Marketing Land's guide to all things Twitter. Read the latest news about Twitter features including company news, hashtags, user feature updates and paid advertising products that marketers need to know.
People have always talked about brands and products. They’ve praised and complained about companies in the dining rooms, by the water cooler, over the phone. With the rise of social media, this previously intangible word-of-mouth has finally become measurable — and thus amplifiable — for businesses. Social media listening, the process of using a tool to monitor online mentions of a brand (or anything else), gives companies access to that data.
For this post, we’ve put together a list of 7 most robust social media monitoring tools to bring you real-time insights on your customers, market, and competition.
Awario is a relative newcomer to the social media monitoring and analytics scene. Its ambition is to make social media insights affordable for any brand, be it a startup, an international company, or a digital agency. With pricing plans starting at $29/mo, Awario offers Enterprise capabilities (from Boolean search to Sentiment Analysis to Share of Voice) included in every plan.
You can use Awario to monitor mentions of your brand, competitors, industry, or set up queries for the less obvious use cases. For instance, the app lets you identify guest blogging opportunities, discover content ideas, and find industry influencers to partner with. That’s where the tool’s flexible Boolean search mode comes in handy: it lets you create complex queries that will satisfy even the nerdiest of marketers.
On top of social media, Awario covers news, blogs, and the entire web to give you a holistic picture of your brand’s online presence.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Reddit, news, blogs, the web.
Reviewers mention Awario’s affordability, Boolean search, influencer marketing capabilities, and excellent customer support as the main pros.
There’s a free trial that lets you test Awario out before settling on one of its paid plans.
Brandwatch is a suite of 3 tools for marketing and PR teams. Its Audiences product lets you find groups of people based on your targeting rules, such as demographic criteria and interests. It lets you better understand your customers by analyzing their social media posts and pinpointing what sets them apart from the general public.
Vizia is a visualization tool that lets you build custom dashboards based on Brandwatch data. Vizia also works with third-party tools, such as BuzzSumo and Google Analytics, to give you a comprehensive way to measure your marketing efforts.
The company’s social media monitoring tool is called Analytics. It comes equipped with image recognition, API access, and analytical dashboards that can be downloaded as PowerPoint presentations in a click.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Sina Weibo, VK, QQ, blogs, news, the web.
The tool’s users love its media coverage and customizable dashboards. The biggest con is its cost.
Brandwatch offers 3 plans to choose from. There’s no free trial, but you can contact the team for a demo of the product.
If you aren’t looking for an in-depth social media monitoring tool, but would rather opt for something that offers publishing, collaboration, and monitoring features, Hootsuite is an excellent choice.
While the app itself doesn’t monitor sources beyond social media, it offers many useful integrations with tools like Brandwatch and Reputology for your reputation management needs. Some of those are free, while some need to be purchased as add-ons.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube. More sources available via integrations.
Users love Hootsuite’s user-friendly layout and the fact that it supports all major social networks for scheduling.
Hootsuite has a free trial that lets you play around with the tool before you jump on one of its three paid plans.
Meltwater is an Enterprise media intelligence tool. While not a dedicated social listening solution (Meltwater also offers PR and social media management capabilities), it includes robust tools for monitoring mentions of your keywords across the Internet.
Meltwater’s strength is the analytics the software provides: it lets you create custom dashboards with metrics that matter to you, from audience demographics to the reach of the social media chatter around your brand.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, blogs, news, the web, broadcast.
The biggest pros mentioned by users are Meltwater’s coverage and powerful reports, with the main downside being its cost.
Meltwater’s social media monitoring package is priced at $15,000/year. For more information, you’ll need to talk to the company’s sales team.
Talkwalker is a perfect social media listening tool for big brands and agencies. Apart from providing you with the latest mentions of your brand and competitors, Talkwalker offers powerful analytics that let you spot trends in the buzz around your keywords. It goes beyond basic reporting by analyzing your audience’s demographics, occupation, and interests. It also builds powerful word clouds that let you identify hashtags that are most commonly used together with your keyword.
On top of tracking conversations across social media channels and the web, Talkwalker monitors print and TV mentions. Image recognition is also available in the Enterprise plan.
Customers mention Talkwalker’s ease of use, extensive coverage, and real-time alerts as the main pros.
Talkwalker offers three subscription plans on their website.
TweetDeck, owned by Twitter, is an all-in-one dashboard for your Twitter activity. It lets you schedule tweets, interact with your feed, manage your inbox, and track mentions of your company (or anything else) on the network.
