Category

Social Media

GenZ’s Preferred Social Platforms and The Behaviors That Drive Them

By G-Commerce, Insights & News, Social Commerce, Social Media No Comments

eMarketer released a new report on Gen Z’s preferred social media platforms. The monthly usage breakdown is:

  • Snapchat (42.0 million)
  • TikTok (37.3 million)
  • Instagram (33.3 million)

eMarketer predicts these will remain the most popular among Gen Z over the next four years. However, they say TikTok will pass Instagram to claim the number one spot by the end of this year.

They also state that Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Reddit have relatively large followings among Gen Z and predict that the reach on those platforms will grow as the generation ages out of more teen-focused sites and apps.

Meanwhile, according to Pew Research, Gen Z’s use of devices continues to increase. According to their report,

Recent data revealed that 98% of them own a smartphone and that in the third quarter of last year, they averaged more than 4 hours a day on apps — and that figure doesn’t include gaming time.

So, how are these Gen Z’ers using these platforms?

Social commerce, especially, continues to dominate Gen Z behaviors as algorithms learn their preferences and suggest relevant products, while delivering a personalized shopping experience. In fact, the majority (97%) of Gen Z consumers say they now use social media as their top source of shopping inspiration; 65% say they use social media to find entertaining content; and 61% of them are specifically interested in watching more video content.

Proof of the popularity of social commerce can be found in the fact that the hashtag #tiktokmademebuyit has of 2.3 billion views on TikTok, and #amazonfinds has more than 6.7 billion views. 

Pew also reported increases in the popularity of G-Commerce, something Acronym’s experts discussed earlier this year, as a way to keep Gen Z interacting with your brand through gamification and rewards that drive purchase.

To capitalize on these growing trends, we recommend brands deliver a seamless experience from discovery to checkout to move buyers through the funnel quickly, easily and securely.

If you need assistance leveraging social commerce or G-Commerce to better connect with Gen Z audiences, please contact us. We’d be happy to help.

What is the Future of Social Media?

By Content Marketing, Insights & News, Social Media No Comments

Are hashtags as valuable as they once were? With all the endless noise in social media, can brands really get noticed online? What are future trends in the social media space?

On her live broadcast, Technology Revolution: The Future of Now, Bonnie D. Graham discusses these questions and more with:

Pinterest TV

Pinterest Launches Live Shopping with Pinterest TV

By Brand Engagement, Social Commerce, Social Media No Comments

As social commerce continues to grow, Pinterest is entering the game by launching a shoppable live series, Pinterest TV, which debuts November 8th. Each episode will star a content creator from the platform and it will air Monday through Friday at 6PM ET on iOS and Android. Shows will cover fashion, beauty, home, food, and more.

The first few episodes feature c Olympic athlete Tom Daley and popular makeup artist Manny MUA and viewers can purchase exclusive products from different brands, such as Patagonia, Crown Affair, Allbirds, Outdoor Voices, Mented, and Melody Ehsani, using special discounts.

Additional Pinterest-exclusive shows are in-production, including Christian On, where fashion designer Christian Siriano will replicate the most popular fashion-related searches on Pinterest. And, food creator, Monica Suriyage is set to host Unfail My, a show designed to help viewers correct cooking mishaps.

Every episode will be available via the Pinterest app and viewers can ask questions in the chat and interact with hosts.

Pinterest live shopping show
Image Courtesy of Pinterest

To assist content creators, producers from Pinterest will be on hand to provide technical support and collaborations with creators to make engaging content. Creators can show off and tag products during their shows, as well as offer exclusive discounts — viewers can then select, view, and purchase the product from the retailer’s site.

Acronym’s Director, Paid Social Media, Gellena Lukats weighed in on this news:

“With Pinterest expanding their e-commerce features and adding a shoppable live series, we look forward to helping brands use this to showcase products this holiday season and beyond. More and more brands are focusing on video content through engaged ad formats and we’re excited that there are now live streams available to advertisers on Pinterest. We have been conducting live streams on Facebook and LinkedIn, and do see more engaged consumers, so we anticipate similar results on Pinterest.”

