Some Facebook activity down, but video views are up
Current research shows that the velocity at which Facebook was growing in 2010 has decelerated rapidly and that common activities like installing apps are down globally, yet Facebook is now the third most popular website for video viewing, even more so than Hulu.
Some activities have become less popular
According to Global Web Index, between the summer of 2009 and today, activities like messaging friends has dropped 14.8 percent in America and 7.4 percent worldwide while joining a Facebook group and searching for new contacts have dropped nearly 13 percent, even installing an app has dropped ten percent and instant messaging nearly eight percent.
Some will speculate that interest is waning in the social network, but it is our belief that with any new social network, there is a certain amount of “set up” that goes into grooming a user’s account and when users feel established on any social network or website, the grooming stops and they use the tools at hand as they are. It’s like getting a new smartphone- you play in the app store for the first few weeks, then you simply use the device as it is without continued research and you’ll add an app as you hear about it, but you’re already set up and aren’t in discovery mode anymore. The same goes for social networks.
Social networks’ growth paths
eMarketer points to the deceleration of the social networks’ growth, reporting that Facebook will grow only 13.4 percent in 2011 compared to 39 percent in 2010 and 90.3 percent in 2009. Twitter’s growth path was similar with a 293 percent growth spurt in 2009 but 2011 growth is only projected to be 26 percent. Growth in America is relatively stagnant for the social networks, leading some analysts to proclaim the two sites have hit a plateau, using negative terminology to describe the two media sites. It is arguable, on the other hand, that it is much easier to grow a small group of people than a large group and that comparing the actual numbers rather than the percentages proves the sites are still growing rapidly and it is arguable that they are both now mainstream.
The oft overlooked sweet spot of Facebook is…
The growing sweet spot that is often overlooked on Facebook is video. Global Web Index reports that only one user activity increased recently and that is uploading video to Facebook which was up five percent in America and 7.6 percent globally. Facebook has been the largest photo site in America for some time and according to comScore is now the third largest video site online with projections that it will rise even higher. In July 2011, there were 51.5 million unique viewers that watched video on Facebook.
In July, Facebook surpassed the unique visitor traffic of Microsoft, Yahoo and Viacom as it was only in sixth place in June. Vevo was the second largest video site with 62 million unique visitors in July with YouTube remaining the reigning king of video with 158 million unique viewers in July.
While Facebook’s growth of new users is not growing at percentages that match 2009’s rate, it has become so mainstream that it is rapidly becoming one of the top destinations for video viewing. Realtors would be wise to include their videos on their Facebook pages and profiles as users are proving they are less interested in poking, gifting, or even instant messaging, but are highly engaged with photos and videos which is music to marketers’ ears.
This non-judgmental app can help you switch to a plant-based diet
(SOCIAL MEDIA) There are many reasons people choose plant-based diets. If you’re looking to try it out, this app helps you stay on track.
The interest in plant-based proteins continues to grow. Healthline suggests that Americans are shifting toward plant-based meat substitutes because of shortages in the grocery store due to the pandemic, but there are many reasons to make the switch.
Plant-based proteins are considered more sustainable than traditional meat. Nutritionally, plant-based meat alternatives are often healthier. Regardless of the reason, if you’re one of the many Americans who are changing your diet, there’s a new app that can help you stay on track without making you feel judged if or when you do eat meat.
Your companion to eating less meat
No Meat Today is an app available in the App Store. You can get on a waitlist in Google Play. It’s a fun app that asks you, “Did you eat meat today?” You can even define what meat means to you, red meat, fish and seafood, poultry, eggs and/or dairy. As you eat less meat, your “planet” attracts cows. The design is simple, “don’t eat meat, get a cow.” If you eat too much meat, your cows go away. There’s no judgement if you lose a cow.
The creator, Arnaud Joubay says, “I’m not here to tell anyone what they should do, only to offer a friendly app to those who want to do the same.” It’s recommended to look back at your history to decide whether you want to eat meat or not.
The app was just released earlier this year. Most of its features are free, but you can pay $4.99 for all the features for one year. There have been some very cute cows released for special days. In the App Store, reviews are positive, but the caveat is that the creator asks you to contact him first if you if your review isn’t 5-stars. It’s a cute app that can motivate you to eat less meat.
Here’s the link to the product page.
Twitter insights to engage more customers this holiday season
(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter wants to help you prep your marketing for the first COVID holiday season by sharing findings on what customers care about.
The year 2020 has been a year like no other. None of us expected to be confined to the inside of our homes, but here we are. And now, more than ever, the holiday season is something most of us are looking forward to, even if we have to spend it apart. And social media like Twitter will be a key part of that.
So, to get a sense of what consumers expect this holiday season, Twitter UK has shared some insights to help brands better strategize on their holiday campaigns. Twitter’s official partner, Brandwatch, analyzed tweets from March to September to find out “people’s opinions and biggest concerns.” Here are Twitter’s findings.
Compared to previous years, people have already started asking for and have begun giving gift ideas and recommendations to each other. According to the data, mentions of Christmas started to increase in March. Between March 1 and September 30, there was a 10% increase in mentions compared to last year. So, brands should definitely start kicking off their marketing campaigns sooner than later.
The pandemic has undoubtedly influenced how we spend our money and has altered how we are able to have family time. According to the Brandwatch Twitter data, 59k people are discussing how family gatherings will be impacted by it. So, brands should be mindful of this, and incorporate messaging that reaches out to everyone. Messaging that makes family and friends feel connected, even if they are spending the holidays alone.
