2015 was an interesting year for social media advertising with many developments from players in the industry. One of the most important ones was the arrival of Instagram advertising, and how it is becoming an essential component of social media advertising strategies. As the holidays approach, it is the time to make a wish list with all the things we want to see in social media advertising for 2016:
Twitter ads had an amazing 2015 introducing new dynamic cards, ramping up their advertising UI, and introducing a fair cost model for video ads among other things. For 2016, one of my main wishes is that they give advertisers a proper Ad Center similar to Facebook or Google’s MCC.
There are many benefits to an Ad Center. First, it would allow clients to have more protection on their accounts by having the ability of assigning different access levels. Second, it would allow for an activity log to track everything that happens on the accounts; this would also help advertisers to answer the ever-present question “who paused my campaign?!”.
Lastly, and this one is a bit more subjective, an Ad Center just looks more professional. It shows you have a dedicated strategy for advertising on your platform rather than an added-on capability.
This one has been on my wish list for quite some time. Currently Twitter does not provide reach data to advertisers, which means you cannot see the number of people who saw your ads. Instead, Twitter provides impressions data. This means that engagement is calculated based on the number of times your ads were seen rather than number of people that saw them.
While this is not entirely wrong, I’d rather provide engagements based on number of users instead impressions. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that Twitter can be accessed at any time but that doesn’t mean users are going to interact with it at all times. Reach data would allow advertisers to see how many users engaged, which in my opinion is a stronger measure.
One of the main things missing from Facebook ads is the ability to get detailed data of every component of a target audience. In order to get this data, advertisers have to treat each interest as a separate ad set. This can get tedious depending on the numbers of components that make your desired target audience.
For example, let’s say you have 2 ads to promote and you are reaching people who have interests in your competitors as well as other things related to a determined lifestyle. Normally, advertisers would have 2 ad sets: one for competitors, and one for lifestyle. But let’s go a step further. Imagine you have eight direct competitors and you want to know how your content performs for each of these. To do this you now have to create 9 ad sets (one for each competitor and one for the lifestyles) thus having 18 ads overall.
Have in mind that just because people who have X interest didn’t engage with one post, it doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t engage with another piece of content. Also, chances are you are running more than one campaign at the time. From an analysis, optimizing, and managing perspective this can get ugly very quickly.
Facebook should look at what Twitter is doing. When you set up your campaigns, Twitter will give you data per each handle, interest, and keyword added to your target audience. That way, you can simply opt out whatever is not performing well. There’s no need to get as granular for the sake of having detailed information.
Budgets on Facebook are set at the “Ad Set” level, which allows you to attribute different budgets weights to different audiences in one campaign. While this is a great way to set up campaigns, the budgets default setting is “Daily” rather than “Lifetime”. The following scenario is something most advertisers have experienced once, or know of somebody that went through this:
You are having a very hectic day as usual, you are setting up a new Facebook campaign running for a week and you forget to change the ad set budgets settings from “Daily” to “Lifetime”. This means that your budget for the week will be spent in one day. That feeling when you go back to check on your campaign only to realize you have significantly overspent your overall budget is something no digital advertiser should ever feel.
In the meantime, you should always make sure to set your maximum budget at the campaign level so even if you forget to change the ad set budget, at least you won’t overspend.
Paid trends on Twitter are a great advertising tool. When used correctly, a trend not only creates a conversation but also help you measure the level of awareness and affinity towards your brand. Facebook has not only introduced trends to their user interface, but it has gone a step further by segmenting them by category. Giving advertisers the ability to secure a spot in this space can help brands achieve a new level of brand awareness on the platform.
The list can always go on but with all the momentum social media platforms gathered in the advertising space one thing is for sure, 2016 promises a lot new and exciting changes.