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Social Media Advertising in 2019: Staying Ahead of the Curve

Social media advertising is certainly set to boom in 2019.

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Social media marketing now represents a full-time job.
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It is estimated that there are now more than four billion global Internet usersThe majority of these access social media pages on a regular basis; as high as 80 per cent in some areas of the world. Not only have websites including Facebook and Twitter been used to pass along casual messages, but they are even influencing other areas such as politics. It therefore makes perfect sense that businesses are looking to leverage the power associated with digital advertising campaigns. What does 2019 have in store and how can your organisation make the best use out of the tools that are currently available?

Modern Trends Signal a Bright Future 

There are several trends worth noting in 2019. Perhaps the most interesting is the rise in the number of mobile devices used to connect to social media pages. Thanks to the use of dedicated applications and 4G wireless connections, users are more likely to browse through their news feeds while out and about. Businesses will therefore be able to actively target potential customers within real-time scenarios. In the same respect, the public now has the ability to follow their favourite pages and to keep up to date with any offers that are placed. So, marketing professionals will need to keep abreast of any feedback so that on-the-fly changes can be made when required. 

Social Media Companies Accelerating To Remove Online Hate Speech
Social Media Companies Are Accelerating To Remove Online Hate Speech, VOA

While the number of social media users continues to grow, their needs are becoming more focused and narrow. No longer are visitors willing to endure generic advertisements and similar forms of spam. They are looking for specific products and services. Businesses which continue to adopt a watered-down approach are likely to fare poorly in the coming year. the age of personalised marketing and merchandising are now upon us. Businesses need to fully appreciate the needs of their audience if they hope to make a lasting impression.

Finally, the B2B and B2C competition associated with social media should become even more noticeable in the coming year. This is great news for the average customer, as he or she will have a greater range of products and services to choose from. However, marketing professionals must appreciate the fact that they will likely need to adjust their previous campaigns. Embracing a more proactive approach will help to guarantee brand loyalty and a steady income stream. Second-best strategies simply will not suffice. 

Social media. Offensive Speech
An iPhone with Twitter, Facebook and other apps, May 21, 2013. U.S. internet companies are taking a harder look at their policies that have promoted free expression around the world.VOA

Steps that Businesses Can Take 

Now that we have highlighted some of the main trends that are expected to make digital waves in 2019, are there any tools which businesses can employ in order to capitalise upon such upward momentum? Let’s look at a handful of key takeaway points and options to consider. 

The first step is to download the hands-on and authoritative Facebook advertising guide provided by Oberlo. Not only is the information extremely relevant, but it is explained in such a manner as to make it easy for novices to appreciate the steps that should be taken. Some of the topics which are covered include: 

  • Effective advertising strategies.
  • Their associated costs.
  • How to establish an effective campaign.
  • Getting to know your target audience.

In other words, this definitive guide represents a solid foundation from which a targeted publicity campaign can be created. 

Social Media
Digital marketing is also another popular profession among graduates. Wikimedia Commons

Another suggestion to keep in mind involves the liquidity of social media itself. In order to keep abreast of customer sentiment and feedback, marketing managers and similar stakeholders will need to take a proactive approach. Simply waiting for results to pan out is a sure-fire way to lose a potentially viable audience. Social media marketing now represents a full-time job and it could be wise to employ a specialist in order to better understand where the business may be headed. 

In the same respect, the use of third-party marketing and advertising software is set to increase during 2019. These user-friendly platforms have become highly intuitive and they can be customised to suit the needs of the online business in question. Such tools are also cost-effective options when compared to attempting similar feats with traditional in-house software packages. 

