Every major social platform has announced features in recent weeks that will form a direct link between social media content and shopping. But who’s doing what and who are they targeting? We round up the innovations for you. Instagram What is it? Photo/video sharing app with features such as Layout enabling multiple images in one post and more recently Boomerang for moving images and longer videos of up to 60 seconds in length, plus of course the numerous flattering filters upon which its initial success was built. Accompanying text has no limit as it does on Twitter which is why many people have defected from Twitter to Facebook as it is seen as a more creative and visual platform. Launched: 6 October 2010 by former Stanford alumni Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger Owned by: Facebook, since April 2012 Number/profile of users: 400m active monthly users with approximately 80m photos added per day. Primary user group: the Millennials, 18-35 year olds (roughly half and half male and female). Around 25% of users are based in the US. Fashion followers in particular favour Instagram. How can I shop it? When it launched Instagram was effectively used as a Look Book for fashion business and shopping from it was/is a bit clunkly – “click link in bio to shop” anyone? However that has become more seamless since it has come under Facebook’s wing, which is to be expected. The Shop Now (or other messages, such as Learn More or Download) button was launched about a year ago and brands are starting to use it widely. Carousel-style ads allow brands to showcase several products in one post and users can click on the one that most interests them and be taken straight to that product’s page on the brand’s e-commerce site. (Taking users straight to checkout would be the next logical step but given that Instagram is a mobile app, that is somewhat more complicated). This functionality is only offered on sponsored posts and not to the every-day user.
Recently, though, Instagram made it easier for smaller companies to do business on the app too. If you have a Facebook business page, you will soon be able to convert your Instagram page to a business profile that will include features such as contact us (enabling users to call/email/access your website in one tap), create ads on the go (in a similar style to Facebook) and access a suite of analytics showing your most successful posts. Snapchat What is it? Some say it’s not social media at all, rather instant messaging. For the purposes of this exercise we will lump it in because whatever you call it, if you want to reach teens and consumers at the younger end of the Millennial spectrum, this is where you will find them. What makes Snapchat so appealing to this demographic is that content can be shared between discrete groups of friends and is deleted within 24-hours, so your daft photos and comments are not exposed publicly and digitally preserved for posterity. Speaking of daft, the filters that enable users to show themselves “barfing” rainbows or being transformed into a puppy (among other things) form a large part of its appeal and its revenue opportunity. Launched: September 2011 by Stanford students Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy Owned by: It’s been through several rounds of funding and Spiegel has apparently spurned the advances of Facebook and Google along the way. Tech bloggers suggest its value is around $22bn and that it is gearing up for an IPO. Number/profile of users: More than it’s officially letting on apparently. Snapchat says it has 100m active daily users, but a recent Bloomberg report says unofficial sources put the figure at 150m (making it more popular than Twitter). On any given day it apparently reaches 41% of all US teenagers (wow…) and officially puts its demographic at 18-34 though younger teens, the so-called Generation Z, favour Snapchat over other social channels. How can I shop it? Brands have been dipping their toes into Snapchat as a means to capture the attention of those elusive teens who aren’t that interested in hanging out in their shops. Burberry, for instance, has previewed entire catwalk collections on the service before now, and that’s not because it believes these teens can afford buy their products but rather it is cultivating its customer of the future. And the aforementioned filters have been used as a revenue-stream with brands being allowed to create their own and make them available to user. The rather genius bit of this is that users create your ads for you (such as turning themselves into a taco on behalf of Taco-Bell or giving themselves a drenching in Gatorade) and share them with their friends.
