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, compiled by our social media guru Drew Boehmker.
Facebook Facilitates Influencers
Facebook has continued rolling out changes to its branded content tools, most notably with the launch of a new “Handshake” feature designed to make influencer marketing easier than ever. Using Handshake, influencers can now tag businesses they are working with in sponsored posts so that brands are able to track analytics on the post and re-use the content on their brand’s page.
You may have already seen these posts popping up on your news feed; a post that has used the Handshake feature will have the word “Paid” in the same line as the date of the post. (See example at right.)
Whether you are an influencer or a social media marketer, it is important to start using Handshake because it is the only way for Facebook to recognize your influencer marketing efforts as a legitimate business transaction—which is especially critical given recently revised FTC guidelines that place a renewed emphasis on clearly stating the paid nature of sponsored content.
You can learn more and sign up to use the Handshake tool here.
Instagram Halts (Some) Hashtags
As the platform continues its rapid growth, Instagram has gotten more aggressive in its effort to crack down on abusive content.
Many users have noticed that the use of certain hashtags can now lead to posts being completely undiscoverable in news feeds, hashtag searches, and the “Explore” tab. Although many of the hashtags that have been banned are understandable, quite a few seemingly innocuous hashtags have also been banned due to the prevalence of other users including them in offensive posts. For example, did you know that posting a picture with the hashtags #DogsOfInstagram, #Books, or even #TGIF can make your post completely invisible on Instagram?
In addition, users who repeatedly use the offending hashtags can have their accounts “shadowbanned”—meaning their account is still active, but none of their posts will show up in news feeds or the “Explore” tab, contributing to dramatically lower likes and engagement.
The best way to prevent your account from being shadowbanned is to search each hashtag you’d like to use prior to including it in a post. Hashtags that Instagram has recognized as being offensive will include a notice that “Recent posts from [#banned hashtag] are currently hidden because the community has reported some content that may not meet Instagram’s community guidelines.”
Find a full list of “banned” hashtags—including some of the most surprising—here.
On a lighter note, the #hashtag celebrated its 10th birthday last month! On August 23rd, 2007, former Google engineer Chris Messina tweeted this fateful message from SXSW:
how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?
— ⌗ChrisMessina (@chrismessina) August 23, 2007
… and thus, the hashtag was born! Since then, the hashtag has grown to become the most widely-used symbol across social media, helping to bring users together and keep us connected to the conversations that matter.
To celebrate the hashtag’s tenth anniversary, Twitter recently released some surprising statistics on the popular symbol:
- An average of 125 million hashtags are tweeted every single day.
- The most-tweeted hashtag in 2007 was used 9,000 times; the most-used hashtag (so far) in 2017 has been tweeted over 300 million times.
- The most popular hashtags of all time are #NowPlaying, #FollowFriday, and #ThrowbackThursday.
- Surprisingly, the biggest hashtags of the past five years all tied to high-profile music events; #MTVHottest, #MTVStars, #KCA, #iHeartAwards, and #BestFanArmy have all been tweeted over 3 billion times combined.
For savvy social media marketers, it’s difficult to imagine a world without a hashtag for your business or brand—so the # symbol is definitely something worth celebrating. Happy birthday, hashtag!
Scooter Media Is Your Social Media Resource
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, Instagramming, and Snapchatting, 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.