While the tool’s social listening capabilities are limited to one social network, its search options are pretty impressive for a free app. You can add keywords in flexible formats, exclude certain terms, and filter results by country, language, or date. You can set up as many searches as you need and reply to tweets right from the dashboard by connecting your Twitter account to the app.
Customers love TweetDeck’s column layout, multi-account support, and scheduling options.
Tweetdeck is absolutely free.
Agorapulse is another two-in-one social media tool: while the app primarily focuses on social media management, it also offers listening capabilities for selected social networks. Though Agorapulse doesn’t include web monitoring, it’s a great option if you’re looking for a scheduling app that will also notify you of social brand mentions.
On top of publishing and social media monitoring, Agorapulse lets you find influencers and streamline outreach and communication with the help of its inbuilt CRM.
Users love the fact that Agorapulse combines social media management with social listening, the tool’s ease of use, and its excellent customer service.
Agorapulse offers a free trial. After you try the tool, you can pick one of the four available subscription plans.
Social media has become the place where consumers talk about everything — and that includes your brand. As more companies turn to social media monitoring for insights, social media monitoring tools are catching up and becoming more elaborate and affordable. However, don’t forget that the insights the tools provide aren’t everything — it’s the decisions you make and the actions you take based on those insights that will make your brand stand out.
Twitter announced multiple video content partnerships with a variety of news and entertainment outlets on Monday during its Digital NewFronts event. The list includes deals that will bring exclusive video content to the platform from Univision, Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, NFL, Live Nation, MTV and others, giving way to making more premium video ad inventory available to advertisers.
Why we should care
Twitter has made video a central pillar of its revenue growth strategy. More than half of its ad revenue already comes from video.
The partnerships span a range of original content. The Wall Street Journal is launching an original video show called “What’s Now,” and Univision will be delivering Spanish-language sports, news and entertainment content. Time is producing video content for Twitter connected to its “Time Person of the Year” and “Time 100” events.
Live Nation will host a content series, and MTV will be broadcasting VMA (Video Music Awards) programming content.
The broad mix of outlets partnering with Twitter cover news, tech, politics, music and sports and speak to a mix of demographics — aimed at appealing to a wide spectrum of brands.
More on the news
Twitter outlined a total of thirteen deals, including updated ones with existing partners such as the NFL, MLB, BuzzFeed and CNN.
Last month, Twitter introduced its “Everything is Timing” tool that gives marketers and publishers an aggregate view of when people on Twitter are watching video to help determine the best time post content.
Twitter reported revenue gains of 18% year over year for the first quarter of 2019, with ad engagements up 23%.
Twitter saw an 18% increase in ad revenue year-over-year, generating $679 million during the first quart of 2019 according to its earnings report released on Tuesday. Total revenue was also up 18% year-over-year at $787 million.
“We’ve never been more confident in our strategy and execution and see a great opportunity to grow our audience and deliver even more value for advertisers,” said Twitter CFO Ned Segal.
Ad engagements moving in the right direction Twitter reported total ad engagements were up 23% percent year-over-year during the first quarter, with cost-per-engagement down 4%.
Aaron Goldman, CMO for the social advertising platform 4C, noted the first quarter of the year is an important time period for Twitter with major media events like the Super Bowl and Oscars driving second-screen conversations.
“The fact that [Twitter’s] performance was so strong shows that it also benefited from outsized budget allocation in the annual planning cycle,” said Goldman, “In particular, we’re seeing great success with video on Twitter and our advertisers are adopting these formats as a core part of their cross-channel mix. For Q1 2019, we saw double-digit increases year-over-year on Twitter video ad budgets.”
Twitter’s “new” user metric. This is the last quarter Twitter is reporting its MAUs (monthly active users), instead focusing on a new metric which it introduced earlier this year: monetized daily active users or mDAU. From a year ago, mDAUs increased by 14 million to 134 million in the first quarter of 2019, with 28 million in the U.S., Twitter reported.
Globally, Twitter’s monthly active users (MAUs) were down year-over-year from 336 million to 330 million. U.S. MAUs remained relatively flat year-over-year for the quarter, declining from 69 million to 68 million this year.
Twitter accounts the slide in MAUs to its efforts to improve the health of the platform, claiming: “…metrics may be impacted by our information quality efforts, which are our overall efforts to reduce malicious activity on the service, inclusive of spam, malicious automation, and fake accounts.”
“We are taking a more proactive approach to reducing abuse and its effects on Twitter. We are reducing the burden on victims and, where possible, taking action before abuse is reported,” said Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in Twitter’s earnings report announcement.
Why we should care. Twitter is continuing to put its focus on removing spam and reducing abuse on the platform, and by extension, aiming to improve brand safety. With ad engagement up and cost-per-engagement down, advertisers who have been slow to allocate social media ad spend on Twitter may decide to give it another look.
“The platform is seeming ever more attractive to advertisers looking for high return on spend,” said Rakuten Marketing’s managing director for EMEA, Anthony Capano, “As long as it’s in brand safe environments that have the ability to reach new and global audiences, then why not test?”
This story first appeared on MarTech Today. For more on marketing technology, click here.
Lush UK, a cosmetics company known for its bathing products, dropped a major bomb on Tuesday when the company announced it was bidding farewell to some of its social accounts.
“Increasingly, social media is making it harder and harder for us to talk to each other directly. We are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed,” wrote Lush UK in posts shared on its Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds with an image that included the message: “We’re switching up social.”
The company said its customer care team would respond to messages and comments over the next week, but after that, it was moving conversations to the live chat function on its website, email or phone.
“This isn’t the end, it’s just the start of something new,” wrote Lush UK. The U.S. division of the company has, so far, not followed suit.
Risky proposition or smart business?
As a cosmetics brand, leaving social is a risky step to take. Ninety-six percent of beauty brands in 2016 had an Instagram account, according to a Statista report. That same year, Statista found that female social media users were more likely to interact online with a beauty brand than any other industry, including clothing, personal care or retailers.
Even with its more than one million followers across Instagram (570K), Facebook (405K) and Twitter (202K), Lush UK’s social feeds apparently were not offering the engagement it wanted, and as the brand said in its post, it did not want to spend time fighting algorithms or buying ads to reach its intended audience.
Instead, the company wants to create more personal communications with its followers — via its own brand properties. The risk is that puts responsibility on the consumer to connect with the brand on its terms.
“Obviously, some brands were late to the social party in the first place, but I haven’t seen anyone else just shut it down,” said Dan Ginnis, chief experience officer for Winning Experience LLC and author of “Winning at Social Customer Care”. He thinks Lush UK’s move to quit social is a mistake, pointing out that social platforms are not only for interacting with consumers, but also listening to your followers.
“Brands must remember that there are two words in ‘social media’ and both of them are critical to success. Walking away from the one marketing channel where customers and prospects can talk back sends the message that a company is not truly listening to its audience,” said Gingiss.
Oliver Yonchev, managing director for the social marketing agency Social Chain, called it a protest move — reflective of a general industry sentiment against algorithms.
“Considering the amount of time we all spend on social media, the size of the beauty and wellbeing space, the richness of social data, and the actual output of Lush, I find this a bemusing move,” said Yonchev who disagrees with the brand’s decision to leave social.
“I believe social media has to play a role in Lush UK’s marketing strategy, but will likely see them stop investing resources in the owned channel activity, and rather invest the resources into off channel activity — influencers, paid activity, campaign work (paid), etc,” said Yonchev.
Sign of things to come?
Social media marketers are entering new territory. It’s harder than ever for brands to reach their own audiences organically on social platforms. Last month, Facebook itself said it will re-orient its business around encrypted messaging, de-emphasizing News Feed.
“Organic reach has been dying for years and businesses that invested a lot of time and resources growing their audiences are now left feeling let down by the limiting organic opportunities,” said Yonchev, “Most social successes are no longer found on the feeds of brands but through general activity across social media – how other people are talking about your brand matters far more than how a brand talks about themselves.”
Marketers should be taking notes on Lush UK’s move to quit social. The brand may not be headed in the exact direction most companies are likely to follow, but could unwittingly become the canary in the coal mine — proving whether or not a brand lives or dies by their social media accounts.
This article has been updated to reflect changes and include video ad view count information from more platforms.
Advertisers allocated a quarter of all digital ad spend — $27.8 billion — to video ads last year, according to eMarketer. video has become big business for social platforms. Twitter attributes more than half of its ad revenue to video, its fastest growing ad format. Video ads also make up half of Snapchat’s revenue, and 30 percent of Facebook’s ad revenue, eMarketer estimates.
Yet, video ad bidding and view measurement and reporting can vary widely by platform. As the market for video ads has grown, many social platforms have expanded bidding options and reporting metrics for video ads. This can all make analyzing and comparing results across platforms a challenge.
We surveyed the major social video platforms to see what counts as a view. For Facebook and Instagram, viewing just 3 seconds of a video of any length is considered a view. For YouTube Trueview ads, it’s around 30 seconds. Others have adopted the MRC standard (see below) or a kind of variation on it. Bottom line, advertisers need to be aware how each of the platforms count and charge for video ad views because they aren’t apples to apples.