Pinterest first entered into creator monetization in July of this year by introducing shoppable pins that let creators tag and sell products to earn a cut of the profit. As social media platforms seek more ways to attract influencers and help them make money, live shopping has become a major trend.

If you’d like assistance leveraging Pinterest TV to drive more customer connections and boost your sales, please contact us. We’d be happy to help!

Facebook’s Outage and How to Limit the Impact of Future Outages on Your Brand.

By Social Media No Comments

This Monday was a day of disruption for paid social experts trying to work amidst the most significant Facebook outage since 2008. Snapchat also had some outages, but by no means as widespread as the Facebook impact. Facebook, Instagram and its family of apps, including WhatsApp, Oculus, and Messenger, were completely down, with no access to the interface starting at noon EST.

As ads were not served during this time frame, advertisers were not billed. However, the outage went on until just after business hours on the East Coast (around 6 pm EST), giving those who primarily work in the Facebook/Instagram platform some food for thought, and platforms like Twitter a greater user presence and a couple of laughs.

Twitter’s Tweet during the Facebook outage.

Why did this happen?

According to Facebook, configuration changes in the company’s routers/data centers were ultimately responsible for interrupting service. We will continue to monitor for any updates, as there is some speculation there could be more than what the platform is sharing. However, Facebook has made a point to clarify that there was no evidence of compromised data during the blackout.

How to limit the impact of future outages on your brand:

  • Reliance on any one audience, platform, or suite of platforms under the same umbrella is a recipe for failure. Not only are you targeting just one user segment, but if platforms experience blackouts, bugs, or digital protests, you run the risk of going dark during critical marketing periods. Be sure to expand your digital portfolio beyond just Facebook and its suite of apps by incorporating competitive platforms like Pinterest, TikTok, LinkedIn, etc., into your media mix to ensure you connect with different age demographics, placements, and channels. This strategy should apply not only to your social media advertising but also to your entire digital landscape: the takeaway is to diversify your digital presence across different display, email, search, and content. Diversification should go beyond paid media and should also be true for your brand’s organic presence.
  • Make sure you also target audiences who aren’t just present on one platform. Consider using CRM data, relevant lookalikes audiences, and audience-based buying tools, such as LiveRamp and Salesforce segments. With third-and-first-party audiences at your disposal, you never have to rely solely on a single platform’s targeting for success.
  • Due to the blackout period, there will likely be an increase in competition and higher bids, resulting in accelerated delivery as the platform recovers and makes up for lost time. Review bids and budgets on Facebook/Instagram to ensure your goals are met. We also recommend you work with your SEO team to ensure your content is optimized and visible. This will save money on higher bids during blackouts.
  • Facebook, in general, has had a tumultuous year, including multiple attribution changes and increased reliance on modeled data spurred by iOS14.5; various rounds of poor press stemming from allegations of a disregard for hate speech, perpetuating poor body image, and prioritizing engagement over consumer health from a former Facebook employee.. While the platform does continue to face increased scrutiny, we don’t see Facebook and its suite of apps going away as major paid media players. That said, we wouldn’t want you to put all your eggs in one basket either, as we don’t think a customer/advertiser boycott or new regulations are out of the question.
  • Facebook is now requesting oversight board guidance, and we wouldn’t be surprised if the platform continues to flag more ads as violating special ad categories or other advertising rules. Undoubtedly, the platform will be working hard to be as compliant as possible to avoid what feels like a constant flood of questioning.
  • Facebook did see shares dip down 5% during the outage but was back up 1% the next day. With 3 billion users on the platform and a history of recovering from a colorful array of mishaps, we know the platform will continue to be a key stakeholder and the advertising dollars will continue to flow. What this has shown us, however, is that even Facebook isn’t invincible.

If you would like an audit of your own social media engagement, along with recommendations on how to better diversify your online presence, please contact us today!

POV by Gellena Lukats, Director, Paid Social Media and Mary Sutter, Director, Social Media.

