Social Media Roundup: September 8, 2015
Is Facebook Ripping Off Businesses?
Sam Fiorella, a partner at Sensei Marketing, makes a strong case that it is. In his blog last month, he wrote: "Imagine a magazine's marketing team charging a business for an ad in its publication but then black out that ad unless the business pays more money for subscribers to actually see the ad. What would your reaction be to such an advertising policy? Any sane business person would be outraged and walk away. Yet Facebook is getting away with it." Limiting the number of followers who see a Facebook page's unpaid posts in their feeds was the last straw for some businesses (as few as 3% of brand fans now see unpaid posts). Facebook page owners work hard to build communities around them, and many of them feel it's unfair for Facebook to make them pay to run advertisements or to "boost" their posts. It's especially hard on cause marketers and nonprofits, who depend on their Facebook pages for visibility and don't have the budgets to advertise or boost posts.
Web Advertising: Ad Blockers vs. the "Free" Web
Web advertising is in crisis - again. Blogger and software developer Marco Arment describes today's situation this way: "People often argue that running ad-blocking software is violating an implied contract between the reader and the publisher: the publisher offers the page content to the reader free, in exchange for the reader seeing the publisher's ads. And that's a nice, simple theory, but it's a blurry line in reality." A little history: pop-up ads grew so overwhelming on the web in the early 2000s that users began to employ pop-up blockers. The makers of browsers soon included them as defaults in their software. Today many fed-up users have added ad blocking extensions to their browsers, but they have not been available on mobile devices. Now Apple has announced that it will allow third-party ad blocking software to be sold in its App Store when the next version of iOS is released (probably this month). Web publishers will be forced to dial back the flood of ads and trackers that are spoiling the web experience for many users, particularly on mobile devices.
Tweets Now Back in Google Search on the Desktop
After a long hiatus, Google is again indexing Twitter content, and it has been showing it in mobile search results for the past several months. Now Tweets are back in searches on the desktop, too. Brands that use Twitter will benefit from the added visibility of their Tweets in the world's most popular search engine.
Snapchat Grows Up - What's In It for You?
Snapchat is now valued at $15 billion. It now has more than 200 million users, and it's growing fast. Snapchat users are young, mostly between 13 and 25 years old. (Facebook users average 40.) And a Pew survey showed that Snapchat users tend to come from affluent households. The advertising platform on Snapchat has been in flux, but is said to be poised for major growth. In his blog, Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, writes: "Let's be honest. Snapchat's unique demographic is one of the biggest factors behind its soaring value. For starters, it's getting bigger all the time. Snapchat may 'only' have 200 million users, compared to Facebook's 1.4 billion, but its user base is the fastest growing of any social network." If these are the customers your brand covets, it's time to take Snapchat more seriously as a way to reach them.
The Presidential Race on Social Media Offers Some Comic Relief
Last month @realdonaldtrump had 5 to 10 times as many Twitter followers as any of his Republican rivals (3.8 million); nobody else broke 1 million. (Hillary Clinton has 4.09 million.) But this summer's hot social media candidate is 15-year-old Iowa farm boy Deez Nuts, who has thrown his hat into the ring as an independent. His campaign spent several days as the top trending topic on Twitter the week of August 21, with the popular hashtag #DeezNutsForPresident. His candidacy will probably have to be suspended, though, as he's due back in high school next week (besides being ineligible because he's too young).
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