Category: Media Buying

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How to Use Social Media for Market Research

sourced from: https://conversionxl.com/blog/social-media-market-research/

Social media isn’t a perfect source of market research: It’s not a representative sample and, for small businesses, it’s simply too small of a sample.

But for large organizations, it’s still a critical one. Why? Because it includes your most passionate fans.

It’s also a rare source of candid consumer opinion: 80% of social media posts are about ourselves, and those opinions and beliefs—expressed individually and within a community—are not interrupted or biased by participation in a formal study or company-run focus group.

Further, consumers crave communication with brands on social media:

95% of adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are likely to follow a brand through social media channels.Buyers report spending 20–40% more money on brands that have interacted with them on social media.71% of consumers who have had a positive experience with a brand on social media are likely to recommend the brand to friends and family.

Not all social media market research comes from active participation. When GE Life Sciences wanted to learn how customers discussed protein purification, they analyzed 500,000 protein-related comments on social media. The data improved content creation, tailored website vocabulary to the voice of the customer, and honed their search strategy.

To conduct similar market research successfully on social media, you need to know:

What social media is good (and bad) at assessing;Which social platforms are best for research;How to encourage an informative and engaging conversation.

What is social media good (and bad) at assessing?

Social media is a useful market research tool to:

Get immediate feedback on customers’ experiences and beliefs.Ask consumers about potential product improvements.

Other methods are more useful if you want to:

Get in-depth feedback.Target a specific audience within or outside your social media following.

A few benefits—and pitfalls—stand out:

You can gather data faster. Almost half of social media users access different platforms on a daily basis:

(Image Source)

That means that companies can get fresh insights quickly. One case study revealed that social media was three times as efficient compared to tracking customer feedback via email.

You can save on research costs. Most in-app social media features (e.g. polls, emoji sliders) collect market research data without the costs associated with research panels (with the aforementioned caveat that your audience isn’t a representative sample).

But it’s not for everyone. If your social accounts don’t have hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of followers, don’t expect social media to be a viable source of market research.

If you generate 20 responses to a poll, that quantitative feedback is equally likely to mislead you as to guide you in the right direction. You’re better off focusing on qualitative methods that will help you develop rich customer personas with a small number of responses.

There is, however, one opportunity for small businesses: social listening on competing brands. If you want to understand the frustrations or desires of your target audience, use passive social media market research techniques, like those detailed below, to get access to some of the same social media research larger competitors enjoy.

Also, beware of the herd mentality. Social media users are prone to impulsive behavior, and people often model others’ behavior, which may lead to copying others’ actions on social media and reducing data accuracy (especially if, for example, poll results are visible before someone votes).

For those that can take advantage of it, there’s a dual benefit to social media market research: You gain data while also building a connection with customers.

When you let customers express their thoughts, you strengthen an emotional bond, and those who are “fully connected” with your company are 52% more valuable:

(Image Source)

So what are the primary methods of social media market research?

Market research methods on social media

Three qualitative research approaches fit social media:

Qualitative content analysis (number of likes/comments/shares). The number of Likes can be a vanity metric, but assessing the engagement rate of consumers on social media may suggest the attractiveness of a marketing message or product.Social listening. Passively gather feedback from your customers or monitor opinions about your brand or competitors.Polls/questions. Ask questions directly in social media feeds, encouraging users to share thoughts and feelings.

Here are the channels best suited to those approaches.

Which social media channels to use for market research

It makes sense to tailor your social media presence to the platforms where your audience spends time—those with the strongest followings are also your ideal platforms for research.

The State of Social report, not surprisingly, suggests that most brands use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram:

(Image Source)

Below are strategies and tactics to conduct social media market research on each platform.

How to use Facebook for market research

Around 97% of B2B and B2C companies use Facebook, which offers four main ways to conduct qualitative research:

PollsContestsCall-to-action postsBrand mentions

1. Polls

On Facebook, posts that ask questions receive more Likes than any other type of post. It doesn’t require much time or effort to create a poll on Facebook, get valuable feedback, and analyze your data.