Tracking Changes in Facebook Impact Targeting and Attribution

By Insights & News, Social Media No Comments

Facebook has seen a lot of changes recently, most of which are fueled by the iOS shifts in Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) update brought on by iOS 14. Facebook estimates conversions have been underreported by approximately fifteen percent, with more impact in Q3 than in previous quarters. This is perhaps the largest hurdle to overcome, as lack of accurate data for each advertiser makes it difficult to scale and target considering over sixty percent of iOS users are opting out. Apart from the lack of conversions, Facebook recently announced more changes that affect audience targeting and campaign attribution. We’ve outlined the main sets of changes below and how best to respond:

Attribution

Here are the times Facebook has changed attribution.

  • Historically – to April 27th: 1-day view, 28-day click (actual data)
  • April 27th to June 30th: 7-day click (7-day click actual data,1-day actual and modeled data)
  • June 30th – September 23rd: 7-day click (7-day actual and modeled data)
  • Starting September 23rd: 1-day view, 7-day click (for new campaigns)

With all these changes, it can seem daunting to keep track of and plan for next steps, but we’re here to help.

  • First, it is important to log these changes, and monitor any performance fluctuations and gaps that have occurred.
  • Second, advertisers should use any available third-party tracking systems such as Adobe, DCM and Google Analytics (GA) to use as supplemental sources of data.
  • Most importantly, stay aware of these changes and their potential impact.

FMPS and other supplement sources and reporting should be keeping the same windows for consistency and end of year reporting, and advertisers need to account for all these different windows with some caveats for comparison reference points. Special attention should be given to review data before April 27th, comparing conversions in different attribution windows, to provide a reference point by looking at the percentage of conversions attributable to the period between seven and twenty-either days.

Audience Targeting

Facebook made updates to conversion campaign audience targeting, as well, in order to mitigate the impact of data loss. While this will help more advertisers benefit from the platform’s powerful AI tools, it is not necessarily a benefit to all advertising use cases. While the opt out rate is high, Facebook in response has made updates to the targeting feature in platform.

Starting this week, Facebook will update all conversion campaigns to have both detailed targeting expansion and lookalike expansion on in all ad sets.

Unlike in previous iterations, there is no option to toggle these features off, and Facebook touts that this expansion will reduce costs, increase audience sizes and increase campaign performance. This is like the conversations surrounding Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO), with Facebook pushing towards more automation for advertisers, in an era where there is little transparency from Apple and more modeling will be necessary to fill in the gaps.

With Detailed Targeting Expansion, the AI for audience targeting will target individuals with interests similar to the those you have already selected, but only if the system predictably finds it is likely to have a positive impact on performance. Lookalike Expansion works the same way, except it expands your Lookalike audiences beyond the standard 1-10% range. Overall, the impact is that Lookalikes and Detailed Interest segments will increase and expand beyond audience parameters we set. 

However, what is new is that Facebook will now automatically opt advertisers and brands into adopting this. This automation, and trust in the platform optimization, will add a layer of system accountability, and lessen the need for super granular targeting as the system will discover users outside of the segment. It also reduces control of your targeting. Please note that age, gender, and location will still be set and cannot be altered, and the automated Detailed Targeting and Lookalike Expansion only applies to Conversion campaigns optimizing to conversions, value, or app events (these features have never been available for Awareness or Reach campaigns).

We will continue to monitor impact and can exclude interests/segments to try to reduce some broad segments. Before launching Facebook did do some initial testing with positive results on costs. We are staying positive, but vigilant with changes:

  • Conversion campaigns using Detailed Targeting Expansion, saw a 37% decrease in median cost per incremental conversion compared to using Detailed Targeting only.
  • Conversion campaigns using Lookalike Expansion with a Website or Mobile Custom audience seed, saw a 17.3% decrease in median CPA compared to using Lookalike Targeting only.
  • Conversion campaigns using Lookalike Expansion with a Customer List Custom audience seed, saw a 10.1% decrease in median CPA compared to using Lookalike Targeting only.

