It’s been a busy couple weeks in social media land. Here are a few social media marketing stories you might have missed.

Facebook

Facebook Live Will Rank Higher in News Feed

Since its launch in December 2015, Facebook Live has been growing in popularity. It’s open to all verified Pages and public figures using Mentions, allowing them to broadcast real-time videos to their followers. Facebook announced on March 1 that Facebook Live videos will now be more likely to appear higher in News Feed when they are actually live. On average, people watch a Facebook Live video more than three times longer than a video that’s no longer live.

Facebook Launches Canvas

Designed for mobile, Canvas is a full-screen visual ad experience that combines images, videos and call-to-action buttons. Mobile usage is huge on Facebook. There are 934 million mobile daily active users and 1.44 billion mobile monthly active users. And 655 million users only access Facebook via a mobile device (44% of Facebook’s active user base). But a common challenge is that mobile ads are often still slow and clunky for users to interact with.

Canvas is designed to address this problem. After users click on an ad in News Feed, they’re taken to a full-screen page that loads almost instantly (10 times faster than on the normal mobile web). By tilting, swiping and zooming on multimedia, users engage directly with a brand’s story. Brands already using Canvas include Lowe’s, Carnival, Coca-Cola and L’Occitane.

Instagram

Instagram is hosting two free webinars this month, one on brand building and one on performance marketing. You can sign up for free, and if you’re not able to attend in real time, you’ll also receive a recording of the webinar.

Brand Building on Instagram

March 17, 9:30 a.m. Pacific

The webinar will show how brands can connect their customers’ interests to the types of visual content they post on Instagram. It will also discuss how to use Instagram’s targeting for ads and why video on mobile is important.

Performance Marketing on Instagram

March 22, 9:30 a.m. Pacific

Hosted by the product team, the webinar will highlight the latest performance marketing products and solutions on Instagram. It will go over best practices for driving website clicks and conversions, as well as advertiser case studies.

Pinterest

This week, Pinterest opened up its Ads Manager to all small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. Pinterest describes it as “a simple, do-it-yourself ads tool” that allows businesses to schedule Promoted Pins with a credit card. It includes a bulk editor to manage campaigns, as well as targeting and tracking options to reach the right audience and optimize conversions.

“I think it’s important to recognize the consideration mindset that users have on the platform,” Nipoon Malhotra, an ads product lead, told SocialTimes. “When Pinners come to our platform, they’re actively in the mindset to find things to do, and this also includes things to buy. It creates an awesome canvas for businesses to connect with them.”

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