It’s hard to imagine where social media’s influence will stop.

With billions signed up to social networks giving their data freely to the likes of Twitter and Facebook it’s helped marketers to reach out to scores of people, cross-generational, across the world in just over a decade.

The platforms already have marketing tools to help advertisers reach out to people based on their interests, location, age, and more. But they’re continuing to develop and release new pieces of software that go even further than before.

Twitter (announcing a net loss of $132 million for the last quarter) has launched Brand Hub which offers greater competitor analysis and insights into conversation details and other analytical data.

 

 

Facebook has also been busy, releasing new services for advertisers that will help them discover more about local customers within a 150-foot radius. The new tab within page insights will show how many of your target Facebook users are close by, alongside other additional information such as age and gender.

The move’s designed to help local advertisers find out more about their neighbourhood and whether their ads are effective or not.

Location-specific ads for multiple stores are also set to be released for chains with multiple branches, to help them simplify campaigns for stores they wish to run ads for instead of putting commercials under a sole umbrella.

They’re just not stopping. Which is good for advertisers – the more ethical information they have, the better – but isn’t it all getting a bit overwhelming?

Your Turn: Will you find these tools useful for your social media campaigns? Or are they just bells and whistles? Let me know in the comments section below.

Traditional troubles

While Twitter’s stumbling with its figures Facebook announced advertising sales of 45 percent year on year to $4.3 billion in the third quarter. But it still wants to capture local markets, which is where these moves come from.

Facebook’s also investing a lot in its video offerings to try and rival YouTube, with pre-roll ads set to feature soon as well as suggested videos and other features. Why? Because it wants to show to advertisers that YouTube isn’t the only video option out there to advertise with.

The figures are astonishing; Facebook video views have gone up by 309 per cent between Q3 2014 – Q1 2015, while there are expected to be more than 2 trillion views on videos posted via Facebook over 2015.

Huge numbers, but not when you consider that there are expected to be 3 trillion views over the same period for YouTube content according to Ampere Analysis. Online global video consumption is up 23 per cent this year, with $16.1 billion expected to be spent on video marketing.

 

traditional linear television viewing is going to fall for the first time ever in 2016
So of course Facebook is going to get in on the act. And don’t forget, it also has Instagram on its books, which is another avenue it can capitalise on with video.

Snapchat is also boasting more than 6 billion daily video views – triple what they were getting in May – and have apparently turned down a $3 billion offer from, you guessed it, Facebook in 2013. It was probably the right move, with Snapchat currently valued at $16 billion.

So why’s that relevant? Because of another statistic – apparently traditional linear television viewing is going to fall for the first time ever in 2016 which represents a huge culture shift in viewing habits across the globe.

And it’s software and analytical data provided by social networks which is helping put dents in traditional media thanks to more visible returns on investment and better targeting tools. But it’s also a keen reminder that, despite being potentially overwhelmed by so much information, that your campaigns need to be creative and engaging for social success.

Your Turn: Does data-driven marketing give marketers too much information, or is it more helpful than ever to produce creative, targeted campaigns? Let me know below!

Man on the moon

Proofing this post I hope that I haven’t come across as anti-Facebook; I just think it’s incredible that one company can have so much information, and that like Google it needs to tread very carefully.

But online advertisers can feel very blessed. With the tools at their disposal and currently available they’re in a golden age of online advertising that can potentially only get better.

If they’re clever with how they use that information, that is. I mentioned Christmas advertising last week and, as predicted, John Lewis’s yuletide campaign featuring a lonely old man on the moon making friends has stolen the headlines.

Because it’s heart-warming, mainly, and tugs at the heart strings. It’s another impressive ad from the high-street giant – the ad’s success will only be further accentuated thanks to tools such as Facebook targeting, conversation analysis on Twitter, and pushing it through YouTube’s TrueView platform.

 

 

It’ll be fascinating to see the post-Chrimbo post mortem. John Lewis’s ads have always caught the imagination, but dissecting its online spend against traditional media and how the relative ads performed will make for an interesting reading.

Which is why you can’t afford to be overwhelmed with all of the tools that are at your disposal. There is so much to get your head around that it’s critical not to let the technical and creative side of your campaigns blend into each other too much.

You have to balance your campaigns out with creative focus, calls to action, and the right message to not only attract interest but to encourage others to share it – the latter point something traditional advertisers didn’t have to worry too much about.

Get it right and you can grow quickly on a local, regional, and national scale as well as capturing the imagination. If you focus too much on data and analytics though then you’ll potentially annoy or even scare off your target audience.

A social media marketing company can help you box-off what you need to do for your campaigns. But always try and keep it at a base level; entertaining and speaking to your customers effectively to turn them into loyal customers.

If you’d like to know more about how social media marketing can help grow your business contact a Webpresence representative today!

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