagram that allows users to create posts with multiple photos, which can then be easily scrolled through with a simple swipe right. You can create your own collection by choosing “Select Multiple” the next time you post to Instagram and then selecting up to ten photos that you’d like to be seen together. You can even mix it up and choose both photos and videos—a great way to give your posts a bit of extra flair whether you’re looking to liven up your brand’s feed or dazzle followers on your personal account.

Similarly, you can now use Instagram’s recent “Saved Post” feature to store multiple pictures from your feed into a single collection to be saved for later viewing. Currently, the posts you save are private and can only be viewed by you, but as this article from The Verge contends, it is likely only a matter of time before Instagram allows users to begin seeing collections curated by other people they follow. Such a feature recalls the basic functionality of Pinterest boards and is further evidence of the continuing convergence of features currently being seen across all major social media platforms.

  1. Twitter Makes Some Tweaks

Although there has not been much in the way of game-changing new features on Twitter, April still brought several new tweaks that can help you get the most out of the platform. Most importantly, @ usernames in tweets no longer count toward the long-standard 140 character limit—giving you the ability to engage more users with tweets that contain more information than they previously might have. This shift brings with it a change in how interactions between users are displayed; you may have noticed that message chains on Twitter now show who you are replying to at the top of a tweet, giving interactions a more conversational feel.

If you are a social media marketer or are responsible for managing a Twitter account for your business or organization, the platform has also been taking small steps toward becoming more marketer-friendly. One notable example is the recent launch of monthly content calendars with key dates so that you can thoughtfully frame your tweets to key into major events throughout the month, including information on popular hashtags to consider including. The calendars currently only feature high-level events, but they are certainly worth a look and show that Twitter is making an active attempt to remain relevant as more and more marketers rely on Facebook and Instagram for their social advertising needs.

Staying up-to-date on social media can seem like a daunting task, but by using our tips hopefully you will find that it’s not nearly as intimidating as it might appear. Keep posting, tweeting, and Instagramming, and be sure to check back here each month for everything you need to know to stay on top of the social media game. 

About Scooter Media

Scooter Media is a full-service communications agency in greater Cincinnati specializing in public relations and social media.