Another thing to consider is combining your efforts with local businesses. Making purchases from small and independent businesses is something that has been heavily highlighted since the beginning of the pandemic. With Christmas drawing near, this couldn’t be more important in people’s minds. Twitter has seen a substantial jump in people saying they will be holiday shopping locally. By partnering with a local business, both small and large companies can benefit from sales.
Also, health and safety were and still are at the top of everyone’s minds. A lot of people on Twitter are saying they will do all their shopping early. This will help them avoid the large crowds of last-minute shoppers.
As a result, companies should start preparing themselves to receive early shoppers. Part of preparing is making sure all health and safety measures are in place. Brands should follow all CDC guidelines and make sure they continue to be transparent with customers. Sending out a simple safety message through social media or email will go a long way.
These insights from Twitter are specific to the UK, but should still be considered. No one knew we’d still be where we are now. However, the holiday season is still something people are excited about. And, brands can take these insights to help maximize sales.
10 Snapchat Ad tips to increase engagement for holiday shopping season
(SOCIAL MEDIA) As holiday shopping draws near, Snapchat offers helpful tips to help business owners make use of their advertising and branding tools.
The holidays are basically here, and Snapchat wants to make sure you get the most out of your Snap promotions. The company recently released its “Snapchat Ads Best Practices: 10 Tips to Help Increase Ad Engagement” post. With these pointers and advertising best practices, Snap hopes to help companies “build visually appealing ads that drive quality engagement and high return on investment for your business.”
So, let’s get into the tips!
1. Choose the right ad format for your goals
With a lot of advertising options, Snap says you need to select the right ad type that will better align with and help you meet your business goals.
- To drive up sales and sign-ups online, Snap suggests using Dynamic Ads, Single Image or Video Ads, Story Ads, and Collection Ads.
- To boost app installs and engagement, Snaps suggests using App Install Attachments that will prompt users to swipe up and download your app. Also, you should use Lens AR Experiences.
- To build brand awareness, Snap suggests advertising using a Story Ad, Lens AR Experience, or Extended Play Commercial.
- To retarget existing customers, Snap suggests using Story Ads that will help keep current customers engaged while improving customer loyalty.
2. Showcase your product front and center in your ad creative
Displaying a fullscreen video or image of your product will encourage a viewer to want to engage more. As a result, it is good to include a ‘hero’ message at the beginning that has all relevant information, such as offers and specials.
For eCommerce purposes, products should be featured “front and center to drive purchase intent.” For apps and games, include the app’s UI, features, and benefits in the ad. Meanwhile, local businesses should highlight the services or products their business specializes in.
And, always remember to make sure your creative meets Snapchat’s ad specs so your ad can be displayed flawlessly.
3. Make your ads feel native to Snapchat
No one likes intrusive ads that scream at your face telling you to buy a certain product or service. To prevent this from happening, Snap says your ads should “mirror the bite-sized and linear storytelling of Snaps” already on the platform. These non-intrusive ads should be kept short at around 5-6 seconds. And, Snap says these more “conversational ads” get viewed more fully than polished ads do.
4. Drive urgency with relevant messaging
Don’t overcomplicate the message. This will just get people to swipe away. Instead, make sure relevant information is at the beginning and is easy to understand. Placing your messaging within the first 2 seconds is preferable.
5. Design for sound on
Despite what you might think, silence isn’t better. Snap says that about 64% of Snapchat ads have the sound turned on. And, an effective way of including sound in your creative is by using a customer testimonial. Spoken testimonials help viewers understand and better relate to the brand or product.
6. Link your ads properly
Make sure users are being directed to where you want them to go. You don’t want them clicking on a broken link. Or worse, someone else’s content. The right link is crucial for impressions and conversions. Here are Snap’s recommended “attachment types depending on advertiser goal.”
- Drive online sales by using Web View Attachments. These pages instantly load for the user and are available in Snap Ads, Story Ads, and Lenses.
- Drive app installs by using App Install Attachments. Snapchatters will be able to swipe and download your app. Using ‘Install Now’ or ‘Download’ as a CTA, Snap says you will have strong conversion rates.
- Drive app engagement/app visits by using Deep Links. These links will bring existing users back to your app. At the same time, any new users will be directed to the app store to install the app. Deep Links can be added to Single Image or Video ads, Story Ads, and Lenses.
7. Test ad creative and try new ad formats
Testing something is a pretty good idea when it comes to anything. Snap emphasizes this, and says testing can give you “insight into what content resonates most with your target audience.” They recommended testing your ad creative for about 2-4 weeks using different formats. After you’ve gathered enough information, you can determine the winning format that is best for you.
8. Use goal-based bidding to bid towards your desired action
- Goal-based bidding “allows you to optimize towards a specific action that a Snapchatter is most likely to take, such as installing your app, watching a video, or completing a purchase.”
- Snap has several bidding strategies, and it recommends using Target Cost Bidding.
9. Broaden your targeting
After you’ve been running your ads for at least a couple of weeks, Snap says to consider broadening your target audience. Snapchat has several different targeting options. Some of the categories you can expand on are geo, gender, age ranges, and languages. Expanding your audience will allow you to get more impressions.
10. Understand your audience reach to optimize
Finally, make use of Snap’s Audience Insights. These insights provide Snapchat with data like demographics, interests, locations, and devices overview. By knowing this information, you can better understand your audience and create content that is tailored to them. Content that will ultimately maximize your advertising efforts.
Overall, Snapchat understands that “mobile advertising is a key component to any digital marketing strategy.” By offering us these tips, they are reminding us of some things we already know, and telling us how they can help us achieve our advertising goals.
With the holidays around the corner, Snapchat says they can help you reach a large and engaged audience for just $5 a day with their offerings. So, what do you think of Snapchat’s tips?
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