6 Proven Ways Social Media and Ecommerce Can Boost Sales

Over the past decade, social media platforms have experienced tremendous growth in ways that not many people could have predicted. Today, these platforms have become avenues for marketers and business owners around the world to foster relationships with their audience and boost their brand exposure.

In addition to growing brand image and building relationships with customers, you can also leverage the power of social media and ecommerce to increase your online sales. So what are the best social media and ecommerce tactics that can be used to increase sales?

Why advertise on social media?

Advertising has been around for a much longer period of time than social media. It has been reaching consumers via TV, radio, even billboards for decades now. So why is advertising on social media so integral to a business’ success now?

The main factor behind the sudden growth in social media advertising is quite an obvious one. The vast growth of the platform means that more and more of a brand’s target audience are available in one place. However, this isn’t the only element pushing brand’s towards an online advertising campaign.

Another decisive factor is the specificness of social media advertising. People willingly give social media large quantities of information on their background and daily lives. This means it is easier for a business to target the exact type of person they want to reach with an advert, and tends to lead to increased success at the same time. This is especially true when you leverage social proof marketing.

In fact, social media ads are possibly some of the most refined there has ever been, reaching customers in niches never previously thought of. And with each platform offering different ways to connect with consumers, social media advertising is well worth taking advantage of.

Know the right networks to target

When social media is mentioned, most people think of Facebook. However, Facebook is not the only platform you can promote your online business on; there are other networks with high volumes of users you should consider too.

Knowing the platform where your audience spends most of their time will help you come up with a marketing strategy that suits the network. It will also help you to directly engage with your main social media audience, and improve the relationship between your brand and your customers.

Here are the main networks and their suitable audience:

Facebook

As one of the largest platforms in terms of customer base, Facebook is great for brand recognition, especially with younger generations. It is a platform that allows your ads to be seen by the most substantial numbers, whilst it also allows you to interact with customers with ease through messenger and your page.

Online businesses can benefit from Facebook by focusing on strategies that help them improve their brand exposure. In addition, you can also boost sales by using retargeting ads and advertise to those who have previously shown interest in your brand or your products.

Instagram

Instagram is ideal for brands who priotorize visual advertising, due to its focus on images, videos and other visual content. It is also the perfect platform for bridging the gap between consumer and brand, due to the interactivity of the site. You can communicate with customers through various mediums on Instagram, including stories, your page, and influencers.

Through influencers, Instagram allows you to make extensive use of celebrity endorsement. Influencers can give your products the extra boost they need during an ad campaign, to really push sales through the roof. You just have to make sure you choose an influencer that is truly representative of your brand and product, otherwise their use could end up having a detrimental effect on your brand, and campaign.

Twitter

Twitter is great for growing your brand name thanks to the popularity of hashtag usage. You can use it to run competitions such as giveaways, or simply to draw attention to your campaigns.

In addition to hashtag campaigns, you can also run standard feed advertising campaigns. These campaigns can be used alongside the hashtag campaigns to maximise their effectiveness.

Pinterest

This is a great platform for brands that sell beauty products. This is because research has shown the majority of Pinterest’s frequent users are women. Similar to Instagram, Pinterest allows brands to focus on the visual side of advertising so a detailed use of images is vital for success.

As you can see, different platforms attract a type of audience, thus requiring a different approach with your marketing strategy. Prior to deciding where to market your products, it is important that you learn where your audience is most active when online. Once you have this information, you can come up with a marketing strategy that will boost your online presence, sales, and brand recognition.

Use the right ads

There are a wide range of advertisement possibilities when it comes to social media marketing. And with each platform offering different capabilities, it is important to find the right way to reach your audience.

A good example of the variety of options on offer, is Facebook. Facebook offers extensive detail in their targeted ads, which is for finding new prospects who fit your demographics.

However, Facebook doesn’t offer this in one form. You can choose to use an ad in a video, within the users feed, or even use sponsored posts.

