How constant change the state of social media and defines this always-on, interactive media channel.
Recent headlines from Twitter have shaken the general public – if you aren’t using your social handle/profile, then twitter will give it to someone who will. As social media becomes increasingly ubiquitous, it also begins to suffer from the normal growing pains of publicly used services. Fraud, under-age use, the court of public opinion, and the human condition. This landscape means that social media must constantly change to keep up with expectations, maintain authenticity, and make decisions about mortality.
So, how can your business stay ahead of these changes and trends without overtaxing your limited staff and still leverage all that social media has to offer? Easy, stay up to date and always perform best practices.
With enhanced panic around Twitter deactivating fake accounts we asked our social media expert if the panic is warranted and here’s what he said to say:
Of course, when you see numbers go down on any platform, that could mean that you are reaching less people, which for anyone could cause panic and I get it. I would look at it as a benefit. Why? Well, what most don’t understand is that when you are paying to get your ads in front of people who will see them, and if there are fake accounts you aren’t reaching anyone and especially not reaching your target market.
Key Take Away: Take this initiative as a gift to enhance your marketing and ensure your message is getting delivered to the right people.
Does this change affect targeted social media advertising?
For starters, take this as a positive change. With this change you are now targeting active accounts and spending your money and resources on reaching those with active profiles. This is especially helpful when you are looking at campaign’s success based off of impressions and clicks. If you were still reaching fake accounts your ad data and cost would show inaccurate information making it more difficult to see a campaigns success. While initially the targeted list will be smaller, it will ultimately provide greater ROI.
Key Take Away: As an advertiser, this will lower your overall cost, but also means that your conversion is higher and more accurate. You are truly targeting active accounts that fit the intended profile.
So, connecting the right audience with a relevant message makes everyone happy. How does geo targeting fit in with this
Geotargeting is something that isn’t new to digital advertising but is often overlooked. And when it comes to targeted messaging and campaigns, one must always consider geotargeting as a tool. When it comes to not only events or region-based content, but also demographic messaging, the conversions can be sometimes up to 40% higher simply because you are connecting with an audience on a more personal level. The more you can relate to the audience (and geotargeting does that) the more effective your campaign will be and the greater the ROI.
Key Take Away: Geotargeting works and is worth it! Geotargeting is a great fit for physical events like a conference or trade show. You can also target teachers during back to school prep – before students return with ecommerce/ direct selling messages.
How many different ads can you run? What types? Why would you want to run so many?
There are more options than you may think. The various types of ads, as it pertains to social advertising, varies by platform. In some cases, you can have up to 10 different ad types/formats in a single platform. Some of the types you are able to select from are: video, text, images, carousel, animation, and more! While this does add some complexity to setting up and managing the campaign, it also allows for greater targeting, testing, varied reach and frequency. Various users interact with the various social platforms in various ways…so the variety in ads ensures that you will reach your audience in one way or another. When you run several campaigns among the various ad types, you can begin to analyze the data to look for trends and possible efficiencies in ad types for your messaging and audiences.
Key Take Away: Running multiple ads allows you to test and segment across channels and ad types.
How do you prioritize organic social publishing and paid advertising?
I get this question a lot and the answer is always the same. In the marketing space, particularly the digital marketing space you have organic vs. paid categories of content consumption. If we focus just on the social aspect, one can take years to grow their social presence to a point where it organically shows up in people’s newsfeed, etc. However, with paid advertising, there is no wait. Depending on how effective your ad is, you can grow your presence in a matter of weeks and show ROI on having social in your marketing mix. For example, you can run a social ad that can get you in front of millions of people within a matter of a month, vs. organically you may never reach that sort of viewership of any of your content in the lifetime of the social account.
Key Take Away: Organic- joining existing conversations and engaging with your existing audience vs. Paid – specific action request and prospecting.
Something else to consider is the goal of the marketing campaign on whether to go with paid vs. organic or a combination of both. Some campaigns want a combination so they can utilize their existing following for a social post/offering and then have paid social ads as a way to supplement the accomplishment of their goal in case organic is not able to deliver fully. It’s something that that needs to be looked at carefully when building the campaign.
Key Take Away: Engaging a vendor for paid gives you a temporary, scalable resource to maximize limited demand and lead generation windows. You will also take advantage of a vendor that keeps up with the latest strategies, knows about interface changes and understands the changing best practices.
What other trends and changes do you think are on the horizon for social channels?
Currently, here is what you should be able to count on for the next 2-3 years:
- The social platforms will evolve with other ways to advertise and generate ad revenue.
- The top 5 platforms we see today in the U.S. will continue to be in the top 5. However, internationally we will see a different story as varying country’s use social in varying ways that take into account infrastructure (wifi, vs. cell reception/speed), legal, geography, etc.
- We will continue to see a shift and adoption to social media platforms domestically given the platforms are now competing for top spots in job searching, networking, community communication, ecommerce and in a lot of cases, website replacement for local business.
- You can expect to see a lot more in the news on privacy as it pertains not only to social media but digital marketing efforts overall. While it is in the platform’s best interests for ad revenue to keep advertising easy and profitable for their customers, you will still see the government/etc. get involved from a privacy standpoint with this relatively new medium. However, even with all the legal attention, the platforms will remain and will continue to offer advertising as a digital marketing mix solution that will be relevant and effective.
Key Take Away: Keep your eye on the trends and changes that will be impacting social media year after year.