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Facebook Opens Messenger API for Instagram

By Social Media No Comments

Faced with stiff competition from other social media platforms like Snapchat and Twitter, Instagram is rolling out a new feature that allows brands to respond to customers through the Facebook Messenger API.

This highly anticipated feature will allow brands to respond to customers on Instagram from any third-party platform. In June, Instagram accounts with 10,000 to 100,000 followers will be connected to the API, followed by accounts with 1,000 and 100,000 followers in July, with remaining accounts being connected in Q3.

This is a significant step for customer service and will allow brands to have more personal interaction with their audience, as well as better optimize content by understanding the algorithms of this platform.

Why is this important? 

With 63% of Americans reporting they check Instagram daily and 43% of global users reporting they open the app multiple times within the same day, it’s no wonder brands want to engage with the more than one billion monthly active Instagram users.

Previously, in order to interact with customers on Instagram, businesses had to go into Instagram itself or use Facebook’s unified business inbox.

This is a significant development for brands with large volumes of Instagram engagement, as the inability to respond from third-party platforms, where many brands manage engagement from multiple platforms, was a big hindrance to efficiency and workflow.

Global brands with many business arms should find this a huge relief – something that will help not only efficiency but consolidating and improving sentiment analysis.

What actions should brands take? 

We recommend brands begin to adjust their workflow processes, including thinking about how to leverage the time previously spent on managing Instagram in a silo.

When the beta opens up, make sure to see how Instagram engagement impacts your sentiment data within any third-party platforms.

Some brands avoid Instagram Ads because the average CPC is higher than it is on Facebook. However, engagement rates on Instagram are around .96% as compared to 0.1% on Facebook and Twitter. So, while you do pay a bit more, you consistently see better results.

And, despite skewing a bit younger (71% of U.S adults on Instagram are between the ages of 18-29), the app’s users tend to have more disposable income:

  • 31% of people who make more than 75k per year are on Instagram.
  • 32% of people who make between 50k-74k per year are on Instagram.
  • 32% of people who bring in 30k to 49k per year are on Instagram.

So, driving engagement on this platform is critical for brands wanting to connect with Gen Z and Millennial customers. And, now, engagement through Messenger will make those connections more powerful. If you need assistance leveraging any social media platforms for your paid or organic campaigns, contact us. We’re happy to help.

POV by Acronym’s Paid Social Media Team

keyboard shopping button

The Key Factors Influencing Online Purchases

By eCommerce and Marketplaces, Insights & News, Social Commerce, Social Media No Comments

Facebook published a new report, using research derived from Hong Kong and Taiwan, that shows how digital media has reshaped the modern shopping process.

Among other trends, the report found that convenience continues to be the #1 purchase driver, underscoring the need for hyper-seamless checkout.

While the downside of online shopping is the lack of tangibility (which formats like live shopping and AR aim to address), the upside is the ability to compare prices and options, something that may be associated with declining brand loyalty.

The report explains that brand loyalty as we used to know it is under threat. According to Nielsen’s Global Consumer Loyalty study, only 8% of consumers consider themselves committed loyalist to their favorite brands. With the variety of choices presented in consumers’ lives today, coupled with rising spending powers relative to product costs, brand switching becomes effortless and less risky.

Why is this important? 

While the report is based on data from the APAC region, the findings have worldwide implications. Boosted by the pandemic, more consumers than ever are shopping online, and “have high expectations [that they] are not willing to lower when online shopping.”

Acronym’s EVP, International GM, Farah Sadiq explains:

“According to an Epsilon study, 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized service. Personalization in a messenger environment isn’t new to Facebook (the Facebook messenger bot has been around since 2018).

The key to success is for brands to build out a conversational eCommerce strategy that places prospects in a low pressure environment where they are comfortable sharing their budget and preferences and receptive to product recommendations in a highly visual (image or video based), engaging and personalized manner. In other words, access to your very own personal shopper at your finger tips.” 

What is the impact on brands?

Acronym’s VP of Asia Operations, Pearlyn Kua takes it a step further when it comes to the opportunities this report presents for brands.

“The disruption caused by the pandemic has evolved consumers’ buying behaviour due to shops being closed as the city goes into lockdown. Consumers’ usual go to products / brands may often become unavailable. This presents opportunity for businesses to capitalise as consumers establish new brand loyalties and patterns of purchasing behaviour.

In Asia, we have seen businesses revised their business models to remain agile through removing cumbersome processes & increased communication across teams. This allows them to continue business while remaining competitive and operational under stringent measures.”

Shopping of all types, not just physical products, is subject to rising consumer expectations.

While companies that sell consumer goods need to use creative new tools to help online shoppers get a sense for how products look and feel, companies selling services also need to up their game in providing engaging shopping experiences.

A fuss-free checkout process is equally important for every brand selling online.

In fact, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 70%. But, it doesn’t have to be that high if brands pay attention to the customer’s experience and initial intent. Acronym’s Director of Paid Social Media, Gellena Lukats explains:

“We have found our dynamic product ads on Facebook drive some of the most efficient ROAS and revenue. Tapping into the audience that shows intent helps scale our campaigns and drive performance.”

In fact, the study goes on to show that continued engagement with consumers keeps them loyal. Per the study, an overwhelming majority of Hong Kong and Taiwan shoppers want brands to stay in touch with them and have indicated an interest to receive brand communications from brands.

We recommend optimizing your brand’s online shopping experience, including experimenting with new creative formats, like live-stream shopping, brand stores, or shoppable posts.

If you’d like more information, including a deep-dive competitive and customer analysis of these purchase opportunities for your brand, contact us today.

best times to post

Sprout Social’s List of Best Times to Post Organic Content

By Social Media No Comments

Sprout Social has published its latest list of best times to post to each major social media platform. As social media behaviors changed during the pandemic, Sprout monitored their customers to understand when their content was most and least frequently engaged with, broken out by platform and industry.

Sprout Social’s report could be a more accurate indicator of the best times to post for optimal engagement because it is based on its 20,000+ customer base, who use the platform to schedule and post online.

As the best times to post by engagement are unique to each brand and vertical market, this serves as an excellent overall guide or benchmark, but we do recommend individual brands conduct their own analysis of online engagement to ensure their content connects with all target audiences at the right times and in the right ways.  

Still, this can be a helpful guide, especially for brands that are just beginning to embark on organic social media engagement. 

Below is a brief glimpse of Sprout Social’s findings:

FACEBOOK

  • Best times: Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
  • Best days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday
  • Worst day: Saturday

INSTAGRAM

  • Best times: Tuesday 11 a.m.–2 p.m., Monday – Friday 11 a.m.
  • Best day: Tuesday
  • Worst day: Sunday

 

TWITTER 

  • Best times: Wednesday 9 a.m.– 3 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday 9–11 a.m.
  • Best day: Wednesday
  • Worst day: Saturday

 

LINKEDIN

  • Best times: Tuesday through Thursday 9 a.m.–noon
  • Best days: Tuesday and Wednesday
  • Worst day: Sunday