Instagram, which is now run by Facebook, also offers a wide range of options. Stories are a fantastic way to draw your audience closer to your brand, and allow you to use engagement techniques through video, polls, and more. If you want to show your audience what goes on behind the scenes, and the products you offer, stories are ideal.

On the other hand, Instagram also offers standard feed posts similar to that of Facebook, or sponsored content within posts, such as an influencer wearing a jacket from a brand that is then tagged.

One of the most effective advertising tactics to use across platforms is retargeting advertising.

Retargeted advertising is essential reaching back out to customers who come to your website but do not finish performing an action. For instance, a customer might have added a product to their cart, but failed to finalise that purchase.

Retargeted ads encourage your prospect to get return to a store, or website and complete their purchases. Big draws for customers tend to be limited promotional offers, or discounts.

Remember to check out how your retargeted ads are performing on each platform and make adjustments appropriately.

To create a successful social media campaign, you need to think carefully about the ads that are more likely to appeal to your prospects. Each brand will have a different audience, therefore there is no perfect strategy that covers every brand.

Use relevant hashtags

It’s with the help of hashtags that most platforms classify a wide range of posts into different sections. Using relevant hashtags will improve your website’s organic traffic as more of your target audience will come into contact with your posts.

With hashtags, the important thing to do is to spot what’s trending in your niche, and integrate those hashtags into your posts.

While this is a great way of expanding your brands reach, do not overdo it. You may incorporate a few hashtags in your posts, and they will have a largely positive effect. However, if you overdo it, you risk being labelled as spam. This will have a detrimental effect in both long term and short term.

Hashtags can also be implemented within your advertising campaigns. They can help to give your posts a clear narrative for your customers to follow. In addition, they can also draw one person into the entire campaign, even if they only come across one hashtag, and choose to click it.

All in all, hashtags can be a great way to depict your brand through social media. They can help to highlight your brand values, whilst taking up very little budget. They can also help your campaigns to increase in longevity and impact.

Use giveaways

Who doesn’t like free things? Giveaways and competitions are a fantastic way to draw in the crowds to your website. Contests can get people interested in your brand with just one short campaign, and also give you an opportunity to get people signed on to your newsletter.

By encouraging people to sign on to a newsletter, or to enter their details when joining a campaign, you can collect all important customer information. This could allow you to retarget them with offers in the future, or simply to remind them to join further initiatives that could create further interest.

Pro tip: Remember to make sure that any individual who stands to win must like or follow your page. This will expose them to the brands posts in the future.

Work with influencers

In most cases, influencers are people who have a sizable following on social media. You can use these influential people to promote your product to their audience online.

When deciding on which influencers to reach out to, it is important that you consider whether or not their following fit your target audience demographics.

For instance, if you are in the men’s clothing brand, ideally you will want to look for male influencers who discuss fashion, or similar products. Whilst you wouldn’t want to target a female gaming influencer, as her following would likely be the opposite of what you need.

It is also worth considering whether you want to work with micro-influencers, who generally do not have a mass following, or someone with a much larger group of followers.

It is worth noting that influencers with larger followings tend to have less specific demographics. You may be exposed to more engagements and clicks, but it is less likely that they will be relevant. Conversely, micro-influencers tend to have a more specific audience who share similar interests, which means they may have a better ROI.

Encourage your customers to leave reviews on social media

Social media is rapidly turning into a platform where people go to search for reviews of products and brands, prior to making a decision on a purchase.

A recent study showed that 91% of respondents were influenced to buy something by positive online reviews. This shows the importance of encouraging happy customers to post their reviews regarding your store on your social media profiles. It also highlights how a positive review could be the difference between someone buying, and someone not buying a product from you.

However, this is not an overnight task. You have to actively encourage customers to share their experience after buying from you.

Many customers will choose not to leave reviews, even with your encouragement. Therefore, it could also be worthwhile to offer something in return for a review, such as a discount on a future purchase, or early access to new products. Incentives can not only get you the review you were seeking out, they may also encourage a customer to use your brand again, especially if their review is actually positive.

