Category: Facebook

How Platforms are Helping Brands and Users Navigate COVID-19

COVID-19 has undoubtedly become the dominant focus of our day-to-day lives. Keeping pace with the data, insights, and behavioral shifts can feel dizzying and cumbersome. Several major platforms have stepped up to play fundamental roles in helping marketers and people at various levels navigate through the uncertainty and changes we currently face and will continue to face after the pandemic is behind us.

Let’s break down what these efforts look like in action:


It’s no secret that as the COVID-19 pandemic expands, we face a circulation of various misinformation campaigns including rumored government decisions and ‘cures.’ Messaging apps are playing a key tool in spreading these amongst users.

In response to this trend, Facebook is spearheading new ways to stem the flow of messaging misinformation. One way it’s addressing this is through its instant messaging platform WhatsApp, which is testing a feature that would allow users to search for additional context on a message they encounter via a Google search prompt in-stream. WhatsApp also introduced a WHO chatbot, offering yet another stream to access critical information paired with a COVID-19 research hub.

Separately, Facebook, on its own platform, has taken numerous steps throughout the past few weeks that include:

  • Embedding informational prompts to relevant search queries to guide users to trustworthy information about COVID-19
  • Expanding access to local alerts so specific communities can stay in touch about what is going on around them
  • Providing free ad credits for organizations looking to deliver critical virus-related information and data tracking tools so users can keep tabs on evolving stories
  • Introducing a new set of learning resources for kids and parents to help them safely navigate the internet in addition to a set of tips for remote workers
  • Allocating over $100 million in funding to small businesses, fact-checkers, and local newsrooms


Instagram is banking on the positive coming out of COVID-19 and an era of social distancing by offering ways to take an otherwise isolating and passive experience and transforming it into one that is more social and active.

Specifically, the platform launched “Co-Watching,” which allows users to on a video chat or group video browse through feed posts either Liked or Saved by an individual, or one that Instagram suggests. The goal is to give users the opportunity to have more meaningful conversations about what they’re encountering, incentivize them to use video calls more regularly, and spend more time in the app.

This release is one of several responses by the part of Instagram, including a dedicated Story spotlighting posts from your network that are using the “Stay Home” sticker and all of their quarantine activities. Additional stickers that have surfaced on the app include ones reminding of proper handwashing and keeping a six-foot distance from others if you have to be outside, and donation stickers so users across the world can give back.


To support its audience in a time of need, Snapchat is stepping up through a diverse set of efforts. The platform rolled out several creative tools so people can creatively share information from the WHO with friends and family including Bitmoji stickers with common-sense health tips and a worldwide AR filter with tips for staying safe. Users can also visit the WHO and CDC’s official accounts for updates and browse custom content from the organizations.

Taking the information-sharing a step further, the platform announced an addition to its “Discover” tab: “Coronavirus: The Latest,” where access to high-quality news and information can be easily accessed. More generally, Snapchat is working with over three dozen content partners to provide reliable information.

COVID-19 also prompted Snapchat to speed up the debut of its “Here for You” feature, which went live in February and appears when a user conducts searches for topics related to anxiety, depression, stress, grief, suicidal thoughts, and bullying. A new section was added to incorporate content from the Ad Council, CDC, Crisis Text Line and WHO on anxiety related to the coronavirus.


TikTok is using COVID-19 to identify meaningful opportunities to emphasize its growth and demonstrate its ability to serve as a connective tool for its community. In this vein, it announced a content partnership with the WHO. As part of the collaboration, the platform unveiled a comprehensive COVID-19 resource hub that can be accessed through the “Discover” tab in the app. It also appears amongst the top results when someone enters search criteria pertaining to the virus.

Additionally, on the dedicated page with videos related to the subject, the platform is adding links to serve as a reminder to only rely on credible sources for trustworthy information. The WHO is also using its own verified TikTok account to engage with younger audiences.

Beyond content, TikTok is supporting the WHO financially by donating $10 million to its Solidarity Response Fund used to help get supplies to those on the frontline. “In this time of global distress and concern about the impact of Covid-19, we’ve been inspired by people in towns and cities everywhere whose fundamental humanity is shining through when we need it most,” shared TikTok President Alex Zhu.


During the first month COVID-19 emerged, more than 15 million tweets were sent across Twitter mentioning the virus. The platform has since acted swiftly in ensuring fact-checked and authoritative content was discoverable above the noise and false claims by reawakening its profile verification.

Twitter is also increasing its use of machine learning and automation to take a wide range of actions on “potentially abusive and manipulative content.” This includes detecting spread of false stats and other information, accounts being used to deny or advise against following official advice and promoting treatments or cures that have not been proven. At the same time, the company is being careful to strike an appropriate balance between applying AI as a tool and the role of the human review in these special cases.

BuzzFeed News recently reported that the news media could see an impact “worse than the 2008 financial crisis, which saw newspapers experience a 19 percent decline in revenue.” To support the sector in the absence of some of the smaller, local companies that fuel these publications, Twitter announced a $1 million funding program to be split between The Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Women’s Media Foundation.


Pinterest is doubling down on its effort to combat misinformation by removing inaccurate information and guiding its users to authentic insights through custom search results.

When searching for information about COVID-19, users are directed to a curated Pinterest page from the World Health Organization (WHO) detailing timely and useful details around how to protect yourself, friends, and family from getting sick. This includes hand-washing best practices, when to use a nose or face mask, and more.

In a statement to The Verge, Pinterest said the custom search results is a way to “connect Pinners with facts and myth-bust what’s not true with authoritative information from the [World Health Organization].” The platform also urges users and brands to follow the WHO’s account as a frictionless way to stay updated while they post and engage with others.

This approach has resulted in a significantly lower volume of pandemic-tied posts compared to other major platforms and spurred creative ideas from Pinners. Pins are showcasing products like COVID-19 notebooks for journaling about your experience, while a “coronavirus vibes” board is dedicated to ways to relax and use this time to practice self-care.

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Here’s How Facebook is Supporting Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it uncertainty and unprecedented changes to the very fabric of our lives and our businesses. It has particularly hit small companies hard, some being forced to close for public safety, while others are suffering blows to their revenue figures. The longer the crisis goes on, the harder it is to support the livelihoods of their owners and employees.

Many platforms including Snapchat, Twitter, and TikTok, are identifying opportunities to step up to provide financial support as well as curb misinformation, ensure the public has accurate information on how to stay healthy and safe, and offer tips for embracing and leveraging new remote workforce. Facebook, too, is pitching in recently announcing a $100 million grants program to assist 30,000 SMBs, in 30 nations, supporting the communities in which Facebook and its teams operate.


“We’ve listened to small businesses to understand how we can best help them. We’ve heard loud and clear that financial support could enable them to keep the lights on and pay people who can’t come to work. People across the globe are stepping up, rising to the enormous challenge in front of us. We want to do our part too,” shared Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

As far as who is eligible, that is still being determined, however, the platform has curated a page where SMB owners can sign up for more details as to when applications will be live. Beyond advertising efforts, there are several examples of how companies can use these grants spanning operational costs, rent fees, and employee wages.

Aside from the financial burdens, many are facing, Facebook’s exploring a range of other options to help businesses navigate the COVID-19 outbreak including a dedicated Business Resource Hub. Here SMBs can find tips for managing their business from home, downloadable content packages with best practices and insights, and a self-assessment to track progress. The Hub also includes links to official information about COVID-19 to help their customers stay informed.


Sandberg teased additional efforts in the works to help give organizations in need a boost including a virtual training program that can engage businesses all over the world. The company has also started work on a set of Blueprint materials, an e-learning program focusing on remote work and management of remote teams.

“Teams across our company are working every day to help businesses. We’re looking at additional ways to host virtual training – and will have more to share in the coming weeks – and we’re finding more ways to help people connect and learn to use technology through Blueprint, our free e-learning training program,” said Sandberg.

In addition to this, Facebook also shared its new partnership with the Lenfest Institute for Journalism and the Local Media Association. Together, they will provide $1 million in grants to local news organizations which are covering COVID-19 in the US and Canada in need of resources to cover the pandemic and deliver relevant updates.

In this unfamiliar and unsettling environment, the capacity for technology to unite has never been stronger. We face a different type of normal than what we’re used to and the platforms and brands that are putting humans at the center of their strategies today will be making an investment that pays dividends long after the challenges are behind us.

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Facebook Launches New Business Resource Hub for Organizations Impacted by Coronavirus

Facebook has launched a new business hub to help organizations impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Facebook Launches New Community Accelerator Program to Help Leaders Utilize Facebook’s Tools

As part of its ongoing focus on facilitating communities on its platforms, Facebook is launching a new education program for group admins and community leaders.

Facebook Begins User Testing of New ‘Horizon’ VR Social Platform

After announcing its coming ‘Horizons’ VR social world in September last year, Facebook is now moving into the beta testing phase for the feature.

Facebook’s Testing a New Option to Cross-Post Facebook Stories to Instagram

Facebook is testing an option which would enable you to share your Facebook Stories to Instagram.

Why LinkedIn is Bringing Ephemeral Marketing into the Business World

Our industry faces an entire generation growing up with Stories as a preferred way of forging digital relationships. They’re more private, comfortable, foster a greater sense of trust and loyalty, and above all ephemeral stories live for a moment in time versus in the feed forever.

They first appeared on Snapchat with Facebook and Instagram following suit shortly after, and they caught fire for their ability to deliver in a lighter, more fun way to share without it having to be carefully filtered and attached to your profile for the long haul.

