S.M.I.L.E. in May 2021
Welcome to the newest addition of Social Media Innovation List Email! Here are some resources to keep you up-to-date on the latest in Social:
This year’s virtual Google conference included a slew of announcements signaling future focus areas, new technology, and updated devices coming soon. The link above features a full recap of the top announcements, but some of my favorites included an update to their partnership with Spotify, which will allow merchants to easily feature products across Google’s suite while letting shoppers receive product suggestions and seamlessly buy; an extension of Android focused App Ads to reach audiences on desktop in addition to mobile; and a partnership with Samsung and FitBit to bring new wearables with a better Google-powered experience, on your smart watch.
During their second annual Partner Summit, Snapchat unveiled their own set of updates that signal the next stage of development for the company. After sharing new user statistics that show the app’s rising amount of reach and influence (500 Million+ Monthly Active Users?!?), they shared details on new AR-enabled Spectacles; discussed how public profiles for brands will provide a more permanent home for Snap content, AR lenses, and more; and talked about how they continue to invest in camera-enabled scanning and AR try-on tools.
In a recently commissioned report with Nielsen, Snapchat looks to help US marketers understand how to more efficiently reach target audiences outside of traditional TV. Analysis showed that Snapchat adds 16% incremental reach when compared to TV, and reaches 71% of a Gen Z audience that cannot be found on TV.
With a projected increase in share of overall eCommerce sales in the US to 40.4% in 2021, Amazon is outpacing Walmart, eBay, Target, Apple, and others in growth this year. This report breaks down some key verticals driving sales on Amazon, including: books/music/video, computer/consumer electronics, toys, office equipment/supplies, and more. This year their fastest growing segment in sales however is food/beverage, propelled by digital grocery consumption – followed by apparel/accessories.
In the latest move to take on eCommerce, Facebook announced a new “Live Shopping Fridays” series that partners with selected retailers to feature products while letting users ask questions and order live (it’s QVC meets Facebook). Running through July 16th, users can tune in now via each brand’s Facebook Page or through the Shop tab in app. Within the stream, you can tap on any product you’re interested in and buy without leaving Facebook. A list of brands participating in this inaugural live shopping push can be found at the link above.
Did you know there are now more than 5 Billion searches on Pinterest every month, with the majority of them focused on products that people are looking to buy? While this doesn’t compare to the 3.5B+ searches happening on Google every day, Pinterest provides an opportunity for people to explore all types of topics and content with just a few broad keywords. New insights from Pinterest shows what types of searches are currently at an all-time high, and what topics have resumed pre-pandemic levels. And because they feel the future of search and discovery is certainly visual, Pinterest also highlighted this month Idea Pins, a new multi-page video format.
How Facebook reviews and approves ads is one of the top questions marketers tend to ask for more help in understanding. Finally, Facebook has released some additional information to explain how the ad policy review process works. While this isn’t a perfect formula for ensuring your ads won’t get marked as disapproved or be put under lengthy reviews, it’s a good explanation of the combination of automated and human review involved in the decision making process.
More brands than ever before are incorporating some form of influencer marketing in their content strategy and media plans. According to this eMarketer report, the pandemic has played a major role in driving wide adoption, as budgetary constraints and studio closures impacted ad production. Along with an increased investment in influencer marketing, the ways in which creators monetize partnerships is evolving. This report demystifies how to best work with influencers, and how to best partner for maximized engagement.
Still on the fence around whether or not to lean in on the TikTok crazy? These latest numbers from eMarketer show that by the end of this year, the app will have more loyal Gen Z users than Instagram; and by the end of 2023, it will surpass Snapchat in terms of total users. While the platform’s unique video style is keeping people engaged, they’ve also done a great job of providing advertisers more value through new ad formats like Lead Generation objectives.
Sprout Social’s annual findings have been published showing the best times to post on social media have changed in 2021 when compared to previous years. They provide a handy quick reference guide at the link above that you can use to help define when you plan to post organically to different platforms, as well as insights on the best times to post based on your specific industry.
And finally, here are some additional fast product updates from featured platforms:
Twitter Opens Spaces to All Users with 600+ Followers < This is a big update in the battle to upstage Clubhouse!