Ross Shelleman is the CEO of Aisle Rocket, a full-service performance marketing and creative services agency.
Facebook’s overwhelming dominance in the social advertising space has been well established for years now. But as demographics and media behaviors shift and Facebook continues to come under scrutiny for its practices, brands and agencies are beginning to question the platform’s dominant position within their digital media budgets.
Without a doubt, Facebook continues to deliver the targeting at scale on which many marketers have come to rely. But as marketers look to future-proof their strategies for the years to come, they’re realizing that diversification beyond Facebook and onto other growing social platforms makes infinite sense. As they do so, it’s imperative that they recognize that moving beyond Facebook isn’t as simple as just migrating creative and ad spend to another destination.
Facebook has achieved its dominance within the marketplace for a reason: Advertising on the platform is effective, at scale, regardless of where in the funnel you’re targeting consumers. At the top of the funnel, brands can drive awareness and consideration. At the bottom of the funnel, they can drive sales and even facilitate the purchases themselves via their Facebook ads.
When it comes to advertising, other social platforms tend to be more specialized based on their unique value propositions to their users. Make no mistake: This specialization is a good thing. It fosters greater connections with users and enables brands to tie into those connections in a unique way. But it also means that brands need to be thoughtful when devising their approaches to each individual platform. What delivers on Facebook won’t necessarily deliver on TikTok — or YouTube, Pinterest or Snapchat, for that matter. Let’s take a look at the distinctions among these platforms and what they mean for advertisers and their messaging on each.
TikTok And YouTube: Top-Of-Funnel Superpowers
During the pandemic, consumers’ video viewing habits have diversified and skyrocketed — and TikTok and YouTube have been the beneficiaries. TikTok usage has been growing at a staggering rate since the onset of Covid-19, and advertisers are beginning to pay attention in a big way. Meanwhile, ad spending on YouTube surged impressively in the third quarter of 2020.
That said, TikTok and YouTube, for all their popularity, are not the same as Facebook. The nature of video content has always been and continues to be one in which an audience prefers to lean back and be entertained or educated. We see those behaviors translate to even short-form, social viewing environments, which viewers are reluctant to leave for an advertiser’s site. As such, these platforms play most heavily at the top of the advertising funnel, driving awareness and brand favorability rather than direct conversions. Advertisers need to acknowledge this as they set their creative and attribution strategies.
Pinterest: Unique Mid-Funnel Appeal
On the flip side, Pinterest and its boards continue to serve a unique role within the social media landscape — one of education, inspiration and influence. When people come to Pinterest, they’re coming for ideas, making the platform a particularly good place for product discovery and driving consideration.
The mid-funnel is too often neglected within brands’ media plans, but it serves as a vital connector between high-level awareness and driving conversion. As such, a smart Pinterest play can be the glue that ties a brand’s cross-channel media strategy together, provided brands play to its strengths.
The biggest issue for Pinterest as a platform is that it scales quite poorly for large advertisers. While we have seen it perform well for small to midsized accounts, it almost never performs at a scale that is particularly relevant for large enterprises.
Snapchat: Finding Its Place
Snapchat continues to wow the industry with its user and revenue growth figures, but the platform’s place within the marketing funnel is still being established. Without a doubt, the company is aiming to replicate Facebook’s full-funnel success, offering everything from single-image and story ads to AR lenses and filter ads. However, the evolving nature of the platform, not to mention its comparatively younger target demographic, means the proper role for brands on the platform is still being established. Snapchat is attractive for advertisers, no doubt, but it’s also an area where experimentation and continued optimization are warranted.
TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest and Snapchat can offer the same walled-garden benefits as Facebook when it comes to advertising: the ability to granularly target known users and closely monitor the effectiveness of various creative. However, the mindsets in which brands are reaching consumers on these platforms are vastly different from Facebook. As brands look to diversify their efforts beyond Facebook, they need to ensure they’re playing to the individual strengths of each platform.
Facebook-Meta Earns the ‘Worst Company of 2021’ Title in This Survey
Facebook parent Meta has been named the Worst Company of the Year (2021) by Yahoo Finance respondents. According to the publication, an “open-ended” survey was published on Yahoo Finance on December 4 and 5, where 1,541 respondents participated. Facebook received 8 percent of the write-in vote, but respondents were seemingly mad about the Robinhood trading app as well. Electric truck startup Nikola, which was named last year’s worst company by the same publication also faced respondents ire.
