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With the new year comes new social features and updates, and the spotlight is shining on social advertising. Social media continues to mash top-performing, engaging video content with paid advertising. Good news for Snappers, savers, likers and double tappers: social channels are also working to vastly improve the ebb and flow of user experience.

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The Facebook Audience Network Now Serves Ads to 1 Billion People Each Month

  • Odds are, you are one of the billion people viewing Facebook’s advertising network. Don’t be shocked. It was only a matter of time before Facebook’s more than 1 billion users transformed into those who make up Facebook’s ad audience network (FAN). The FAN lets brands deliver Facebook ad campaigns off of Facebook, using the same targeting. Facebook delivers these ads on the platform, and then continues to serve users these same ads around the web. Recently, Facebook’s VP of Publisher Solutions, Brian Boland, stated a not-so-surprising fact: video consumption at the end of 2016 was more than 10 times what it was at the beginning of last year.
  • What it means for brands: Video, video and more video. Take advantage of users who fall victim to your targeting, but don’t act. For example: Retargeting to a custom audience of people who watched your video but didn’t click through to the Shop Now webpage (yep, that’s an option) is the perfect way to reep the benefits of the endless FAN. Yes, more than 1 billion potential consumers is great for brand advertising views. However, if brands want consumers to act and engage, they better use video ad assets.

Additional resources: Marketing Dive

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(via Adweek)


Instagram Is Dropping Ads Into Its Stories

  • Similar to another social channel (cough, Snapchat, cough), Instagram introduced its Stories feature last August, and is now keeping it brand-friendly with 5-second image and 15-second video ads. Don’t fret. These ads will not -completely- interrupt the Stories. The ads will be skippable and will only appear between Stories content. Instagram representatives will be happy to assist brands in taking their advertising to this next level.
  • What it means for brands: The big “woop” for this ad capability is the expanded engagement and performance insights brands will be able to see through the Instagram app and ad manager platform on Facebook. Because daily Stories use increased by 50 million users in just three months, that’s a big deal for brands. Follow those that are already on the bandwagon (Nike, Airbnb and Netflix, to name a few) and get those ads in Stories.

Additional resources: engadget, Bloomberg

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(via Adweek)

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Pinterest Boosts Related Pins Using Deep Learning

  • Fascinated by how relative those Related Pins really are? Well, that’s the point. Related Pins are picked and served by Pinterest to users based on other saved or liked Pins. Collecting Super Bowl LI recipes? Pinterest may show you a Related Pin for fool-proof queso dip. Pinterest is deep diving into Related Pins to make them even more engaging and scalable. This filtration system generates user recommendations based on engagement (and behind-the-scenes algorithms).
  • What it means for brands: Users mostly make boards for broad topics so brands need to ensure their content isn’t too specific. Have a product that can fit under both “wedding inspo” AND “our new house?” Integrate both categories to expand their searchability and reach. Anything related to something else on some other board with a similar topic can fit into Pinterest’s “collaborative filtering,” but we’ll let the software engineers figure that one out.

Additional resources: PC Mag

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(via Pinterest) 

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Snapchat Is Now Pitching Brands on Sequential Video Ads

  • Brands can now bundle video ads on Snapchat’s The new sequential video ads place these videos back-to-back on autoplay. Fun fact: users can skip through. These videos can be related, completely different or even tell a story. As always, consumers won’t have to scroll to see this content (like on other social channels), so breaking content into timed segments can help brands reach different groups of potential consumers and keep users engaged (with your brand/content). These sequential ads are all planted in one channel on Discover.
  • What it means for brands: With more flexibility regarding ad video content, sequence and message, the possibilities seem endless with Snapchat’s sequential video ads…because they are. Whether a consumer watches five seconds of one video and eight seconds of the next, brands should ensure the purpose for the ad reaches the viewer in some way.

Additional resources: Marketing Dive

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(via Marketing Dive)

Snapchat Is About to Become Much Easier to Use

  • Can’t find a friend, celeb or brand on Snapchat? The new universal search bar can fix that. Get ready to stalk, Snap and screenshot with ease. Snapchat users will soon be able to search for the content and people they want: friends, publishers (Food Network, Daily Mail, etc.) and celebrities (most recently, Kylie Jenner) without hassle.
  • What it means for brands: Brands should aim to publish content on Snapchat that causes consumers to talk, generating more searches for said content. A still image of a bowl of spaghetti may make users hungry, but a video of a hand stirring a bowl of spaghetti? That’s the content that makes consumers hungry for more. On another note, consider keeping your username basic so that users can easily find who and what they’re looking for.

Additional resources: AdAge; Computerworld

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(via TIME)