Social Media

Social Media Cheat Sheet 5.0: A Marketer’s Guide to Today’s Platforms

February 29, 2016

With 2016 underway, we’re reflecting on Q4 2015 to better understand the changes we had in the social landscape.

As always, Q4 was a busy time in social due not only to the usual holiday priorities, but also to a slew of platform updates that gave users the ability to discover and engage with content in new ways.

What stayed the same

An emphasis on content discovery
Platforms continue to streamline content discovery with updates that deliver pre-curated content directly within the user experience. In Q4, specifically, Promoted Twitter Moments became available—making Twitter and Snapchat the only platforms with curated brand opportunities to-date. Additionally, Google integrated its Spotlight Story experience within the YouTube platform, which was previously available via a standalone app that featured immersive videos from engineers and famous filmmakers. Content includes virtual reality/360 degree videos that allow users to discover and unlock even more content as they interact with the videos.

1:1 communication continues to be a priority
In Q3, we saw updates to help marketers make the most of 1:1 conversations in the social space – a trend that’s continued into Q4. Tumblr launched messaging to streamline user conversations and help brands build stronger fan relationships. Facebook continues to define a stronger role for brands in 1:1 conversations, such as a partnership with Uber that directly incorporates transportation queries within the Messenger experience.

Noteworthy developments

New opportunities to livestream
Since the launch of Snapchat, livestreaming has been up-and-coming across platforms. In Q3, Facebook rolled out LIVE, a livestreaming app for public figures on the platform. Since then, Facebook has opened up live video to both brand pages and personal users, with content now able to stream directly within the newsfeed. Twitter also made developments to its livestreaming app, Periscope, that integrates the app directly into the Twitter timeline, making it easier to leverage across both platforms and opening up targeting possibilities on the platform.

A focus on current events
With the 2016 election around the corner, and the world at a crucial turning point, social platforms are adapting experiences to deliver the most up-to-date news and provide an outlet for public conversation. Platforms are sharing news using various mechanisms like Facebook’s standalone app Notify, Facebook’s new search algorithm that allows users to search for, and engage with, real-time public conversation around trending topics, and real-time updates from Twitter Moments and Snapchat Live Stories. Social is making current events more conversational and participatory than traditional outlets – encouraging users to get involved using Facebook’s profile photo filter or contributing to a Twitter moment.


We hope this Social Media Cheat Sheet of the “who’s who” and “what’s what” of social media today will be helpful to marketers in determining and evolving their strategies in the social media landscape.


Co-Author: Marie Goldstein, Social Marketing Manager at 360i. 

Cover photo via History News Network.