Facebook Messenger Games and Tips for 2017 Planning

3163237-facebook-messenger-instant-games2A belly full of Thanksgiving turkey is a sure sign the new year is on its way. With 2017 just around the corner, how are you evaluating your competitors and effectiveness on social media? Don’t spend all of your time on the new gaming feature in Facebook Messenger, and check out these interesting tips to make 2017 your most successful year.

Hootsuite recently shared an article on how to conduct a competitive analysis on social media. They offer a few key tactics you can easily employ:

  • Start by Google searching keywords your brand or destinations hopes to lead, and see who makes it to the top of the search (i.e. “Small town Midwest destinations”, or “Best state to visit in the winter”, etc.) .
  • Once you find your competitors, find out what channels they occupy, how often they post, how fast their audience is growing, and where they rank with engagement.
  • Conduct a simple SWOT analysis, and use the information to inspire your strategy, not duplicate.

There are several tools listed throughout the blog to make this an even easier process, so be sure to read it before your holiday break. While you are pondering on your competitors, check out these tips from Social Media Today on 6 Tactics to Instantly Boost Social Media Reach For Your Brand or Business. Hint: The first one is video.

Last but certainly not least, have you tried the Instant Games on Messenger feature? Facebook makes another bold move to completely take over the internet by adding Pac Man, Words with Friends, and Space Invaders to Messenger.

Did you come across any interesting articles or social media news? Share them with the TwoSix Digital team by Tweeting us or posting on our Facebook. While you’re there, giver a shout out to the newest member of the TwoSix Digital team – Marissa Conniff. Thanks for reading!

Instagram Live Video, New Status Composer, Snapchat Partnership

Instagram Live Video coming soon

Instagram Live VideoInstagram’s CEO confirmed that the platform will introduce Instagram Live Video in the near future. The feature debuted last month in Russia where an icon marked “Live” next to Instagram Stories.

The process of using Instagram Live Video appears to work similar to Facebook Live where a user’s camera will fire up to broadcast. No word just yet when this feature will roll out globally.

Facebook streamlines Status Composer

Status ComposerFacebook page managers are noticing something new this week: an updated Status Composer.

The change began rolling out this week and is designed to help page owners decide on what their goals for their posts are. Facebook says that this was previously “hidden”  behind a click on the “Produce, Offer, Job +” link when posting on their page. Read more

Trump Tourism and New Facebook App

Trump inspires travel searches

Donald TrumpLove him or hate him, President-elect Donald Trump victory on Tuesday has reportedly led to a surge in travel searches. People searching for one way flights to Canada jumped more than 1000% after Trump was announced as the winner.

You’ve probably seen people saying they would move to Canada with Trump as the president – which is why searches for Canada, Australia and New Zealand travel skyrocketed.

Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean people will be moving out of the U.S. The increased interest in travel may actually lead to some vacations and travels that could benefit the tourism industry. Read more

Facebook Loyalty Survey and New Pinterest Ads

Loyalty survey reveals insights into travelers’ choices

Loyalty SurveyA recent Facebook loyalty survey of 14,700 adults in the U.S. uncovered fascinating details on brand loyalty. The survey looked at five verticals, but also included airlines and hotels. Overall, the loyalty survey found 77% of people saying they return to their favorite brands over and over. 37% said they make repeat purchases and are loyal to a brand while 40% indicated they make repeat purchases but are not loyal to a company.

The findings shed some light on loyalty when it comes to travel, including:

  • 23% of hotel brand loyalists value service and 21% value trust, while 31% of repeat purchasers value locations and 30% value price
  • 23% of hotel brand loyalists are Millennials and 30% are Boomers

Read more

A Facebook Halloween and Twitter’s Q3

A very Facebook Halloween

Facebook HalloweenFacebook is getting spooky for Halloween – but Snapchat may be the only one who should be scared. Facebook is allowing users to use animated masks – similar to Snapchat’s animated filters – in Facebook Live. The company says a number of Halloween-themed animated masks are planned for the next few days. However – you can expect to see the animated filters becoming a permanent fixture on Facebook Live videos. The new addition is clear shot at Snapchat, which is famous for animated filters users can play with. Facebook-owned Instagram also recently added its own version of Snapchat Stories.

In addition to the Facebook Halloween masks, the company will also launch Halloween reactions. Look for pumpkins, ghosts, witches and candy corn where your usual buttons normally are and have some spooky fun. Read more

Facebook Groups Getting Ads, Pinterest Users Grow

Are Facebook Groups getting ads?

Facebook Groups

Credit: TechCrunch

For their next trick Facebook may be rolling out ads to Facebook Groups. People in some overseas countries have reportedly been seeing ads in their Groups – which could mark a new way to earn revenue for the social network.

Facebook confirmed that the ads will look just like the ads seen in News Feeds and utilize the same targeting utilized in other ad types on the site – but also include the ability to target based on Facebook Groups.

This new ad type could be a great way for Facebook to expand given that Facebook expects to hit maximum News Feed ad load in mid-2017. Read more

Facebook Secret Conversations, Marketplace

Secret Conversations quietly rolls out

Secret ConversationsBack in July, Facebook mentioned it was testing out end-to-end encryption for its Messenger app. This would allow users to select the option for  “Secret Conversations” and also give users the ability to select an expiration for the messages – similar to Snapchat. Facebook now appears to have rolled out that ability for all users over the past few weeks – but has been very quiet about not publicizing the move.

Right now, the option to add Secret Conversations should be appearing in the upper right of the app for users and must be selected, or opted-in, for every conversation. Back in July Facebook stressed that Messenger conversations were already secure – but many Messenger services don’t work with end-to-end encrption. The addition of Secret Conversations appears to fulfill two separate goals: chipping away at Snapchat’s user base while also providing more security to users looking to maintain more privacy.

Facebook Marketplace now open

marketplaceAnother new addition this week is the new Marketplace feature from Facebook. This new Craigslist-like feature allows you to look for people to sell goods to or find people selling items of interests in your area. The big difference between Marketplace and sites like Etsy or eBay is that no money is exchanged on Facebook.

Marketplace works by clicking on a tab at the bottom of your Newsfeed and view the listings in your area. From here, you’ll be able to filter and search by category, keyword and distance. Once you find something you’re interested in you can tap on the seller’s profile – which is their public Facebook profile – to check them out and make sure everything is legit. From here, you and the seller (or buyer) just need to come to an agreement on the transaction.

Facebook’s says its goal with Marketplace was to make the process as simple as possible while providing people with the information they need to feel secure about buying and selling online.