June 19, 2015

Technology Trends: Monetizing Social Media

Until recently, company executives have struggled to see social media as an essential part of their marketing and advertising strategy. This has been largely due to the difficulty of justifying the time and money spent developing a social presence with little means of determining return on investment. However, within the past month, many social media platforms, including Instagram and Pinterest, have announced how they are planning to change all of that with “buy buttons.” These platforms, among others, will now have a way to create direct sales conversions, which couldn’t have come at a better time.

According to this year’s Internet Trends report, adults spend an average of 5.6 hours on the Internet a day, more than half of which is on their phone, where social media is king. This week, we highlight different social media platforms that want to help you connect with customers while producing direct monetary results.

Why now is the time for brands to go all-in on Pinterest Digiday

Pinterest, a visual-heavy social media platform, drives 7.1 percent of Internet traffic – second only to Facebook. The site recently announced the launch of “Buy It” buttons for brands that want to convert pins to profits. Pinterest also has plans to announce a new video pin feature later this month, which will provide even more opportunity for brands to create engaging sales content.

Instagram Unleashes a Fully Operational Ad Business Adweek

Instagram, owned by Facebook, is also getting into the monetization game with their recently released “Shop Now” buttons. In addition, it has opened up its platform to all advertisers, where it was once available to only a handful of brands. The new advertising functionality includes an analytics API to manage and measure marketing campaigns and gather audience data.  

Google Confirms ‘Buy Button’ is Comingre/code

Google has revealed plans to include a “buy button” to its Google Shopping service, reducing the number of clicks to a sales conversion for advertisers. The button will appear on retailers’ paid product listing ads and will then direct users to a Google webpage to make the sales transaction. Google is hoping the reduction of clicks to point of sale will increase conversions and generate more interest in Google Shopping ads.

Evan Spiegel Reveals Plan to Turn Snapchat Into a Real BusinessBusinessweek

Evan Spiegel, the 25-year-old CEO of Snapchat, provides a look at the app’s plan to work with advertisers to give users a different type of user experience. This includes the creation of custom content for vertically oriented advertising – whereas traditional mobile advertisements are horizontal. Spiegel hopes for his app to be a location of value-added content, based on more traditional editorial content in contrast to more modern advertising, which uses Big Data to target ads to specific individuals.

Buy Buy Buy: Why All of Your Favorite Social Networks Want You to Shop NowMashable

Marketing and advertising departments have been using social media channels to tout their brands for years. But the ability to demonstrate the return on investment has been lacking. It has only been recently that the technology “ecosystem” required to measure the return on these platforms has been developed. Additionally, these social media platforms want to strike a balance between making a profit from advertising and maintaining a positive user experience, which has inhibited advertising in the past.