A video ad view methodology by platform
The Media Rating Council (MRC) and IAB define a video ad as viewable “when at least 50 percent of the ad’s pixels are visible on a screen for at least two consecutive seconds.” Some platforms have adopted this standard, but many have not.
Here’s the rundown on how the major players count video views:
Google/YouTube: The skippable TrueView ads on YouTube and the Google Display Network count a video view when someone engaged with an ad or watches 30 seconds of a video ad, or the duration of the ad if it is shorter than 30 seconds.
Facebook and Instagram: Facebook and it’s family of apps count a video view for both in-stream and Stories ads at 3 seconds. However, advertisers can buy video ads on either a CPM basis or ThuruPlay basis. When buying on a CPM basis, an impression is counted when one pixel of the video ad comes into view. With ThruPlay, advertisers are charged when a video ad plays to 97 percent completion or up to 15 seconds, whichever comes sooner.
LinkedIn: For LinkedIn’s sponsored content, video views are counted when 50 percent of the ad is in-view for 1 second on desktop and 300 milliseconds (one-third of a second) on mobile.
Pinterest: Pinterest adopted the MRC standard of 50 percent of the ad in-view for 2 continuous seconds or more.
Reddit: Reddit defines a video view as 2 continuous seconds at 50 percent viewability, per the MRC standard. A full video view is counted after a video ad shows for 3 continuous seconds at 100 percent viewability. Advertisrs can bid on a cost-per-view (CPV) or CPM basis.
Snapchat: Snap Ads’ view criteria is 2 seconds for a video view. The platform’s video ads run full-screen with the sound on.
Twitter: Twitter adopted the MRC standard and counts a video ad view when 50 percent of the ad is in view for 2 seconds or more, or when a user engages with a video ad by clicking to expand or un-muting it.
Other metrics to consider
Many platforms show additional engagement metrics and view counts. For example, Google offers quartile watch time metrics, along with an extensive list of video ad metrics that includes click performance, engagement performance, and reach and frequency.
Facebook reports 2 second, 3 second, 10 second and ThruPlays, regardless of which bidding option you choose. It also reports watch time metrics, showing showing how often 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent or 100 percent of a video ad was watched.
Redditr reports views at 25, 50, 75 95 and 100 percent of video length at any viewability as well as the number of times a video ad was watched for 3, 5, and 10 seconds in aggregate at any viewability.
In October 2018, YouTube began counting an ‘Engagement’ to a TrueView for action ad whenever a user clicks or watches 10 seconds or more when using maximize conversions or target CPA bidding — down from from 30 seconds. Those ads are still charged on a CPM basis, however, when using maximize conversion or target CPA bidding strategies.
Last week, Facebook suffered the longest outage of its 15-year existence. Not only was it down for more than four hours in some areas, but so were the Facebook-owned apps Instagram and WhatsApp. During the downtime, social media managers and advertisers took to Twitter to bemoan the platform’s blackout, many not sure what to do as the outage lingered on well past any previous platform glitches.
“Outages like the one from last week are rare,” said Jon Mottel, director of social strategy for the digital marketing agency Undertone, “When they do occur, they almost never last longer than a few hours.”
The March 13 outage prompted David Herrmann, co-owner and advertising director for Social Outlier, to enact new guidelines around how his team manages a social campaign when a platform goes down.
“As we’ve seen before with networks, typically downtime can range from a few minutes, up to an hour. Last Wednesday was very concerning,” said Herrmann, “I’ve instructed my team to start pausing campaigns if a social network crosses the three-hour mark.”
“It may seem silly, but any social media manager or community manager experiencing problems with a channel should make sure it’s not just them,” said Monina Wagner, Content Marketing Institute’s community manager, “Is your WiFi connectivity strong? Do you need to clear your cache, or reload the app?”
There are also sites like isitdown.us and downforeveryoneorjustme.com to confirm if a network outage is widespread. Once it’s confirmed the platform is down, Wagner said her team determines if the channel is a highly active one for customers.
“If our audience does not typically expect an immediate response on a channel, we approach the outage on a wait-and-see basis,” said Wagner, “If we commonly see a high number of requests on a channel, or if we regularly use it for conversations with our community, we take action.”
For Wagner, that action includes starting a conversation on other channels so that your audience knows your brand is still available. She suggests, if appropriate, brands should consider having a little fun with the situation — using a meme or a poll to ask how the community is spending its “free” time.