Recommendations

  • Make sure you update your windows to the latest attribution, as these have been updating these rapidly.
  • Do not make many frequent edits to existing campaigns, to allow the system to optimize and avoid continuously going into the learning phase. Analyze reporting at campaign level, if possible, since estimated conversions are aggregated with a delay, which can impact ad performance.
  • Make sure you prioritize the lowest funnel events in event configuration
  • Consider implementing Conversion API, as this will be mandatory in 2022.
  • Analyze Reporting after a period of at least 72 hours and on a broader scale (such as on the ad set or campaign level).
  • Consolidate ad sets to give campaigns more data to work with and facilitate the learning phase.
  • Test and learn to continue to improve campaigns, and implement finding from split tests, across the board.
  • Costs should go down for conversion campaigns due to Lookalike and Detailed Targeting Expansion. However, if you’re using quality metrics like applications, or third-party segments like GA for supplemental data, be sure to monitor quality as well as cost with the expansion changes.
  • Monitor the impact automated expansion has on your campaigns going forward. Consider implementing a few pertinent exclusions right away (such as income brackets that may not be relevant to your audience), but don’t exclude too much.

If you have additional questions or any concerns about these changes, please contact us. We are happy to help!

POV By Gellena Lukats, Director, Paid Social.

To See and Be Seen: Instagram’s Search Query

By Social Media No Comments

Instagram is filled to the digital brim with engaging content, recipes, brand content, and ads. How does Instagram recognize user interests amongst the clutter and serve content to users across Feed, Stories, Reels, and Explore?

Here’s a breakdown of how Instagram Ranks Search Results.

Search is based on accounts you follow, like, posts you’ve viewed, and relevant activity that helps the system optimize and show content that is more relevant to you, whether it’s a fashion blogger at Fashion Week or ideas for dinner next week. When a user taps on Search, the user sees their most recent searches and then based on their search keywords, they are served accounts, audio, hashtags, and locations that match the text of your Search. Instagram Search combines your search text with your activity on the platform and the popularity of your search results to allow the system to match up to historical user data with trending platform activity resulting in the best search results for each user.

What can you do to show up in more searches?

  • Use a handle and profile name that matches what a user would be looking for while searching
  • Make sure to use those relevant keywords and location-specific data in your bio
  • Make sure to use relevant keywords and hashtags in captions
  • Make sure you do not go against Instagram’s Recommendation or Community guidelines with your account, posts, or hashtags. Accounts that post spam or sensitive topics and violate guidelines will appear lower in search results or even be removed from the platform.

What is Instagram doing to improve Search results?

  • Instagram will be expanding the keywords that may be used for Search
  • Available Search keywords will be vetted first in English with other languages added at a later date
  • Instagram will be broadening search results to assist with better topic exploration. This change should help users discover more within the topic in feed (related photos and videos beyond your specific keyword text entry).

As Search expands on Instagram, we are excited to see the impact for agencies. Use your SEO terms on Instagram, grow holistic learnings, and scale successes across digital channels, adding another avenue of exploration for the end-user.

POV By Gellena Lukats, Director, Paid Social and Mary Sutter, Director, Social Media

Snapchat Introduces Trends Tool

By Analytics, Insights & News, Social Media, Uncategorized No Comments

Snapchat continues to boast 293 million daily active users who share visual moments from their lives. For marketers who want to improve their engagement on Snapchat, the platform introduced a new Tools feature called Snapchat Trends that highlights the most popular keywords so you can better engage with your audience.

How This Impacts You:

Market Research can now be found within Snapchat through trend data showing changes in conversation volumes for targeted keywords, including behaviors and categories. This can help marketers shift their messaging focus to better connect with Snapchatters.

Messaging and Copywriting can be adjusted to reflect keyword usage within Snapchat in a way that ensures marketers create contextually relevant content for target audiences.

Better User Profiles and Personas can be created based on the behavior insights from Snapchat Trends. By capturing more intelligence around your target audiences’ daily lives, including when and how they shop, marketers can better target media strategies that align with your target customers’ core interests to drive purchase.