LinkedIn’s Journey into Ephemeral Marketing

What might this content look like in a professional context? Can this exist in the business world? LinkedIn is determined to find the answers as it continues to see the volume of conversations on the platform increase. From features to Newsletters, Live Video, Trending News, and Reactions, the platform is now turning to the Stories bandwagon.

The company currently sees a 25 percent year-over-year increase in engagement spanning sharing job updates, business reports, collaborating to share creative strategies, and bringing a community together to remember the loss of a basketball player whose life and career inspired generations of fans.

“Last year, we started asking ourselves what Stories might look like in a professional context…I’m excited to see how Stories will bring creativity and authenticity to the ways that members share more of their work life, so that they can build and nurture the relationships necessary to become more productive and successful,” said Pete Davies, LinkedIn’s Head of Content Products in the official announcement. Specifically, he pointed to the full-screen format as ideal for sharing “key moments from work events” and sharing the digestible “tips and tricks that help us work smarter.”

Preparing for a Stories-Driven Future

According to Business Insider, 66 percent of U.S. creative and digital decision-makers plan to invest in Stories this year, and only 62 percent expect to channel their dollars into News Feed advertising. What does this really mean? The Stories are no longer a novelty and their effectiveness will be an important consideration in 2020 and many years ahead.

Let’s take a look at some overarching creative best practices you can use whether you’re new to the scene or looking to take your existing strategy to new heights.

Stay true to your brand

One of the biggest draws to Stories is the authentic peek behind the curtain it gives to your audience. With this in mind, a general rule of thumb to pocket should be to design your creative around your ad’s objective. For example, if it’s tied to a brand objective, emphasize the human element. If it’s more focused on conversion, spell out the important benefits of your product or service.

If there’s uncertainty around the specific objective, look to your brand’s mission as a guidepost. Start with important brand elements and see where connections can be made to how the specific ad can be tied back to the overall purpose.

Aim for a blend of visuals, text and sound

Case studies have found 83 percent of videos using stickers helped express key messages about the brand or product whereby another study using static creatives showed there is an 87 percent chance ads without stickers deliver better conversion results than with stickers. The bottom line? The best strategy when considering visuals in your Story is to ask yourself if it feels like it belongs in the environment or if it simply makes the message feel more like an ad and takes away from it being relatable.

Similarly, sound and text overlays can feel inconsistent and take attention away from your core messages. Use these only when they feel aligned with the ad’s objective and not if it feels disingenuous or distracting from the call to action you’re looking to convey to your audience.

Keep attention with vertical designs and speed

Stories are consumed much faster compared to other existing mediums. To cater to this, a top tip is to craft your ad to grab attention from the first frame and use speed to keep their attention through the end of the ad. A couple of ways to achieve this include using multiple scenes that are short and digestible. If a scene consists of static imagery, consider adding motion to add some liveliness.

When experimenting with videos and asset design, studies have shown that organically shot videos on mobile are effective when it comes to ad recall and intent while professionally crafted content often drives more brand awareness. If you’re designing yourself, feel free to repurpose content as desired but above all, the full- screen vertical design will be the most natural fit for the Stories medium.

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How to Incorporate Data Into Your Bottom Line Strategy

The web is the world’s largest data repository. It’s expected to house roughly 40 zettabytes by 2020, making it the number one source for generating valuable information. As a result, businesses are leveraging data that’s hidden in plain sight to increase their bottom line. 

One particular strategy that’s helping companies capitalize on information is web data integration (WDI), a process that aggregates and normalizes data to make it more digestible through intuitive reporting and visuals. It relies on a similar concept as traditional web scraping, but is much more sophisticated and places an emphasis on quality control. 

This data includes everything from social media posts and product reviews, to email receipts and satellite images. Businesses can use it to gain detailed insights, make better business decisions, and improve operations, saving both time and money. Here’s what you need to know.

Reduce client churn

“Customer churn is the percentage of customers that stopped using your company’s product or service during a certain time frame,” explains marketing expert Swetha Amaresan. “You can calculate churn rate by dividing the number of customers you lost during that time period – say a quarter – by the number of customers you had at the beginning of that time period.”

Failing to keep client churn in check can be detrimental to the success and longevity of your business, so make minimizing churn a top priority – it will help you get the most from your client base and keep it profitable. 

Start by taking advantage of tools that can help reduce churn. For example, customer success software Planhat serves as a “customer data hub” to help businesses learn more about their clients, predict churn, and identify upselling opportunities while they’re hot. And when customers are at risk of churn, they’re “flagged with sales reps” so they can take action and try to remedy the situation.

Increase consumer loyalty

Techniques like data mining and web scraping, which analyze large data sets and identify meaningful patterns, can be instrumental in boosting consumer loyalty. They can be used to fine-tune your pricing strategy, monitor customer sentiment, identify common pain points, and more. By correcting glaring problems and improving the customer experience, increased consumer loyalty naturally follows.

Custom skincare solution provider Proven is one company that successfully leveraged the data hidden in plain sight through web scraping. They analyzed 8 million reviews, 100,000 beauty products, and 4,000 scientific articles to gain detailed insights into customer needs and sentiment to fine-tune their products and customize them for individual customers. As a result, they were able to develop higher-quality products and create a more personalized experience, which led to increased customer loyalty.

This is something you can do, too. It’s just a matter of identifying the right channels to analyze that provide the deepest insights into customer sentiment. If you have a significant social media following and a lot of online reviews, for instance, you could analyze that data to pinpoint potential areas for improvement. 

Discover hidden profit

A recent study by TRUE Global Intelligence found that 55 percent of modern organizations’ data is “dark,” meaning it’s unquantified, untapped, and often unknown. But the companies that are able to effectively tap into it can unlock hidden profits. 

For example, Netflix collects data to provide users with highly-targeted content. Analyzing the shows and movies users have previously viewed – as well as their search history – allows Netflix to create a completely personalized product, where no two customer experiences are the same. In turn, customers stay more engaged, which inevitably results in a larger customer base and bigger profits for Netflix. 

In the case of Facebook

On the flip side, data also has the potential to lead to a loss if mishandled. A prime example is the $5 billion fine that Facebook recently received for violating privacy practices. The world’s largest social network had 2.41 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2019 – and access to an enormous amount of data. 

While the full details are currently unknown, reports indicate that Facebook used data mining that breached its users’ privacy, which highlights how important it is to adhere to rules and regulations regarding data governance. 

We’re living in an era where data is being generated at a record pace. There are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every single day, and 90 percent of the world’s data was generated within the last two years. 

And businesses are discovering that the most valuable data is the everyday information that’s hidden in plain sight. While individually it may not have much of an impact, it can create a huge competitive advantage when analyzed on a large scale and grow your bottom line.

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Why Your Brand Can’t Overlook Messaging as a Business Tool

40 million companies are now active on Facebook Messenger. With user expectations for more personalized, one-on-one interaction that puts them in touch with their favorite brands on the go, the onus on businesses to catch up and pay attention shows no signs of slowing.

The platform recently published a report exploring this embrace of conversational commerce, when consumers and businesses interact through chat with the intent to drive purchase. The travel sector is one example seeing a spike in messaging use, but the insights, including important consequences and valuable opportunities, are important for all companies to note.

Here are a few highlights that help address key questions including why messaging is the new normal and how it can be used to innovate and develop fresh ways to garner attention.

Messaging offers familiarity

Sixty-four percent of people claim they would prefer to message rather than hop on the phone with a business and more than half (60%) say they’re open to receiving personal messages from companies.

Why? Any consumer, particularly travelers, demand flexibility and conversations that feel natural. Being able to send a chat to a business at your own convenience and while on the move checks both of these important boxes. More importantly, messaging apps don’t make you go through the hassle of navigating new interfaces or downloading yet another program that will only clutter us with more notifications but demand more of our mobile phone’s precious storage and battery.

The report pointed to Canadian airline WestJet as a leading example in the space. Its customized bot, Juliet, not only delivers on a combination of familiarity and convenience but helps put a human face to the brand. In turn, WestJet saw a 24 percent life in positive sentiment among travelers and expanded the number of messages that could be responded to by 5X.

Messaging is built for real-time conversations

One of the biggest draws for messaging is that it is fundamentally built to cater to a sense of urgency. Facebook has made clear the strong correlation between responsiveness and business outcome. With the medium being so instantaneous and intimate, it isn’t far fetched timeliness would go hand in hand. The takeaway, simply put, be as prompt as you can in responding and make good on expectations set around the turnaround for responses.

Airline KLM, the report discusses, was one of the early pioneers of Messenger to enhance the flying experience. This spans sharing boarding passes, flight updates, and more all in one simple place. More recently, KLM turned to Facebook-owned WhatsApp to provide real-time confirmation upon booking, gate assignments, and changes to the flight status. Beyond the individual flying, the company has tapped into Messaging to loop in family members or friends about flight arrivals to save the customer a step from having to relay the information themselves.

Messaging fuels personalized, scalable interactions

Ninety-one of consumers say they are more likely to buy from brands that remember who they are and that provide relevant recommendations.

With the evolution of new technologies like AI, AR, and VR, brands can more easily and effectively craft personalized experiences at scale — closing the gap between discovery and action and pushing more success for in-store services and purchases. This is primarily due to messaging allowing brands to connect with people at multiple touchpoints across the customer experience.

While catering to individual preferences and tastes can seem daunting, there are three simple ingredients to incorporate into your approach to set yourself up for success: be direct and succinct, focus on the value-add, and leverage technology to enhance the relationship outside of the 24-hour window.

Users are reaching out more often than not with a targeted need or question. In this vein, keep follow-ups tight and focused and communicate customer value. Make calls to action easy to decipher and give them options for how’d they like to be notified.

For example, messaging tags are ideal for non-promotion but timely updates, one-time notifications, or sponsored messages to share announcements outside the standard messaging window. These will all help play into the human lens notion and allow exchanges to feel more natural and expected and less spammy when hand-picked by the consumer.


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What You Need to Know About Facebook’s New Creator Studio App

This year there will be close to 1 million minutes of video crossing the internet per second. By 2022, online videos will account for over 82 percent of all internet traffic — a 15x increase compared to 2017.

Audiences find videos more engaging and more memorable than any other type of content

Video continues to stake its claim in the digital space, carving more territory for itself and cementing its role as one of the most effective elements in a digital marketing strategy. As we roll into 2020, there is a lot more for us to understand about video content, but one this is clear — it is no longer a nice to have but a necessity if your storytelling efforts are to be deemed engaging and memorable and drive conversions and exposure.

To help publishers and creators hone their approaches and cater to the demands of a mobile-first world, Facebook unveiled an iOS and Android application companion to its Creator Studio. At a glance, the tool is targeted to allow enhanced management of uploads, performance tracking, and convenient ways to stay in touch with audiences in real-time.

The journey to a creator-centric app

For those unfamiliar with the background, Creator Studio initially launched on desktop last September and served as a replacement for the ‘Creator’ app launch in 2017 (originally released until the title of ‘Mentions’ in 2014). With the history lesson out of the way, let’s take a peek at what the mobile companion has to offer.

Per the announcement — written by the platform’s Head of Creator and Publisher Experience Jeff Birkeland — you can expect the exact same insights and engagement metrics as the desktop hub with a number of added benefits helping manage and edit Page posts, view and make sense of performance analytics, and engage with your audience.

Let’s break these down some more:

Measured metrics and improved multi-account management

A huge priority with the app is to guide creators and publishers as they look to evolve their strategies with rich insights. In the mobile version of Creator Studio, you can seamlessly trace how your videos are performing including one-minute views and average minutes viewed. You can also keep tabs on your advertising earnings, the number of users who commented or shared a video, and how people watched your video for at least 3 seconds.

To take the headache out of hovering from one account to another, the app comes with the functionality to Manage several Facebook Pages and toggle between them without having to go through the added step of logging in and out each time.

“It’s a desktop-mobile ecosystem where you’re getting the benefits across the board,” Birkeland reiterated in a statement to Business Insider. In other words, the app isn’t intended to replace your management process but enhance its feasibility and flexibility.

Creating sustainable audiences and refining your content on-the-go

One of the primary reasons Facebook decided to create a mobile version of Creator Studio was upon receiving feedback that its users wanted to be able to edit video headlines and descriptions and respond to comments from their phones. In this vein, the app comes equipped with the capability of customizing video titles and descriptions, deleting and expiring posts, published drafted posts, and rescheduling scheduled posts.

Consumer intelligence is rising in the ranks as valuable as a form of data that translates into deeper audience relationships and improved decision making. In a nod to this, the Creator Studio app makes it easier to connect with audiences in real-time. Specifically, messages and comments can be responded to directly through the app’s inbox. To help you track your progress over time, the apps come with a setting to schedule notifications when you’ve hit a key milestone.

Being present with your brand continues to be one of the leading ways to secure meaningful engagement. Facebook’s update gives publishers and creators a more streamlined and cohesive way of achieving this in a format that the majority of viewers opt to use. With easier ways of producing and measuring the performance content as well as staying on top of useful feedback, this capability will be integral in bringing a human element to your marketing efforts.

In this vein, marketers should certainly take note that aside from having a human voice, diversifying sources of income continues to be a growing priority for creators as they look to repurpose their content, reach broader audiences at scale, and rise above the noise.

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How Platforms are Promoting Safety and Mental Health

A growing number of platforms are publicizing their dedication to make good on a fundamental responsibility to prioritize and invest in the health and wellness of its users.

Pinterest recently introduced a series of emotional wellness activities including deep breathing exercises for users searching for solutions to better manage their stress and anxiety. Instagram has also made strides in this regard, releasing a tool, Restrict and expanding its suicide and self-harm content ban.

Additional apps are taking cues from these efforts including Snapchat, TikTok, and Facebook. Here’s a look at the latest and why they matter in the grand scheme of our industry.

Snapchat: ‘Here For You’

Ninety-percent of all 13- to 24-year-olds use Snapchat to engage with their friends. This particular demographic is especially vulnerable and internal company research has proven this by showing feelings of stress, depression and anxiety to be the top mental health issues reported by users and their close friends.

Similarly to Pinterest’s mission, ‘Here For You’ is geared more toward offering resources and starting important conversations that resolve these feelings and issues and less about uprooting the product. Specifically, the process works by linking users to a “special section within Snapchat’s search results” when they search criteria indicating they’re in need of support around issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, grief, suicidal thoughts, and bullying.

Illustrated below, if a user were to type in the word “anxiety” they’d be given a selection of short shows to pick from including the series “Chill Pill.” A mixture of original programming made with support from local experts will also be available targeted to topics of suicide, depression, and eating disorders.

According to the announcement, proactive in-app support is just one step towards “what will be a bigger health and wellness push from Snapchat” to be rolled out over the next few months.

“We feel a real responsibility to try to make a positive impact with some of our youngest, sometimes most vulnerable users on our platform,” said Vice President of Global Policy, Jen Stout in a statement to Fast Company. “We know this is the first step of a lot of work we want to do to provide the right resources to our users.”

‘TikTok Tips’: An Influencer-Led Safety and Well-Being Advice Account

Last month, TikTok updated its Community Guidelines to address potential issues with misinformation and expanded its rule around acceptable in-app behavior. Today, the company is taken yet another stand towards helping users make better decisions that are safer and better for their mental health and wellbeing through a new influencer led account dubbed TikTok Tips.

The premise is to use familiar TikTokers to run the feed and dish out fun and friendly reminders to fellow users around how to manage their privacy settings and to take a break from the app. Messages encompass simply getting some added rest while others reinforce the benefit of participating in IRL activities with family and friends to as crucial for building memories.

“We’re on a mission to promote privacy, safety, and positive vibes!” states the account’s description — one that aligns with the platform’s broader mission to serve as an environment of a positive, safe space free of judgment.

While it’s too early to make any declarations on how effective it will be in getting people to re-check their usage and take mental breaks from their constant scrolling, initial video uploads show promising engagement. Two, in particular, have garnered 16.9 million views and 17.2 million views respectively.

‘Facebook’s ‘Hobbi’: An App Dedicated to Tracking Your Personal Progress

In a nod to Pinterest, Facebook is looking to help users focus on their personal growth and development in a new app, Hobbi, via its New Product Experimentation (NPE) team.

As you may guess from its name, Hobbi is dedicated towards giving users an outlet to collect images of their hobbies and interests and sort them into boards so they can easily map their progress. Themed collections can include gardening, cooking, DIY arts and crafts, and more. Outside of the ability to create video highlight reels of your work to share externally on other platforms, Hobbi is not a social networking app, rather an editor and organizer. The editing options and controls are limited, a stark contrast compared to the likes of Instagram. It’s unique in that rather than serving as an outlet to broadcast, its intended use is as a personal log for your achievements, a resource for personal reflection and a compass for growth.

“You might just surprise yourself with how much you have done,” the app description states, encouraging people to push the boundaries and meaningfully engage in the activities that bring them joy, relief, and happiness.

If you’re a company that caters to younger demographics, especially Gen Z, you’ll want to keep tabs on these initiatives and fundamental shifts. Why? Because they are at the heart of what these audiences care about, are interested in, and expect when establishing their loyalty to the brands they purchase from, and the apps they spend their time on.

Learn more about Empathy Economics as part of our 2020 global theme: HUMAN.X and help us establish a human-first, experience-driven approach to digital marketing. Read the official announcement here and secure your early-bird discount today to save 10% on your full-conference pass to #SMWNYC (May 5-7, 2020).



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What the New ‘Off-Facebook’ Activity Tool Really Means for Advertisers and Users

Two years ago Facebook hinted at giving users an option to remove the browsing history utilized it us to deliver targeted ads at its annual F8 developer conference following the Cambridge Analytica Scandal. Fast forward to today, and after several unexpected delays, the platform is pulling the trigger officially. In doing so, it is making a pretty firm stance on the evolution of a permission-based, personalized future.

The Off-Facebook Activity: What is it and how to use it?

The platform is introducing the “Off-Facebook Activity” menu available to users on a global scale where they have the option to:

  • View a summary of the information other apps and websites have sent Facebook
  • Disconnect this information from their account
  • Disconnect future off-Facebook activity from their account (this holds for all off-Facebook activity or only specific apps or websites

“Other businesses send us information about your activity on their sites, and we use that information to show you ads that are relevant to you. Now you can see a summary of that information and clear it from your account if you want to. Off-Facebook Activity marks a new level of transparency and control.”

Now that you’re briefed on what the new feature enables, here’s a quick run-down of how to use the feature.

To begin, click on the drop-down menu in the top right of the desktop version of Facebook. Then, select “Settings” followed by “Your Facebook Information.” You’ll then be presented with an option for “Off-Facebook Activity” as depicted below:

From there you can browse all of the websites sharing your information with Facebook and decide whether to clear your history and remove this information from your account, strip the tracking for specific sites, or disable this tracking in entirety. Full disclosure — by turning off the tracking Facebook says you’ll still see the same number of ads and it can receive information about your activity, it just won’t be associated with your account. In other words, the ads you are fed will be less personalized.

What does this mean for the advertising industry?

There are several implications with regards to the advertising industry to note here. Primarily, giving users the onus to remove their details will inevitably make it harder for advertisers to retarget customers that visit their apps, websites, or make purchases in-store. In terms of measuring success, without these added specifics, it will likely be harder for brands to trace who was served an ad when and whether it was effective or not.

The good news? The majority of users will likely appreciate the gesture but not take the time to go through and remove the traces to the large number of websites who have collected it over the years. Several advertisers who have already spoken out anticipate adoption of the feature among the public will be limited.

“Consumers have a track record of apathy when it comes to actively managing their privacy,” said Aaron Goldman, CMO at marketing technology company 4C in a statement to Mashable. “Whether it’s deleting cookies or clearing history, these tools typically get very little usage and have very little impact on marketers.

On top of this, and more importantly, while the majority of social media users have voiced growing concerns about not knowing when their data is being collected, by who, and how it is being used, the overwhelming preference remains: personalized advertisements that align with their needs, interests and values will always garner higher engagement than those that are irrelevant.

“You should be able to easily understand and manage your information, which is why strengthening your privacy controls is so important. We’ll have more to share as we continue to make progress on this important work in the decade ahead.”

Learn more about Privacy Matters as part of our 2020 global theme: HUMAN.X and help us establish a human-first, experience-driven approach to digital marketing. Secure your early-bird discount today to save 20% on your full-conference pass to #SMWNYC (May 5-7, 2020).


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4 Major Brands and Platforms Addressing Digital Literacy and Fake News in 2020

The majority of marketers realize the issues presented by fake news and “deepfake” techniques in skewing the information we’re exposed to and the implications for determining what is fact from fiction.

We face a critical point in our industry where many brands and platforms are facing increased pressure for setting a benchmark for detecting these types of conversations.

Here are a few that are taking action in 2020.

Tumblr’s Digital Literacy Initiative “World Wide What”

With the 2020 election on the horizon, social media platforms are making moves to update their strategies to curb the spread of information. The latest to join the bandwagon is Tumblr, which recently launched an internet literacy campaign targeted to help younger demographics entering the voting scene spot fake news and unsavory posts.

The initiative, World Wide What, was developed in partnership with UK-based internet literacy organization, Ditch the Label. The campaign’s structure emphasizes six core community topics in video form that include fake news skewed views, authenticity, cyberbullying, the importance of minimizing screen time, how much we share online, and creating a safer internet through moderation.

Unlike traditional literacy materials, the platform is tapping into visual, more culturally messaging such as GIFs, memes, and short text in line with imagery native to the Tumblr brand. Videos will also leverage outside experts and industry leaders to tackle certain subjects through a series of Q&As in the coming weeks and months.

“We are constantly striving to learn and utilize new ways to create a safe place for our communities,” Tumblr shared in a statement on the World Wide What site.

Google x Jigsaw Visual Database of Deepfakes

In September 2019, Google tapped Jigsaw in an effort to develop a dataset of visual deepfakes aimed to boost early detection efforts. The tech giant worked with both paid and consenting actors to record and gather hundreds of videos which ultimately were crafted into deepfakes. The final products including both real and fake videos, were then incorporated into the Technical University of Munich and the FaceForensics benchmark and made widely available for synthetic video detection methods.

Fast forward to November, Jigsaw has continued on this momentum by releasing what it refers to as “the largest public data set of comments and annotations with toxicity labels and identity labels. “ This includes the addition of comments and annotations with toxicity and identity labels. The goal with incorporating these details is to more accurately measure bias within AI comment classification systems. Traditionally conversations are measured with synthetic data from template sentences that often fail to address the complexity and variety of comments.

“By labeling identity mentions in real data, we are able to measure bias in our models in a more realistic setting, and we hope to enable further research into unintended bias across the field,” shared in a recent Medium post. The key in the ever-evolving deepfake tech space will be a healthy and growing research community.

Twitter Policies Targeting Synthetic and Manipulated Media

Twitter is looking to its community for support in fleshing out its strategy for addressing synthetic and manipulated media, what the company defines as “…any photo, audio, or video that has been significantly altered or fabricated in a way that intends to mislead people or changes its original meaning.

As a draft to its policy, the platform has outlined that it will:

  • Place a notice next to Tweets that share synthetic or manipulated media
  • Warn people before they share or like Tweets with synthetic or manipulated media
  • Add a link – for example, to a news article or Twitter Moment – so that people can read more about why various sources believe the media is synthetic or manipulated

The platform also vowed to remove any deepfake believed capable of threatening someone or leading to serious harm. This raises the question as to how it would address these types of manipulated conversations spurring a falsity but not technically causing harm or that use newer creation methods that lag behind the detection techniques.

To garner feedback from users, the platform created a multiple-choice survey that addresses the broader preference of removing versus flagging (e.g. should altered photos and videos be removed, have warning labels, or not be removed at all). To date, the survey is closed and the platform is reported to be working on an official policy that will be announced 30 days prior to roll out.

Facebook’s “Deepfake Challenge” and Ban

This past fall Facebook teamed up with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft, and academics from Cornell Tech, University of Oxford, UC Berkley, University of Maryland, and SUNY Albany to launch the Deepfake Detection Challenge. The DFDC as its referred to includes a data set of 100k+ videos using paid actors — as well as grants and awards —aimed to inspire new ways of detecting and preventing AI-manipulated media.

The DFDC will run to the end of March of this year with the goal of “…producing technology that everyone can use to better detect when AI has been used to alter a video in order to mislead the viewer.” According to the official website, a winner will be determined based on “a test mechanism that enables teams to score the effectiveness of their models, against one or more black-box tests from our founding partners,” the company shared.

‘Deepfake’ techniques, which present realistic AI-generated videos of real people doing and saying fictional things, have significant implications for determining the legitimacy of information presented online,” shared Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer in a recent blog post.

In addition to these efforts, the platform followed up with a new policy that would remove synthesized or edited content in ways that “aren’t apparent to an average person and would likely mislead,” or deepfake posts that use AI technologies to “merge, replace, or superimpose content onto a video, making it appear authentic.”

Again, the issue becomes how we as an industry will move forward walking the fine line between malicious deepfakes and those with less-harmful intents of creative parodies or satire.

Learn more about this topic as part of our 2020 theme HUMAN.X through the lens of the subtheme Privacy Matters. Read the official announcement here and secure your early-bird discount today to save 20% on your full-conference pass to #SMWNYC (May 5-7, 2020).

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That’s a Wrap on Empathy Week!

“When you give teens a chance to share their voices and you listen (really listen) to what they’re saying, you learn a lot about what we can do to support them and help them thrive.”

This quote from Katie Hurley, leading expert on empathy and adolescent psychotherapist, summarizes the mission that drove the first-ever Empathy Week hosted by The 404, Social Media Week, Facebook, and a coalition of over 40 industry partners.

Bringing together students, influencers and industry leaders

From December 2-6, we brought together more than 100 high-school students, hundreds of industry leaders, influencers and brands, including P&G, GSK, GE and Samsung to brainstorm ideas for how we can address the fact that empathy is in decline among young people using

Check out our video recap from Empathy Week:

Video by Kindred Minds Productions

Events were hosted at Edelman, Adobe, Grey Group, and Code and Theory’s offices. Dan Gardner, Code and Theory’s CEO said, “We decided to participate in Empathy Week because we feel that as the digital and social media landscape matures so quickly, there’s a growing gap in understanding both the effects it has on a younger generation, as well as the advancements in digital tools and human approaches to mental health. Quite simply, we want people to care about their words and choices online, and understand how they can affect other people. Imagine how different the world would be if everyone who used social media cared about other people’s feelings?”

The week culminated at Facebook’s Partner Center where The 404 hosted a discussion on the role that the marketing industry can play in scaling the program that included leaders from Adobe, Code and Theory, Acoustic (an IBM Watson company), and Holler.

Led by Katie, students explored the different types of empathy and how they differ from sympathy, examples of empathetic behavior online, and ways they can manage their inner judge to become better listeners and communicate understanding.

Scaling the impact of empathy

As part of the workshop, students were also asked to complete a self-assessment quiz, before and after participating, to determine to extent of their understanding of empathy. The results showed that through a ninety-minute program, we increased students levels of empathy as a foundational skill by more than 10 percent.

“Imagine the impact we could make in addressing this issue with more time and more resources at our disposal? The appetite to learn and engage on this topic was voracious, both among students and teachers. This is our biggest opportunity to influence the next generation of Internet users,” said SMW Founder and Executive Directory, Toby Daniels reflecting on the week.

Here is what one of our industry leaders and a participating teacher from one of the schools, Khalil Gibran, had to share:

“Thank you so much for providing this workshop to our students. The workshop topic of empathy is an important topic that needs to be bridged and taught to everyone across the United States to ensure that our country moves in a more positive direction. My students really enjoyed being able to address the issue of lack of empathy by discussing issues faced in school and generating ideas on how to use empathy as a tool for change,” said Carrie Lynch, a high school teacher at Khalil Gibran.

#ActsofEmpathy Campaign

In conjunction with Empathy Week, The 404 also launched the #ActsOfEmpathy campaign with support from Instagram influencers Arielle Calderon (@ariellesays), KhrystyAna K. (@Khrystyana), Cameron Rogers (@freckledfoodie) and Katie Duke (@thekatieduke). #actsofempathy encourages them and the larger community to share their stories of empathy on Instagram and other social media sites and then tag friends who have stood by them during a difficult time or has elevated them in other ways.

What’s Next?

The 404, with over 40 active members, including Salesforce, Microsoft, Attention Capital, Refinery29, GroupM, TBWA, Droga5, and Accenture will convene at Facebook’s Partner Center in early January to explore ways to scale the program and its impact in 2020. Coming off the success of the first Empathy Week, The Department of Education has expressed interest in making the program available to hundreds of their New York City-based high schools.

About the 404

Lead by SMW, we are a community of multi-disciplined, digital thought-leaders brought together to take necessary steps toward solving problems and capitalizing on opportunities that exist as a product of how we use social media. 404 members include leaders from Facebook, Grey Group, Adobe, Code and Theory, Edelman, Whalar, IBM Watson, Salesforce, Microsoft, Attention Capital, Refinery29, GroupM, TBWA, Droga5, and Accenture.

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SMW Partners with Facebook to Host First-Ever Empathy Day

Why is empathy important in the context of how we interact and engage with social media?

This was the question that drove the conversation during the inaugural Empathy Day event hosted by Social Media Week and The 404 at the Facebook Partner Centre in London.

This past Wednesday, a group of high school students came together for an inspiring conversation around ways we can drive empathy online. They were joined by two Instagram influencers, 23-year-old Imii Mace and 19-year-old Anisa Farah, who collectively have tens of thousands followers across Instagram and Twitter. They shared their journeys in addressing negative comments and how they’re encouraging their followers and the larger Instagram community to pay it forward with positivity.

Defining empathy and getting to the root of the problem

Led by Dr. Nihara Krause, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, the group also participated in a variety of exercises that challenged them to differentiate sympathy from empathy and address key questions including what are the key barriers to empathy and why is the decline of empathetic behavior on social media such a pressing issue?

After becoming more familiarized with the problem throughout the workshop, students were tasked with brainstorming their own ideas for boosting empathy in their communities as part of the #youarenotalone challenge.

Examples included community pages where people could seek help and accomplishments of peers could be celebrated, and empathy assemblies where students could experience the effect of their words face-to-face. The larger takeaway of what was shared was two-fold: we need to emphasize rewarding good behavior and remove the interactions from behind the screens.

Insights from students

The students were also put to test through polls that revealed more about their personal experiences such as whether or not they’ve witnessed cyberbullying and how social media platform companies can help make our online world a more empathetic one. A few important insights gleaned from their responses included:

  • More than 80% of students defined empathy as connecting with someone to understand their perspective
  • 75% reported they attempted to stand up for a peer in-person while 55% tried to stand up for someone online
  • More than half (56.5%) felt that increased education is needed on why this is an issue

What’s Next

This is the first of several Empathy Day events SMW and The 404 will be hosting this year with several more workshops confirmed for December across our Global Partner Centres including Grey Group, Adobe, Edelman, and Code and Theory.

Our goal is to create a safe and enjoyable experience online are fully committed to preventing cyberbullying across them. We look forward to showing everyone how they too can make a positive difference when we all come together on social media to make a change for good!

About The 404

The 404 is a community of multi-disciplined, digital thought-leaders brought together to take necessary steps toward solving problems that exist as a product of how we use social media. Functioning as a coalition and working in collaboration, The 404 is made up of over 40 member companies, including Facebook, who has provided support by offering up its Global Partner Centers to host 404 events and meetings.

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What Facebook’s Changes to Organic Page Impressions and Gray Verified Badges Means For Your Business

When they were first unveiled in 2007, Pages were described by Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg as “a completely new way of advertising online.”

Though they’ve continued to evolve with the platform, at their core Pages have always represented a unique ability for brands to talk directly with their customers regardless of whether they used the ad platform or not.

Fast forward to just over a decade later, the company is looking to bring two important changes to Pages that will change their overall presentation and how organic impressions are calculated and reported.

Repeat Organic Paid Impressions

As outlined in the above tweet by Matt Navara, social media industry commentator and consultant, organic Page impressions could see a reduction in perceived Page and post reach. The reason behind the move? To bring the way it filters repeat organic page impressions more in-line with the methodology it already uses for ads.

“We will be updating the time frame for which we filter out repeat organic impressions from the same person. As a result, you may see less organic impressions for your page and posts,” he shared. “This is not a change in distribution, but a change in the way we filter out repeat organic impressions that occur within a short amount of time. Other engagement metrics will remain the same.”

Ultimately, Facebook is looking to reduce the duplicate metrics derived from the same individual continually revisiting your Page and posts and, in turn, more accurately represent the physical number of people that have actually engaged with your content. As a result, Facebook admins may see a drop in their numbers.

Verification Badges

Facebook also revealed it would be removing the grey verified badges from Pages. First made available in 2015, their purpose was to designate authenticity and were granted upon completing an application that confirmed the page belongs to and would be managed by a member of the company.

The social media company touts that in response to feedback that these checkmarks caused more confusion than they were helpful, it’s “working on better ways to show Pages are authentic.”

Compare to the blue ticks utilized for accounts of celebrities, public figures, media companies and brands, acquiring a grey tick isn’t as stringent of a process making it easier to falsely present a duplicate company page as the real deal.

As a warning, while this process continues to pan out Pages wanting to prove their legitimacy post-October 30th should ensure that their Page profile is complete, including up-to-date information, a profile picture, and full contact information. Posting on a regular schedule is yet another practice being encouraged by the platform to show you’re active on the channel and still in business.

“We are unable to provide any estimates for how this update may affect your page, if at all. Fluctuations in impressions for Facebook pages and posts continue to be normal, as impression counts can be influenced by many factors over time,” the company claims.

Time will tell how your stats will be ultimately be affected by this update but one thing remains certain: it’s always important to have a concrete plan for measuring your performance and having a holistic picture of the trends driving the behaviors and fluctuations behind the numbers.

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Why Messaging and AR Are The Next-Level Ad Options Your Brand Shouldn’t Overlook

In a digital era where time and attention are critical investments, it’s more important than ever to take a hard look at how consumers are spending their time, why and who they’re choosing to spend it with, and the best ways to harness our influence to tailor opportunities in meaningful ways.

Two major ways platforms such as Facebook are addressing this issue is by delivering immersive and personal experiences through emerging technologies such as augmented reality and mobile messaging.

Click to message with brands in Messenger

Facebook is bringing together two of its fastest-growing mediums to help businesses more efficiently and effectively reach their audience and drive engagement: Messenger and Stories.

“We know that people want personal and engaging communications. Technology has fulfilled that expectation with the ever-growing popularity of messaging and stories,” said Mohit Rajani, Lead Product Manager, in the official announcement.

More specifically, the platform currently sees over 1.3 billion people connect with friends and family across its family of apps each month including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Whatsapp and 500 million posts to Stories each day. With 40 million active businesses on Messenger to date and three million brands running ads on the apps every month it really isn’t difficult to conclude why this move would make sense.

“We know that when businesses place ads across a range of surfaces, including news feed and stories, it leads to an increase in conversions. This particular trend holds when businesses add multiple stories placements to their campaigns as well,” Rajani added.

In support of this notion, the company ran a test which found that seven out of nine brands that added the Messenger Stories placement to its campaigns on Stories saw increased conversions spanning app installs, add to carts (ATCs), purchases, or registrations compared to campaigns that opted into single stories placements.

Now that we know the why and what surrounding this update, let’s distill how it works and the implications that it brings to the discussion table:

At its core, the feature puts users in the driver seat, giving them the ability to swipe up on Stories ads that have the new “Send Message” call to action to start a conversation with businesses of their choosing within Messenger without ever having to deviate from the app.

For advertisers, especially those with longer conversion cycles, this added engagement mechanism stands to be a huge boon for business. Small groups continue to be a fast-growing area of communication. Today’s users desire privacy, convenience, and personalization in safe and trusted spaces and messaging and ephemeral marketing are increasingly being looked at as sources of solutions.

Shop with augmented reality in Instagram

On the heels of its in-app checkout feature launched in March, Instagram is adding to its shopping features arsenal, with an augmented reality try-on feature to its product pages targeted to help shoppers in the platform preview how certain types of products would actually look like on them.

Per Mashable, the initial test phase is limited to cosmetics brands Mac and Nars, and eyewear brands Warby Parker and Ray-Ban, but Instagram plans to make it available for more products after gauging success.

Users can anticipate encountering the feature in two possible scenarios. Primarily, they’ll be able to try on products when browsing through brand accounts before tapping ‘add to cart.’ A much more impactful goal of the update, however, is generating an incentive to share these AR experiences in Stories, which will also link back to the original product and fuel virality for brands.

“You can share it through Stories with friends, brands can create Stories — that’s definitely one of the primary ways in which we think that people will shop,” says Srilatha Raghavan, product manager for AR commerce at Facebook.

Indeed, these added layers of communication allow us to improve how we drive top-of-mind awareness and present the unique ability to participate in conversations we were never able to before. The future of relationship marketing is a transitional environment where users favor experiences over products and these sorts of advertising opportunities stand to open doors for brands looking to leverage the trends and next-level technology needed to stay relevant.

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5 Conversion Tips to Add to Your Social Media Strategy

Despite earlier predictions and fears, social media marketing is actually growing. People spend around 142 minutes a day on social media sites, which is more time than people spend checking their emails, even if it’s part of their working routine. (On average a person spends around 94 minutes a day reading their email inbox).

Social media sites are doing a fantastic job drawing their users to their sites and keep them engaged.

However, social media traffic is not easy to engage outside of the platform itself. Social media users are mostly lurkers. Unlike users who type search terms with the intention to perform an action,  external links and offers interrupt the user experience.