Yahoo Finance even highlights, “At the same time, some critics, including conservatives, say Facebook over-policed the platform’s speech and stifled their voices.” Critics also blame Facebook and other social media platforms for not curbing hate speech that led to Capitol Building riots.
However, around 30 percent of Yahoo Finance readers said that Facebook or Meta could redeem itself. One respondent suggested that the company could issue a formal apology for negligence and donate a sizable amount of its profits to a foundation to help reverse its harm.
On the other hand, respondents chose Microsoft as the Company of the Year (2021). The Satya Nadella-led company touched the trillion-mark this year and introduced notable upgrades. The most notable is the Windows 11 OS update that succeeds Windows 10.
Facebook pays 1.7 Cr fine to Russia after failing to delete content Moscow deems illegal
In the latest legal tussle with Russia over controversial social media regulation laws, Facebook paid 17 million roubles (Rs 1.7 Crore) for failing to remove content deemed illegal by Moscow. With a threat of potential larger fines looming, Facebook parent company Meta, owned by Mark Zuckerberg, is scheduled to face court next week over repeated violations of Russian legislation on content, Interfax News Agency reported. As per the latest updates, the social media giant could be fined a percentage of its annual revenue.
In October, Moscow sent state bailiffs to enforce the collection of 17 million roubles. Meanwhile, as per Interfax report citing a federal bailiffs’ database, on Sunday, there were more enforcement proceedings against the company. Apart from the popular social media app, Telegram has also paid 15 million roubles in fines for failing to comply with the Russian social media legislations that came into force in 2016.
Facebook pays $53k to Russia for refusing controversial social media laws
It is pertinent to mention that Facebook has locked horns with Moscow earlier in November, resulting in it paying 4 million roubles ($53,000) over its refusal to adhere to Russian data localisation laws, the Moscow Times reported. The Moscow court on November 25 had said that Facebook paid the fine levied in February, following which all proceedings against the US-based social media giant. The payment comes against the litigation filed against the company in 2018, alongside Twitter. The tech companies were also forced to pay an additional 3000 rubles ($40) for failing to comply with user data sharing rules as per the law. The Russian authorities have also previously blocked LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft, for failing to abide by the laws.
Russian social media laws
As per Moscow Times, under the Russian social media regulation laws, all foreign technology companies are required to store data related to Russian customers and users on servers located in Russia. Additionally, the Russian tech companies will also have to share encryption data with the federal authorities as well as record user calls, messages and civil society group conversation records. The apparatus is said to be a severe breach of privacy rights and unfettered back-door access to personal data that could be used to harass Kremlin critics.
Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses
Meta has announced the arrival of a new Split Payments feature in Facebook Messenger. This feature, as the name suggests, will let you calculate and split expenses with others right from Facebook Messenger. This feature essentially looks to bring an easier method to share the cost of bills and expenses — for example, splitting a dinner bill with friends. Using this new Split Payment feature, Facebook Messenger users will be able to split bills evenly or modify the contribution for each individual, including their own.
The company took to its blog post to announce the new Split Payment feature in Facebook Messenger. 9to5Mac reports that this new bill splitting feature is still in beta and will be exclusive to US users at first. The rollout will begin early next week. As mentioned, it will help users share the cost of bills, expenses, and payments. This feature is especially useful for those who share an apartment and need to split the monthly rent and other expenses with their mates. It could also come handy at a group dinner with many people.
With Split Payments, users can add the number of people the expense needs to be divided with and, by default, the amount entered will be divided in equal parts. A user can also modify each person’s contribution including their own. To use Split Payments, click the Get Started button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. Users can modify the contribution in the Split Payments option and send a notification to all the users who need to make payments. After entering a personalised message and confirming your Facebook Pay details, the request will be sent and viewable in the group chat thread.
Once someone has made the payment, you can mark their transaction as ‘completed’. The Split Payment feature will automatically take into account your share as well and calculate the amount owed accordingly.
Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.