Social Media will be Paid, Personal but even less Private in 2018. Technophile or not, few of us escape the influence of Social Media. If you are a business owner, Social Media has become more integrated and indispensable than ever before…
A self-proclaimed all-round trend-watcher, it is the rapid changes to technology that I suspect to have the biggest impact on our lives in the new year. Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, user interface – terminology that will become standard to marketing vocabulary. Some of these technology trends might be a bit out there and while we might not yet be replacing our human workforce with robots, it is important to stay on trend in order to optimally use your social media presence.
Just how important is social media for a business? Ryan Holmes writes on Forbes.com that “Facebook reported its highest earnings ever in Q3, up nearly 50% from a year ago. Its mobile ads are so popular that the platform is actually starting to run out of space for them, even though they’re charging more than ever. Meanwhile, the network eclipsed the 2-billion-user mark, now counting nearly one-third of the planet among its user base.”
The audience is there – young generations spend up to nine hours a day on social platforms! But are they reading about your brand, do they see you posts and updates and special offers on these platforms? If you are relying on organic reach, probably not! Your online or digital consultant would have been advising promoted posts and online advertisements and in 2018, more than ever before, we should listen. Introducing “Explore” for company updates, all indications are that Facebook might be killing organic reach on its News Feed.
Social media can be a very successful – if it is Paid. The beauty is, however, that you can experiment and spend relative small amounts compared to print advertising. And what makes paid social media really exciting, is that it can be personalised and targeted at the exact audience you require.
Personalisation is the beauty of the digital world. Online behaviour – products purchased, content watched, address or travel destinations, all help in compiling online personas and enable brands to target their paid posts. As simple as focusing on people within 100 km who enjoys family friendly entertainment when you have last minute availability for a picnic concert to targeting those who are LSM 10, like Cabernet Sauvignon and live in the suburb where you will be presenting your tasting. The options are limitless.
Online paid advertising can also be measured. Gone are those days when you spent large amounts on advertising with no real way to measure its success. How many likes and shares and click-through’s to the website can be measured and you can even see how many clicks actually resulted in purchasing and if it didn’t, where users dropped off. Measuring gives us the all-important information we need to successfully market online. Technology also enable us to decide on the optimal time and the most likeable content and images to use. Calling it “millisecond marketing”, Ryan Holmes says: “Case in point – emerging technology that enables testing hundreds of social media ad variations, simultaneously. Rather than having to “guess” which images and text will get the most clicks, users can automate campaigns so that the best-performing posts are instantly boosted to the biggest audience.”
This is all very exciting if you are a business wanting to capitalise on the online space. For the individual using social media there is both opportunity and threat. Your online behaviour will determine what ads you see and other than being bombarded with general online advertising you will see content that you enjoy and find relevant. It is very convenient if you get into your car in the morning and without pushing a button your phone tells you the travelling time to the office and what meetings you have to prepare for. And this is just the basics. It seems that one of these days, you will be digitally reminded to take your medication, about your parking running out or about taking an umbrella to your destination. Convenient it is! But private? Online behaviour is not private and even if you are very careful, it is almost impossible to not have a digital footprint. (Read more)
I would like to say that it is important to balance the convenience factor of your personal digital presence with being careful about your privacy, but this is no easy task. For businesses and brands digital is where it is at. For consumers as well – but not without sacrificing privacy.
The online world is dynamic and interesting and more than ever before, we will have to keep up with the trends if we want to use this platform effectively.
Read more about technological trends for 2018: