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Should Marketers Pause Twitter Ad Campaigns?

By Paid Media, Social Media

Many advertisers are rethinking their marketing approach on Twitter following recent changes, including relaxed content moderation, reinstated problematic accounts, and the massive layoffs that have taken place since Elon Musk purchased the platform in late October.

Half of Twitter’s top one hundred advertisers “have either announced or seemingly stopped advertising” on Twitter, according to a recent analysis, amid boycott calls from civil rights and advocacy groups.

Because of the reduced staff, users are reporting an array of glitches, including issues with two-factor authentication, paused campaigns turning on, ads running alongside ‘hardcore antisemitism and adult spam,” and limited ability to modify campaigns.

Some advertisers have reported a significant drop in ad performance, potentially due to ad server problems. Since early November, reports of a spike in hate speech; accounts who succeeded at impersonating popular figures by gaming the new subscription blue checkmark. We are also seeing Chinese-controlled accounts dominating platform trends and searches. 

Should Marketers Halt Ads on Twitter?

The decision to halt media on Twitter in the midst of divisive tactics, platform glitches, and relaxed content moderation policies rests upon each company’s qualitative comfort with the unknown, the controversial, and quantitative projection of bottom line impact.

Twitter was the sixth largest social media company in terms of ad revenue in 2021. As brands head into the holidays and planning for 2023, the prospect of cutting spend on Twitter altogether can impact on projected revenue plans.  

Brands that advertise on Twitter may experience platform glitches and should expect delays from communications with Twitter representatives. Clients located in the APAC region may experience the biggest lags and glitches, considering that Twitter’s APAC team was significantly reduced. As advertisers flock to other platforms to make up for potential lost spend on Twitter, competition and costs may increase on these competitive platforms.  

We recommend marketers pay close attention to any content (including organic posts) they are posting on Twitter, given the platform’s evolving moderation policies, reported glitches, and other brand safety items reported. We also recommend brands speak with their legal, PR and marketing teams about the potential risks on the platform and have a contingent crisis communications plan in place, should it be needed. We do not recommended testing this channel, or exploring this as a media mix, without proven results given the recent issues. 

In the meantime, we will continue to monitor the Twitter landscape and will advise of any new changes. If you need assistance with your Twitter campaigns – or with any digital marketing strategies – please contact us today. Our experts are here to help.

Social Media Predictions for 2023

By Social Media

As 2022 comes to a close, we are keeping an eye on the emerging trends and tools and tactics that will matter in 2023.

Facebook Leverages AI To Keep People Interested.

As Facebook continues to lose users to TikTok, the platform is using AI to send more content from Pages and people’s content through Feeds.

Mark Zuckerberg explained in a recent interview with The Verge that:

“What’s basically going to happen is that, over the next year or two, we’ll start showing more recommended content in the Feed. And we’ll know that we’re doing a good job because the content in the beginning is going to displace some other content, and either displacing that content is going to lead to negative feedback from people, and lead to people connecting with each other less in all the metrics that we focus on, or it will actually lead to people connecting more and being more satisfied with the product.”

Zuckerberg’s view is that 40% of the content in your main Facebook feed will come from Pages you don’t follow.

For brands, that could also mean expanded opportunity, as Facebook’s algorithms will look to show your best-performing posts to even more people, even those outside of your current audience.

Facebook Is Moving Away From Promoting External Links

Facebook is placing a lower priority on content that promotes external links because they want more people to spend more time on the platform.

While this will cause some frustration for brands seeking to drive views to their websites, we recommend brands focus on content that generates more engagement on Facebook, likes memes and audience questions. This could help marketers that might then boost brand awareness and increase their following.

Continued Push for Avatar integration on Facebook

Despite a lack of user interest and an unimpressed industry, Meta is still trying to get users excited about the metaverse. So, you can expect to see more digital avatars popping up on the app.

Meta Avatar store

Although, we are far from reaching critical mass in the VR-enabled metaverse, there are expanded opportunities in sponsored items for avatars, themed costumes, and some new ways to connect and engage within the digital space.

Expect Meta to start pushing avatars as a key way to connect and engage, from video chats to posts, to status updates, and onto the metaverse itself.

More AI-recommended Instagram Content – and More Reels

Just like Facebook, Instagram is likewise hoping AI content recommendations will maximize user engagement as the platform struggles to keep up with TikTok.

Meanwhile Reels remains Instagram’s its fastest-growing content format, so you can expect to see more random updates, and more Reels, in more places in the app.

Like Facebook, it’s not clear yet that this will work for IG. But they’re going to push it either way.

We also expect Instagram will revisit its full-screen feed test, maybe with selected users who engage with Reels/Stories more often.

More Brand Engagement with Creators

We expect Instagram to add-in new forms of content creation in 2023, including AR and 3D posts, further integrate NFT art, and other new content forms that can be showcased in the app.

By providing more ways for creators to create directly on Instagram, Meta hopes to guide them to the metaverse. So you can expect to see new creation tools, like GIFs generated from Live Photos on IG, and also, the integration of 3D creation tools from its Spark AR platform directly into Instagram itself.

Spark

AR and More Interactive Ads

Other platforms are already experimenting with this, and as Meta seeks to guide users into the next stage, we expect to see more more 3D models for the metaverse space, including new AR ad formats cwith enhanced scanning tools and ingestion processes to help more brands lean into this next-level shift.

