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Prynhawn da pawb! I’m back with this week’s social media weekly roundup. With news from the usual suspects and a meme-worthy date to celebrate, we’ll dive straight in to the stories that are important to you and your business this week.

  1. May the Fourth be with you
  2. WhatsApp calls support 8 people
  3. Facebook tests in-stream ads on Live
  4. We want normality
  5. Reddit goes back to the 90s

May the Fourth be with you

Every year, fandom celebrates one of the biggest dates in the diary – Star Wars Day. It celebrates the stories of the Star Wars franchise and if you’re online during today you’ll see the posts everywhere. It’s actually quite a lovely little event. I’m about to ruin it for you.

The first recorded reference was the phrase being used on May 4, 1979, the day Margaret Thatcher took office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. An online news article from the Danish public broadcaster says her political party, the Conservatives, placed a congratulatory advertisement in The London Evening News, saying “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.” [Wikipedia]

Assuming you’re still on board, how can you use Star Wars Day for your business? You could make lightsabres from your products, or get the staff to dress up (if they’re willing!). And don’t forget those hashtags! The most popular ones are #MayTheFourthBeWithYou and #StarWarsDay. It’s a great way to connect with your brand’s followers outside of your normal content.

WhatsApp calls now support up to 8 participants

I mentioned a while back that Instagram were launching a group option, and now WhatsApp are on the case too. They’re going to double the capacity of group video and voice calls from 4 to 8 participants. Apparently, we’ve spent over 15 billion minutes talking on WhatsApp in the last month. I mean, what the actual. Those are mind-boggling statistics.

To access the new limit on calls, all participants in a call need to update to the latest available version of WhatsApp.

Facebook expands test for in-stream ads on Live

So when you’re watching Facebook Live, the intention is that brands will have an option to market to you directly. The Boys from the Book are expanding their tests on this at the moment, to evaluate whether the ad format is effective. Why should you care? Well, rolling it out to more “verticals” (vertical advertising focuses on specific fields) could mean that advertisers across the board could see a marked increase in impressions. And this means of advertising could pay dividends for you when it rolls out to the SMEs.

We’re all just looking for normality

The Drum say that research shows that in the face of lots of depressing news, we’re all looking for non-virus content.

64% of respondents said that brands should continue advertising their products as normal, while 52% of them said that this content helped give them a sense of normality in their own lives.

The message for your business is, stay tapped in to what’s happening with COVID-19. But diversify your stories. We’re looking for “cocktails, modern art, penguins, beer, books, and cookies”. What can your business bring to the table? Whatever it is, stories that are all about the everyday and the happy are the way forward.


Reddit is bringing back the 90s

In a move that users of AOL chatrooms will be familiar with, Reddit last week rolled out a button that connects random users in small, intimate chat groups. Digital Trends posted last week that Reddit had seen an 80% increase in the use their existing chat tool. The reason? Of course, it’s the C-word.

This is the most connective feature that Reddit has added in light of COVID-19, and we’ll continue to introduce products that bring together and inform users in a beneficial way, so that we can all get through this together,” Alex Le, vice president of product and community at Reddit, said in a statement.

This ties in massively with the previous news story, IMO. People are looking for familiarity, they’re looking for distraction. Dare I say, they’re looking for a retro experience that reminds them of simpler times? Perhaps. In any case, maybe nostalgia should be part of your social media content strategy for the next few months.

Thanks for checking in everyone, as ever comments are welcome.