“Poke fun at the situation,” said Wagner, “Show your audience you’re in the same boat.” She also recommends using an owned channel like a company blog or email newsletter to distribute an urgent message if necessary.
For anyone managing a client’s social channels, Herrmann said it’s important to let them know what is happening: “The key is to keep them informed.”
Take advantage of the situation
Wagner notes, while inconvenient and annoying, a major outage of a social network can provide brands a great opportunity to understand their community better.
“Use social listening to identify problems that need immediate attention. Track brand mentions, keywords and hashtags for relevant conversations. Use this time to gauge sentiment,” said Wagner, “Identify what you can learn about your audience. What did you discover about their behavior?”
She also recommends re-evaluating your social tool-set depending on what you learn about your brand’s social strategy when a major network goes down.
“Should you join another social channel? Could you beef up your email list? Social media is rented land. What would happen if that disruption turned into a complete shutdown? Would you have another platform for your community?” asked Wagner.
Managing ad campaigns during the blackout
Herrmann recommends brands have someone monitoring their ad spends in such an event to pause campaigns.
“Here’s the import part — screen grab video of you attempting to do this [pause a campaign],” said Herrman, “In Facebook’s instance, if you can’t pause campaigns, and it’s an internal error, you can apply for Facebook credit.”
Shifting ad spend from one platform to another during an outage is not necessarily the best route to take, said Herrmann.
“Some have suggested adjusting ad spends on competing networks, but it’s hard to tell just how long a platform is going to be down to justify that,” said Herrmann. His team advertises on all the major social channels and didn’t notice an uptick in traffic on alternative platforms during Facebook’s downtime.
“My general rule of thumb is make sure at least 20 percent of your budget is optimizing on other platforms when a major network like Google or Facebook goes down. That way, you’re still generating some revenue. But adjusting based on one network’s downtown, even up to a day, is a bit extreme in my book,” said Herrmann.
Mottel points out that if an advertiser has time-sensitive messaging or dollars that need to be spent very quickly, ad dollars would need to be shifted to other channels to ensure the message stays top of mind.
“For a more always on advertiser, drastic shifts to other platforms probably wouldn’t be necessary. However, for short term, high volume efforts like entertainment premieres, a change of investment might need to happen drastically and rapidly to stay necessarily relevant,” said Mottel.
Herrmann said, should losses be substantial, it’s best everyone involved knows and understands what is happening: “The more you can communicate, the less the damage truly will be. Build a plan of action in the event a social channel goes down for days — while it’s catastrophic and unlikely, set it up and put in in place.”
Mottel agrees that communication with stakeholders is crucial.
“Showing clients that the situation has been properly assessed, and a game plan has been proactively laid out, will demonstrate that they can rely on your company in any situation,” said Mottel.
Once the social network is back up and running, Mottel said the first thing to do is make sure all of your ad campaigns are back and running correctly, and that everything appears to be in order from a setup standpoint.
“Keep a close eye on delivery and performance over the next 12 to 24 hours to ensure campaigns have stabilized after going live again,” said Mottel.
In the days after the March 13 Facebook outage, Herrmann said everything was off with the campaigns his team manages.
“We’re not sure if it’s the auction or what, but the key is to pivot quickly if need be,” said Herrmann. He recommends checking your cost-per-actions, along with other outlier metrics, by the hour after the site is back up. The advertising director also suggests having content that has worked in the past ready to post.
“I’d be weary of launching anything new post-site outage,” said Herrmann, “The reason is everything needs to get back up and synced in my mind — that includes people’s behaviors online.”
Beyond checking advertising campaigns, Wagner said brands need to check for any outstanding messages.
“A message may have been sent as service was interrupted, or a message may have come in from another part of the world that did not experience any disruption. Respond to your audience as quickly as you can,” said Wagner.
Preparing for next time
Herrmann said he doesn’t think that anyone can truly plan for an event like the outage Facebook suffered, but that’s not keeping the advertising director from building a plan should it happen again.
“We’re pausing campaigns and pulling back budgets for up to five days post-outage. Not a total blackout, but cutting budgets back for a few days to fully monitor what’s truly going on,” said Herrmann.
Wagner said a plan for such outages should be part of your organization’s crisis control plans. “A social media outage may not affect the integrity of your brand, but it can produce disastrous results for your social team. A plan guarantees your audience will hear from you no matter the channel.”
She said plans should be simple and straightforward and include guidelines on how long your organization should wait before taking action. Also, sample messaging that is platform-appropriate for your social media team to use on an alternative channel. (Will your verbiage/answers/tone on Facebook translate properly to LinkedIn or vice versa?) For employees outside your social media team, Wagner recommends answers to commonly asked questions.