Twitter Will Continue to Experiment to Regain Market Share

Elon Musk has laid out various vague plans as he tries to right the seemingly sinking ship. From subscriptions to today’s news that he will no longer remove misinformation about COVID-19, we could see anything from Twitter transforming to a pay-to-play platform to a return to robust analytics. (Twitter removed a lot of analytics features back in 2020, and never replaced them.

If Musk were to improve Twitter Analytics offering, and presented that as a service, that would likely be something for which many businesses would be willing to pay.

Pinterest Will Continue to Grow and Gain Greater Influence

Pinterest has been on a more steady upward trajectory now.

We expect this trend to continue with greater international expansion. Pinterest is doing well in its key markets, but it still has a lot of growing to do in other regions.

Pinterest Q3 2022

As you can see in these charts, Pinterest’s income from North American users literally towers over what it makes in other regions. Pin ads are still not available in all markets, and while Pinterest is still growing, it needs to work on building its ad opportunities to maximize its potential in this respect.

Improved Search and Discovery on Pinterest

Discovery is the backbone of Pinterest’s operation and we expect to see new improvements in highlighting the most relevant products via improved search tools and processes.

Pinterest continues to make progress on this front, by adding in more personalized discovery tools, and you can expect to see Pinterest continue to refine and improve its processes to help maximize product discovery, in alignment with personal usage habits and preferences.

Also, expect to see Pinterest add in more product comparison options, to help users find the best deals in the app. Pinterest also needs more products, and as such, you can also expect to see the platform continue to improve its catalog ingestion tools, and help more merchants list their items as Buyable Pins.

Live-Stream Shopping

Pinterest is also testing the waters on live-stream shopping, and if that does become a bigger trend, you can expect the platform to make a much bigger push on integrating live shopping into the app.

We expect Live shopping to be more effective on Pinterest than other platforms at the moment simply because of the nature of content and the way users currently engage with products on the app.

LinkedIn Will Leverage Better Data, Video and Audio in 2023

LinkedIn already owns the largest database of professional and career insights ever created, and it’s slowly integrating new ways to use this to help people maximize their opportunities.

We expect this to continue in 2023, with more links to LinkedIn Learning so users can obtain the skills needed to land their dream jobs.

Like all social media platforms, LinkedIn has seen more people consuming more video content in the app, and we expect the platform to add in more video tools, expanding on its existing intro video and video chat features.

In fact, we more people are accustomed to virtual conferences and events now, we imagine LinkedIn will enhance its Event features with more Zoom-like features for in-platform video meetings and live streams.

Similarly, as podcasts continue to become the preferred content type for Millennials and GenZers, we expect to see LinkedIn embrace audio events – perhaps even by creating an in-platform podcast offering like BuzzSprout and others.

Either way, we expect to see audio rooms in groups, audio meet-ups among your connections better highlighted in the app, and more sections highlighting audio events.

TikTok Will Embrace Social Commerce

The current social unrest in China could result in TikTok being banned throughout the country. However, the success of the app around the rest of the world, along with the increasing need for Western brands to monetize their presence on the app, leads us to expect social commerce to grow on TikTok.

To-date, western users haven’t exactly warmed to live-stream shopping, at least not in the way that some Asian regions have, but TikTok is determined to make it work, as a means to both maximize revenue and provide another monetization opportunity for creators.

Because right now, creators can’t make as much money on TikTok as they can on YouTube, TikTok’s trying out various solutions on this front, but the platform has had the most success with live-stream commerce, so it’s safe to expect this to become a more prominent feature in 2023.

If you need assistance with your social media strategy in 2023, please contact us today. Our experts are here to help.

Expected Changes to Twitter and What It Means For Your Brand

By Paid Media, Social Media No Comments

Since his acquisition of Twitter, Elon Musk has plans to restore the social media platform to its former glory when it was once the go-to for breaking news and compelling conversation.

Twitter has become synonymous with troll and bots in recent years. It seems the answer to that for Musk is to re-vamp the platform into a subscription model. His stated goal is to generate 50% of Twitter’s revenue intake from subscribers, reducing the app’s reliance on ads.

Paid Subscriptions and Verifications

To this end, Musk is reportedly considering:

At this stage, it’s hard to know when or if these will be tested or rolled out. But, we will monitor these changes for you.

If Twitter can deliver authentic and compelling content through these verified subscription packages, it would allow brands to once again leverage Twitter for thought leadership. The challenge will be convincing users to pay to keep using the app and whether or not that blue checkmark of certification will be sufficient enough to compel users to pay for it.

Staff Reductions

The Washington Post has reported that Musk will cull at least 25% of Twitter’s current roles.

Musk has already cut several senior execs, and he’s reportedly analyzing Twitter’s sales, product, engineering and legal departments,.

The Possible Return of Vine

There are hints that Elon is considering bringing Vine back from the dead, in order to directly compete with TikTok. While Vine fans are elated, we aren’t convinced a re-released Vine would go the distance beyond initial launch hype. Nonetheless, we will continue to monitor all the changes happening at Twitter and will help ensure you know how best to leverage this and all other media platforms.

If you need assistance with your paid media or social media strategy, please contact us. We are here to help.

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