How to Keep Up with Social Platforms – #SMWNYC Takeaways

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The latest Social Media Week in New York City was one for the books. We always enjoy connecting with industry leaders and joining forces with partners and clients. As a #SMWNYC content partner, Adaptly held two sessions.

In “Keeping Up With Social Platform Perspectives,” Adaptly’s VP of Strategic Accounts Ruth Arber led a discussion with Samantha Druss, Senior Digital Marketing Specialist at Etsy, and Nicole Colaco, Social Marketing Manager at Chico’s FAS. Arber started by laying out significant challenges businesses face with today’s major platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Twitter:

  • They’re walled gardens – Advertisers have to think about the platforms independently and take a customized approach in terms of targeting and creative.
  • People log in for various reasons – Platforms are conducive to different behaviors, mindsets, and engagement, so brands have to determine how to best leverage them to get their message across.
  • Attention spans are dwindling – Millennials have an attention span shorter than a fish’s. The key is to develop high-quality content that engages and stops people when they’re scrolling through their feed.

Read on for insight into how advertisers should adapt their strategies with the ever-changing times.

Leverage storytelling.

Nicole Colaco, Chico’s FAS: Brands have the opportunity to tell a story with social media. Ad formats like display banners are more templated. Meanwhile, you have to think differently and customize creative assets for social content. There’s always something new within the industry, so keep testing and learning.

Customize creative.

Samantha Druss, Etsy: Advertisers are competing with content from users’ friends in feeds, so it’s important to create thumb-stopping creative that solidifies your brand. For example, Etsy’s “Difference Makes Us” video campaign was shot on a mobile phone since most people would be viewing the ad through that device. The company ensured that the first three to five seconds of the video were captivating enough to stop users and grab their attention in relation to other content they were seeing.

Strategize first, namely for vertical video.

Druss: Understand what you want your overall message to be with vertical video then tweak your messaging based on specific platforms. Formulate your strategy before developing creative instead of doing it simultaneously or developing creative first then finding ways to fit it within media buys.

Deliver value.

Colaco: Chico’s surveyed its customer base to gauge the type of creative content people wanted to see. The result: everyone said they wanted to see video – but not in the sense of a TV commercial. Consumers want instructional, informational video content that provides value, as opposed to creative that’s a regurgitation of a TV campaign or a shorter or longer version. Chico’s recently produced a video in January for SOMA swimwear that was the brand’s first social-specific clip. The branding was upfront and there were text interstitials in the middle. Ultimately, the video drove great brand awareness and engagement.

Take a multi-platform approach.

Druss: Since the social media industry continues to evolve and there are new products constantly released, Etsy looks at how to complement platforms to help support users on their purchase path. Since the company is a marketplace, its goals run the gamut. For instance, Etsy may tap into Facebook’s extensive targeting capabilities to acquire sellers, drive product discovery using Pinterest, or boost lower-funnel conversion with Facebook dynamic product ads (DPAs).

Boost in-store traffic through Snaps.

Colaco: Snapchat has a lot of strong targeting capabilities. For example, Custom Audiences allow you to upload CRM lists and then matchback. And for retailers like Chico’s that are still heavily focused on brick-and-mortar, branded nationwide geofilters are a plus at driving traffic to physical store locations. Once brands get Snapchatters into stores and deliver added benefits, they can keep keep people there through Snaps while enticing their friends to go in-store too.

Know thyself (on Twitter).

Colaco: A successful strategy on Twitter entails having a voice and knowing who your brand is. Have enough content and internal resources – namely, people on the platform all the time who are able to find relevant hashtags. Television targeting is Twitter’s biggest opportunity. The platform is valuable during key cultural moments and shows like the Super Bowl – when most people can’t afford to advertise on TV – since it’s where people are watching and conversing at the same time.

Check yourself…for accurate measurement.

Druss: Campaign measurement is a challenge since it can be difficult to identify where social platforms fall in the consumer purchase path. Individual channels, including their ad placements, have individual funnels. Etsy relies on internal sources of measurement in order to cross-check the data that platforms deliver through their dashboards.

Prediction: Brands will take money from Google Search and put it towards Pinterest.

Colaco: Pinterest will become a full-funnel media platform since users have intent. Pinners are purposefully looking for specific things. Chico’s tested Pinterest campaigns for SOMA, an intimate apparel retailer that also sells swim and athleisure. SOMA’s product categories have performed tremendously well on the platform, particularly for upper-funnel initiatives. As Pinterest expands its advertising offerings, keyword targeting will be huge. Given Pinterest’s longer attribution window compared to other platforms, the halo effect of efforts – i.e., earned media – are what make a big difference.

Stay tuned for highlights from Adaptly’s other presentation at Social Media Week, “The Evolution of Social Video.”