As we close the book on 2016, we’ve seen trends come and go when it comes to advertising on social media platforms, and we’ve seen the rise of a couple newer platforms.
Facebook turned 12 this year, making it one of the oldest-standing social networking platforms currently used by the masses. Facebook doesn’t show signs of going away anytime soon, but Facebook’s core users are aging along with the platform, and new mediums are being introduced which target younger users. Even though Facebook is “getting older,” it’s still a viable marketing solution for most businesses. When targeting is used the correct way, it will still garner great results. Facebook offers excellent targeting options from demographics of users down to interests in certain categories and products. And budgets as small as $20 can prove to be effective! In fact, Facebook’s targeting tools have worked so well that other platforms have incorporated them into their own advertising platforms.
Some of the other social media platforms that jumped up a couple notches on the meter are Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Instagram, a platform for sharing images through a newsfeed and known for its photography filters, is coincidentally owned by social media goliath Facebook. Instagram has grown to encompass the younger users which Facebook has seemed to lose. Instagram does use similar targeting options as its older brother–which is a nice transition for marketing campaign managers. Marketers can still use demographic info along with interest levels.
Another image-sharing social media platform we saw on the rise this year is Snapchat. Snapchat is an image-sharing application which allows the user to send images through messaging software. The unique feature that sets Snapchat apart from the rest is the ability to make that image available for a limited amount of time to the end user. Most images are erased after 10 seconds of screen time. Snapchat is monetizing the platform by offering numerous ways to advertise. The app’s sponsored videos, for example, are targeted off of demographics, email, interests and geographic location. Businesses can also utilize Snapchat’s sponsored geo filters and sponsored lenses. Geo filters can be used when customers are at your location. Through this feature, users can apply a branded filter to a snapshot they’ve taken of themselves. The geo filter can include anything from your logo to your tagline. You can also get brand messaging out through sponsored lenses on Snapchat. These are commercial-like videos that the user can put themselves into. Gatorade has a fun one where users can show a Gatorade cooler being dumped over their head like you would see on a sideline of a winning Super Bowl team.
In closing, there are many social media platforms available to advertise your business. Do your research and think through who you are targeting to determine which platform to use. Social media shouldn’t be a scary adventure. It should be embraced! When done correctly, these platforms can drive awareness, generate customers and create advocacy.