Not every poll needs to maintain the serious tone of academic research. For example, Starbucks created a poll about order preferences that generated 2,267 likes and 1,660 comments in 24 minutes. (Having a Facebook page with 37 million followers doesn’t hurt.)

(Image Source)

While the post succeeded in generating engagement—a useful result apart from research—it also offered clues to how their customers perceive themselves and the language that may or may not resonate in a marketing campaign.

Facebook polls are still an option for organizations with smaller followings. The SaaS Growth Hacks group, for example, has just 12,200 members, but a poll on preference for conference call software generated over 100 responses in less than a day:

2. Contests

A chance to win a prize can motivate fans to provide their email addresses, send you user-generated content (e.g. photos, videos, testimonials), or offer valuable feedback about your product.

In partnership with Pinkbike, GoPro ran a “Best Line” contest with a $15,000 prize. Contest participants had to create and edit a video based on their experience, providing hours of compelling footage that both companies could market as authentic experiences with their products.

That same footage also provided insight about who their most fervent supporters were, how they used the equipment, and the most compelling narratives that customers built around the use of the product.

(Image Source)

3. Call-to-action posts

In honor of a new product launch, M&M’s announced three flavors in a post with a call to action to ask followers to leave their thoughts in the comment section:

(Image Source)

Notably, M&M’s made a simple poll into an open-ended question: Rather than simply gathering quantitative data, they got thousands of responses that reflected the strength of consumer sentiment and offered new content ideas, like developing a recipe that uses jalapeno M&M’s for “monster” cookies or promoting a game of M&M-based roulette:

4. Brand mentions

The most valuable insights may come from those who don’t follow your brand. Some 96% of those who discuss brands online do not follow the brands’ profile.

As Kristin Smaby explains, customers want to share their stories about brands, even if that conversation is indirect:

When customers share their story, they’re not just sharing pain points. They’re actually teaching you how to make your product, service, and business better.

One Facebook post that tags a brand can trigger an avalanche of related feedback, something ASOS experienced:

(Image Source)

Keeping track of brand mentions—passively gathered feedback—is possible with social media monitoring tools like Mention, Brandwatch, Meltwater, Digimind Social, Brand24, Radarly, and others.  

How to use Twitter for market research

With its 280-character limit, Twitter is an efficient source of market research. There are two primary ways to collect qualitative data:

Social listeningPolls

1. Social Listening

Monitoring digital conversations, also known as social listening, is a method of observing customers’ behavior to learn about their thoughts regarding a company or product.

Take BellaBrava, a chain of pizza restaurants with a focus on healthy living. When the company wanted to open a new restaurant in Europe, they created a list of keywords that reflected their values (e.g. “plant-based”, “spelt flour”, “veggie”) and monitored people who were talking about pizza and pizzerias on Twitter and other social channels.

With about 450,000 relevant records, BellaBrava drilled down to 10 potential locations with the strongest market in which to open a new restaurant.

(Image Source)

2. Polls

Twitter polls are time-limited: They end between 5 minutes and 7 days after being posted, depending on the duration set by the creator.

Once your poll is over, results can be viewed publicly, and the winning choice is shown in bold. All participants receive a common push notification from Twitter. (Companies have no control over the content of those push notifications.)

Thus, Twitter polls have a dual purpose: Creating social media engagement and offering market research. Taco Bell uses simple Twitter polls to monitor fans’ preferences:

(Image Source)

Another poll asked followers to choose from three options:

(Image Source)

However, avid fans didn’t limit themselves to these choices, and they started suggesting ideas in the comment section. Taco Bell later tested a variation of a new product based on those Twitter comments:

Among other use cases that Twitter highlights are polls to gather opinions about trending events in real time:

In the case of Drybar, a salon chain, the poll is an opportunity to tap into a moment of heightened interest in hairstyles. For other companies, like a pizza chain, a pre-game poll on topping preferences could help shape the ideal offer.

How to use Instagram for market research

Instagram has over 1 billion users, including company accounts for some 25 million businesses. There are three primary methods to collect market data on Instagram:

Question stickers and pollsEmoji sliderBrand mentions

1. Question stickers

The Instagram Stories feature, with ephemeral content that vanishes within 24 hours, has achieved 500 million daily users. Since this content has a short lifespan, the “FOMO effect” can motivate users to pay attention and take action faster.

In July 2018, Instagram added question stickers—succinct, one-question polls for Stories. Users can not only vote but also see real-time results (admittedly, a risk for biasing feedback, too).

Within its social media mix, Sephora uses Instagram for “quick eye candy,” encouraging followers to vote on cosmetic choices and brands by embedding polls within their Instagram Stories:

(Image Source)

2. Emoji slider

Instagram released the emoji slider in May 2018, adding a layer of emotional context to consumer feedback within the platform. Posts with emojis have a 15% higher interaction rate

ASOS allows followers to rate their products using an emoji slider, giving the company richer feedback than what it might get from binary polls—the sliding scale suggests a relative intensity of opinion.

For brands deploying polls, a swipe up delivers a list of participants and their answers, along with the average answer:

(Image Source)

3. Brand mentions

Like all large companies, Whole Foods constantly manages a barrage of satisfied and dissatisfied customers on Instagram—sometimes within the same post. Not surprisingly, unhappy customers hasten to complain about their experience:

(Image Source)

As with Facebook and Twitter, comment sections in Instagram are ready sources to mine consumer feedback, even from social media users who don’t follow your brand.

If you’re not a big brand, influencer campaigns can generate the brand mentions (i.e. source material) for market research. Actively asking for feedback as part of an influencer campaign increase the value of the investment: You get awareness and a trove of consumer feedback.

(While “influencer marketing” may seem blasé, it’s not going away: The worldwide Instagram influencer market value is estimated to be $2.38 billion in 2019; Instagram is used in 79% of all influencer campaigns; and 67% of marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets in the next 12 months, particularly on Instagram.)

In 2018, Tommy Hilfiger invited Lewis Hamilton to launch a capsule collection. In partnership with the brand, Lewis worked on product design and published Instagram posts with a relevant hashtag and product tag. Since Lewis has a large, engaged following, his posts create a buzz—and an opportunity for the brand to get customer feedback.

A photo from the designer collection launch in Japan yielded 148,612 likes, but it also broached the idea of a collaboration with Net-a-Porter:

(Image Source)

Of course, if you’re not one of the world’s most well-known fashion labels, you may have trouble securing a collaboration opportunity with one of the world’s top Formula 1 drivers.

The rise of “micro-influencer” campaigns—those targeted at local influencers with small but loyal followings—offers more opportunities for emerging brands focused on social media growth.

Conclusion

Even if you’ve never bothered to look, the most popular social media sites—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—have data about your customers. While that data is not a representative sample of your total customer base, it is a source of unvarnished opinions from passionate fans.

If you want to get an understanding of their reasons, opinions, and motivations to buy or not buy your product, social media is a rich, public source of market research material.

There are six common methods for gathering qualitative data on social media, many of which are possible on multiple social channels:

Polls (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)Contests (Facebook)Call to action posts (Facebook)Brand mentions (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)Question Stickers (Instagram)Emoji slider (Instagram)

The post How to Use Social Media for Market Research appeared first on CXL.

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So, Your Twitter Account Is Suspended. Why? And Now What?

sourced from: https://trafficgenerationcafe.com/twitter-account-ban/

QUICK LINKS

Enjoy Social Media for as Long as ‘They’ Let You
Was Your Twitter Account Suspended Because…
Twitter Account Suspension and Other Twitter Enforcement Actions
What to Do If Your Twitter Account Is Suspended

“Your Twitter account has been suspended.”