“Your customers may look to more traditional channels to reach the brand. You want your non-social team to be equipped with pre-approved messaging,” said Wagner.
Lastly, she and Herrmann both say it’s important just to breathe.
“Legit, it’s concerning, but it’s out of our control,” said Herrmann, “The key is to make sure your clients are informed, and you’re ready to jump back on once things are ready to go.”
Twitter has hired Doug Brodman as its U.S. agency development director. Brodman comes to Twitter from Google where he spent the last five years on Google’s U.S. agency team.
Why you should care
In his new role, Brodman will lead the team that works with the big holding companies and their agencies to create programming, content and media solutions on the platform. He will report to Twitter’s head of global agency development Stephanie Prager, who has been promoted from the U.S. role.
“Doug has delivered on impactful projects that have moved the industry forward, and we’re thrilled to have his agency expertise and passion for advertising on the team,” said Prager, “As we continue to showcase how Twitter is a key asset for brands launching something new or connecting with what’s happening, we look forward to his fresh perspective.”
Brodman joins Twitter after five years at Google, developing deals and partnerships between the largest U.S. media agencies and Fortune 100 brand clients within the media and entertainment, CPG, automotive and retail sectors.
More on the news
Brodman’s sales and marketing experience includes time with NBC Universal Olympic business and more than six years with Publicis, launching Proctor & Gamble’s digital media buying practice.
“I am thrilled to join Twitter’s U.S. agency team to help Holding Companies leverage Twitter’s creative tools to move the industry forward,” said Brodman in a statement.
Twitter also announced it has hired Donna Lamar as its new executive creative director, overseeing creative direction for the company’s product launches, major brand initiatives and campaigns, and core web properties.
Facebook has lost an estimated 15 million users in the U.S. during the last two years, according to a report from Edison Research. The firm’s “The Infinite Dial 2019,” surveyed 1,500 U.S. citizens age 12-years and older and found that Facebook usage overall has dropped from 67 percent to 61 percent in two year’s time, with the 12 to 34-years age segment down from 82 million in 2017 to 65 million this year.
Twitter usage is also on a downward slope, going from 23 percent to 19 percent between 2017 and 2019. The report found, overall, social media use has stagnated since 2016, with the number of respondents claiming to be on social remaining around 77 to 80 percent for the past three years. But social media marketing experts said they’re not seeing any impact from declining social media use.
People aren’t leaving social, just shifting platforms. While the report showed Facebook users numbers were dropping, Facebook-owned Instagram is experiencing a steady rise. Instagram’s audience reach is still much smaller than Facebook’s, but Edison’s survey found Instagram usage has climbed from 34 percent in 2017 to 39 percent.
Steve Weiss, CEO of digital marketing agency MuteSix, said he doesn’t believe Facebook users are leaving, but instead the current user base is simply aging.
“While the younger demographics may be shifting to Instagram and Snapchat, Facebook is also seeing increased gains from the 55+ segment. In other words, users aren’t exactly leaving, they are simply shifting,” said Weiss. According to Edison’s report, the 55+ age segment of respondents were the only group whose Facebook usage had increase since 2017.
Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO of social media marketing platform Socialbakers, said his company doesn’t have any data indicating a drop in Facebook user numbers.
“In Q4, Facebook reported an increase,” said Ben-Itzhak, “As for Twitter, they have stopped reporting on users which could mean users did not grow.”
Ben Heiser, a content strategist for the Drum Agency, agrees with Weiss in terms of Facebook versus Instagram user numbers.
“Everyone likes to take shots at Facebook usage being down as the end of social media as we know it, but social media is more of a media channel now than ever before. Facebook has global saturation at this point and active users are just switching over to Instagram, which Facebook owns,” said Heiser.
“Here’s the thing – surveys are always skewing perception towards something. One survey cites the 15 million loss in young Facebook users as their rallying cry to jump to audio. However, if you look at the actual numbers, not survey results, Facebook reported that there were 1.52 billion daily active users in Q4, an increase of nine-percent year-over-year.”
Facebook advertising still delivering. Weiss said his ad agency is not seeing an impact from any drops in usage. He believes the Facebook’s Stories ad product, which the company rolled out in the News Feed last year, will drive more advertising on the platform.
“With Facebook’s continued investment in analytics across all its platforms, we also expect to see advanced engagement metrics for Stories, which will ultimately boost bottom-line revenue for Facebook,” said Weiss.
He is confident Instagram advertising revenue will continue to climb, also spurred by Story ads.