No one comes to Facebook to buy insurance. But a search user typing “insurance” into Google’s search box is most likely to be actively shopping for one.

With that said, conversion optimization tactics should be different when it comes to these two major sources of incoming traffic:

  • Search users can be easily lured in with a good copy and nice special offers.
  • Social media traffic conversion path is often longer and more fragmented. (Unless you are in fashion or food industry where you can build sales from social media thanks to impulse shopping effect).

Here are a few conversion tricks that work for social media traffic:

1. Create a secondary asset that fits social media users

Whether it’s organic social media traffic or social media advertising campaigns, in most niches the golden rule is always the same: “Don’t try to sell right away. Engage and build interest first”.

We had a great chat with Susan Wenograd who put it best:

Social media traffic

That being said, if your product costs more than ~$50, you may need to come up with a secondary product to engage social media users and collect data before selling more to them.

A few ideas of those secondary engagement assets include:

  • A fun survey leading a user into the problem and getting them curious enough to optin
  • An insightful whitepaper / tutorial describing the problem and then offering a solution which can be paid for
  • A free brochure (e.g. interior design ideas, Halloween part ideas, etc.) that can be email or mailed to the customer and inspire them enough to buy, etc.
  • Your own original research (based on your customer research or external survey results)
  • A free course that takes seconds to join and can later convince people to pay for upsells (the full premium course, access to premium membership, etc.)
  • A free evaluation of a problem that can be further solved by your product or service, etc.

Kajabi is a comprehensive platform that can help with most of those ideas above. It helps you create paid and freemium course, set up a membership site, engage users with surveys and polls, schedule and automate email notifications, etc.


If you were looking for some ideas to engage your site users better, setting up an educational course and/or a membership site is a good idea.

2. Re-target those who converted

Taking this idea of marketing secondary assets further, you can use re-targeting marketing to actually convert those who previously downloaded your brochure or became part your membership site.

Almost any (interrupted) user experience can be revived by retargeting campaigns including both:

Re-targeting a user on Facebook

A natural re-targeting platform to start with is, of course, Facebook advertising platform. For that you need to install Facebook’s tracking pixel and set up a campaign to automatically show ads to people who previously performed some type of an action (e.g. downloaded your brochure) and/or viewed your products.

Facebook retargeting

Retargeting a user on your own site

You can also re-engage your return users with Finteza retargeting feature. For example, you can serve on-site ads to people who:

  • Previously read your guide
  • Viewed your product page
  • Registered an account

Finteza retargeting

3. Match your social media content to seasonality

One of the most effective ways to overcome that lack of intent issue, is to match your social media updates and ads to seasonality. When a hot season is approaching, many people find themselves interested in performing in action even if they were not there to act.

For example, in Fall of 2014 37% of U.S. consumers bought a pumpkin-flavored product, whether they were planning to or not. The power of seasonality has long been recognized by markers. Lots of brands come up with new temporal products and offers to generate new interest and sales.

It’s no wonder, Starbucks keeps marketing their Pumpkin Spice Latte at around early September and their Toasted White Chocolate Mocha closer to Christmas. Moreover, their holiday offering varies depending on the country to better meet their customers’ needs and traditions.

Christmas drinks

The power of seasonality can and should be utilized in social media marketing too. To get more organized, year after year, use social media editorial calendar to plan seasonal campaigns months ahead.

ContentCal is one option that offers “Campaigns” feature to ensure that your brands’ social media updates align to seasonal trends. ContentCal is minimal and highly collaborative. You can schedule campaigns months and years ahead and your team will be alerted of approaching seasonal trends whenever they login to contribute and schedule social media updates:


4. Diversify your CTAs

As mentioned above, social media users hardly ever stop. It is not at all easy to convince them to “download a free whitepaper” considering they came to your site after watching cat videos on Facebook (and are probably willing to go back to keep watching those).

Creating engaging copy for social media users involves much more creativity and experimentation. Play with CTA placement and wording, create an actionable context to naturally lead your readers into your conversion channel.

For some inspiration, try Text Optimizer, a semantic analysis platform that includes “Action words” section allowing you to see what may prompt your page users to act:

Text Optimizer action words

[Use these suggestions to create actionable context and word your on-page calls-to-action]

Adding visual content to attract more attention to your on-page CTAs is another way. You can put together effective visual assets using tools like Canva and Placeit:

Furthermore, make good use of these ideas on how to create conversion-oriented content to build a more engaging copy.

Diversify Your opt-in forms

Finally, while banner blindness has been an issue for years now, a new type of challenge is upon us. More and more web users ignore opt-in forms. Too many sites are asking for their email address and growing privacy awareness is not helping either.

A few short years ago giving away a free eBook in exchange for an email address was enough to boost your email list growth. These days most publishers are finding it more and more difficult to get anyone opt-in:

Anita Campbell, founder of a well-known publication, Small Biz Trends:

5. Experiment and then experiment some more!

Alter is a nice recommendation engine that helps engage more site users by adding an artificial intelligence component to your email list growing efforts. The tool learns more about your site users and customizes its CTAs based on their behavior boosting your opt-in rates:

Alter email optin

Alter integrates with major email marketing platforms allowing you to grow your current email list.

Have you found any effective ways to convert your social media traffic? Please tweet your ideas to @seosmarty!

Image source

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How to Bring Groups and Personalized Experiences Into Your Marketing Strategy

Marketing is grounded in authentic storytelling that aims to solve real-world problems for audiences. In an age of over information abundance, a very critical obligation for our industry is respecting people’s time and attention and delivering them tailored experiences that will shape their lives in meaningful ways.

Let’s take a look at how a few major platforms are incorporating updates to help users engage authentically and accurately.

Pinterest is looking to help its community in the content discovery space by making it easier to communicate with group members directly via a board.

New tools recently launched aim to achieve this goal include more reactions to elicit feedback, the ability to sort pins, and a central hub for communicating with group members.

“We spend a lot of time talking to Pinners, and whenever we hear from creative professionals — whether hair and makeup stylists, interior designers, wedding planners, or architects — one common theme comes up: they use Group Boards constantly to collaborate with their teams and clients,” the company stated in an official blog post.

New reactions

Pinners already have the ability to “heart” a pin they love. Now, with the addition of a pair of clapping hands, as well as thumbs down, question mark and lightbulb options, users have a much more specific and emotive way of engaging with content. These will display in a new pop up panel alongside a Pin once it’s tapped or clicked on.

Here’s a visual of what you can expect to see:

Sorting Pins

Also part of its slew of Group Board updates, Pinterest is giving users the ability to sort their Pins by “Most Reactions” and “Most Comments” so popular and unpopular ideas can be more easily traceable and differentiated. Ultimately, the goal with this move is to help projects move forward more swiftly. The company is also expected to launch a tool that would reveal the person behind the idea of Pin and the date it was saved as well.

Redesigned collaboration spaces

Finally, Pinterest is promising the rollout of a new space in which users can connect directly with contributors without ever having to deviate from the board. Users can already engage with one another via the activity tab, but with a new dedicated chat option with group collections, it’s clear the social network is eager to take their dedication to commenting even further.

Ultimately, the motive is to make the tool more engaging and maximize the time spent within the platform. To be clear, however, this isn’t for broader social connection, the emphasis still remains devoted to product engagement and discussion within smaller groups. “In fact, 98 percent of Group Boards have five or less people, and 77 percent of Group Boards are between two people,” the social network reported.

Yet another major platform making a push towards helping its users effectively sift between content that matters to them and posts that don’t map to their interests and needs is Twitter.

Multiple timelines

Twitter users are now able to add up to five lists as alternative timelines within the main app, enabling them to swipe between groups of accounts that they’re following directly from their home screen. In short, think of these as filters to your overall following base and chronological timeline where you can keep tabs on certain groups, perhaps old college roommates or coworkers, that you may not necessarily want to follow regularly.

On iOS, access Lists by tapping your profile to open the Home menu and select the ‘Lists’ tab. Next, pin or unpin certain profiles and create a List from the Lists tab.

Paired with this update, Twitter is adding a fresh landing page for newly curated lists, which, depicted below, incorporates a header image and more context about your customizable timelines, including the number of members and subscribers.

Per The Verge, as you build your multiple timelines, general platform rules and standards apply. Specifically, you can opt to make them private or public and follow any public lists created by other users. Lastly, a person can remove themselves from lists they no longer want to be a part of by blocking the list’s owner.

Facebook Watch Party

Finally, earlier this year Facebook launched Watch Party, a feature that allows members of Groups to watch live or pre-recorded videos together and comment in real-time.

“We’ve been focused on building new ways to bring people together around video, create connections, and ignite conversations; Watch Party is the next step in bringing this vision to life…If people can start a Watch Party directly from their profile or from a video they’re watching, the experience of watching video on Facebook can become even more fun and social,” the company shared in the announcement.

In this way, the Group becomes the TV station and the videos serve as the programs or lineup that can be viewed collectively with your friends.

Small groups continue to be the fastest-growing areas of online communication and it is important for marketers to understand that as they look to identify new ways for engaging their audiences, connecting privately in safe and trusted spaces is a dominant preference. As these examples demonstrate, group culture provides creative ways to encounter new ideas, interact with content with greater accuracy, and identify people with similar interests.

Looking ahead, marketers have a unique opportunity to innovate for a more personalized, curated future in a way that acknowledges a deeper respect for a consumer’s time and attention.

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The post How to Bring Groups and Personalized Experiences Into Your Marketing Strategy appeared first on Social Media Week.

