Just when you think you’ve mastered social media, the paradigm shifts

Freshwater’s account executive, Ross Tyson, takes a look at the recent social media shifts and shake-ups.

The moment you think you’ve mastered the art of social media advertising, Zuckerberg and co roll out new guidelines to get to grips with, ad formats to fathom and targeting tools to take on board.

Social media networks are constantly evolving to ensure they remain relevant, keep their users engaged and crucially stay profitable by cashing in on their audiences. For marketers, this means there is always a new tool, feature or advertising format to consider, and Instagram and Snapchat are the latest channels to expand their offering.

Instagram boasts around 300 million daily active users, so not only is it ideal for showing the world just how funny your cat is, it’s also the perfect platform for business.

Since the site’s inception, businesses have been able to set up a profile and post pictures of their work, products and people but now, with the introduction of ‘business profiles’, Instagram is opening up a number of other useful avenues.

A ‘Promote’ feature will allow businesses to boost a new or particularly well performing post and, thanks to the detailed measurement and targeting tools of parent company Facebook, businesses can turn their posts into a sniper-scoped, meticulously targeted ad.

A contact button will also feature on business profiles helping Instagram users and potential customers get in contact at the touch of a button. An ‘Insights’ tool will also allow businesses access to a number of statistics, which measure the success of both paid for and free campaigns, helping businesses understand whether they’re nailing their social media strategy or just Instaspamming.

But Instagram hasn’t stopped there with introducing new features. ‘Instagram Stories’ may be the more interesting addition, especially if you do have a very funny cat. The new feature allows users to share photos and videos that disappear after a set amount of time. Social media savvies will know that this is also a key feature of fellow social media giant Snapchat. Some observers think this could either be Instagram’s attempt to deter users moving to, or spending more time on, Snapchat or a considered response to the increased number of businesses and organisations using Snapchat for marketing purposes.

Snapchat has also had its game face (and dog face, penguin face, Elvis face…) on this summer with the introduction of ‘Snapchat Memories’, a feature allowing storage of videos and photos within the Snapchat app (rather than on the phone’s camera roll). Snapchat Memories will be advantageous to general users but also to marketers who are already using, or considering using, Snapchat. The new ‘save for later’ style means businesses can delay particular posts and save them for their peak times, ensuring maximum impact and engagement. Thanks to Snapchat Memories, content will no longer time-out and will be available to use multiple times, tackling concerns marketers may have over Snapchat’s short-lived photo sharing style.

From the third quarter of 2016, marketers on Snapchat will also be able to use a more sophisticated targeting tool, based on users’ behaviour. The type of content Snapchat users consume will form a set of data, which advertisers can then use to ensure their campaign is being seen by the right people.

Following in the footsteps of trail-blazing social media advertising giants like Facebook, it’s clear that Instagram and Snapchat are continuing to create a buzz for consumers and advertisers with their new and improved features.

Freshwater is a multi-channel communications consultancy that delivers diverse digital and social media marketing campaigns across a range of sectors.


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Impact Report 2017

Impact report 2017