You can also make reviewing easier for customers by embedding a share button on your thank you page or even a note with the delivery of their purchase. By making it easier to review the product, customer reviews will become more frequent, and brand engagement may even increase.

Final thoughts on Social Media and Ecommerce

If you are looking to improve your social media advertising, following these six tactics will help you on your way to success. By building brand recognition, trust and general awareness you will be able to bridge the gap between your brand and the customer. This will encourage purchases in both the short term, and the long term, whilst also helping you to better understand those who show interest in your brand.

Once your social media efforts are paying off, it’s time to measure your results and see how you can improve your online presence and sales even more. Jamie’s article does a great job in explaining how you can get started with tracking and measuring your social media ROI. Check it out!

Jacques van der Wilt

 

By: Jacques van der Wilt

Jacques van der Wilt is the founder and CEO of DataFeedWatch, a leading global feed management and optimization solution that helps online merchants optimize their product listings for 1,000+ ecommerce channels in more than 50 countries.

Source: 6 Proven Ways Social Media and Ecommerce can Boost Sales | Bulkly

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Paid Media Marketing In 2021: 8 Changes Marketers Should Make

Paid media has one job: to lift your brand. And as digital marketing evolves, so too will your strategy. So how should you change your paid media strategy in 2021? Here are eight changes you can incorporate without a second thought.

1. Getting Passing Ads to Convert

Passing ads are a growing sector of the paid media world. This is evidenced by the recent evolution of Instagram Reels as well as the widespread popularity of sources like TikTok, Instagram stories, and Facebook stories.

Basically, if it passes through the user’s streaming or browsing session, you can consider it a passing ad (or passive ). Up to you! So how do you get these types of ads to pay off, both in the short and long term? These types of advertisements have their own playing field.

They must be quick, relevant, and (ultimately) conversion-oriented. A few specific types of ads work best here:

  • Organic-seeming ads are best. You want your audience to presume you’re someone they follow, even if they don’t. You want them to think this is a regular product or service offering update, even if it’s not.
  • Include post links or swipe-up links whenever possible. The easier you make it for folks to find you, the better.
  • The first second matters most. Include audio when relevant and make your offering known right away. Your personality should be obvious at first glance.
  • Cross-promote. If you share a product video on Instagram Reels, upload it to your story and your feed. If you have a TikTok, share the video there, too.
  • Use them to build a remarketing audience of “viewers” and “engagers” and “clicks.”

2. Making Core Influencers Part of Your Business Model

As a business, you don’t have to do it alone. Micro and macro influencers are an awesome resource at your beck and call, just as long as your audiences align. Even pages with a few thousand followers can make a big difference for smaller brands looking for a leg up.

Go on a hunt to find the top influencers in your space. Then, figure out the cost-per-acquisition for tracking each of them down (because you have to court influencers, especially the bigger ones).

From there, you can create a win-win partnership that gets you leads while the influencer earns income. Pro Tip: You can use influencer marketing tools to help you in your journey of integrating core influencers into your business model. Some of the most popular include AspireIQ, BuzzSumo, BrandSnob, and NeoReach.

Whichever you choose, make sure the influencers you find are big enough to provide real value to your brand — and that you’re paying a CPA that makes sense for your budget.Advertisement

3. Better Audience Management on Each Platform

2021 is the year to get your audience management down, both from a holistic perspective and within each encapsulated platform. That means zeroing in on every site in which you publish paid media advertisements and determining audience management. The first step in this process?

Building audiences.

From there, you must set up a strategy to target folks within every stage of the funnel – from upper to lower – and on each network. Perhaps the most crucial part of this process is refreshing your audiences as the year goes on. You should definitely plan on retargeting and testing new audiences throughout this time.

If you fail to incorporate this part, you run the risk of targeting the wrong sector of people, ultimately throwing money down the proverbial drain. However, if you retarget and refresh your approach, you’re bound to find a dynamic audience that correlates with your vision. In the end, audience management alone can be worth its weight in gold.