“As a matter of fact, advertising revenues on Instagram’s Stories are projected to increase as early studies demonstrate brands can expect to see higher ad recall and click-through rates than from previous ads that were posted on the Instagram feed,” said Weiss.
And then there’s WhatsApp. Edison Research’s survey did not include historical usage data on WhatsApp, the encrypted messaging app owned by platform, but did show 23 percent of the survey participants age 12 to 34 years old were using it this year.
“While Facebook doesn’t report on individual app growth regularly, you can easily infer that the growth is happening on WhatsApp and Instagram, which cater and are heavily used by a younger target,” said Heiser.
Facebook has been making subtle moves to get more people on WhatsApp — announcing in January that it plans to integrate its WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger platforms, making it possible for users to communicate between the three apps. Facebook also said it is planning to roll-out WhatsApp ads this year.
Why you should care. While the Edison Research may show declining user numbers, a loss of 15 million users on Facebook may not amount to much for a platform that has 1.5 billion daily active users. And recent reports show advertisers are ahead of the curve with Instagram, with lifts in incremental ad spending from loyal advertisers driving ad spend growth on the platform — money that is still going into Facebook’s pocket.
As Heiser noted, Facebook’s most recent earnings report isn’t showing any major impact from a drop in usage with ad revenue climbing to $16.6 billion during the fourth quarter of 2018. In fact, the company reported the average price of an ad decreased 2 percent, while ad impressions were up 34 percent. Twitter also saw increased ad revenue during the last quarter of 2018, up 23 percent year-over-year.
Overall, marketers shouldn’t make any knee-jerk reactions when it comes to their social media strategy based on one survey, marketers say.
“If you’re planning to use media, you shouldn’t be a fan of one or the other. The focus should be where your audience is most engaged: is it podcast? Instagram? Facebook? If so, that’s where you need to be,” said Heiser.
Twitter has launched a publisher insights tool called “Timing Is Everything” that uses historical data to highlight when users are most often watching and engaging with video on the platform. The tool offers an aggregate look at when Twitter users are generally watching videos on the platform. It does not offer publisher-specific insights on when their own organic followers watch.
Why you should care
While the insights tool is only giving a broad overview of video-consumption on the platform, it can be of service to publishers and brands and influencers with access to Twitter’s Media Studio — helping them optimize video content by posting it when users are most likely to watch a video according to Twitter’s historical data.
“We encourage publishers to continue to post throughout the day in order to maximize reach,” wrote Twitter product manager Ellen Fitzgerald on Twitter’s media blog, “However, consider including posting during the most engaging times of the day and week as part of that strategy.”
More on the news
The “Timing is Everything” tool can be found within the Twitter Media Studio in the Analytics drop down menu.
The Team That Wouldn't Be Here | Verizon :60 - YouTube
The Patriots may have walked away with another Super Bowl win, but the for marketers, the real competition was focused on Super Bowl brand performance across the digital landscape. Based on the first set of data released by social media channels and analytics platforms, the biggest online buzz was generated by Verizon with its “The Team That Wouldn’t Be Here” spot, Bud Lights’ crossover ad with HBO, the NFL’s “The 100 Year Game” ad featuring 40 NFL MVPs and Pepsi’s Super Bowl spots with Cardi B, Lil Jon and Steve Carrell.
Verizon won the video game. Verizon’s “The Team That Wouldn’t Be Here” ad topped both YouTube and iSpot.tv’s list of most popular Super Bowl ads. YouTube had Verizon at number one for the Super Bowl ad with the most game-day views.
Runners up on YouTube included Amazon’s “Not Everything Makes the Cut” at number two, followed by Jeep’s “Big Game Blitz.”
Overall, YouTube said viewership of Super Bowl ads was up 58 percent over last year, and up 78 percent on mobile. Even with the substantial increase in views on mobile devices, Scott Ings, VP of product for Apptimize, believes Super Bowl brands are not optimizing their campaigns when it comes to mobile.
“There still seems like a missed opportunity to have an active mobile component to some of these ad campaigns. I get dozens of notifications on my phone every day, but during those three hours where all these brands can be relatively confident I am watching the game and their ads, none of them — that I’m aware of — used something like mobile push to get active engagement beyond the TV ads,” says Ings.
iSpot.tv, a TV ad measurement platform, reported Verizon’s Super Bowl ad had the largest digital share of voice (SOV) across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, as well as Google, Bing and Yahoo. The brand’s digital SOV reached 11.15 percent by 11:00pm ET Sunday night, following the game.