Key Moments Identification becomes easier. We know that Snapchatters use the platform to celebrate major milestones. Now, with Snapchat Trends, marketers can identify the “hashtag holidays” that matter to their customers. From National Ice Cream Day to International Women’s Day, brands looking to “own” a relevant moment in time can utilize this new data for content planning.

Competitive Research on Snapchat is made easier with this new Trends tool. Marketers can not only understand customer sentiment around brands or products, but they can also gain competitive insights on how those products fit in the market. By analyzing multiple keywords in one query, you can evaluate customer conversations to determine brand health as compared to the competition.

In other words, with this new Trends tool, Snap can provide insights into top organic trends, helping brands monitor community chatter and understand top Snaps for trending topics. This helps brands learn more about potential consumers and the Snapchat community as a whole, so they can better research organic behaviors to determine the market fir for their vertical or product/service.

If you’d like to learn more about how to leverage Snapchat to drive brand engagement, contact us today.

How-To Plan for SEO, Paid Media, & Social Media Success on #NationalPlanner Day

By Paid Media, Paid Search, SEO, Social Media, Uncategorized No Comments

Benjamin Franklin once said, “by failing to plan, you are planning to fail.”

We believe that to be a self-evident truth. After all, effective planning is the foundation of success. So, in honor of #NationalPlannerDay, some of Acronym’s group leaders are sharing their top three tips for effective planning across your SEO, paid media and social media programs.

3 STEPS FOR SEO SUCCESS – Winston Burton, SVP, SEO

1. Structured Data  

Marking up your content and having structured data is the best way for Google to find that content fast. Structured data gives your content to Search Engines in a way they can understand it in real time, as opposed to waiting and hoping that the bots find your content. 

This saves both bandwidth and time.  It is also important to understand Search Engines are playing a ‘long game’ with structured data as it enables a far more efficient way to effectively answer a search query with a personalized and factual set of results. This is called ‘data retrieval’ versus the traditional and time-consuming exercise of ‘information retrieval’.

2. Voice Search and Task Completions

Search will transcend mediums yet again in the very near future. Like the meteoric trajectory we saw with the mobile device type revolution, where the preference swapped from desktop to mobile driven search, text-based search will soon be surpassed by Voice Driven Search with more results sets being of the audible variety.

Being prepared for this future of Voice means creating resourceful dynamic experiences that not only solve for the micro-moment but also personify your brand to the customer, creating lasting affinities into the next frontier of Digital.

Critical steps to take now include creating Actions for the Google Assistant and Skills for Amazon’s Alexa. Voice assistants represent a powerful application of Voice search and represent one of the leading behavioral influencing sources for quickly moving consumers off text search and into Voice. Soon Voice assistants will be able to complete tasks and you should be ready for that moment.

3. Creating Content for 5G  

Be prepared for 5G. 5G will speed up and change the content experience allowing new and innovative ways to connect with customers.

Hyper-personalized content delivery, high-bandwidth digital experiences, faster websites will ensure the CX is exceptional. It’s also predicted that the usage of ad blockers will go down, allowing advertisers to serve ads effectively.

Digital will evolve from 2D to 3D, and interactive and live content will become the norm.

3 STEPS FOR PAID MEDIA – Gregg Manias, SVP, Performance Media

1. Establish Parameters for the Plan

Begin by defining the overall objective you want to achieve and the specific conversion goals to demonstrate success. You also want to determine the timing of the campaign and consider the opportunities and challenges inherent in that timing. Also, plan for the frequency of the message within that timing.

Next, you need to understand who the target audience is and examine their online behaviors and media preferences.

Finally, determine your overall budget and KPIs as this will drive the spend allocation and metrics for success.

2. Analysis Historical Performance & Research Landscape

After defining the parameters, you should review past media performance at every possible level to understand how it has traditionally performed. When you’re running ads online, you have to know what you’re spending your money on, and which ads are delivering the results you need.