How Facebook’s New Ad Bundle is Helping You Bring Immersive Experiences to Your Brand Stories

Sixty percent of businesses on Instagram use an interactive element including @mention, hashtag or poll sticker, in Stories every month. Building off of this trend, Facebook is introducing a new suite of ad options including video poll ads, augmented reality ads, and playable ads to its platform targeted to encourage “a playful experience between people and businesses.”

“People want to be included in your next big idea and are using new innovative ways to do it — less words, more GIFs, Lives, Reactions, emojis, face filters, and stickers. In turn, brands and people are becoming more intertwined and it’s changing digital advertising from a one-way push communication to an ongoing dialogue powered by creativity,” the company shared in a recent post published to its Business Blog.

Let’s break down what each of these looks like:

Video poll ads

On the heels of the introduction of poll stickers for Instagram Stories earlier this year, Facebook made the move to bringing polling capabilities to its video ads. “In 5 out of 9 brand lift studies, we observed poll ads increased brand awareness compared to video ads,” the company reported.

Advertisers can choose from three different variations of poll ads depending on their specific campaign needs: poll only, poll plus watch and browse, and poll plus watch and install.

For some concrete examples of these in action, Warner Bros used video poll ads to boost application downloads for its Game of Thrones: Conquest game and saw that app installs were 87.5 percent higher compared to a traditional video ad.

Cable network E! used the feature to increase viewership of the show Total Bellas, and saw brand awareness rise by 1.6x.

AR Ads Enter Open Beta

Sixty-three percent of internet users surveyed say they’ve tried an AR experience created by a brand. As of this fall, Facebook is opening beta globally for AR ads giving the opportunity to more advertisers to connect with their audiences.

In an early testing phase, WeMakeUp developed an ad where users could try on its latest shade of lipstick. The result? A 27.6 point lift in purchase and a 53 percent higher click-through rate compared to non-AR video ads.

Similarly, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics built a campaign around its Luxe Matte Lip Color which, in turn, drove an average engagement time of 61 seconds and three-times the CTR and two-times the website purchases compared to their non-AR ads.

Playable ads

In the same vein of collaborative formats that encourage participation, Facebook is also opening up playable ads to its global advertiser base. The ad units specifically allow users to play a game as a means of driving downloads, conversations and brand objectives.

Vans recently worked with Facebook’s Creative Shop to create a playable game where players guide the company’s Vice President of events and promotion, Steve Van Doren, down a mountain while collecting gifts. The user experience ultimately translated into a 4.4 point lift in ad recall and a 2.4 point lift in favorability.

“Advertising needs to work harder than ever to be more relevant and rewarding for the people we’re making it for,” Facebook Vice President of Global Business Marketing and Chief Creative Officer, Mark D’Arcy, shared in a statement about the launch.

Setting aside the specifics of the new ad options, the larger takeaway to pocket here is that creativity will only continue to be integral to our storytelling efforts. In today’s landscape, vying for attention is no small feat and to break through the noise we as marketers must go above and beyond to not only communicate with our audiences, but do so in a way that excites and inspires meaningful action.

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A Marketer’s Guide to Creator Studio for Instagram

In early 2019, Instagram unveiled Instagram Creator Accounts as an alternative to the business profile. After a brief beta testing period, the social platform made these profiles available to anyone.

To help attract and cater to influencers, Instagram creator accounts offers a variety of key features and tools for influencers to go even deeper on their follower metrics. These span counts of daily unfollow and follow counts and important demographic specifics such as age and location of your audience. Such metrics give influencers critical background into who exactly their followers are, and how the content is impacting their experience and engagement.

In order to easily track these bits of information, Instagram unveiled a handy dashboard dubbed “Creator Studio” where you can easily manage your Instagram presence.

At its core, Studio offers the capability of viewing and tracking your posts across multiple accounts, refine your strategy through activity and audience insights, and schedule and publish Feed posts and IGTV content from your desktop.

Getting Started

Recently, the platform published an eight-page guide providing helpful details around how to make the best use of Creator Studio. Here are the three-step basics to getting started:

  1. Make sure you have an Instagram account and Facebook Page (and that your Instagram account is connected to the Facebook Page that you manage)
  2. Make sure that you’ve switched your Instagram account to a business profile or Creator Account
  3. Open Creator Studio on your desktop and click the Instagram icon at the top of the page

At this stage, what you select next is dependent on how your Instagram account and Facebook page are connected.

  • If you manage a Facebook Page that’s already connected to the Instagram account you want to use in Creator Studio, click to connect to that Page.
  • If you don’t already manage a Facebook Page that’s connected to an Instagram account, click “Connect to Instagram.” Then follow the instructions to log into the Instagram account you want to connect.
  • If you manage a Facebook Page that’s connected to an Instagram account, but want to use a different Instagram account you don’t see listed, click “Connect another Instagram Account” and follow the instructions.
  • If you have multiple Instagram accounts already connected to your Facebook Page or Pages and want to manage them in Creator Studio, click “Continue with Connected Accounts.”

Now that you’re set-up, let’s take a closer look at some of the features of Studio:

Activity & Audience Insights

Creator Studio allows individuals to track the specific number of actions their audience has taken in a seven-day window including the number of profile visits and clickthroughs to a website. You can also trace the number of unique accounts that have visited your posts and the estimated number of times all of your posts have been seen over the last week.

Audience-wise, use insights to trace the age and gender of your followers, when they’re most active on the platform the most, and the top countries and cities where they’re located. Identify which stories yielded the most positive impact and what types of content aren’t contributing to your channel’s growth.

Publishing: Feed & IGTV

After creating a caption and uploading any desired media such as a video, photo, or carousel to your post, you have the option to cross-post media to your Facebook Page allowing you to connect with more of your audience. Depending on your needs and interests, you can select to either push the post live immediately, or schedule your content out as far as 6 months in advance.

The same holds for IGTV. Once you’ve uploaded the video and filled out the title, description, hashtag, mentions, and any other key detail you want to share with your audience, you can create a Feed Preview or cross-post to Facebook. Like Feed posts, you have the choice to upload instantly or choose a certain day and time up to 6 months out.

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Why we’re better off with fewer friends

Why we’re better off with fewer friends

Why we’re better off with fewer friends
— Read on

4 Major Platforms Pushing to Overhaul Vanity Metrics and What This Means for Marketers

The internet was founded on the promise of a digital utopia that would enable a natural flow of information sharing and connectivity. Today, however, we face an inflection point in which there are growing concerns that we’ve squandered this opportunity in lieu of chasing reach and scale and prioritizing content that distracts and interrupts, in turn promoting divisiveness and narcissism.

When a post doesn’t perform with big numbers, people instantly feel bad. Conversely, when they see a high volume of interaction they are triggered with an instant feeling of satisfaction equivalent to a hit of dopamine.

Several platforms are hoping to make radical changes addressing this issue. Let’s take a look at some of the latest updates making headlines and what they mean for marketers:


Image via Instagram

Following the recent F8 developer conference this past April, Instagram announced that it would be conducting tests for a new feature that would hide users’ public like counts on videos and photos. Kicking off the process with Canada, likes would be hidden in the Feed, permalinked pages, and on profiles.

In a quote shared by The Verge, Instagram stated the motive behind the decision was that it wants followers to “focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get.”

Initially, the test was met with uncertainty regarding how it would impact how it would influence the way the platform was used, particularly by influencers who heavily rely on such metrics as a measure of how their content is performing. After a few months of testing, however, sentiments have seemed to shift with people acknowledging the benefits of the feature.

One user, Matt Dusenbury, shared, “Without seeing the likes count on feed posts now, I find myself more clearly focused on the actual quality of the content being posted.”

Instagram has yet to officially publish data around how effective hiding likes has been on people’s posting habits, but last week, as of May the test has expanded to six more countries: Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand.

Individuals who are part of this test group can still the number on their own content as long as they tap through it, but must opt-out in order to show the likes publicly.


— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) September 2, 2019

Fast-forward to this month, Instagram’s parent company is taking a few notes and confirmed to TechCrunch the platform is contemplating hiding the Like Counter on News Feeds posts in an effort to dissuade censorship and inhibit sentiments of envy. In other words, there is a desire to take away the popularity contest that comes with engaging on the social platform.

The test was first reported by Jane Manchun Wong who took to Twitter to reveal that she had spotted Facebook prototyping the hidden Like counts within its Android app.

No further details have been shared by the platform regarding exact motives, or any schedule for starting testing but one can assume it would be gradual to allow for implications with respect to response and ad revenue from brands to be identified.

USA Today recently shared some feedback that has already surfaced on the Internet regarding the potential move.

“Bad thing,” said Facebook user Phil Leigh, “Likes give the poster a way to measure whether her content is useful to others, especially as it is tracked over time.”

On Twitter, reviews were mixed, some claiming they have since stopped using Facebook, others pointing to a reduction in scalability. Monica Reddy, however, is an advocate for pushing back against the notion that dominant the social landscape of ‘keeping score.’


Per a recent Marketing Land report, as of this month, YouTube will begin showing abbreviated subscriber counts for channels with 1,000 or more subscribers.

“Beyond creating more consistency, ​this addresses creator concerns about ​stress and ​wellbeing, specifically around tracking public subscriber counts in real-time.​ ​We hope this helps all creators focus on telling their story, and​ experience less pressure​ about the numbers,” explained a YouTube team member on the site’s Community Forum Blog.

