So-Called Social: Week of January 8

Your weekly dose of social news

by Lauren Friedman

posted on 01-12-2018

It’s been quite the week in the land of Social! Facebook is making some moves in AI, Snapchat isn’t looking so hot, LinkedIn’s new campaign is pretty stellar, and I found some tips I kinda like on how to break through the noise on Facebook. Read on, comrades.

Social nets update stuff

Turns out viral reach for branded-content on Facebook is way outperforming standard ads. In fact, according to a recent study, branded-content ads generate twice as many earned, or viral, impressions as paid impressions. So, if brands want to get a few more eyeballs on their ads, they may be better off paying a publisher or influencer to produce a branded-content post through their Pages, and then paying to promote that post instead. #ProTip

Facebook has announced the end of M, the experimental virtual assistant that hasn’t even made it out of the testing phase. The service once seemed to hold the promise of acting as a digital concierge, helping people book hotels, order food, keep their schedules, etc. Right on Facebook. And it was the company’s playground to experiment with artificial intelligence.

I was literally just about to write how it’ll be interesting to see how Facebook pivots when it comes to innovation in AI, and then poof. Sounds like Facebook is taking on the Amazon Echos and Google Homes of the world! Get ready. Facebook is diving into the home device market with a video chat product called “Portal.” The device is designed to work in the home and represents Facebook’s first serious foray into selling consumer hardware. Portal sounds like a way for families and friends to stay connected through video chatting and other social features. FB is planning a formal product introduction in early May at its annual developer conference and hopes to ship the device in the second half of 2018.

Snapchat is toying with the idea of forcing users to watch three seconds of ads before skipping. In the past, the company has been reluctant to impose ads on its audience. But, you know, gotta make that money, honey. Snapchat’s current video ads are now so easily skipped that the average view times on ads barely reach a second. This would obviously be a good change for advertisers on the platform. However, thanks to Daily Beast’s exposé on what’s actually going on inside Snapchat’s offices, there’s a chance lots of people will be deleting the app soon enough. Unless, you know, you’re a teen.

Adobe does stuff

ADI has kicked off this year with a Consumer Electronic report, to coincide with CES 2018. The report shines a light on the bigger picture of online consumer electronics retailers, showing how smartphones are becoming the device of choice for browsing, but also experiencing huge revenue growth. We also break into product specific trends around voice tech, the wireless headphone revolution, and wireless charging. Check. It. Out.

Other brands do stuff

Can winning back customers be as easy as 1, 2, 3? McDonald’s is about to find out. Mickey D’s has officially kicked off the marketing of its new $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu with both traditional and social media campaigns. Earlier this week, the brand hosted a Facebook Live event in the theme of a 1970s game show offering opportunities for audience members to win $1 $2 $3 McDonald’s gift cards. There are even more prizes available in a social media photo sweepstakes. I’m lovin’ it.

So, LinkedIn’s new integrated marketing campaign is pretty rad. Called, “In It Together,” the campaign debuted during the Golden Globes and features black-and-white spots that tell the stories of the platform’s members who come from a diverse array of professional backgrounds, such as ranching, IT, the arts, education, and nonprofits. The push also includes digital video and display, paid social, podcasts, out-of-home, radio, and search advertising.

Interesting stuff

Follow fast, test everything, and stop being so boring. That’s apparently how brands and marketers can break through the noise on Facebook. We all know that engagement ratios for brand pages are dropping — it’s fallen more than 8 percent. Why? Because there’s so much competition for attention on the platform (and heck, the Internet as a whole). However, the game can be won. And I like to be optimistic.

I’ve got some more bad news for Snap today… According to a report from Cowen, 96 percent of marketers would prefer to spend their campaign money on Instagram Stories instead of Snapchat ads. As part of the survey, advertisers were also asked to rate platforms on benchmarks like ROI, and Snap was ranked last for all of them. Womp womp.

Fun stuff

Please look at this new baby sloth named Vivien.

It’s icy out there, folks.

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