Hello! It’s hot, it’s summer, and it’s Friday! No, that doesn’t mean that we’re all going home early today and cracking out the cold cans or the vino we’ve had chilling in the fridge since Wednesday (not quite yet anyway).

It means that it’s time for your digital marketing weekly roundup!

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Let’s see what’s been happening…

Facebook Launches New Business Webinar Series

Social media marketing is a big deal. Perhaps just seven or ten years ago when brands first started flirting with the possibilities that these new networks that took the world by unprecedented storm presented, the idea of using them as marketing channels was completely novel. Indeed, it’s only really been in the last five years or so that finding gainful employment as a social media marketer has started to hold sway in society’s collective subconscious as being a ‘real job’.

But now in 2016 this thing has got real. And, not only is it real in the eyes of entrepreneurs, it’s become very real in the eyes of the social networks themselves.

When Mark Zuckerberg first launched The Facebook at his university (we’ve all seen the movie), the whole idea was based around creating a fun, online society that was for young, internet-savvy individuals looking for dates and to show off. Little did even he realise how in the future his creation was going to be one of the most important marketing tools for businesses of all sizes the world has ever known.

But, that’s how it happened, and, with true entrepreneurial spirit, Zuckerberg’s Facebook – and all of the social networks that have followed – has constantly evolved to address the needs of its users. Facebook Pages, Facebook Advertising, Custom Audiences – none of these were built into the original model of everyone’s favourite social network. But, as soon as the Facebook team started to notice how people wanted to use the platform, they began to facilitate. Facebook for Business was born, and in its wake the role of the social media marketer.

Today, Facebook loves us all. It wants us to advertise and promote our brands on its platform, and it seems that with every week that ticks by that I sit down to write Your Digital Marketing Weekly Roundup, there’s a new innovation launched that’s designed specifically to aid social media marketers in our quest to build our businesses online.

This week, Facebook has launched what I think is one of the network’s most useful and important Facebook for Business initiatives to date (hence the grand intro that I have taken the time to bestow upon Zuckerberg’s creation) – a brand new Webinar Series for Business.

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For me, this is Facebook reaching out to social media marketers in a way that it hasn’t done so before. It’s Facebook welcoming, in no uncertain terms, all of us into the fold in a concerted effort to teach us all how to get the most out of the platform for the combined benefits of the businesses we represent.

The announcement reads:

“Get the latest strategies for growing your business through Facebook, Instagram and the Audience Network. Join our webinar series on this year’s hottest topics including how to use Instagram in your marketing strategy, crafting video for mobile, performance marketing best practices, what you need to know to plan your holiday 2016 campaign and much more.”

So far advertised are 11 upcoming webinars over August and September, covering everything from Promoting a Successful App to Maximizing Your Ad Campaigns With the Facebook Pixel to Crafting Video for Facebook and Instagram.

I have no doubt at all that these webinars will be of invaluable use to all social media marketers, and I hope to see you there!

Audience Restrictions Added To Facebook Live

Continuing with the Facebook theme, Audience Restrictions have now been rolled out on Facebook Live. As we’ve discussed at length in previous Roundups, video is quite possibly the most important form of content that we as digital marketers can produce for social media at the moment – so any news surrounding this should make us all sit up and pay attention.

Facebook Live now supports the “ability to target live videos to only stream to certain ages, genders, languages, or locations of viewers through the API, making live streaming more accurate and relevant,” according to the Facebook for Developers blog. And indeed, currently this capability is limited to users who post Live videos to Facebook through the platform’s API.

Speaking to Marketing Land, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed that this includes “media companies, professional creators and brands using software to send the stream that’s shot using fancy cameras or game and screencasting tools” rather than typical users “livestreaming within Facebook’s app.”

But, as we know, big updates are nearly always trickled out first, so even if you don’t use the API to post to Facebook Live, the update is almost certain to roll out in a more complete fashion soon enough. So, watch this space, for soon Facebook Live targeting will need to become part of your promotional strategies for all live broadcasts on the platform.

Three New Features Introduced On Periscope

In case any further proof was needed as to the importance of video marketing, Live Streaming app Periscope has added three brand new features to its platform.
These are Replay Highlights, Embedding, and Live Autoplay, which have all come into the Periscope fold “to make it easier for you to discover and watch the broadcasts that you’re interested in.”

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Highlights now automatically generate a short trailer for every Periscope broadcast. Embedding means that now Periscopes can be embedded “anywhere on the web by simply embedding the Tweet.” And Autoplay means that “live broadcasts will autoplay in the Watch Tab and Global Feed without sound, so you can see what’s happening around the world immediately when you open Periscope.”

For us marketers, this all gives us much more control and opportunity to promote our Periscope activities even beyond the platform itself (as in the case with embedding). So, lights, camera, live action, and promote, promote, promote! It’s time now to grow our live audiences across Facebook, Periscope and any platform that we can.

That’s it! You’re all free to go for the week. Crack out a cold one and start getting excited about the August Facebook webinars and where you’re going to start embedding your Periscopes. See you next time.