What’s New in Social Media // September 2018

Hello and welcome back to your monthly social media digest. Did you have a nice holiday? Yeah, me too! September always feels a bit like a reboot for me – kids back to school, work moves up a gear and there’s generally less eating-ice-cream-on-the-beach.

This month’s blog looks at new tools from Facebook that help turn dull images and text into whizzy-zippy videos for your adverts; how not to discriminate when targeting your Facebook ads; and how to use Mailchimp’s new tagging tool to target your email subscribers. And remember, if you’re the kind of person that prefers information through your ears rather than through your eyes, you can find all the same topics covered in our Social Media Simplified Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and SoundCloud).

Facebook’s new tool turns photos and text into video for your ads

STOP PRESS: Video works brilliantly on social media platforms. Ok, you probably already knew this, but it bears repeating. Consider these three facts:

  • More video is created and uploaded to social networks every 30 days than all major TV US networks have made in the last 30 years!
  • Social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined.
  • Views on branded content have gone up on Facebook 258% since June 2017.

All of this adds up to a powerful argument for using video wherever possible. To make it easier for companies to create video content for their adverts Facebook has now released it’s Video Creation Kit.

It offers a simple way of combining still images and text into a video, using different transitions and animations. Videos range from 6-15 seconds long and can be produced in landscape, portrait or square formats.

There are four templates designed to:

  • Promote a single product (6 seconds): Use video and text to show a single product (or service) from different angles
    Sell multiple products (6 seconds): Show a selection of products using a grid format
  • Show product benefits (15 seconds): Show the features of a single product, for example using case studies or demonstrating how the product works.
    Drive product discovery (15 seconds): Tell your customers more about your brand and what makes your products/services different from your competitors.

Bear in mind that all of these can be used for service-based companies as well as products. The resulting videos are perfect for social media as they don’t require sound – all the information is contained in the visuals.

Sidebar: Most videos viewed on social are seen without sound, so make sure you caption any videos that do have spoken word. Check out our handy guide to find out how to do this on Facebook.

Facebook Video Creator Kit

How could this help me?

The Video Creation Kit is a real bonus for companies that don’t have the budget or in-house resource to make bespoke videos. Here at Social Brighton we’ve tried this new tool out and, once we’d selected our images and written a few lines of text, it took just a few mins to put the video together. This has helped us produce better performing adverts for our clients (and ourselves).

You can find out more and start building your ads in Facebook Ads Manager

Facebook removes targeted advertising options

Facebook announced this month that it will be removing more than 5000 targeting options from it’s advertising tools, in order to uphold its goal of “protecting people from discriminatory advertising on our platforms.” This move is designed to prevent discrimination based on religion, ethnicity and national origin. For example, advertisers will no longer be able to include terms such as “Passover,” “Evangelicalism,” “Native American culture,” “Islamic culture” and “Buddhism.”

However, this is more about the exclusion of certain groups rather than active targeting­. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development made the complaint to Facebook, pointing out that some landlords and home sellers were using excluding users from seeing their Facebook ads based on traits like ethnicity and religion – a violation of the Fair Housing Act.

In response to this Facebook has removed many categories from exclusion targeting to reduce the risk of abuse. It has focused mainly on topics that relate to potentially sensitive personal attributes such as race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion.

Facebook said that “While these options have been used in legitimate ways to reach people interested in a certain product or service, we think minimizing the risk of abuse is more important.” However, it hasn’t given details on which specific targeting options have been removed.

Their ad policies mean that anyone that uses Facebook Ads for recruiting, credit or housing has to adhere to a non-discrimination policy to be able to advertise.

Facebook removes discriminatory ad targeting

What does this mean for businesses?

Pretty simple – don’t discriminate with your ads for any business! Understand the difference between targeting and discrimination. You can brush up on the official policy here. Also, bear in mind our three top tips:

  • Using Lookalike audiences can give you great results without risking discriminating against anyone.
  • There are loads of decent targeting options still available
  • Continue to test and optimize your ads with remaining audiences to maximize the value you get out of them.

An interesting extra… you can now see what ads any business is running by checking their Facebook page and clicking ‘info and ads’ in the left hand column. This will show you any live adverts. You might be inspired by what your friends or competitors are up to, or find ways to improve your offering.

And remember, if you’d like to start or improve your Facebook advertising strategy, you can sign up to one of our training sessions.

Tag your contacts on Mailchimp

While not strictly social media marketing, email is still a really important way of talking to your customers. Various studies have shown that email is often the first thing people check each morning, when they do so they’re in a more proactive state of mind and are generally more receptive to being marketed to. If you combine email marketing with a great social strategy you’ll start to see better results.

Mailchimp is the world’s largest marketing automation platform with over 14m customers, serving an average of 1 billion emails a day. It’s great for small and large businesses alike. If your email list is less than 2000 contacts it’s absolutely free to use.

We use it.

This month Mailchimp has rolled out a new Tagging capability that makes it even easier target your email messaging.

Mailchimp introduces new Tagging capability

Segmenting contacts

Previously you could only segment your contacts by data held within Mailchimp, such as their location, company or previous email activity. The problem with segmentation is that the mailing system only knows a certain amount about each person – usually what they type in when signing up to your mailing list. Data protection rules say that marketers can only collect information that’s actually relevant to their intended use. And, besides, having long sign up forms will put people off subscribing to your mailing list.

Tagging Contacts

The chances are you probably know more about your contacts than the data you hold in Mailchimp. With the new Tag Contacts functionality you can add more information to contacts in your database based on what you know about them from elsewhere.

For example, you could tag contacts that you know are CEOs, or self-employed, or influencers, or podcast listeners. You can make up your own tags and they can be as descriptive as you like. You can also tag people with multiple tags (i.e. CEOs who are also podcast listeners). Your contacts won’t be able to see what tags you’ve assigned them.

You can add tags to the Profile of each individual contact, via the list view, or via a bulk upload – the best method depends on how many people you’d like to tag. Maybe start small then build from there.

Once you’ve done this you can then send much more tailored messaging.

According to Mailchimp there are more updates on the way which will allow tags to trigger automated messages. We’ll update you on this when more news is announced.

How to tag in MailchimpWhy should you explore this?

Tagging will make life easier for those who already segment their mailing lists when sending email comms.

If you don’t already segment your mailing list when sending out emails, it’s worth considering. As with all marketing, the important thing is to make sure your communications are relevant. Nothing turns a customer off quicker than irrelevant messages.

Consider this – it’s better to send a relevant email out to 100 contacts and get a 50% open rate, than an irrelevent email to 1000 contacts and get a 5% open rate. Although you’d get the same number of email opens, you’d be wasting money sending to people who aren’t interested, as well as annoying potential future customers who might have been more responsive to your next marketing comms.

Find out how to get started with Tagging here.

Some more top tips:

  1. Just keep one email list, use segmentation and tagging to target your customers.
  2. Try to capture a little more ‘soft’ information via your sign up form, such as what the person is interested in, or how often they’d like to be contacted
  3. Use merge tags to personalise the content (even the subject line)
  4. Test using friendly ‘from’ email addresses, such as Kerry@socialbrighton.com, rather than info@
  5. Ask for help – if you’re stuck for an email comms strategy or need someone to tidy up your lists or train you how to use Mailchimp, drop us a line!

That’s us for now, but remember you can catch up on any of our previous blog posts by clicking here.

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Thanks for reading!