I’m trying this whole “being a useful social media resource” thing by showing off the highlights of the Critical Social newsletter. So If you’re still in I-can’t-believe-it’s-January mode, don’t worry. You can still sound smart by reading this whole post, verbatim, at your next status meeting. 

Updates from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snap

What happened in the social media world during December? Read below to find out! Wait, was that scroll-bait? Do you feel baited? Leave a comment below if you feel baited. (Sorry about the comment-bait.)

  • Everybody’s still stressing out about the recent ‘engagement bait’ algorithm change from Facebook. Basically, make sure none of your copy directly asks for engagement, such as these random copy examples: “Like if you think this is a dumb rule!” “Tag a friend who’s tired of upping their ad spend”, and “Type YES in the comment box if you think organic reach is the bane of Mark Zuckerberg’s existence!” Brands who use explicit copy asking for engagement will suffer from an automatic decline in reach (up to 80% less). And watch your partner brands too – if you keep sharing engagement-bait posts from other pages, your brand will earn a page-wide algorithm demotion.
  • Twitter launched the ability to pre-load threads in December, just in case the TL;DR-ness of 280 character tweets wasn’t enough for you.
  • Instagram was busy in December, pushing out two new features for IG Stories that content hoarders (ahem, brands) will love: Highlights and Archive. Now you can curate Highlights from your Stories, which automatically get saved into the Stories Archive instead of disappearing.
  • Snap (formerly known as Snapchat / the next big thing / a profitable company) has opened up their biggest selling point – augmented reality lenses – to the public. For brands with a bit of rich media budget, making your very own augmented reality experiences is pretty exciting.  Think Pokemon Go style extensions of your campaigns, 3D product previews, and dancing hotdogs.

NB! Social Media Calendar Dates for Jan/Feb 2018

  • The final deadline for the OneShow Awards is looming on January 31st. Sorry in advance if your Creative Head sees this, and you were hoping they’d just sort of forget about it this year.
  • Now’s also the time to book a half-decent AirBnB for Design Indaba, happening in the last week of February.
  • Speaking of which, if you’re already planning content for February, don’t forget…
    • 8 Feb: State of the Nation Address
      • Good idea: Maybe don’t go full throttle on media spend for a few days – return on attention will be pretty low
      • Bad Idea: Trying to be Nando’s if you’re not Nando’s.
    • 14 Feb: Valentine’s Day. or if that’s a bit played out, try Pet Theft Awareness Day or International Book Giving Day instead.
      • Good idea: get involved if your brand is something people would use on Valentine’s Day.
      • Bad ideas: arbitrary 1% off specials, pixelated pink bows, and heteronormativity.
    • 21 Feb: Budget Speech
      • Good idea: not saying anything about this unless you’re literally the Finance Minister. And by the time the speech starts, who knows, you just might be.
      • Bad idea: jumping on the budget-explainer bandwagon this year. There are already a few big brands investing heavily in live explainer content, don’t bother coming with your day-late Canva infographic, soz.


How does this January catch-up look to you? If you dig it, you’ll probably want to grab the Critical Social newsletter, where all these tips and insights are shared first.


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