5 major social media updates in 2017

Digital online marketing is a very fast growing area,so much so that it will be very difficult to keep track of all these changes. So, in this article, I sum up, 5 major social media updates in 2017 (according to me). Every online marketer must know these changes in order to make their campaign more effective.

5 major social media updates in 2017

Note that: I have included all these changes & updates in my Digital Marketing Training in Chennai course & as well as in my online training materials.

Also note that, some of these updates may have been released much earlier, but marketers started to use them aggressively only this year.

#1. Facebook Ad targeting restrictions

Facebook dropped a bomb shell on advertisers using its platform in the second week of September 2017, by not allowing them to target their customers via self declared items. Some of these items include

  • Employers
  • Job Title
  • School etc

It is a shock for many advertisers, since these items allow them to target their audience with laser accuracy.

Well, the reason Facebook claimed is prevention of hate content. The actual exact reasons that led to this action by Facebook can be accessed here

Note that: In the next week itself , Facebook again started to allow advertisers to target their audience using these items.

But there are lot of restrictions to use these items. For instance, only very popular employers and schools can be used for targeting, not all the schools & employers, as it used to be. Also only very popular 5000 job titles can be targeted.

You can Check Sheryl Sandberg's post here regarding this update

#2. LinkedIn's expansion in targeting options

Most Online marketers will know that LinkedIn is the best social media platform when it comes to B to B marketing. Trust me, it is cent percent true. You can target by Employers, job titles, skills, University, Degree, Years of experience, company size, company type, job role etc with exclude option. So, to simple put it, they were the best when it comes to accurate targeting for most of the areas. But many marketers didn't tried LinkedIn out for number of reasons. Most important of them being

  • Very costly compared to Facebook (Some times more than 10 times)
  • Re-marketing was not possible ( Re-marketing is a great weapon for any marketer)
  • Limited targeting options ( Only sponsored content, Display ads & Inmail)

But in this year, LinkedIn made considerable changes to their ad platform. Some of the important changes are

  • Introduction of Lead gen ads
  • Introduction of Re-marketing (with custom audience similar to Facebook)
  • Inmail being much cheaper than it used to be.
  • More targeting options like followers of a company (with exclude option), first degree contacts of followers of a company etc.

So, I guess, it is time for marketers to try out LinkedIn this year without worrying about cost factor. [Anyways, Facebook is not getting any cheaper either]

#3. Chat bots and chat economy

No one has the time to read huge articles and contents to make decisions anymore. We are now in chat world where chat economy is going to take over our commerce sooner than later. Whatsapp recently tied up with Bookmyshow and OYO rooms to test their platform Whatsapp for business. It is a question of when for this platform.  Below is an image taken form Whatsapp for business platform.

Whatapp for business screenshot of bookmyshow ticket
Whatapp for business screenshot of bookmyshow ticket

Bookmyshow is using Whatapp to deliver tickets. Not only Whatsapp, Facebook is also betting heavily on its messenger and promoting it aggressively.  Facebook messenger is one of the cheapest platform (Ad) for marketers. In- fact, Facebook recently bought messenger.com domain for an undisclosed amount.

Not only big names like Whatsapp & Facebook is in this chat economy, many small players are also jumping into this wagon. Tools like Optinchat, Collectchat etc are used by hundreds and thousands of website owners to collect lead information.  In fact you can see this my Digital Marketing course in Chennai page. There will be a small pop-up image in the bottom.  It is actually a chat bot. It is also exit intent.

#4. Push Notifications

Well , push notifications are not exactly new and it is known to marketers for 3-4 years now. I included it here, because, many businesses started to use it this year quite aggressively.  Even though it is not a replacement for E-mail campaign, it actually increases Click Through Rate (CTR) by 30% on an average.  With number of mobile internet users becoming more, this push notification are a very handy tool to reach out to them.

The fact that, segmentation, automation and customization are all available in push notifications makes it even more powerful. So far this was used only by major players. But with companies like subscribers.com, price has come down. Even small companies can use this now. Infact our Metaforum solutions is using it. Check that out here.

#5. Custom Audience, Live video

Almost, all popular platforms including Facebbok, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google etc now allows advertisers to target their ads using custom audience. So all you need to build is quality email list, that can be later used for custom targeting purpose.

Video is the next big thing every social media platform is betting on. Facebook live videos reach is extremely high compared to normal text/image posts.  Even YouTube has made live streaming possible with the help of google hangouts.  You can check this video to create live streaming using YouTube. 

Similarly every other, social media platforms has options for video streaming.  Many marketers are using this facility to stream review videos, demo videos, customer support videos etc.

The bottom line

Social media is the place where customers are..  It is the place where audience are. Audience these days are not in your email list, not on your sms list, but in social media. Every business, however big or small must have a presence in social media.  These tools should be used for "Bulk -  Targeted campaigns" . Yes, bulk targeted campaigns!!!.

Bulk -moving towards east, Targetted - moving towards west.  So, the trick is balancing through customization.