People are clearly going to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for different reasons, and marketers can use those reasons to make the most out of their presences on each platform.
Social’s still working to unload some of the baggage of its past. Social marketing started out with “fan pages” and “followers.” With phrases and terms like that it's only natural that social got its roots in being about loyalty. It was about building up communities of brand advocates to keep them excited and motivated to talk about brands. Then it all fell apart.
Algorithms entered the world of social and made their presence felt in a big way. Organic reach dropped to zero, and communities of fans and followers became worthless. There’s no point in building a community of advocates on a Facebook Page if you can’t reach them, so in turn, organic content has become inefficient and ineffective.
Facebook rocked a lot of worlds a few weeks ago when it announced its latest News Feed algorithm update. The update focused the News Feed on delivering its users content from friends and family at the expense of content from publishers and brands. Facebook says it aims to nurture personal connections. Essentially, Facebook is going back to the roots.
For brands, little has changed. Facebook and social as a whole for the most part is a pay-to-play effort. The social side of social media is for friends and family. That’s what Facebook is giving back to users with this latest algorithm update. The media side is where brands a publishers come in. We have to treat these channels as media platforms we approach with compelling, creative assets that are deployed through a strategic media investment.
The open web got a bit more open. Following Russian interference, Facebook’s doing what it can to make advertising on its platform more transparent in an effort to appease critics that the platform is too big, too powerful and in serious need of regulation.
Its latest step is making any ad running on Facebook viewable by anyone else. This is meant to bring dark posts out of the dark with a new “view ads” icon that will display on every advertiser’s Facebook Page. Anyone who clicks that icon will see any of the ads an advertiser is currently running. Facebook’s not alone. Twitter is taking a similar approach with its platform.
This is a marked shift by Facebook. Dark posts have traditionally played a pretty critical role for advertisers to test creative with a small group of users without it being seen by anyone else, as well as target specifically-tailored creative to different audience segments. Dark posts allowed advertisers to take a segmented approach to their advertising. Now, that ability isn’t going away. What is going away is the ability to do all of that in secret. That’s what’s happening to your brand, but it’s also what’s happening to the competition.
Snapchat is no longer Snapchat. It’s Snap. Snap’s not a social network. It’s a camera company. That camera company just launched a consumer product. Spectacles. You look at today’s social landscape, and it becomes painfully obvious that this landscape is anything but social. It’s everything.
We operate in a world where the platforms that were once considered “social" play a much larger and more prolific role in a holistic digital ecosystem.
Real-time marketing’s been said at least multiple times by every marketer in America. What took off with one tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl has turned into a brand pile-on when royal births are announced, the Grammy’s happen or even a random food holiday has its time on the calendar. It was once a way to stand out from the crowd. Now, it’s just a way to be part of it. Everyone’s doing it, and there are no shortage of bad examples from brands. The Prince tributes may take the cake, however.
Real-time marketing had its moment in the sun. Now, it’s growing up. (Many) Marketers are getting smarter with their choices in when and how they react.