This will help determine what needs to be changed to achieve the new goals based on where you’ve seen success in the past.

From there, you want to research the category landscape, target audiences, and all data and insights available to you.

3. Identify Proper Media Mix Tied to Parameters

After taking the learnings from historical plans and research, you want to create an integrated media plan that ties back to all the parameters.

It’s important not to throw money at every shiny new channel. Remember that each media channel you use might obtain a single objective from the parameter.

For example, YouTube might be used to capture a younger audience in the awareness stage, while Bing might be used to capture demand from an older demographic who use a desktop device.

So, be sure you know what each channel offers in terms of the target audience and types of engagements within each media opportunity.

3 STEPS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA SUCCESS – Mary Sutter, Director, Social Media

1. Use Social Listening to Stay Relevant With Social Trends

By listening to your target audience online and paying attention to the topics that most interest them, you can deliver organic content that meets their needs.

It can be very easy to believe you already know what your target audience wants from your brand(s). But, social media audiences, conversations and opportunities change constantly. So, listening to your target audience and even to your competitors can give you an edge in your content planning.

There are a number of terrific tools that enable you to follow the topics, issues, concerns and trends that matter to your target audience. We recommend Sprout Social as a terrific Social Listening and planning tool.

2. Utilize a Social Media Calendar to Stay Organized, But Be Flexible for Timely Posts

We all know content calendars are a useful way ensure you consistently deliver compelling content that addresses all key messages and product positions.

But, it’s also important to allow for spontaneous content that leverages memorable moments in time and/or allows you to include your brand in trending conversations.

There is something amazing about ‘spontaneity’, especially on social media.

People love it because it’s authentic. It’s not produced. It’s real. It just comes out of the moment. Of course, you want to ensure your in-the-moment content remains “on-brand.” Spontaneity in social media works when it’s still relevant to your audience. Don’t just jump on any bandwagon. Be selective as you mix spontaneity with planned content.

3. Track & Analyze Your Content To Determine What Works & What Doesn’t.

Too often, brands take a set-it-and-forget-it approach to social media. But, this could result in putting time and resources behind content that doesn’t deliver engagement or click-through.

It’s imperative you review the social media analytics (tied to your specific KPIs) so you focus on the content types that truly connect with your customers.

If you would like assistance with your planning process in Search, Paid Media, Paid and Organic Social Media or Business Analytics, please contact us today. In the meantime, Happy #NationalPlannerDay!

Instagram To Become More Like TikTok

By Brand Engagement, Social Media No Comments

Instagram started testing a new video feature to compete with TikTok and YouTube, which will take place over the next six months with a focus on creators, video, shopping & messaging.

This new feature will be different from Reels, which launched in August 2020, with the aim to compete with creators and users of TikTok, including algorithm-recommended videos from accounts that people do not currently follow.

This emphasis on video comes as TikTok continues to dominate the social media space. Among the top five non-game apps in May, TikTok was ranked No. 1 by downloads and was the only app not owned by Facebook, to make the list. It is estimated that TikTok was installed 80 million times in May, compared with 53 million for Facebook’s main app.

Facebook’s goal with this testing seems to be to transform Instagram from a photo-sharing app to more of a social video app TikTok. Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, announced the plan to show full-screen, recommended videos in user feeds.

“We’re no longer a photo-sharing app or a square photo-sharing app,” Mosseri said. “Let’s be honest, there’s some really serious competition right now. TikTok is huge. YouTube is even bigger, and there’s lots of other upstarts as well.”

Why this is important:

Users will start to see Instagram’s changes in their feed including recommended videos and accounts. Since this is a new feature that will be slow to roll out, there will be many updates along the way. As Mosseri acknowledges:

“We’re also going to be experimenting with how do we embrace video more broadly — full screen, immersive, entertaining, mobile-first video. You’ll see us do a number of things, or experiment with a number of things in this space over the coming months.”

That said, this new feature is perfect for brands that already have a social media presence on Instagram, allowing them to post more TikTok-like videos. If this is an opportunity your brand would like to pursue, contact us about testing.