DA DA DAAA!

NO ONE wants to hear that… like, EVER… 

Yet, with Twitter continuously changing the Twitter Rulebook (and, by the way, it’s YOUR, Twitter user’s, responsibility to stay on top of those changes!), it’s nearly impossible to keep your Twitter account squeaky clean.

I know exactly how you feel. I had not one, but several Twitter accounts suspended at one point or another.

Full disclosure though: some of my Twitter account suspensions didn’t exactly come as a surprise… I knew I was playing with fire! 

You can learn more about why a few of my Twitter accounts were suspended in my best Twitter tools post.

Whether you knew you were breaking Twitter rules that got your Twitter account suspended or not (that’s between you and you! ), let’s take a look at

several common cases of why Twitter accounts get suspended,
what (if anything) you can do to get your account back,
what to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Enjoy Social Media for as Long as ‘They’ Let You

What, on earth?…

You are right, this doesn’t seemingly have anything to do with your Twitter account suspension.

However, since humans now have a SHORTER attention span than your childhood friend, the goldfish (I know, right?!!!), something I’d normally save for the end of the post has to be said now – while I have your FULL ATTENTION.

Yes, it’s THAT important!

per recent Microsoft study

Still with me? Or are you completely distracted by my masterful content repurposing?… (in this case, summing up the very long Microsoft study in two images. )

Wait, where were we? I’m so distracted… 

Oh, yes, something really important…

When using third-party platforms (any website you don’t own, in other words), you are completely at their mercy.

You are not ‘entitled’ to anything.

Their platform. Their rules. Their last word.

If they close their doors tomorrow (like Google+ just did), everything you’ve built on that platform is done for.

Thank goodness, a platform closing down for good is extremely rare.

But what about…

Google algorithm changes?
Facebook Zero reach?
Twitter API changes?

Speaking of Google algorithm changes, did you know Google changes it around 500–600 times per year

No one can protect you from platform changes. All you can do is suck it up and adapt.

So, if your Twitter account is suspended, you find yourself at the mercy of a random Twitter employee to plead your case to. And, let me tell you, they haven’t been that merciful, as of late!

Now… when I said, “All you can do is suck it up and adapt“, I was half serious.

There IS something you can and SHOULD do to protect yourself.

When using ANY third-party platform (Twitter, Facebook, SlideShare, Medium, whatever), your goal is to bring people you engage with back to your site as quickly (but spam-free-ly!!!) as possible, then build those relationships on your own turf and terms.

That’s precisely why I wasn’t crying when my Twitter accounts got suspended. At least, I milked them for all the website traffic I could before I was busted.

And yes, I went into much more detail about how exactly I got my new Twitter followers to come to Traffic Generation Café in the best Twitter tools post I mentioned above; take a look at it when you are done here.

Alrighty; moving on.

Was Your Twitter Account Suspended Because…

You know that message you got when your Twitter account got suspended?

It went something like this:

Hi,

The following behaviors are violations of the Twitter Rules:

• Creating serial and/or multiple accounts with overlapping use cases
• Cross-posting Tweets or links across accounts
• Aggressive following, particularly through automated means

As such, these accounts will remain suspended.

Gut-wrenching, I know.

Let’s see if your Twitter account was suspended or restricted due to…

Repeatedly posting duplicate or near-duplicate content to one or multiple accounts you run

You used to read it everywhere, “Post your tweets multiple times to make sure your followers actually see your content!”

Oh, yes, the good ol’ golden standard of making yourself visible on Twitter…

No longer the case.

Twitter rules state:

You may not post duplicative or substantially similar Tweets on one account or over multiple accounts you operate.

So, whether you used to:

post the same tweet to multiple accounts you run,
OR
schedule/recycle the same tweet to go out hours or days apart

…it’s now against Twitter rules.