Facebook, data, social media
A Facebook start page is shown on a smartphone in Surfside, Florida. Aug. 21, 2018. The social media giant Facebook said late Wednesday Aug. 22, 2018, it has banned a quiz app for refusing to be audited and concerns that data on as many as 4 million users was misused, after it found user information was shared with researchers and companies. VOA

A final suggestion involves the ways in which an audience base should be analysed. As mentioned earlier, top-down and otherwise generic approaches serve little purpose. It is critical to appreciate specific trends and buying habits. Some of these metrics can often include: 

  • An age and gender breakdown.
  • Where the majority of the audience is located.
  • Which pages are receiving the highest number of hits.
  • The most successful marketing campaigns (as well as those which failed to hit their mark).

Social media advertising is certainly set to boom in 2019. As even more users are now entering into this massive digital landscape, we should fully expect this trend to continue well beyond the coming year. 

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Facebook Expands Its Feature Showing Local Information

Facebook uses software filters to weed out objectionable content, just as it does on people's regular news feed.

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Facebook, data
A smartphone user displays a Facebook newsfeed .VOA

Facebook is cautiously expanding a feature that shows people local news and information, including missing-person alerts, road closures, crime reports and school announcements.

Called “Today In,” the service shows people information from their towns and cities from such sources as news outlets, government entities and community groups. Facebook launched the service in January with six cities and expanded that to 25, then more. On Wednesday, “Today In” is expanding to 400 cities in the U.S. — and a few others in Australia.

The move comes as Facebook tries to shake off its reputation as a hotbed for misinformation and elections-meddling and rather a place for communities and people to come together and stay informed.

Here are some things to know about this effort, and why it matters:

Facebook
A Facebook logo is displayed at a start-up companies’ gathering in Paris, France. VOA

The big picture

It’s something users have asked for, the company says. Think of it as an evolution of a “trending” feature the company dropped earlier this year. That feature, which showed news articles that were popular among users, but was rife with such problems as fake news and accusations of bias.

Anthea Watson Strong, product manager for local news and community information, said her team learned from the problems with that feature.

“We feel deeply the mistakes of our foremothers and forefathers,” she said.

This time around, Facebook employees went to some of the cities they were launching in and met with users. They tried to predict problems by doing “pre-mortem” assessments, she said. That is, instead of a “post-mortem” where engineers dissect what went wrong after the fact, they tried to anticipate how people might misuse a feature — for financial gain, for example

 

Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech, Russia, Sheryl Sandberg, digital
This photo shows a Facebook app icon on a smartphone in New York. VOA

.Facebook isn’t saying how long it has been taking this “pre-mortem” approach, though the practice isn’t unique to the company. Nonetheless, it’s a significant step given that many of Facebook’s current problems stem from its failure to foresee how bad actors might co-opt the service.

 

Facebook also hopes the feature’s slow rollout will prevent problems.

How it works

To find out if “Today In” is available in your city or town, tap the “menu” icon with the three horizontal lines. Then scroll down until you see it. If you want, you can choose to see the local updates directly in your news feed.

For now, the company is offering this only in small and mid-sized cities such as Conroe, Texas, Morgantown, West Virginia, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Large cities such as New York or Los Angeles have added challenges, such as an abundance of news and information, and may need to be broken up into smaller neighborhoods.

 

Facebook, India, Fake News, Hate Speech, Russia, digital
A Facebook panel is seen during the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, in Cannes, France. VOA

 

The posts in “Today In” are curated by artificial intelligence; there is no human involvement. The service aggregates posts from the Facebook pages for news organizations, government agencies and community groups like dog shelters. For this reason, a kid couldn’t declare a snow day, because “Today In” relies on the school’s official page. Discussion posts from local Facebook groups may also be included.

For now, the information is tailored only by geography, but this might change. A person with no kids, for example, might not want to see updates from schools.

Also Read: Social Media laws Should Be Tightened: Germany

Safeguards?

Facebook uses software filters to weed out objectionable content, just as it does on people’s regular news feed. But the filters are turned up for “Today In.” If a good friend posts something a bit objectionable, you are still likely to see it because Facebook takes your friendship into account. But “Today In” posts aren’t coming from your friends, so Facebook is more likely to keep it out. (VOA)