Social Media Ads: What’s New, What’s Next

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As print media continues a downward spiral and radio and television are having a harder time reaching younger audiences, it’s no surprise that social media ads are on the rise.

After all, Millennials have lots of disposable income, they’re a massive demographic, and they carry their mobile devices everywhere, so where else would you go to reach them the easiest? The trick to social media is keeping ahead of the trends, since the market itself seems to be a bit of a moving target right now. New networks are popping up out of seemingly nowhere and older networks are developing niche uses in order to remain viable.

Don’t Miss These Social Media Ad Opportunities

It’s time to do a reality check as we look at what’s new and what’s next for social media advertising.

When Facebook started offering real advertising opportunities, it was a revolutionary thing for marketers largely due to the incredible amount of data it had at its disposal. You could literally serve an ad only to people who were a certain age, a certain gender, in a particular location with an interest in a niche. Its targeting tools are still amazing, but Facebook isn’t the only good party in town these days.

Instagram, Facebook’s little sister, is finally launching analytics for advertisements, possibly in response to its wildly popular (and hijacked) Stories feature. The addition of skippable full screen ads and pre- and mid-roll ads for videos dramatically expands the advertising real estate available on the growing network.

Snapchat has also expanded its offerings, now allowing advertisements to be purchased by businesses outside of its initial test group.

Snap’s upcoming IPO feels like it’s either going to be a great way to fund more original formats and, thus, opportunities for marketers, or a huge disappointment followed by only mildly valuable marketing spots for specific niche products and services. That one is really up in the air, but getting in on Snap before it’s clogged with ads could be a massive boon to those early adopters. Whether it’ll have the power to last remains to be seen, but the demographic Snap attracts is still a vital one.

My Tips for Your Modern Social Media Campaigns

Social media has been evolving, and so should your ads. If your social media game is no different than it was in 2015, you’re doing social media wrong. Today’s social media isn’t anything like it was even two years ago, and it’s likely time to update your approach.

Social media marketing and advertising will continue to evolve, but as long as you keep up with the latest news and trends your efforts will yield fruit. Just remember that what you did yesterday might not continue to work tomorrow, so keep testing everything before you fully launch your campaigns.

I put together a few of my best tips to help you on your way:

• Design your marketing for your social media outlet, don’t just recycle content. If you think of social media a little bit like television, it might make more sense, you simply don’t want to be flipping the channels and see the same show on every one. Instead, design marketing content with your audiences in mind and be aware of who they are before you even start. That one little trick may make all the difference in your ROI on ad spend.

• Post and promote with purpose. Too many random posts or too much promotion of things that don’t really matter can get grating to your visitors. You don’t need to boost every post, though you certainly should boost posts that you’d really like to see get some traction.

Boosting helps engage new fans, as well as strengthening your existing audience. Posts are the bread and butter of social media, but you don’t need too many. Instead of posting twelve times a day, two or three times is really sufficient. You should post daily, but you don’t need to post constantly.

• Have a dedicated customer support team ready. When it comes to social media, you either need to be all in or all out with customer support on your page. Either you’re not going to offer it at all or you’re going to offer it all the time.

This matters to marketers because a social media manager cannot do the work of a customer support team on their own, and if you try to take this approach, it’ll eventually explode in your face when that media manager misses a message or fails to respond promptly because they’re off duty when a message appears.

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