Brands in North America value Facebook over Twitter.

Facebook social advertisingThat’s according to an interesting piece over on The Drum (via Mashable) that points out 80 per cent of brands over in the U.S. ignore questions posed to them on Twitter, instead preferring to give more detailed answers on Facebook.

That’s a very interesting trend. Why? Is Facebook more personal where Twitter is more fleeting as a medium? Is it because Facebook allows more detailed replies? And is this behaviour common across the globe?

Social strategy is something I’m a large advocate of. Get it right and you can discover new untapped markets, get word of who you are and what you do out to a new audience, and – crucially – make lots of new friends.

I’ve also warned about how important it is to follow the rules and to be transparent with people so you’re not accused of stealth advertising and trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes.

I hope you listened, because the rules are tightening up.

Do you prefer Twitter over Facebook when talking to customers, or do you have a much broader social media strategy? Let me know in the comments section below.

Long overdue?

The internet has been like the Wild West for decades. It’s that mentality that a lot of marketers hope to take advantage of; something I mentioned recently when I talked about brands looking to team up with YouTube influencers.

So why do they take the risk? There are a number of reasons; they may just not be up to date on the rules, they may rely on an influencer to know what they’re doing, or they may just be lazy and want quick success whatever the cost.

But there can be another reason, too. A fear of the word ‘Sponsored’. A lot of marketers worry that if they pay for and provide content to a third party for promotional purposes, and it’s labelled sponsored, then they may be seen as a naff brand or that it may be a waste of money.

But, if you buy an ad, you have to have the sponsored label. Visit the ASA website and their post about YouTube clarification is still pride of place on the carousel.

if you buy an ad, you have to have the sponsored label.

Things are getting serious Stateside, too. For the first time since 2010 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has updated its Endorsement Guide for social media marketers using influencers and celebrities to endorse brands over social media.

Far too long overdue and very welcome. You’ll be seeing the word Sponsored a lot more from now on.

The right voice

It matters because anything that happens in America naturally ripples elsewhere. But there’s no reason to be turned off by being a sponsored ad.

As the internet and online marketing in general moves on brands and content creators have come up with some incredible native advertising solutions that really capture audience’s imagination.

For those that haven’t or didn’t previously disclose professional advertising relationships the punishments are harsh. You can get penalised by Google, you can get fined by the advertising authorities and, worst of all, you could alienate and upset huge amounts of people.

Being sponsored and partnering your content in the right places, though, can really get your message out there and build valuable relationships.

There’s another benefit as well for people that actually create content. It can be a wonderful money-spinner; British Instagram bloggers for instance can charge figures such as £5,000 and more depending on their reach and popularity.

But as well as the social point of view sponsored content can still help with the basics of search including link building, inbound lead generation, brand awareness, and more.

How do you feel about your posts being labelled as sponsored on other people’s sites and social feeds? What results do you see? Let me know below!

5 Tips on approaching sponsorship

A huge number of brands are benefiting from ethical and transparent sponsored content opportunities that show their brand in a new light to huge audiences.

But how do you get involved? Here are five tips to help you get started:

1: Learn about their audience

If you want to get sponsored then it’s crucial to have content in line with your overall strategy. Your audience must also be their audience, so research content creators and the people they reach out to. Ask for media packs and advertising information from the editorial team to help choose the right one.

2: Competitor research

You won’t be the only company in your niche considering sponsored content opportunities. Just as competitor research is incredibly handy when it comes to search campaigns, it can also help with sponsorship campaigns. See what your industry competitors are doing, and look to beat them at their own game.

5 Tips on approaching sponsorship

3: Haggle and negotiate

A sponsored piece of content doesn’t have to be a one-way relationship. Instead of accepting the brand owner’s first offer, look to haggle and negotiate in a positive way to try and get better terms for yourself, and look to build long-term relationships.

4: Consider a content partnership

BuzzFeed is especially clever in the way that it partners with sponsors to advertise content in a native fashion. The place where your content may be hosted may work better if the brand in question helps to construct your content for their audience, as they have an existing relationship.

5: Consider a broker

A lot of people find it hard enough just keeping their website and their content up to date. Outreach can be tough to master; consider brokering with an agency who is not only able to help build up content sponsorships for your brand, but also know the ins and outs of sponsored advertising.

Getting a great sponsored content opportunity is one that shouldn’t be missed, especially if you can partner with a creative brand that understands both you and your audience. Don’t be scared of being sponsored; it’s a fantastic way to expose yourself to the right people at the right time.

If you’d like to learn more about ethical social media and content marketing and how to use it to build brand interest get in touch today!

(Image: Aqualegion)