Social Media Marketing channel review

We like to keep a keen eye on the latest trends and news in social media marketing, because we think it remains a fantastic route to market for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

2018 was particularly interesting, with the major players making some pretty big changes to their platforms in order to stay relevant, engaging and capable of drawing in big audiences.


Facebook get tough on audience targeting

You’ll probably have seen the latest bid by Facebook to quash the bad publicity surrounding the world’s largest social network.

In case you haven’t, here’s the ad that’s dominating most commercial breaks at the moment:

Legitimate and heart-felt or a desperate attempt to win back our affections - that’s for you to decide, but Mark Zuckerberg and co certainly appear to be making some changes that align with their commitment to keeping our data safe and protecting user privacy:

  • Advertisers wishing to upload a customer file for advertising purposes will now have to tell Facebook the origin of the data (whether it was gained directly from customers, partners, or a mixture of both) - users will see this information when they click ‘Why am I seeing this ad?’
  • A new eCommerce review tool enables users to leave feedback about the quality of the adverts they’re seeing on Facebook. Negative responses will be shared with advertisers, but if the negative reviews continue, Facebook may shut down the offending account

Alongside the above, Facebook are also rolling out A/B testing for page posts, enabling marketers to publish two variations of the same post to different audiences in order to see how each one performs.

Twitter gets serious about video

In April 2017, Twitter introduced in-stream video ads for a select number of big name brands. Now, they’re rolling it out across eleven global markets, including the UK.

In-stream video ads are designed to show users video right when they’re most likely to engage with it by running pre-roll or mid-roll video that aligns with relevant videos they’re already watching. It’s smart and pretty complex stuff from a technical perspective, but transparent and convenient for users.

Reports suggest that Twitter users who have been exposed to in-stream ads are 70% more likely to recall the ad, therefore it can only be a good thing that this functionality is gradually making its way down the food chain.

LinkedIn jumps (late) on the QR bandwagon

Who wants to mess around with business cards anymore? Well, LinkedIn thinks it has the answer, with a new QR code feature.

In truth, QR codes have been round for quite some time, but LinkedIn has finally decided to take advantage of them by offering users a tool that will allow a quick lookup of someone’s details by simply scanning the code within their app to be taken straight to the user’s profile.

A nice update, but we look forward to something a little more juicy on the pay-per-click front!

Pinterest is doing all is can to stay relevant

It might have surpassed 200 million active monthly users, but that was back in September 2017, and it’s still a challenge as a marketer to see the value in adding Pinterest to your list of channels - unless you operate in a highly visual industry.

Despite this, the people behind the image-based social network are making some interesting changes in order for the service to be as ‘sticky’ as possible for users.

The biggest is a design change that will add a tab that displays who a user is following. It’ll be a persistent tab and one which Pinterest hopes users will engage with regularly, and adds the much needed, Twitter-like ability for people to periodically ‘check in’ on activity from the people they’re following.

To summarise

One thing’s for sure; social networks cannot afford to stand still, no matter how many users they attract.

The significant changes we’re seeing this year demonstrate increasing competition for user engagement, and that can only be a good thing for marketers, as we’re given more tools to reach even wider audiences. we can’t wait to see what happens next.

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