We are surfing, chatting, posting and commenting virtually on a regular basis: in fact, the amount of time users spend daily on social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Co. is growing faster than the rest of online usage. Around 60% of people visit social media every day, one third of them even 5 times a day, proving that social media marketing can achieve a high reach. But what do social media channels really accomplish for marketing?
Well, users no longer just get new inspirations from the networks but are increasingly encouraged to act instead. The direct bridging of a social media app with just one click to a company page, e.g. an online shop, is now a common means. Simplification is the key driver of the movement: users no longer need to enter the name of the brand in their Internet browser and then go through products on the websites
Since brands have more and more channels available to run performance campaigns, it is the more important to analyze which social media channels are worth investing in:
The channel for performance marketing - Facebook
Especially for performance marketing, Facebook is a suitable channel for advertisers due to its user segmentation as well as ability to address users in a targeted and anonymous way. This option includes all data posted on Facebook - likes, sign ups, affiliation with certain groups, etc. thanks to clustering capabilities such as Website Custom Audience and Lookalike Audience. For example, the social network allows existing customers to be specifically differentiated from new customers.
Meanwhile, Facebook has even become an established shopping channel, mainly because of Facebook Stories, which were recently launched. Through authentic moving images, Facebook Stories intensify the user's interest in a particular product. According to a study by Facebook IQ and Ipsos, 62% of respondents are more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in a Story; 56% have then visited the site for more information, 38% have told someone about a product in the Story, and 34% have finally bought the product in the store. Conversely, slightly more than half of users (51%) expect companies to have clear messages and discounts in their Stories, 44% expect them to introduce new products, and 45% to give tips and advice.
Social media marketing campaigns have been driven by a single platform since the introduction of new performance channels. The Facebook Business Manager allows companies and their brands to post and upload ads on Facebook and Instagram in various formats - as Stories, Marketplace or Posts - and to integrate advertising content into their respective functions. Also, brand-initiated Facebook groups could play an increasingly important role in the future, as users are segmented by topic and interest, allowing them to be reached organically without the use of marketing budgets.
The new performance channels Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest
The photo platform Instagram also offers new performance possibilities. With the help of the shopping function, brands can tag their products on certain posts and introduce shoppable content in the storytelling. By clicking on the shopping bag icon, the user can get more information about the product, and if necessary, buy it by being redirected to the webpage of the brand. The "explore” field is also part of the shopping channel: this area is personalized and contains the shopping contributions of all brands the user follows.
Particularly successful, and therefore not to be neglected when assessing social media marketing channels, are Instagram Stories: They represent a very efficient advertising tool that is much appreciated by users, which means both perception and engagement rates are high. More than a third of Instagram Stories users said they have been more interested in a product or brand after seeing it in Stories.
Instagram Stories can also conduct surveys and be a straightforward way to quickly find out what users think about a specific product.
Snapchat has launched a similar feature called "Snap Ads" and "Story Ads", which are interactive and can direct the user to a specific content. Snapchat has implemented a pixel to track the customer journey and to create specific audiences based on user behavior.
Even through the app of the photo community Pinterest, users can directly make a purchase - with just one click on the buy button of the "Shop the Look" feature. According to a study by Pinterest Business, 90% of users make a purchase on the platform and 70% use the social network as a source of inspiration to find new products. Based on the small "Shop the Look" Pins, users can identify buyable products from the fashion and home pins and are redirected to the online shops.
What does a meaningful media plan for 2019 look like?
In addition to integrated and cross-media marketing communication, you should consider investing into the following three social media trends for a promising media planning:
1. Facebook is considered an exciting source to find out more about a suitable target audience. Since these learnings can be transferred to other marketing channels, Facebook should be a building block of companies’ social media marketing, since all generated traffic is organic.
2. Additional investment in Instagram will be tantalizing. So far, Instagram has mainly been used for branding and by trend less in performance marketing. The challenge is to engage Instagram users with a different image-text language than Facebook. Especially the view of Stories on the mobile device can lead to a higher conversion rate. As a result of the new features, Instagram is increasingly turning into a sales platform, which is why it is ideally suited to performance goals and should now play a greater role in media planning.
3. Video advertising should be given a higher weighting across channels. It is already used in performance marketing, only the results are weaker than traditional measures. So far, videos have mainly been used for branding. Just keep in mind that loud video advertising is generally perceived as unpleasant, making users leave a page immediately.