But having foresworn ads when it first launched, Snapchat has inevitably unveiled its first major advertising push just this month with its new Snap Ads Between Stories option. These 10-second slots will occasionally appear when a user auto-advances from one person’s collection of images (or “Story”) to the next, but they won’t always appear nor will they interrupt a user’s story. It has also established a Snapchat Partners programme, which is divided into two streams, Snapchat Partners for Ads and Snapchat Partners for Creative. The Ads partners include 4C, Adaptly, Amobee, Brand Networks, SocialCode, TubeMogul, Unified, and VaynerMedia. They will be able to build custom ad buying and management tools to enable brands to target their spend using Snapchat’s targeting options: age, gender, location, device/OS, carrier, and content affinity. The Snapchat Partners for Creative are a pre-vetted list of agencies who are able to produce engaging creative content, the include include Allay Everyday, Big Spaceship, Contented, Matte-Finish, Media Monks, Moment Studio, R29 Brand Lab, Studio Number One, Stun Creative, The 88, The Mill, and Snapchat’s own creative agency Truffle Pig. Facebook What is it? In short most people’s home page to the internet. It’s where they go to catch up with and share content with friends and family, read their news/content (and find out what everyone thinks about it), engage with brands, send private messages, promote their businesses etc etc. It’s not exactly the coolest form of social media but it is by far the most popular across all demographics. Launched: 4 February 2004 (made available to the public in September 2006) by Harvard students Mark Zuckerberg (now chairman and CEO), Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes. Owned by: it’s public. Floated on 17 May 2012 at which point it was valued at $104bn Number/profile of users: 1.65bn active monthly users (1.09bn active daily users). About 84% of users are outside of the US and Canada. Everyone and their gran uses it basically. How do I shop it? Just last week Facebook revealed it had unlocked something of Holy Grail for retailers, that it could prove the link between online and ads and in-store visits and indeed in-store sales. Retailers will now be able to use a new interactive map, called Store Locator, to allow them to push location-specific ads to users encouraging them to visit their nearest store. Information contained within the ad will include store location, opening times, phone number, website and estimated travel time. Facebook will then be able to track a phone’s location (using GPS, in-store beacons or WiFi for instance) to determine whether the user paid a visit to the store and present that as a “Store Visits” metric. To round off the service and demonstrate how many of those visits actually led to a sale, Facebook is launching the Offline Conversions API, which will allow retailers to cross-match data from their own customer databases or point-of-sale systems (such as Marketo or Square) with Facebook advertising data. Experts predict the move will divert more spend away from traditional media such as outdoor and TV as advertisers have no foolproof way of measuring whether they lead directly to store visits and sales.
Of course Facebook was already the best place of all social media to do business by allowing users to set up business profiles, create ads on the fly and check their users stats (all of which it is now adding into Instagram). Having had its advances for Snapchat spurned it consoled itself with the purchase of Masquerade which looks like its poor relation on the face of it (daft filters, ahoy) but presumably it has been bought so that it can bring some of its functionality to Facebook users soon, which make up its cool credentials among the younger demographic. Twitter What is it? A micro-blogging site. Enables users to share thoughts, links, pictures etc but imposes a 140-word limit(there’s been a bit of relaxing on that, see below) on communications. Users follow each other can block each other if they don’t want certain people to view their Tweets/contact them. Can also be used for direct messaging. The Draconian character limit was what it endeared it initially and led to the # where people summed up their thoughts in one witty word. The # is also searchable and enables people to search content by theme/person and see what and who is trending. The service is increasingly seen as the place to go to gauge popular opinion on world events. No newspaper story is complete these days without the line “people took to Twitter to express their outrage/dismay/support”delete as appropriate. Also owns video content and live streaming services Vine and Periscope. Founded: in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey (CEO), Noah Glass, Biz Stone, Evan Williams. Owned by: it’s public. Launched its IPO on 7 November 2013. There has been a fair bit of reshuffling of the top team at Twitter with Dorsey at first being CEO, then chairman of the board, then executive chairman, then interim CEO (replacing Dick Costolo who took the fall for stalled growth) and is now CEO proper again. Number/profile of users: Its latest figures say 310m monthly active users and it doesn’t post a daily figure but analysts suggest it’s around 140m, which is 10m less than Snapchat. (Growth is pretty stagnant, which its shareholders don’t like of course.) 79% of users are outside of the US, while 83% access it via mobile. It’s roughly half and half male and female and some experts suggest around 65% of users are under 35 years old. How do I shop it? It’s quite easy for brands to post links to certain product pages via Twitter and posts/pages or even trends can be “promoted”. Users can, should they wish, interact with promoted content in the same way they do other content, such as Re-Tweeting, replying, Quote Tweeting etc. Users are targeted according to their activity and just last week Twitter revealed advertisers could now target people according to their emoji use, so using a burger emoji could well lead to a Burger King ad appearing in your feed for instance.
It is also said to be testing a new ad scheme that will operate like a carousel and enable advertisers to use multiple Tweets, including those by users other than themselves (providing they get explicit permission from that user to do so), in one promoted post. And in news that will please many brands who find the 140-character limit so restricting (and which has driven many into the arms of Instagram), Dorsey has relaxed it – but only bit. Links and images, which could eat into precious text space will now no longer count against your character limit. #Hooray… Source of Article: theindustrylondon.com