Over the past few years, advertising on social media has grown in sophistication. What started as a few advertisements on the side of the screen has evolved into a full and mostly seamless blend of the overall social media experience. Looking further into the future, the lines between advertising and organic content will become even more blurred, as social networks look to grow their value.
Here’s a look at what B2B advertisers can expect from social media platforms in 2015:
Mobile Apps Advertising by Social Networks
Throughout the years, Facebook and other social media platforms have discovered that the future of their services is moving from desktops toward mobile platforms. Last year, Facebook began to look at new areas to utilize its robust pool of user data for advertising purposes. This new area comes in the form of mobile application advertising.
Similar to Google’s AdMob, Facebook will now allow advertisers to display their Facebook ads on a network of mobile apps and games. Facebook differentiates itself from AdMob the same way it does with AdWords: by targeting the user’s personal data. This gives advertisers the ability to use the Facebook method of targeting outside of Facebook. Preliminary results for the format have been positive as well, with a study by Fiksu showing improved conversion rates.
It is also worth mentioning that Twitter recently announced they are also planning to create a mobile app network. While no rollout date has been set, expect this to launch in 2015. Needless to say, mobile app advertising is a strategy that should not be ignored.
More Dollars to Advertising
I wrote an article last year going over the changes made to Facebook’s algorithm of showing news stories. The end result of this algorithm is that companies who’ve relied on organic views from Facebook are going to have a more difficult time getting their posts viewed. Because of this, paid advertising will have much more of an impact if a company wants to be seen.
In 2015, if a company wants to remain relevant and visible on Facebook, they need to incorporate paid advertising in their strategy. It’s up to advertisers to do this in the most cost effective way.
Twitter’s Algorithm Change
Beyond expanding mobile advertising, Twitter is also making big moves with the way its users are going to see updates in their feed. This year, the company plans on using a strategy that Facebook has been incorporating the past few years. That is, showing users more content-relevant tweets, while pushing less relevant tweets to the background.
As of this month, changes in Twitter have already begun, with the roll out of a “While you were away” feature. This new addition provides users a list of selected tweets that received a high level of engagement. While not a mandatory feature, expect this list to have a big impact in the future.
Similar to Facebook, this becomes a new challenge for companies. Companies will now need to rely on promoting tweets in order to guarantee visibility. This is a huge change for the social network that needs to be on the radar of all companies this year.
Expansion of Instagram and Pinterest
Earlier last year, I wrote an article going over other social networks that offer advertising beyond Facebook. Included in that list were Instagram and Pinterest. As of today, both networks have yet to widely release their advertising platform.
Pinterest should be the first platform released to all advertisers, as they are currently allowing people to join a wait list. Instagram, however, has not changed since last year, still claiming “We’ll let you know when we’re ready to expand to more ad partners.”
That being said, advertisers should keep their eyes peeled for any update from these two companies in 2015.
Since most social networks have, at the very least, shown interest in advertising, it should come as no surprise that Snapchat has begun to test the waters. Last October, Snapchat started testing out advertising on their application, where advertisers could send a mass video Snapchat to users.
This week, however, the company announced its new platform where ads will be displayed called “Discover”. Here, media companies, such as ESPN and National Geographic, have the ability to share important news stories with users. During these news stories, advertisements will be displayed.
Unfortunately for advertisers, the ability to participate in that test will require a significant investment. It has been reported that advertisers will have to pay $750,000 a day if they want to appear on Snapchat. While the platform is still in its early stages, expect to hear more about Snapchat advertising in 2015.
It’s definitely an exciting time for advertising on social media. More social networks are getting in the advertising game and the platforms that are already playing continue to expand their services. With $10.9 billion in projected mobile sales for Facebook, Twitter’s new algorithm, and even more social networks looking toward expanded advertising, 2015 promises to be a big shake up for social media.