Just when you think you’ve gotten ahead of social media, it decides to throw a few curveballs at you and rollout changes to disrupt your social strategy.

Earlier this month I wrote about new Twitter and Instagram features to give users more space and better insights. Now we’re back again with more updates from three of the biggest social media platforms. While many of the changes can be more helpful than harmful for brands, they’ll all definitely have you looking at your current strategy and finding ways to insert these updates into your game plan.

Friends and Family. Then Brands.

With Facebook’s News Feed focusing on friends, brands need to get creative with using engaging content to get seen.

Surprise! Facebook is changing its News Feed. Again. The new update is an effort to show people more posts from friends and family first, then those of brands.

In a blog post by Facebook’s VP of Product Management, Adam Mosseri shared more of the company’s reasoning behind the change.

“That’s why stories in News Feed are ranked — so that people can see what they care about first, and don’t miss important stuff from their friends. If the ranking is off, people don’t engage, and leave dissatisfied. So one of our most important jobs is getting this ranking right.”

Facebook didn’t specify the affect this new change would have on the potential reach of content published by brands, but if history is any indication, it likely means a decrease in reach and engagement.

So in an ongoing effort to get content in front of users, brands need to be even more innovative in their posting, using more videos, more engaging and shareable content, GIFs, dynamic photos like Facebook’s new 360-degree photos you’ve probably seen rolling out in your feed, and probably more paid social.

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You can now share your panoramic photos on Facebook. via Facebook

If there was ever a time to try something new and innovative in your branding and storytelling, now is the time.

A Pinterest Dream Come True

Remember when you used to find something on Pinterest, pin it to your favorite board, then spend hours scouring the internet to purchase it? Scour no more! Now, you can buy things right from Pinterest on mobile and desktop from brands like Macy’s, Kate Spade, Neiman Marcus, and more.

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Love it on Pinterest, now you can buy it from the social media platform, too. via Pinterest

You can find this nifty new feature tucked in the categories tab of Pinterest. Under the Shop category, you can search from specific things, browse what’s shown, and buy multiple things from multiple merchants in one fell swoop.

Along with its new shopping cart update, Pinterest is also currently working to build a new technology for phones that would allow users to find products online simply by snapping a picture. Kind of like Amazon’s Firefly.

Twitter’s Free Tool for Businesses

Sometimes late to the party, but never a no-show, Twitter announced its new Twitter Dashboard for iOS and desktop web.

Twitter Dashboard will offer companies a clearer picture of what’s being said about their business.

Dashboard offers companies a clearer picture of what’s being said about their business, Tweet performance insight, and it also allows you to schedule tweets.

With the ability to utilize a custom feed, you can get to the tweets that matter the most to your business and better engage with your customers. This feature is a lot like Tweetdeck in that it allows users to filter out some of the noise around their business, and really hone in on what’s important.

Scheduling tweets is old news, but Dashboard lets users edit scheduled tweets on the go from the iOS Dashboard app, making it easier to make sure you’re tweeting the right thing at the right time.

And if you’re running low on inspiring tweets to post, Dashboard can give you a healthy dose of inspiration by suggesting tips specific to your business. It helps to remind you to share recent things you may have overlooked or may not have considered to be “tweet-worthy.”

Which of these updates are you most excited about using for your business? Let us know in the comments below. And it won’t be long before we see the next round of social media updates rolled out, so keep the DEG blog handy to stay up to date on the latest digital trends.

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