By Michael Radlick|May 11, 2021

Reels. Fleets. Stories. The world of social content moves quick, and what’s popular today might make you seem like a “clueless Millennial” tomorrow. While there’s always a new content feature or format to test and leverage on your social channels, the trick is staying ahead of the game to make sure you’re taking advantage of the tools that will keep your brand relevant and ignoring those that are just a flash in the pan. 

Keeping track of all these new tools and features may feel like a full-time job on its own, but don’t stress, we’ve done some of the work for you. At rbb Communications, we’re constantly evaluating the trends and tools that will help keep our clients’ organic presence (and our own channels) engaging and fresh while maximizing the ever-elusive monster that is organic reach.

Below are three of the latest and greatest content tools we’re excited about moving into the second half of 2021:

YouTube: Testing Timed Comments

YouTube will soon be testing a feature that will allow brands and creators to view comments directly tied to a time in your video. With Timed Comments, you’ll be able to take a look at when people are commenting, so you can determine not only what comments are about in context, but what part of a video is the most thought-provoking.

When a short video on one topic works, it’s easy to determine why, but the longer a video is, the harder it can be to understand why your audience stayed engaged. This new feature has the potential to help creators and brands better understand what their audiences are looking for, so they can take their content to the next level.

The tool is in beta on in the iOS and Android apps right now, so open a video in the app and tap “Sort” under “Top Comments.” If you’re part of the Beta rollout, you’ll see “Timed – Beta” as an option. If you’re lucky enough to have access, test the feature out and share your feedback with YouTube so it’s rolled out to everyone…and don’t forget to let us know what you think!

Facebook: A/B Testing for Organic Videos

Until now, real A/B testing on the organic side of the aisle has been challenging, at best. It’s typically involved manually recording metrics and comparing via spreadsheet to determine which post is resonating more with your audience. That all changed recently.

Now, via its Creator Studio, Facebook is giving those of us whose sole focus is putting out engaging organic content a streamlined way to test creative performance and optimize. With Facebook’s new organic split-testing tool, content managers can now test 2-4 pieces of video creative with minimal differences (the key is to focus on making only one change at a time) to determine which piece of creative is working best.

You have a lot of choices when it comes to developing your video content nowadays, and this new feature is sure to help you determine which features and strategies you should be incorporating to get the most out of your creative resources.

Are you using organic A/B video testing? Let us know how it’s going & share the most interesting thing you’ve learned so far.

Instagram: Live Rooms

Houston, Instagram Live is getting more collaborative! With the rollout of Instagram Live Rooms, it appears Instagram is looking to capitalize on the essence of what’s making apps like Clubhouse so popular — real-time conversation and interactivity. What used to be more of a “one-on-one” conversation between creators and their audiences is now a platform for hosting meaningful live discussions between up to four people.

While it’s not the first app to allow for live discussions in real time, Instagram jumping into the mix is a powerful signal that the format is here to stay. More than anything, this move opens the door for more collaboration between creators, brands, and their fans. Since Instagram alerts an account’s audience when the account goes live, collaborating with influencers and creators via a planned or “spontaneous” Instagram Live could help drive more overall awareness, engagement and community growth for a brand.

Partnering with influencers is one way to drive growth, but let’s be honest, not everyone has the budget for that.

So, what if you don’t? How can you take advantage of a tool like this? Here are just a few ideas:

  • Develop a weekly live “gameshow” or trivia night that gives your audience a place to gather and win swag, products, or access to your services
  • Host a weekly/monthly Q&A session where your CEO or other business leaders can connect with your audience
  • Create a “Weekly Update” that integrates several people from your organization and provides the latest-and-greatest news your audience will care about
  • Hold live “focus groups” to see what your audience thinks about new products or services

At the end of the day, live video takes time and effort, but the right live video strategy can increase your audience and drive the kind of engagement you need to meet your business goals. Are you excited about Instagram’s new Live Rooms feature? Let us know how you’re planning to use the new feature in your social marketing mix. 

Taking Your Engagement to the Next Level

New features, tools and content formats are a great way to keep your social channels on the cutting edge, but they can also play a huge part in getting your content seen. Leveraging the latest and greatest features on a platform is not a guaranteed way to increase organic reach, but it makes sense that platforms like Facebook and Instagram would prioritize new content formats in their feeds if they’re putting big money into developing them.

Take a look at your typical organic post reach, test out these new formats and see if they’re making an impact. If they are, it’s time to start thinking more broadly about how you can develop a strategy that maximizes your resources and delivers the kind of impactful engagement you’re looking for as a brand.  And remember, at the end of the day, it’s our job as content creators and marketers to ABT…Always Be Testing! So, get out there and explore all the new features these channels are rolling out and find the ones that work best for your brand


Receive our rbb blogs straight to your inbox. Subscribe below: