Facebook prioritises Stories over News Feed, WhatsApp advertising in 2019, TikTok-clone Lasso launched, why engagement shouldn’t be the ultimate measurement on social media, and Instagram goes against fake followers.
Facebook prioritises Stories over News Feed
As a consequence of disappointing revenues and stagnating user growth, Facebook has decided to shift its monetisation strategy from the News Feeds to Stories, messaging and videos. In the result-based industry of digital marketing, it is now important for marketers to decide whether to continue advertising heavily on News Feeds or shifting budgets to, for example, Facebook Stories. Admittedly, Instagram Stories have transformed the world of video and social media video advertising and will certainly continue with a strong growth. Even though predicting future advertising strategies is impossible, one aspect can be stated for sure: on these fast paced platforms it is vital that a constant stream of content is produced, preferably as creative and engaging as possible. This newly increased need for marketers to improve their creative skills again will probably be the biggest challenge, irrespective of the platform where the ad is displayed.
WhatsApp and advertising
With an audience over 1.5 billion users, the app undoubtedly has great marketing potential and Facebook, having bought WhatsApp about 4 years ago, has been thinking about this for a while. Since August this year, a chat can be launched in WhatsApp directly from Facebook ads. The WhatsApp Business API for showing ads directly in the WhatsApp Status feature has been launched during the past year as well, although it remains unclear as to when businesses will be able to use it. With this, the technological possibilities are being created by Facebook to monetise the messaging app. It does, however, remain unclear which content and ad format performs best on WhatsApp as a platform, leaving it up to digital marketers to try and fail, or succeed. What we do know is the extreme likelihood of the ads being highly personalised.
Facebook launches TikTok equivalent
The Chinese app sensation called TikTok has now been cloned by Facebook and brought to the market with the launch of the app Lasso. The original and extremely successful amongst Generation Z members TikTok app lets users create short videos including lip synchronisation (similar to musical.ly). Facebook has launched its own short-form video app to create a standalone app for entertaining videos in all categories from beauty to fitness and more. A surprise, but also a decision made with good reasons, was that Facebook launched the app without displaying the connection to Facebook. Given however, that the main users of Facebook do not correlate with the age group this app is trying to target, it is understandable why Facebook has decided to advertise Lasso separately from the rest of the business. It will remain to see whether Facebook can uphold the success from the previous copying of Snapchat Stories into Instagram Stories with this new app.
Why engagement on social media is not everything
Digital marketers have been presented with the challenge on how to correctly measure the success of their social media campaigns. For many social network users the number of followers or likes is essential, whereas for businesses this is certainly not the right route to track their marketing efforts as only little connection exists between engagement and business value. Even the big players, such as Facebook admit that engagement rates do not correlate with business success. It is therefore crucial to consider the aim of the social media campaign before creating it, as different aims can lead to different ad formats. If you are, for example, looking to obtain customer data a lead form advert will work better than an engagement, or reach advert. Nevertheless, the content is key and should be engaging in any advert you create.
Instagram and fake followers
Instagram has announced to fight third-party automation apps that leave spammy, unrelated comments, or follow and unfollow others in order to grow other users’ follower count. The inauthentic activity caused by these apps is not in line with Instagram’s user promise of authentic user interaction. The social network has announced that it is now using improved machine learning tools to identify accounts using said third-party apps and in turn block them from using the platform. This next step is specifically important for businesses who engage in influencer marketing, as it will increase transparency in how many genuine followers the influencers have and how they can be weighted against the marketing measures the business is planning to take.