Ad retargeting is the latest effort by social networks to monetize their user bases, and the latest network to do so is Twitter. It recently announced that advertisers will be able to target promoted tweets to users based on activity outside of Twitter, such as browsing behavior or being part of a customer database.
Twitter’s announcement follows Facebook’s introduction of Facebook Ad Exchange (FBX), which offers custom audience targeting by email address and phone number, last year.
Social Media Marketing is Just Marketing
The update shows an important trend that social is everything, and everything is social. It’s not about social media marketing. It’s simply marketing. Advertisers are now, more than ever, able to take external data and integrate into their social media marketing programs. Instead of having to use different information and tools, marketers are able to use the same data they are using to be successful on other platforms to be successful on social media channels as well.
It’s Not Just About the Social Graph
In the early days of social media marketing, the vision was for advertisers to deliver their messages through people’s social connections. This has been the case in some instances, but the introduction of ad retargeting shows that a significant part of social media’s potential may be its ability to employ customer data to reach social networks’ massive and very active users.
A user’s social graph still does and always will play an important role but not the only role. All the pieces work together, which means social media marketing cannot exist in a silo separate from other brand initiatives.
Are Your Teams Talking to Each Other?
Defining social media marketing is getting more and more murky over time, and this is a good thing because it’s able to make better and be made better by other marketing channels and inputs.
The integration of third party data to improve social media marketing initiatives is only one example. Teams need to be talking to each other in every step of the planning process because in all likelihood each team brings something to the table the other teams haven’t considered.