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Hand your unique tasks over to expert freelancers with every kind of skill who can put the finishing touch you need on any kind of project.Join FiverADVERTISEMENT

4. Way More Funnels

One word:

Funnels.

You want to double-down on creating funnels and landing pages. But you don’t just want to throw these advertisements out into the internet abyss.

Build these funnels and landing pages:

  • By ad.
  • By network.
  • By stage in the customer journey.

By using these three correlations, you can figure out the route users are taking to get to the purchase point, and you can determine the root of your audience’s behavior. Journeys might differ between YouTube and Facebook, and that’s because these platforms are not built to act the same. Similarly, customers may respond differently by ad type (think carousel ad vs. video ad).

Where they are in the customer journey makes a huge difference as well. Consumers in the awareness stage will not respond to a coupon in the same way that someone just shy of the purchase stage will.Advertisement .In short, keeping nuances in mind as you develop a collection of funnels and landing pages will make all the difference.

5. More Forecasting by Source & Time With Budget Allocation

Staying on track with your paid media strategy means accurately allocating your budget across the board. It may sound tedious, but once you get into the swing of things, this process will be a natural part of your digital marketing.

First things first: Know the cost of all items in your program. This could be the cost-per-clicks, subscriptions, influencer payments (as mentioned above), or a whole slew of other monetary payments. Basically, you want to know what you’re paying, and where.

Next up: Forecast by quarter, not just year. This allows for easier budget shifts within a year. When you’re ready to change up your paid media tactics, you’ll be better set up to do so. Getting the budgetary green light from executives will run much more smoothly with a quarterly forecast in hand.

6. Getting Into Bed More With Microsoft

Microsoft, you’ve outdone yourself. The new Microsoft Advertising options are here, and the platform itself is really taking off. As a marketing professional, your brand will surely benefit from digging into it more by 2021. Specifically, Microsoft Advertising is now offering three new targeting options:

  • Enhanced LinkedIn targeting: Since Microsoft acquired Linkedin in 2016, they’ve developed targeting for LinkedIn profiles. Now, marketers can target LinkedIn audiences by job function, company, and industry. There’s also the option to use campaign bid modifiers by industry or job.
Enhanced LinkedIn targeting
  • In-market audiences: Microsoft Advertising has expanded in-market audiences to France and Germany, which could be beneficial for some companies. But aside from that, in-market audiences themselves are super effective.
  • Dynamic remarketing for Microsoft Shopping: Microsoft Shopping now gets dynamic remarketing. This means that ecommerce marketers can now target customers who’ve already interacted with them in some way (i.e., targeting consumers who abandoned their shopping carts).
dynamic remarketing

7. Getting an Acceptable CPA on YouTube & DSP Networks

Your cost-per-action (CPA) on YouTube and demand-side platform (DSP) networks needs to be at an acceptable rate. Using CPA ad networks is smart for businesses with a well-developed market. You don’t have to count on clicks just to bring in money, and you can advertise based on a particular action.

It’s also important to mention that you need to make these more secondary. They should come after the lower funnel networks and audiences are maximized. If you need help capping your CPA, consider making use of Google’s Target CPA bidding tool. It’s robust on machine learning and helps keep you at or below your target CPA.

Set bid limits, make device bid adjustments, and calculate your average target CPA, among other nuances. And if you didn’t know Amazon even has its own DSP now.

8. Using Machine Learning to Your Advantage

Machine learning is only getting stronger. For marketing leaders, 2021 really is the time to hop on the machine learning bandwagon. It just so happens that machine learning and paid media go together like peanut butter and jam.

Instead of using PPC managers who have to be compensated for doing it all, you can use machine learning. In fact, it can strengthen your ROI for paid media campaigns of all kinds (whatever the channel you prefer). Just make sure you don’t sacrifice your brand’s personality for a little efficiency.

One way you can do this is with Google’s responsive search ads. With a combination of creativity and machine learning, your ads have the potential to go far. You can also utilize Google’s Target CPA bidding, a tool we mentioned that just so happens to use artificial intelligence to get the job done.

By: John Lincoln

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Rohan Sheth

Learn How to Become a Paid Media Expert in 2020 with Rohan Sheth. Paid advertising on YouTube, Facebook, Google and other platforms is growing intensively. At my marketing agency we manage a dozen of paid media buyers and I’ve learned what it takes to become a successful paid media expert or media buyer in 2020. I break it down for you in this video. 👉 Download the Digital Expert Book: https://digitalexpert.com/welcome 👉 The Complete Course to Start Generating Business Online: https://digitalexpert.com/digital-exp…#PaidAdvertising#PaidMedia#RohanSheth 👇 Enjoyed the content? Subscribe to my channel 👇 ↪︎ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdtL… 🔥 CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO: How I Moved From a 600 sq. ft. Apartment to a $3.5M Mansion in Under 3 Years ↪︎ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEeR7… YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: 🤳 Day In The Life Of Rohan ↪︎ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xj1Hm… 📚 Learn Digital Marketing & Business ↪︎ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38D8Y… FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM: ↪︎ https://www.instagram.com/rohan_sheth/

Key Elements of Effective Social Media Videos

Video is all the rage today. It’s due to its effectiveness in driving reach and engagement. In fact, most social media platforms have started to give video content more visibility in feeds.

The introduction of Reels and IGTV on Instagram and Facebook Watch is a testament to the fact that the appeal for videos has only increased over the years.

About 85% of internet users in the US watched online videos in 2018, and a majority of internet users say that the trend of watching more online videos will continue, even after the COVID-19 outbreak ends.

With so much video content being uploaded by the minute — over 500 hours on YouTube in 2019 — it’s going to be difficult to stand out from the crowd.

To do so, you need to create stellar videos. How can you do so? You need to understand the key elements of a social media video. What are these key elements, you ask? Let’s take a look at them.

Main Elements of a Social Media Video

Here are the main elements of a social media video that can help improve engagement.

1. The Social Platform

When you’re creating any video for social media, it’s important to know which platform you’re creating it for. Why?Because each social platform has different audiences, and what may appeal to users on one platform might not on another.

TikTok and Instagram are platforms where you’d typically have millennials or Gen Z. On the other hand, on Facebook and Twitter, you can find a wider user base. So, it’s crucial to tailor your videos for each of these platforms.

Similarly, what may work on all of these platforms may not work on LinkedIn at all as it’s a professional social networking platform. And that’s not all. Each platform also has a different set of video formats that work the best on them.

Facebook vs. Instagram video formats

For instance, if you’re uploading a video to Facebook, you’d likely upload a landscape version of the video for Facebook Watch. On the other hand, if you’re creating one for Instagram, options like Reels, Stories, and IGTV prefer portrait modes.

Resizing your videos can be challenging. However, by using tools like Boosted, you can simplify this task as the tool will automatically size all the videos you create based on the dimensions that work best on the social platform of your choice.

Pro Tip: It’s equally important that you upload your videos directly to the platform instead of sharing them from one platform to another.

2. Video Length

The length of the video is an important parameter that you need to be mindful of. While scrolling through feeds, users may not devote a lot of time to your video unless it catches their attention.

That’s why you need to ensure that the most impactful parts of your video are right at the beginning. The idea is to hook the user to your video so that they watch the rest of it.

But wait, there’s more.

The platforms that you upload your videos to impact the video length as well. For instance, if you’re uploading a video to Instagram, you’ll be faced with multiple options.

How long should Instagram videos be?

If you’re posting a video on Instagram Stories, the maximum length per Story is 15 seconds. On the other hand, if you’re uploading it to Reels, the video needs to be 30 seconds long. However, IGTV videos can be as long as 60 minutes.