Creators and Developers instantly had questions and expressed a desire for more details about how the YouTube Data API Service would change. The platform clarified describing that Creators will still be able to see their exact subscriber numbers in YouTube Studio and YouTube analytics. Examples outlined how public-facing subscribers counts would now appear. For instance, channels with 12,345 subscribers would show a subscriber count of 12.3K, channels with 1,234,567 would show 1.23M, and channels with 123,456,789 subscribers would display a subscriber count of 123M.

As far as reactions, one individual, Martyn Littlewood pointed to the impact this would have on brand partnerships and their accuracy stating on the forum thread, “Business partners could go elsewhere if they believe their quota can’t be met — alternatively it could low ball initial offers from them and undermine brand deal opportunities. Sure, you could argue that they [brands] will get in touch, then you can send accurate information, but what if they never call at all?”

Another, Terry Ghast, raised similar concerns about authenticity claiming, “If this is to discourage ‘cancel culture,’ make this an optional setting that is defaulted to abbreviation but still allow viewers the ability to turn it off so they can track sub count to celebrate milestones together…Showing full sub count would be a badge of authenticity, and more believable than abbreviated. Please listen to the community and not be caught in your echo chamber.”


This past Spring LinkedIn rolled out a new assortment of reactions targeted to provide ‘more expression ways to respond to the variety of posts you see in your feed.” Added options including Love, Celebrate, Insightful and Curious also serve the purpose of helping users better understand the impact your posts are having and additional insight into why someone is engaging with the piece of content.

“We took a thoughtful approach to designing these reactions, centered around understanding which ones would be most valuable to the types of conversations members have on LinkedIn,” said LinkedIn’s Cissy Chen in the official announcement. She pointed to examples as to how each could be used for instance using Celebrate to praise an accomplishment or work milestone, Love to express deep support around topics of work/life balance and mentorship, and Insightful or Curious when you encounter a thought-provoking idea.

What does it all mean?

Now that we’ve broken down the latest proposed and existing changes across these major platforms, let’s dissect what this means in the grand scheme of marketing.

Influencer content specifically will pivot to more higher quality content as metrics they’re accustomed to leaning on won’t carry as much weight as they previously did. What the hope is with this transition is that we will ultimately see cases of deeper, more meaningful engagement through incentivizing users to focus more on the content and not on the competition. For instance, it may pave the way to a spike in commenting behavior which arguably is more productive than a simple ‘thumbs up’ or ‘thumbs down.’

On the flip side, without such easily trackable metrics, influencers inevitably become harder to scout.

For brands, hiding the number of likes makes it more challenging to legitimize their partnerships and in fact, may discourage them from working with influencers and instead lean on targeted ads as guaranteed drivers of the results they’re after. If they do decide to collaborate with an influencer, they’re more likely to put paid media support behind their influencer posts, and also opt for ephemeral content that has a finite lifespan before it disappears.

Ultimately, there are pros and cons to this movement but one thing remains clear: it has the potential to radically change the social media system we’ve come to know over the past decade.

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Will Facebook’s Forthcoming “Off-Facebook Activity” Tool Fulfill the Promise of a Clear History?

Eighteen months after its announcement (and almost six months after we last wrote about it), Facebook’s history clearing tool has finally taken shape and been deployed in three countries for testing. Called “Off-Facebook Activity,” it provides users a clearer look at the other apps and websites that are sharing their data—and offers them the option to “disconnect their historical browsing data from their accounts entirely, or to remove data from individual sites and apps. The tool also lets people turn off data-sharing from all sites and apps off Facebook,” the New York Times reported in their coverage of the tool.

Evidently, their arrival at this version of the feature took longer than expected; Facebook officials asked about the multiple delays noted that this sort of endeavor is unprecedented. With no models to follow, they forged ahead—reportedly with user input guiding them:

Facebook said it initially hoped to provide an option that would let users delete the entire repository of data that the company collected from other sites to improve its targeting of ads. But Facebook said its research showed that people did not want such an all-or-nothing option. Instead, Facebook said, users frequently asked for better visibility into which sites were providing browsing-habit data to the company, and more control over how the information was shared.

The language choice is deliberate: at one point, they apparently considered an option to delete, whereas now they’ve arrived at a “disconnect” option. “Disconnect” means that identifying information will be removed from what data is collected. But make no mistake: Facebook will continue to collect it. What’s more, this “transparency and control” (to emphasize the terminology Facebook has deployed in all efforts dedicated to this goal) applies to any data shared with non-Facebook entities. The process to disconnect the data collected from your in-app activity is separate…and, as I learned once when trying to complete it, tedious.

Image via Facebook

Limited images of the tool are available on the company’s Newsroom post announcing the tool’s debut, but these images show little about how the tool can actually be used. But even with a simpler process, they’re reportedly prepared for this security to compromise their wildly lucrative ad business. “If this were widely adopted, it would mean less overall revenue for Facebook […] and that’s okay,” Director of Product Management David Baser shared, acknowledging the conflict between their business model and their promise of heightened security—both to Facebook users, and in compliance with their multimillion-dollar settlement earlier this year. This aligns with how Facebook Business sought to prepare users of their ad placement tools back in May:

When someone disconnects their off-Facebook activity, we won’t use the data they clear for targeting. This means that targeting options powered by Facebook’s business tools, like the Facebook pixel, can’t be used to reach someone with ads. This includes Custom Audiences built from visitors to websites or apps. Businesses should keep this in mind when developing strategies for these kinds of campaigns in the second half of the year and beyond.

In any case, Facebook will be closely watching the tool’s deployment in Ireland, South Korea and Spain. According to AdWeek, the rollout is happening on a small scale “in order to ensure that the tool is working reliably, with plans to make it available globally over the coming months.”

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6 Platforms to Add to Your 2019 Paid Social Toolkit

Paid social is becoming a crowded space, with 97% of marketers reportedly dedicating money to advertising through social media. Between the growing audiences of these platforms, and the rising cost of similar ads in search, ad spends across social make far more sense to the budget-conscious and the efficiency-obsessed. To that end, Hanapin Marketing takes time every year to assess the state of the paid social marketing landscape, and this week they shared their latest learnings with the world.

Where is most of the crowd congregating? To the surprise of no one: Facebook, who has garnered the attention of 91% of the surveyed population. Brand managers and agency reps aside have grown to depend on it for reliable reach and sophisticated analytics. But in a number of ways, new platforms are rising to rival its dominance…especially as 26% of marketers reported they plan to spend less on the platform throughout 2019.

Who stands to benefit from this shift in spending? Depending on your area of comfort with content creation, the age and engagement of your audience, or your “why” for advertising on social, the following spaces could be yours in which to shine.

The Video Villages: YouTube and Instagram

“We are becoming conditioned to favor video as a means of communication,” Hanapin reported in their study, “and it is unsurprising that social media consumption would reflect that behavior.” Moreover, it is unsurprising that platforms who are friendly to video – both algorithmically and in terms of features – will rise quickly as this conditioning takes root. As such, Instagram and YouTube were the two platforms Hanapin found that have the biggest chance of rivaling Facebook.

On each platform, highly dynamic ad formats were found to be both incredibly popular and highly effective. For YouTube, pre-roll (skippable) ads are far and away the most frequently used format; even when skipped, they do play a role in consumer decisions. And for Instagram, compelling Story Ads have fast become the most effective form. Not only has each become more hospitable to how we regularly consume content, but the interfaces that allow us to craft and place ads have grown in sophistication—making our time and energy in these spaces ever more worthwhile.

The Comeback Kids: LinkedIn and Snapchat

LinkedIn and Snapchat are working hard to reclaim their onetime glory not just by improving the offerings on their sites for users, but also growing and improving the ad experience for marketers. And while these ads don’t necessarily do the blockbuster numbers that the top three platforms get, you can get results in a highly specific market if you use these spaces wisely.

Hanapin cites LinkedIn as the platform that currently “pays [most] attention to the needs and priorities of their advertisers.” For the site, a recent overhaul of their Campaign Manager has allowed for highly specific ad targeting. And as more users flock to the platform to take advantage of their live video, document sharing, and educational offerings, those seeking to reach a business-minded client will do well in the space. Meanwhile, Snapchat’s burst of new features and partnerships make it a highly attractive option for those seeking to reach a younger audience. 71% of users are under 24, and 45% are 18-24. This means that spending your time in this once-again booming ecosystem means crafting ads that appeal to that age group: compelling, captivating, and befitting of the space Snap has cultivated there. As with LinkedIn, the clientele is considerably more specific; your approach there should adapt accordingly.

The Dark Horses: Quora and Reddit

“Quora was predicted in last year’s report to be an up and coming platform for advertising,” Hanapin shared in this year’s report, “and it sure has proven itself.” While numbers are still small for paid social, investment in ads on the question-and-answer based platform has quadrupled in 2019. Much of this can be attributed to the attention Quora itself has given to advertising; they’ve released 5 beta programs to target and place ads, and stand to release several more before year’s end. You’d be wise to explore the platform before it too gets crowded; 27% of marketers want to up their spend there (compared to 9% the year before).

For the fringe treatment that Reddit often gets, Hanapin rightfully points out the highly engaged and authentic nature of its users, additionally sharing that its average use and engagement outpaces other outlets we look to more readily for advertisement—including Twitter, Pinterest, and the aforementioned Snapchat and Pinterest. As with Quora, their ad targeting, reporting, and campaign management tools are continuing to evolve, likely to anticipate more advertisers wanting to be there. For brand managers and agencies hoping to help clients stand apart, this pair of rising platforms could be worth your time, energy…and ad dollars.

The full report is worth a read for all marketers, whether you’re actively looking to reconsider your paid social approach, or if something in this rundown caught your eye. How will you let Hanapin’s insight frame the future of paid social for your organization?

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