This one definitely hit HARD.

Take a look at this Twitter forum thread:

A Twitter employee replies:

Yet another question follows:

To that, Twitter says, “Sorry, we aren’t here to entertain every question about our policies.”

There you have it.

A whole list of don’ts and only one way to do:

craft each tweet thoughtfully,
post it manually (once),
then rinse and repeat.

Hey, I am all for maintaining/re-establishing quality content on Twitter, but realistically?… who has the time to market on Twitter ‘to a T’?

But then again… if more and more marketers stop using Twitter to promote their businesses, wouldn’t that create a great opportunity for those of us who don’t mind putting some elbow grease into it? 

If you do want to share the same post across multiple profiles, or to repeat it on your own profile, Twitter recommends that you retweet your original post.

Buuuuut… not too much , because 

Another way to get into trouble with Twitter and get your account suspended is:

Liking and/or retweeting too many tweets at once

Doing it ‘aggressively‘, in other words.

And it’s up to Twitter to decide whether what you are doing is aggressive or not. How convenient, right?

I once had a brand new Twitter account suspended within an hour of its creation for that very reason: I engaged with (liked, @mentioned) and retweeted too many posts within that hour.

Arrrrrggggghhhh….

Truthfully, what I was trying to do was to make my account look less ghost-towny! Since I didn’t want to tweet out a bunch of Traffic Generation Café posts (that was too spammy for my taste, ironically!), I decided to spread some retweeting/engagement wealth to the people I had started to follow.

Alas, that was exactly what got me banned! 

How do you stay out of this kind of Twitter trouble?

Let’s say you go to your Twitter timeline to do that manual thing Twitter wants us to do – converse, engage, relate, be present.

Don’t just go nuts and like every tweet you see!

Give yourself a limit – let’s say to like 5 tweets, to retweet 5 tweets with a thoughtful comment to go with each one, and to share one of your blog posts in-between.

Better yet, do this 2-3 times per day.

OR better yet, establish an easy-to-follow daily Twitter routine to make sure you make the most of Twitter within the least amount of time.

Read How to Manage Twitter Like a Pro [Your Daily Twitter Routine] to…well, learn how to manage Twitter like a pro !

The next most common reason to get your Twitter account suspended is:

Aggressively following and unfollowing Twitter users

Twitter considers it spam:

…if you have followed and/or unfollowed a large number of of accounts in a short time period, particularly by automated means (aggressive following or follower churn).

And, as if that was unclear in any way, here’s more:

Following/unfollowing users was always a huge part of my Twitter marketing strategy.

So much so that I don’t mind going a bit gray hat on this one every once in while.

Learn more here: Best Twitter Tools to Get More Twitter Followers in 2019

Closely related to automatically following/unfollowing users is:

Using or promoting any tools to automatically add Twitter followers or engagements

Twitter considers it spam:

…if you sell, purchase, or attempt to artificially inflate account interactions (such as followers, Retweets, likes, etc.); and

…if you use or promote third-party services or apps that claim to get you more followers, Retweets, or likes (such as follower trains, sites promising “more followers fast”, or any other site that offers to automatically add followers or engagements to your account or Tweets).

Totally get it.

It’s one thing to use a Twitter automation tool to make your life of getting more followers easier (but you still have to do the work!!!), and it’s something completely different and definitely spammy to outright BUY followers, Retweets, likes, etc.

This one is easy: DON’T DO IT.

Abusing trending topics or hashtags

Twitter considers it spam:

…if you post multiple updates to a trending or popular topic with an intent to subvert or manipulate the topic to drive traffic or attention to unrelated accounts, products, services, or initiatives.

Say, you create a tweet, then add a popular/trending hashtag to it – not because it’s relevant, but because you want your tweet to be seen by the people following the topic.

That example is a clearly spammy and unacceptable way to market your business.

I am sure most of you don’t do that, but there are many other ways to abuse trending topics… be assured that Twitter is monitoring that one very closely.

