Social media advertising today is bigger than the newspaper industry - and it’s only a few years old. Social is fast becoming a significant part of digital marketing, and as more companies are starting to think “social first,” it tests the role of the social media manager - one that is changing fast and requires a new set of tools for marketers to keep pace with what their companies expect of them.
This year’s Engage Prague 2017 conference taught us that marketing has taken a fast turn towards social. Platforms have monetized traffic through native advertising, and with the number of users on social channels increasing across the board, companies have understandably taken to social to reach their customers where they are already spending their time.
As a result, social media has become a huge part of digital ad spend, which we are expecting to hit the $200 billion mark in 2017 and surpass TV advertising. As it continues to take a larger share of the digital marketing pie, advertisers are discovering new ways to leverage social media platforms and test their new features to create content that is more authentic and personalized. It has fundamentally changed how users interact with marketed content and allowed marketers unparalleled feedback to how their audiences react. This is the direction marketing has taken and it is now more important than ever for companies to reevaluate their marketing strategy and think “social first.”
Steve Bartlett, Social Chain
We have seen the platforms themselves evolve; they have adapted to mobile, extended their features to maximize engagement and time spent. Within a few years engagement has shifted significantly. If we compare Facebook and Instagram, the change in consumption patterns on those channels has had a huge impact on marketers. Brands have seen interactions on Facebook decrease significantly over years, and if they haven’t adapted their strategy to include Instagram, where interactions for brands are nearly double, they have missed an opportunity. It is now key for marketers to think fast and be equipped with tools that help them track such changes.
When we begin looking at engagement data, even on surface level we see fundamental changes in the social media landscape, but to leverage the rest, it is essential to use comprehensive analytics when building your marketing strategy. Measuring metrics the way they were measured in the past is no longer viable, and considering the increasing social media ad spend, it has made analytics crucial to demonstrating social media is making a business impact – the elusive social media ROI. The new playing field has turned the social media manager’s job into arguably the toughest job in marketing.
“Don Draper is no longer in charge.”
Tom Fishburne, Marketoonist
Socialbakers has evolved and matured in much the same way as the social media marketer. Founded in 2008, it tapped into the need for companies to understand their presence on social media. As platforms evolved and monetized their traffic, we helped marketers understand this new paid environment.
Now we recognize that the industry is moving towards machine learning and predictive algorithms. This is the future of marketing, and one that Socialbakers is uniquely positioned to support social media marketers on, with our 8+ year social media content and performance database able to power actionable recommendations, and then demonstrate they are working with analytics.
“Think beyond the traditional social media metrics of reach and engagement to use data in creative ways to measure your performance and how you report back to partners.”
Chris Hurst, Nielsen
Social media marketing as a discipline has matured, and the role of the social media marketer has become integral to marketing. The role has expanded in responsibility and scope, and requires a partner to deliver tools that maximize social media performance and demonstrate that the budget spent is making an impact.