64% of advertisers plan to increase their social ad budgets this year.
As users spend more time on social networks, businesses are striving to capture attention by reaching them in their “natural habitat.” Social advertising is effective because it provides further insight into audience demographics, as well as increases the potential relevant content recipients.
The digital inclination of most consumers today encourages brands to develop innovative ways to measure social media ROI, further supporting social ad initiatives. This increase in network capabilities necessitates more than just an organic strategy. Paid social presents the opportunity to reach a larger audience – leading to higher sales and customer acquisition.
Within paid social, “native ads” are paving the way of the future. These are different in that they blend advertising into the creation of content – made to fit right into user timelines or newsfeeds. Below, we examine native ads on two of the platform leaders: Facebook and Twitter.
On Facebook, native ad options are Sponsored Stories. They increase visibility and interaction by way of connections. Users are able to see how many people have claimed the offer, liked the post, etc. – including those in their immediate circle of friends.
Twitter has a similar customized native ad option – Promoted Tweets. These are said to “amplify your message,” and can be targeted through search results or on user newsfeeds. Users are able to see these even if they don’t directly follow the brand (but someone they’re following does).
These native social ads are utilized on Facebook and Twitter because brands recognize the power they possess in reaching consumers. The lack of a traditional “ad interface,” and the fact that users can view if other friends have “liked” the page or followed that brand, leads to heightened credibility.
Throughout it all is an overarching theme of integration; the streamlining of social media and advertising. Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, calls this “the concept of convergence – the idea that ads and content can be interchangeable.” We expect this trend to continue to pick up momentum as we delve deeper into 2013.