Posting affiliate links

Twitter considers it spam:

…if you post misleading, deceptive, or malicious links (e.g., affiliate links, links to malware/clickjacking pages, etc.).

Social media is not a storefront. Not the right place to make a sale; unless you are paying for ads, of course.

Bring your followers back to your site. THEN convert them.

Twitter Account Suspension and Other Twitter Enforcement Actions

Now comes the really hard part: paying for your Twitter indiscretions.

I’ve got some good and some bad news for you here.

The good news is Twitter is genuinely trying to make the platform better for everyone.

And they ‘aren’t there to getcha…‘

Should they feel your otherwise healthy Twitter account is getting into a bit of trouble with Twitter rules, they won’t just ban you, I promise.

They’ll try to warn you first (most often, send you an email notification), then might give you a slap on the wrist.

For instance:

Twitter Might Require Tweet Removal

Once again, this kind of Twitter enforcement action exists to ensure:

…we are not being overly harsh with an otherwise healthy account that made a mistake and violated our Rules.

If Twitter determines that your tweet violated the Twitter Rules:

They’ll send you an email to let you know which tweet is in violation and which specific rule it violated.
You then can either remove the offending tweet or
…appeal it if you believe Twitter made an error.

(Hmmm… Remove it and count your blessings! )

Meanwhile, while Twitter is waiting for you to remove the tweet, they’ll hide that tweet from public view and will replace the original content with a notice stating that the tweet is no longer available because it violated Twitter Rules.

This notice will also stay for 14 days after the tweet was removed.

Twitter Might Place an Account in Read-Only Mode

Once again, this slap on the wrist is reserved for an otherwise healthy account that is ‘in the middle of an abusive episode‘, as Twitter puts it.

In this case, Twitter might temporarily make your account read-only, limiting your ability to Tweet, Retweet, or Like content until ‘calmer heads prevail‘.

If that’s your punishment, then:

You’ll still be able to read your timeline.
You’ll only be able to send Direct Messages to your followers.
Others will still be able to see and engage with the account.

The duration of this enforcement action can range from 12 hours to 7 days, depending on the nature of the violation.

Twitter Might Make Your Tweets and/or Account Less Visible

This is something that’s referred to as ‘restricting or limiting an account or content’ throughout Twitter Rules, yet there’s no specific section that explains what it is.

From what I could gather, it sounds like Twitter might limit (a.k.a not show) your account or tweets in search results, replies, and on timelines.

The only other piece of info we have is:

Limiting Tweet visibility depends on a number of signals about the nature of the interaction and the quality of the content.

Twitter Might Make You Verify Your Account

This helps Twitter weed out violators who are abusing Twitter multiple accounts rules – operating those to spam Twitter users, for instance.

If Twitter suspects you are running one of those Twitter spam rings , they will lock your account (remove it from follower counts, Retweets, and likes) and require you to verify account ownership with a phone number or email address.

Twitter Account Suspension or Permanent Suspension

Compared to a Twitter account suspension, all previous enforcement actions were just that: a slap on the rist.

Account suspensions happen if Twitter determines that a person

has violated the Twitter Rules in a particularly egregious way,or
has repeatedly violated them even after receiving notifications from Twitter.

When Twitter suspends an account, they notify the account owner and explain which policy or policies he/she has violated and which content is in violation.

What to Do If Your Twitter Account Is Suspended

That’s the good news: if you believe Twitter made a mistake, you can appeal your account suspension.

=> Follow this link to file a report

The bad news is if you appeal is denied, your Twitter account suspension becomes permanent.

Twitter will remove your account from global view, AND you will not be allowed to create new accounts.

Yes, it’s very sad and very final…

Marketing Takeaway

Phew!…

Bookmark this post and use it as a guide of what not to do to remain in good standing with Twitter.

