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BizReport : Social Marketing : June 11, 2015

How Facebook's Instant Articles may impact social

Social marketing continues to be a big area of influence for brands, even though some social networks are making it harder for merchants, authors and other brands to use their Pages application successfully. The key, says one expert, is to treat social media not as an isolated campaign, but as part of a greater strategy that includes overall business goals.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What trends are you seeing in the social space?

Jordan Slabaugh, Vice President, Wayin: One of the trends we're seeing is social media users increasingly turning to social platforms as their primary source for news. This trend is exemplified by Facebook working to better its own platform to allow users to share news in response to the growing demand for this consumption, and sharing, of news on social.

Additionally, brands are increasingly acting more like publishers. Consumers value timely, valuable content and consume this on social media where they spend a large portion of their personal time. Brands are maximizing their relevance and reach to target consumers by delivering that type of information. The most successful brands are creating a voice for themselves that relies on real-time moments in addition to planned campaigns.

Kristina: Manta recently reported that less than half of small businesses on Facebook are seeing significant ROI from their social strategy. What is holding up social engagement?

Jordan: What many businesses are missing is that ROI means more than engagement and that 'social for social' strategies that don't integrate on-network content and trends across other channels only create siloed, ineffective marketing efforts. Social persuades. And to drive meaningful results, brands need to better understand their audience's interests and behaviors, and then ultimately find opportunities to deliver the best social content to the right place at the right time. Many times that means not building out a "Facebook strategy" but rather finding conversations already taking place there are surfacing that content where it's most impactful - a corporate website, a campaign microsite or an in-person screen at a live event.

Social media intelligence and marketing display solutions like Wayin allow businesses to discover and understand the best social media content in real time, and then act immediately by integrating that content larger marketing efforts in a persuasive way. Visual content is one of the most powerful ways to connect with consumers, and we continue to see the impact driven by combining social content with interactive, visual displays - to extend reach, activate audiences and even drive revenue. The opportunities for this are vast, ranging from a retailer displaying tweets about a new product on in-store screens to share product reviews with current shoppers to a hospitality brand running a loyalty campaign on its website where customers who engage socially are given loyalty perks.

Kristina: How do you see Facebook's new 'Instant Articles' impacting the social space?

Jordan: Facebook's launch of "Instant Articles" demonstrates a continued shift towards social media as an everyday source of relevant, valuable information. Consumers are increasingly turning to Facebook, Twitter and other social sites for breaking news updates, and Facebook is working to make it even easier for publishers to share informative, interactive news on the site. Facebook's new feature makes content more readable and interactive across all devices by offering faster load times, high resolution photos, in-line commenting capabilities and higher quality videos.

The increased consumption of news on social also points to a larger trend of blurred lines between media outlets and brands. Brands understand the powerful nature of delivering a great content experience on social media sites to ultimately extend the reach and pass along effect it can drive.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: facebook instant articles, facebook marketing, social marketing, social media trends, Wayin

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