So, while developing your video, make sure that you know where you’re going to post it so that you can drive social engagement through it.

3. Video Graphics

The graphics that you use in your videos are equally important.These visuals can help you captivate the attention of your audience. That’s why you need to do everything that you can to ensure that they appear exactly like you want them to.

With nearly 70% of YouTube watch time coming from mobile devices, it’s clear that you need to design your videos for mobile devices.But how?For starters, you should try to use simple video graphics that can be easily viewed on mobile devices. Also, you need to ensure that the various elements within your video are spaced well enough for the viewers to be able to distinguish them.

The same applies to video thumbnails. When you create them using a tool like Canva, make sure that you check how they will look on smaller screens. In addition, mobile devices may not always be connected to WiFi. Many users may be using data to browse the internet and watch videos.

However, while people are on the move, data speeds might fluctuate. As a result, they may not be able to stream videos at the speeds that they would typically get over WiFi.

If your video file size is large, it’s likely that the video may not load well. When this happens, your viewers may move on to the next post. After all, no one likes to wait a long time for videos to load.

How can you avoid this?

You can create videos that have smaller sizes. This will make it easier for the viewers to stream them.

To ensure that all of these things are taken into consideration while creating videos, ensure that your content marketing strategy outlines the steps needed to be taken for mobile devices.

4. Video Sound

As mentioned above, most people watch videos on mobile devices. And when they do, it’s highly likely that they will be on the move or in public places too. In such a situation, not everyone uses earphones to watch the videos.

As a result, people tend to watch videos without sound. In fact, a survey found that 69% of consumers in the US watch videos on mobile devices without sound in public places. But here’s the thing — 25% of them even watch them without sound when they’re in private places.

So, if you want your video to appeal to this huge chunk of your audience, you need to ensure that it gives the same effect without audio. While you’re designing the video, try adding subtitles or text to get the message across without any sound.

Pro Tip: Before you upload the video, go through it without the audio. Try to see if it’s still equally engaging. If so, you can go ahead and upload it.

Final Thoughts

Creating social media videos can help increase your reach and drive engagement. However, to craft videos that can do so effectively, it’s critical to understand the key elements of these videos and use them to your advantage.

You need to design your videos based on the platform and also change the dimensions accordingly. Also, it’s equally important to decide on the video’s length as it’s dictated by the format in which you’re going to upload it.What’s more?

The video graphics need to be designed for mobile devices, as most videos are watched using mobile devices.Finally, a huge number of people watch videos without sound. So, you must ensure that the videos appear equally engaging without it too.

By: Shane Barker

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The First TikToker To Reach 100 Million Followers Is Just 16 Years Old

Charli d’Amelio at age 16 became the person with the most followers on TikTok by reaching the record of 100 million fans on the short video social network. Her videos, which started out as dances, have been expanded to make her a major Generation Z influencer and billing millions with her relationships with various brands.

The Connecticut-born dancer began uploading videos to TikTok in 2019 and thanks to the popularity of her videos, she has launched makeup lines and even has a drink at Dunkin Donuts called “The Charli.”

However, recently Charli d’Amelio faced controversy because a video on her YouTube account shows her with her entire family with another great influencer James Charles having dinner from a guest chef. Charli made fun of some of the dishes and social networks condemned this attitude and caused him to lose a million followers.

After waking up to the news, Charli filmed an Instagram Live, saying: ‘I don’t even know how to react, mostly because this doesn’t feel real. How do people even react to this? I just genuinely don’t know what to do.’

‘I’m in my bathroom by myself watching edits on Twitter because they’re making me cry. I just genuinely do not know what to do. I’m so confused,’ she continued. ‘Life doesn’t feel real. It’s just so weird to think a little over a year ago, I was in Connecticut doing regular school, doing nothing, and now I’m living in LA.’ 

Charli later announced that in honor of her milestone, TikTok will be donating $100,000 to the American Dance Movement, an organization that works to improve and increase access to dance education in the U.S.  ‘I’ve been dancing my entire life, and I’m so thankful to be able to give back [to] the community that made me the person that I am,’ she said of the donation. 

