Social media is an ever-evolving tool, in both our personal and professional lives. As a marketer, it’s important to stay on top of those changes, which at times can seem almost daily! So as we move into the second half of 2015, we thought we’d take a look back at a few of the big changes we’ve seen in social media from the first half of the year and point out a few things on the horizon that we’re looking forward to seeing rolled out.
Periscope & Meerkat
By now, we’re all aware of the rise of video in social. Facebook continues to place more and more weight behind video posts as they support their video platform against YouTube. Twitter now allows you to shoot, edit and share from their app as well. The great thing about video is that it allows brands to tell their story in ways that can humanize the company and allow users to easily consume that content.
As video continues to grow in social, the launch of the live streaming apps Periscope and Meerkat have taken it to the next level. Live streaming offers unique opportunities to brands and marketers. They now have a vessel to share a unique experience with their customers in real-time. Talk about a powerful tool! Think behind-the-scenes, flash deals, product launches, interviews and much more.
We’ve seen great examples of ways to use these apps with big brands. Ellen DeGeneres does an amazing job connecting with her engaged fanbase by showing behind-the-scenes looks at her show. SportsCenter anchors offer a look at what happens on-set during commercial breaks. We’ve even seen Taco Bell launch special offers and make announcements through a Taco Bell Newsroom.
Now is the time to get involved early and determine if/how live-streaming can support your marketing and social strategy.
Video Creative on Facebook Conversion Ads
While on the topic of video in social media, there was a change implemented in Facebook’s Ad Manager that seems to have flown under the radar. Did you know that you can now use a video within a Website Conversion campaign?
The beauty in this is that you can now essentially run two campaigns in one. You’re able to run a brand awareness campaign with the autoplay of your video, while the main objective and CTA is conversions. In the original video ads, the CTA does not appear until the video has finished. Now, the CTA button is present during the entire video! See the below example from LEGOLAND California. The use of video creative for one of their Facebook website conversion campaigns has increased the CTR by 49%!
Good news social media savvy retailers and businesses, Facebook is ready to enhance their Place Tips feature by handing out free beacons. Facebook announced on June 8 that the feature that has been tested in select businesses in New York City will now be available to all businesses in the United States.
So what does this mean for marketers? Think of the messaging, deals and engagement that can now be pushed out to customers in-store or on-property. Now that’s targeting! Want a customer to check-in at your hotel? Want to deliver an exclusive offer to someone in your store? Want your customers to share photos with a unique hashtag? All of these actions, and plenty more, could be delivered to customers with the highest intent – they’re already in your place of business.
Apply for a beacon here. We have, and are looking forward to rolling these out with relevant IMI clients.
Instagram Ads – Shop Now Buttons
The first phase of Instagram’s advertising platform was strictly branding and engagement driven, while direct response was not an available option. This was used primarily by large brands like Lexus, Banana Republic, Michael Kors, Levi’s, etc. as it was a tough sell for smaller brands that need to prove ROI in order to spend the minimum amount required for these ads.
Last week, however, Instagram made a big announcement with their advertising capabilities that should make marketers and brands (both big and small) very happy. Their blog states that they’ll be focusing on three key areas “Expanding ad offerings to include action-oriented formats, enabling more targeting capabilities, and making it easier for businesses large and small to buy ads on Instagram.” Great news right?
Advertisers will now be able to share appealing images like Instagram users have grown to love, while including a button to drive users to take actions such as buying a product, signing up on a website or downloading an app. This presents huge opportunities for brands of all sizes. Take a look at the example below from GMC. I love the use of a panorama photo in their carousel ad, so that swiping to each photo is really a continuation of one large photo. You can also see where the “Learn More” button sends you, which of course stays within the Instagram app.
The roll out sounds like it will be slow over the rest of the year, with select agencies and partners first and then a global expansion throughout the year.
So there you have it, a few of the big changes and things to look forward to in social media. Do you have any social media changes you’d like to mention? Add a comment below with your thoughts!