Our friend keeps trending in a not-so-good way, this time with the revelation that it offers ad targeting and exclusion by “Ethnic Affinity.” Depending on your campaign, maybe this falls in line with your goals. Or it might be incredibly illegal, so there’s that. On a more positive note, Facebook released a guide with resources to support business influencers, and it now lets verified users make money with sponsored posts. The platform also provided users with a new option to put out a call for recommendations from friends, which has the potential to highlight local businesses with a boost of social proof. Businesses can’t control these recommendations directly, but it wouldn’t hurt to join forces with one of the aforementioned influencers who could recommend their partner brands locally – learn more about how it works here.
There are also a few new ways marketers can make their content stand out aesthetically. If you’re using Instant Articles, you can now make them more visually immersive with 360-degree video and photo support. And you can practically shout for attention by posting statuses shorter than or equal to 35 characters in length, which Facebook emphasizes with an enlarged font. The jury’s still out on whether this earns more eyeballs and clicks for brands. In another effort to copy the novelty features of Snapchat, Facebook also released new features to post temporary selfies that disappear after 24 hours, and options to use artistic or graphically-enhanced filters on Facebook Live. There are also a few improved e-commerce abilities – for example, Messenger now supports PayPal payments in bots and saves your PayPal receipts. Restaurants that offer delivery through services like Delivery.com and Slice can accept orders through Facebook. Since Facebook is trying to become the first place you go for everyday services, it’s not a bad idea for marketers to consider how the platform could someday serve as a payment option for their customers and not just a channel for reaching them.
Twitter’s sad story hasn’t found a happy ending yet, because it’s still trying to find a buyer while it’s losing money and cutting down its staff. Like most companies struggling to stay afloat, Twitter decided to trim the fat, which meant killing off Vine (R.I.P.). If Vine was an active part of your marketing strategy, the good news is that Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and even Twitter proper provide plenty of higher-traffic options for sharing video content.
A contest courting small businesses highlights the recently-launched ProFinder feature for freelancers, but the real story here is that LinkedIn’s indication that it wants to encourage users to do business with each other on the platform. We’ll be watching closely to see what other incentives LinkedIn provides to facilitate more selling on the site, and if you’re feeling lucky, you can enter the contest by Nov. 30. Also, LinkedIn took one small step toward removing a negotiation major barrier for employees everywhere with LinkedIn Salary, which lets users gauge their earning potential by position title and location. So now you can better advertise your own professional value!
Speaking of self-promotion, you know those funny endorsements you and your connections can give each other? LinkedIn wised up and started making them more useful and relevant, based on who’s viewing your profile. For example, viewers who visit your profile will see highlighted endorsements from your mutual connections and people who have real experience with that specific skill. Keep this marketing potential in mind when you’re giving and receiving endorsements.
Shoppable Instagram posts may finally usher in the era of social selling that gels with users’ expectations. After the Buy button turned out to be a bust, perhaps this new approach – staging products within photos and tagging them with links to product pages – might be intuitive enough for Instagram users to actually adopt. Thankfully Kate Spade will pave the way for the rest of us advertisers to see how it works. And since parent company Facebook has been pushing live video for a minute now, it makes perfect sense that child company Instagram would be a natural fit for live video streaming too. Looks as though it might be in beta testing, so stay tuned.
As the social platform gears up to go public, it’s decided to take full control of its advertising inventory. Snapchat recently announced that it no longer wants to share ad revenue produced by its Discover section, and instead wants to pay content partners a flat license fee up front. This means advertisers could stand to make a guaranteed but limited amount of money from their custom content. The new deals with advertisers could take place next month, and it looks as though Snapchat may extend this license model beyond the Discover section by charging content creators to make “Snapchat Shows,” so it’ll be interesting to see how the new arrangement plays out.
Also, measuring Snapchat success just got a little easier. A Danish startup announced the release of a new Snapchat-specific analytics service that measures the activity on public, one-to-many communications. Snaplytics markets itself as a “complete platform for Snapchat management,” and over the past year the service has worked with about 200 brands and agencies in 30 companies. The dashboard offers metrics including open rates, views, completion rates, number of followers and details of how they learned about the account, which should help you build a better case for Snapchat’s ROI.
Three new ad products to enhance the platform’s growing e-commerce appeal: Promoted apps with an “Install” button call-to-action, Promoted Videos, and One-Tap Promoted Pins, which do just what they sound like they’re going to do. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again – Pinterest means business and it’s looking better than ever for content marketing and advertising. Learn more about the Pinterest targeting options you should be using here.
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