The number two Super Bowl brand with the largest SOV according to iSpot.tv was Microsoft’s “We Will All Win” promoting its Xbox adaptive game controller — which earned a 7.8 percent.
iSpot found that the total number of Super Bowl spots dropped from 83 during last year’s Super Bowl to 60 spots during Super Bowl LIII. The company reported that the official Super Bowl ads on game day this year generated 48 million total online views across YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and 1.1 million social actions — with more than 2.9 billion estimated social impressions.
Verizon, Mr Peanut, Bud Light won Twitter. Verizon also drove the most video views on a single tweet, according to Twitter.
The platform hosted its annual #BrandBowl event this year, awarding a total of five honors attached to Super Bowl campaigns. Verizon took home the #VideoReplay award, while Mr Peanut was the #MVP award winner with the highest percentage of all brand related Tweets during the game.
Bud Light’s “Joust” ad, that included promotions for HBO’s Game of Thrones series, drove the highest velocity of most Tweets-per-minute — an honor Twitter defined as its #Blitz award. The #QuarterBack award, the brand with the most retweets on a single Tweet during the game, went to Marvel Studios for its Avengers End Game trailer.
Pepsi took the trophy for earned media on Instagram (behind the NFL). Apart from the NFL itself, Pepsi earned more media on Instagram than other Super Bowl advertisers, according to influencer campaign analytics platform InfluencerDB. Pepsi generated $104,888 worth of earned media value and 218,627 likes on Instagram.
“Pepsi leverages not only one but three stars for the brand’s Super Bowl commercial. Cardi B, Steve Carell, and Lil Jon come together to promote Pepsi as being a ‘more than okay’ alternative to Coca Cola,” says InfluencerDB CEO Robert Levenhage, “The traditional media reach of these celebrities is directly translated into social media reach.”
Coming in just behind Pepsi, and the only other brand to top $100,000 worth of earned media value was Doritos with $102,120 worth of earned media value and 439,887 likes, more than double the number of likes Pepsi received.
It should be noted that the NFL dominated the share of earned media among the top ten Super Bowl advertisers. Of the total $3.6 million worth of earned media generated buy the top ten Super Bowl brands, the NFL accounted for $3.1 million — with 11,083,875 total likes. To determine earned media value of the top Super Bowl brands, the company analyzed all Instagram posts from channels with 15,000 or more followers from January 28 to February 4, 2018 that mentioned the respective Super Bowl brand, or used a branded hashtag combined with, at least, one Super Bowl related hashtag (#SuperBowl, #SBLIII, etc).
Pepsi and Bud Light won across the digital ecosystem. Talkwalker, a social media analytics firm, reported Pepsi was the top trending Super Bowl brand with more than 71,800 total mentions — peaking during the Pepsi sponsored halftime show. Talkwalker’s findings are based on data gathered from blogs, news sites, forums and social media channels 30 days prior to the game through midnight February 4, 2019.
Following Pepsi, per Talkwalker’s data, was Doritos with over 29,7000 mentions and Bud Light in third place with 13,400 mentions.
The digital advertising platform 4C monitored sentiment for social media conversations around Super Bowl advertisers during the game. The company said Expensify, a first-time Super Bowl brand, earned a 96 percent positive sentiment rating, the highest of all the Super Bowl advertisers.
“With ever-increasing competition for consumer attention across platforms and devices, the Super Bowl represents a unique opportunity for brands to reach a large audience with messaging on TV and digital channels. Brands like Expensify, which captured audience attention through a humorous ad featuring 2 Chainz and Adam Scott, and Bud Light, which killed off its own ‘Dilly Dilly’ spokesman in a re-created Game of Thrones scene, sparked positive social media conversation,” said 4C CMO Aaron Goldman.
The Bud Light ad, according to 4C’s report, saw 90 percent positive sentiment.
Bud Light x Game of Thrones Super Bowl Commercial - Joust - YouTube
Bud Light was the most mentioned Super Bowl brand globally on Twittter, according to Salesforce which tracked conversations related to Super Bowl advertisers using its Social Studio marketing solutions. Based on Salesforce’s findings, the brand earned 31,545 mentions and a 73.1 percent positive sentiment. Pepsi ranked second on Salesforce’s list of most mentioned Super Bowl advertisers with 22,600 mentions on Twitter and an 83.2 percent positive sentiment.
“Our data shows that the Bud Light/Game of Thrones ad came out on top. It was a surprise to most and extremely popular because of the unique content combination of Game of Thrones and Anheuser Busch,” wrote Tom Hasselman, Salesforce’s director of product marketing, on the company’s blog.