Sell From Instagram Live (If you are in the US)
One of the things we talked about in The Fabulous Festive Marketing Masterclass was selling using an online live sales event or auction. This will work but the shopping process is complex and needs to be mapped out.
But soon, for businesses in the US it’s going to be easier. Instagram is rolling out Checkout from Instagram to all businesses that are eligible and have shops in the United States.
Checkout is the feature that will allow shoppers to check out directly on Instagram rather than being directed to your website. It will make the shopping process seamless.
One of the key features of Checkout is that you’ll be able to sell directly from Instagram live. As you demo your products they can appear on screen. Shoppers just need to click to buy.
Other features include Product Launch stickers that will notify people that your product is now available.
Creator tagging. If you work with creators and influencers they’ll now be able to tag products from your shop in their posts.
This is only for the US now but there is some hope for the rest of us. Instagram say they have ‘long term plans’ to roll it out beyond the US.
Facebook adds new shopping tools
Where do you go when you want to buy something online. I think most of us would day Amazon but could it soon be Facebook?
Facebook is adding a new tab that will bring people directly into shopping. You’ll be able to browse and buy from Facebook shops in that tab.
It’s also adding a messaging tab to products so that shoppers can contact the retailer directly with any questions.
This should help businesses convert more customers as they can quickly get their questions answered to help them make the buying decision.
These messages will be connected to Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram Direct.
Mobile screen share comes to Messenger
If like me you work with clients on their digital marketing you’ll know it can be a long winded process to show them how to do things on mobile.
You could screen record and share that with them as a video, you can also use Zoom, but connecting your phone takes time.
Facebook Messenger makes it easier for you and your client to share mobile phone screens using video chat. The advantage is your client can share their screen so you can quickly identify issues or problems.
This could also be great for quickly sharing and talking about video and image drafts instead of having to upload them all directly to messenger.
Twitter tells us more about the strangers that DM us
Do you have open DMs on Twitter? When you enable them it means that anyone, not just the people who you follow can send you direct messages.
This is a handy tool if you need to deal with a lot of customer queries or if you encourage engagement that way.
The problem is, if someone messages you when you have open DMs you won’t know a lot about them. You’ll have to click to their profile to get more information.
Twitter is fixing this. You’ll now be able to see how (and if) you are connected to the people who DM you, you’ll see common followers. When you click into the message request you’ll see a summary of their bio.
This will save time and clicks and could make Twitter DMs a better experience. We know Twitter is working hard to get more people to use DMs. I’m still cautious but I’m willing to give it a go if they can make it a better place.
New Instagram QR Codes
Does anyone use QR codes? That’s a question I get asked a lot.
They are gaining popularity, particularly since you can scan any QR code directly from an iPhone camera. I’ve been using them to access wifi codes (so much faster than typing them in) and I’ve been using my LinkedIn QR to connect with people.
They are also huge in Japan and China.
Could this be why Instagram just changed it’s codes from it’s own design, only scannable in-app to a QR code.
They still look fun but now they are easier to scan without opening Instagram.
I think it’s a smart move if Instagram want to make connecting easier.
Custom backgrounds for Facebook Rooms
Last week I was confused. Facebook launched Rooms a while back and we all assumed that it was a swipe at Zoom.
But then they launched animated Gif backgrounds for Zoom via their newly acquired tool Giphy.
However, it seems we’ll soon be able to use those backgrounds in Facebook rooms on mobile.
You’ll be able to add a photo, gif or video background in Rooms.
I like custom backgrounds (even though my computer doesn’t support them) as they can cover up the backgrounds of cramped home offices or locations. Use the same one consistently and you’ll be on brand wherever you broadcast from.
This isn’t the only new feature they’re adding to Rooms. They will make them more discoverable in Messenger, your own rooms will also be easily accessible from within Messenger and there will be new ways to invite people to join you.
Instagram are testing group stories
Could group Instagram stories replace WhatsApp and Messenger groups?
Instagram are testing group stories which, like on Snapchat, means you can create a group of friends that can contribute to a story. The story will only be shared with members of the group, it’s not public.
This could become an alternative to other group messaging tools. So many WhatsApp groups are full of photos, this could be a better way to connect and share and give us more ways to express ourselves.
It could be great for group projects and project management or just for water-cooler moments whist we all work from home.
I could also see it being a nice add on to community groups or memberships.