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What’s Coming On Social Media?

We’ve done the reading, we’ve separated what matters from what doesn’t for talent brands, and we’ve created a list of six social media updates that we think are worth preparing for in Q1 2023.

LinkedIn: New Job Search Tools

Status: Rolling out to a few industries and collections in the U.S., with a plan to expand rapidly

Listening to feedback from users, LinkedIn has identified new job exploration behaviours:

We see an increase in members who are “casually” exploring job opportunities, especially ones that align more with their values and preferences (e.g. work-life balance, flexible work arrangements, up-skilling and career growth). To help professionals discover what’s possible for them, we are testing showcasing new personalized job collections.” - Tomer Cohen, Chief Product Officer at LinkedIn

Think of these personalised job collections as being to jobs what Spotify’s “Daily Mix” playlists are to music: An algorithmically curated collection of jobs that share a theme, like in the examples below:

What does this mean for your employer brand?

These Imagine yourself in a new location jobs lists are likely to help surface jobs to people who would not have proactively searched for roles in these locations. This is great news for companies with locations impacted by limited catchment areas, like seaside towns, as their jobs may be surfaced to “casual candidates” in city-centre locations.

Similarly, young companies experiencing fast growth could build brand awareness by featuring in company-type lists.

However, we can’t see this replacing traditional job search tools. Active candidates will continue to search for jobs. This is just a new way for workers peering at the greener grass to expand their horizons, and consider opportunities they may not have otherwise found.

LinkedIn: Focused Inbox

Status: Gradually rolling out to all app users, globally

You may be familiar with auto-prioritisation of messages from similar features in Microsoft Outlook, Facebook and Instagram… and now the feature’s coming to LinkedIn.

Valuable and important messages will land in your Focused inbox, and everything else (spam, if you want to call a spade a spade) will be redirected into your Other inbox. 

What does this mean for your employer brand?

We’re not sure yet. Logic suggests that if you’re paying to send InMails via Recruiter licenses, Sales Navigator licenses, or Sponsored Messages, then the messages you’re sending should appear in the Focused inbox. But, early reports from Social Media Today suggest that users with the Focused Inbox feature are seeing promoted messages being pushed to their Other inboxes.

Our recommendation is to monitor your InMail open rates and response rates, closely over the next few weeks. If you see an unexpected or gradual dip in performance, this could suggest that at least some of the messages you’re sending are going to your recipients’ Other inboxes. In this case, it may well be time to audit the quality and volume of the messages your team are sending.

Instagram: Group Profiles

Status: Coming soon

Up until now, social media profiles have been designed to represent one individual, or one brand, with the option for multiple social media managers to be admins on the account. Now Instagram say it’ll soon be possible to have a single Instagram profile with multiple contributors: Imagine an account called @F.R.I.E.N.D.S with posts that are published to it from the profiles of @Monica, @Rachel, @Phoebe, @Joey, @Chandler and @Ross.

“Soon, people will be able to create and join this new type of profile to share posts and stories in a dedicated, shared profile with friends. Whenever you share content to a Group Profile, that content will only be shared to group members instead of your followers, and will be posted on the Group Profile instead of your own.” - Meta Newsroom

What does this mean for your employer brand?

Not as much as we’d hoped!

Initially, we were very excited, thinking this could be the perfect home for an employee advocacy programme, but this was quickly dampened when we realised that the content on the page would only be visible to its contributors. This makes the feature much more like a group chat with a whizzy interface, and less like an Instagram profile as we know and love it.

This said, there’s nothing to stop you from using Instagram’s existing Collabs tool to curate and publish posts from several employer brand ambassadors to a single public-facing profile.

While we’re on the subject of Instagram, Meta are also rolling out a new feature called Notes (which is like Stories, but for your DM inbox), and testing Candid Stories (BeReal, but on Instagram). They’re both worth reading up on too.

Google/YouTube: Search in Video

Status: Pilot live in India

Google’s testing a text-based search feature, which will look for the user’s search term within video captions (uploaded or auto-generated) to help users find relevant sections within a given YouTube video.

Whilst this feature is new to Google Search, something similar was made available on YouTube last October. Using Searchable Transcripts, YouTube users can now search for keywords within a video’s script to help them navigate to the section of the video that is most relevant to them.

What does this mean for your employer brand?

It was always important for accessibility reasons, but now having accurate captions on your YouTube videos is vital for discoverability reasons too. 

It can be very appealing to simply upload a recorded Webinar to YouTube, give it a title and some tags, and think the job’s done, but we can’t emphasise enough how important it is that you then take the time to review and amend the auto-generated captions/transcript that accompanies it. Or create your own .srt file, of course! 

Failing to do so could mean you miss out on quick-win SEO opportunities, and candidates are left struggling to find what they’re looking for.

TikTok: Horizontal Videos

Status: In testing with selected users globally

Vertical video has always been heralded as the future of video on mobile. And yet here we are, in 2023, and TikTok’s exploring whether it’s time to bring back the good old 16:9 landscape style.

It appears to be a natural follow-on to TikTok’s successful introduction of a longer, 10-minute video earlier this year. This made it possible for educational content creators (think cooking and make-up tutorials) to build a home on TikTok… and with many of those content creators already having found success on YouTube, it may well be that this new horizontal video feature’s designed more to encourage engagement-generating content creators from YouTube to lift and shift their content to TikTok, and less to do with catering to user demand.

 

What does this mean for your employer brand?

This is simply one to watch for now. Our hunch is that this will either not make it out of the testing phase, or will lead to the introduction of a horizontal For You page to compliment the existing vertical one.

But if we do see more horizontal video on TikTok, it could be a sign that TikTok’s coming for YouTube. Fast.

One to Watch: Bluesky 

https://bsky.app/

Currently taking signups to join the Beta when it launches, Bluesky is a social app created by Jack Dorsey, one of the Co-founders of Twitter. It uses a similar decentralised framework to Twitter alternative Mastodon, in that it is owned and run by its users.

In just two days Bluesky received 30K signups to its waitlist to try the Beta, so there’s certainly a buzz about it.

Whilst we don’t know a lot about what will feature in the social app itself, we do know that it promises “algorithmic choice”, providing users with the ability to…

“Control how you see the world through an open market of algorithms.” - AT Proto

This promise is alluring, and could be the shake-up that social media needs at a time where the darker side of news feed algorithms, like their amplification of self-harm content, is a big media focus. 

But we’re interested to see how user-friendly this freedom of choice will be. Whilst digital natives are likely to adapt to a mutli-algorithm life with ease, it could spark decision fatigue in users who are more familiar with traditional social networking and using platforms in the manner by which the platform directs them to. 

Facebook’s mission is “Giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.” It’s clear, and easy to grasp. Bluesky positions itself as “a new foundation for social networking which gives creators independence from platforms, developers the freedom to build, and users a choice in their experience”. Could it be a case of trying to be everything to everyone? We expect to find out in a few months’ time.

Hopefully this has given you plenty of fuel for your Q1 social media planning, and will help you stay a step ahead of the competition.


If you’d like to hear more about any of these stories, or simply chat about the direction you’d like to take your social media channels in 2023, drop us a line.

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About Author

Stephanie Smith
Stephanie Smith

Head of Social. Data geek. Runner. Sewing machine aficionado.

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