It’s definitely a lot easier to try to follow Twitter rules than to deal with a Twitter account suspension!

The post So, Your Twitter Account Is Suspended. Why? And Now What? appeared first on TrafficGenerationCafe.com.

4 Pillars of advertising on Google 0

Episode 147: The 4 Pillars of Advertising on Google

sourced from: https://www.digitalmarketer.com/leverage-googles-advertising-platform/

If you’re advertising on Facebook but not on Google, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. (Especially if you run a product-based business.)

After all, if someone sees a product they like, what’s the first thing they’re going to do? (Hint: Google it.)

Join the experts and guest Brett Curry as they dive into the 4 pillars of advertising on Google so you can leverage Google’s advertising platform and reach your potential customers. You’ll learn how to run ads not only on Google’s search engine, but also on their shopping platform, their display network, and the pre-roll video ads on YouTube.

IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL LEARN:

The 4 pillars that make up the foundation of a successful ad campaign on Google.
How your Quality Score could get you a bid less than your competitor and still outrank them (« Plus, the 3 elements that makeup Google’s Quality Score).
The ad types you want to run first on each of Google’s properties.

LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Episode 144: Why This is Still the Best Time to Be a Facebook Marketer (Plus… Insights from Facebook’s NYC Office)
Episode 145: How to Amplify Your Ecommerce Business Using Facebook Ads
eCommerce Evolution Podcast
Smart Google Traffic

Thanks so much for joining us this week. Want to subscribe to Perpetual Traffic? Have some feedback you’d like to share? Connect with us on iTunes and leave us a review!

iTunes not your thing? Find … Read More

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6S Socialerts: Instagram Scheduling, New Ad Formats for Instagram and Twitter, and More

https://www.6smarketing.com/blog/6s-socialerts-instagram-scheduling-new-ad-formats-instagram-twitter/

We understand the digital marketing world is busy and that things are always changing. To make your lives easier, we collect the top social media updates along with tips on how to add them to your strategy.

1) Instagram Scheduling Exists

After many years of posting reminders, Facebook has answered our prayers. Instagram’s API now allows content scheduling! Last week, people noticed the update on Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and other platforms. So far, the update is only available for business accounts.

If your business doesn’t have a business account, there’s no time like the present. Not only do business accounts give you analytics, but now you can better plan your content. A plan will also ensure you stay consistent in your posting frequency. Both are key to audience growth.

2) Instagram Carousel Ads in Stories

Instagram is about to shake up their advertising with Carousel ads in Stories. Once introduced, this will be the first multimedia option for the Stories placement. Carousels ads will start with three pieces of content, but may expand to more in the future. The only brands with access to the new feature include Coca-Cola and the Gap. There is no release date for a wider roll out.

The Gap recently used Carousel Story ads to share a campaign that tied back to the brand’s past logos. The first Carousel slide was an introduction. The second slide shared campaign details in a video. The last slide concluded the ad with a call to action (with link included). While you wait for the new Carousel ads, consider how you might use these to tell a bigger story for your brand.

 

3) Twitter Introduces Sponsored Moments to Ads

In 2018, Twitter is still kicking! The social network recently added new ads for Sponsored Moments to its roster. Sponsored Moments are a series of tweets collected under a certain theme (e.g. The Super Bowl, The Emmys, and more). Marketers can use Sponsored Moment ads to add promoted tweets to these collections. Furthermore, branding the Moment title page is also an option.

A new ad offering presents additional revenue opportunities for Twitter. However, this placement is currently only available to a few select publishers. This makes it difficult to determine the effectiveness of Moments. Before they add any new ad options, we hope Twitter fixes the user interfaces of Twitter Ads in general.

4) Facebook Reduces Branded Posts on News Feeds

If you’ve noticed more of your friends’ posts on Facebook recently, that’s not a coincidence. Facebook announced users will see less branded content on their news feeds moving forward. Instead, the social network will rank content from friends and family higher. The change comes from an effort to restore social interaction on the platform. Marketers expect this update to drive up the cost of sponsored content and ads.

While this update comes as an upset to some brands, this is a unique opportunity to pivot your strategy. Instagram remains unaffected by the change. It’s time explore Instagram or other social platforms for your content distribution. Or, since the algorithm favors friends and families, consider investing in an influencer strategy. User-generated content and social proof are still big contributors for purchase decisions. Whatever your decision, it’s clear the old ways are gone so it’s time for change.

Fulfilled wish lists and algorithm changes prove 2018 is going to be an interesting year. As the dust settles and February takes off, ensure you adjust your social media strategy accordingly and quickly.

The post 6S Socialerts: Instagram Scheduling, New Ad Formats for Instagram and Twitter, and More appeared first on 6S Marketing.

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6S Socialerts: Facebook Tackles Engagement Bait, Instagram Introduces Highlights and More

https://www.6smarketing.com/blog/6s-socialerts-facebook-tackles-engagement-bait-instagram-introduces-highlights/

We understand the digital marketing world is busy and that things are always changing. To make your lives easier, we collect the top social media updates along with tips on how to add them to your strategy.

1) Beware engagement bait

There’s no room for sub-par content on Facebook. Moving forward, Facebook plans to penalize posts that use “engagement bait”. You know the type — “comment to enter”, “tag a friend”, and other tactics used to drive engagement on posts. Like the “click bait” restrictions, Facebook wants to limit spam content trying to cheat its algorithm.

This may seem unfair, but it benefits your audience and you (as a social media consumer and marketer). What’s a new year without opportunities for growth? This challenges you to create good content that provides value. Experiment with your copywriting and explore new posting features. For instance, if you’re looking for low hanging fruit, try out Facebook’s newest poll.

2) Long live your Instagram Stories thanks to Highlights

Some marketers put a lot of work into their content, even if it only lives for 24 hours. Thankfully, Instagram has introduced Highlights. The update allows you to archive and sort past Stories into different categories. You can edit Highlights, add to them, and leverage high performing past content.

This update is like Snapchat’s “Memories”, but the update took off without gripe. Expect brands to invest more resources in their Stories since the can now live longer. We’ve already seen some impressive examples making use of title pages and video. The one caveat is Highlights must come from past Stories that ran for 24 hours. Highlights will need more planning from your team. List anything noteworthy you can leverage in the first quarter of 2018. This approach will help you identify the events, product launches and more ahead of time to Highlight.

3) A hashtag is worth a thousand pictures

Instagram has been busy over the past month. If you didn’t notice, hashtag pages have a “follow” button allowing you to see the top posts on a topic in your feed. Instagram’s algorithm determines the top posts by their recency and quality.

This update helps brands in a few ways. When you follow a relevant hashtag, it’s easy for you to engage fast without searching. If people follow a hashtag you show up in, you increase your reach beyond your current community. The feature is new, but if popularity increases, it could be the next targeting method for Instagram ads. Do your research and choose your hashtags wisely.

4) Pinterest’s Taste Graph

It’s no secret that organic engagement is hard to achieve on Facebook and Instagram. So Pinterest, a content hub and link friendly, wants to give users a reason to reconsider it for marketing. Taste Graph, Pinterest’s insights tool gives you a unique look at your audience’s interests and favorite content.

Taste Graph is not available yet, but plans are to launch it in early 2018. We don’t recommend brands take part on every platform if it doesn’t benefit their brand. Yet, if Pinterest is relevant to your audience, the format fits your content and goals – it’s not a bad experiment. Sign up for early access.

There’s always a sense of renewal and hustle that comes with January. We’re all in for the new year, new rules, new trends, and new strategies. Let’s make this an innovative, responsible and agile 2018, everyone!

The post 6S Socialerts: Facebook Tackles Engagement Bait, Instagram Introduces Highlights and More appeared first on 6S Marketing.