The influencer went on to celebrate the news on Twitter, where she invited her fans to join her on Zoom calls to thank them. ‘IS THIS REAL LIFE RIGHT NOW,’ she tweeted. ‘100 MILLION PEOPLE SUPPORTING ME!! I TRULY CANNOT BELIEVE THAT THIS IS REAL.’ 

Of course, Charli also marked the milestone by posting a number of TikTok videos on Sunday, once again thanking her followers for their support.  ‘Thank you guys so so so much, I cannot believe that there is 100 million supporters following me right now,’ she said in one clip. ‘That is insane, oh my goodness.’

‘I feel like this is a dream, kind of waiting to wake up,’ she admitted. Charli, who is a competitive dancer from Norwalk, Connecticut, posted her first TikTok in June 2019. She had a number of videos go viral thanks to her dances featuring choreography, montages, and lip-syncs.   

Within a year and a half, she has reached her history-making goal of 100 million TikTok followers, an incredible fete on any platform. Kylie Jenner, Justin Bieber, Beyonce, and Kim Kardashian are a few of the A-list stars who have over 100 million followers on Instagram. 

Charli, who is one of TikTok’s highest-earning stars, made $4 million from June 2019 to June 2020, according to Forbes. While she was on track to reach 100 million followers, she was likely surprised it happened after such a disastrous week.  

Just last Thursday, the TikTok star broke down on an Instagram Live over the backlash she was facing over her family’s video featuring their personal chef.’Seeing how people reacted to this, like, I don’t even know if I want to do this anymore,’ she sobbed. ‘Like this is messed up stuff that people are saying. Like people telling me to hang myself.’ 

‘People just blatantly disrespecting the fact that I’m still a human being is not OK at all,’ she continued ‘Like you can hate on me for whatever I’ve done, but the fact that all of this is happening because [of] a misunderstanding. ‘Like I just feel like that’s not OK, and if this is the community that I’m in and the community that I put myself in, I don’t know if I want to do that anymore.’

A tearful Charli then urged her followers to be kind to others on social media. ‘I know that this is gonna be a huge joke to whoever sees it, but like, at the end of the day, just, like, be nice,’ she said……

Read more at : DailyMail

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Is Your Social Media Content Attracting Leads? 4 Ways to Bolster Your Strategy

Digital marketers often identify social media as one of the best forms of content marketing, but it can often feel like we’re just going through the motions. If the social media content isn’t attracting leads, what good is it? It’s likely you just need a quick boost in strategy to make sure your content is appealing to your target audience and getting inbound requests and messages. 

In fact, 90 percent of social media users have used the platform to communicate directly with a business before. So if none of your customers or followers are reaching out to you, it’s a telltale sign that something should be changed. Ideally, you’ll post a picture or video with a robust caption that offers value and the floodgates will open: direct messages, likes, comments and queries should start coming (or even just trickling at first) in, proving that your content struck a chord and inspired action. Not there yet? Here are four ways to bolster your strategy to attract those leads.

Related: Content Marketing Secrets for Every Social Media Platform

1. Focus your content on interesting stories 

How much does your content dive into stories? They don’t have to be your personal stories. Stories of past clients, stories of other inspiring entrepreneurs or even folklore stories can be used to establish your point. Stories of other people who just went for it and found massive success are powerful too. It helps readers or viewers imagine themselves in the shoes of the story’s protagonist. These stories can be shared in captions or in the post itself through videos. 

Lenney Leong is the founder of Get Customers. He’s had success creating video content around stories, with over 7.2 million views and counting. He advised me to make sure you engage from the start. A long, roundabout story will do little to draw viewers in. “Set the stage for the story from the first sentence, or by the title of the video,” Leong noted. “Be straightforward so people know they should stay engaged throughout the storytelling and know what to expect.” Leong has garnered many inbound conversations as a result of this storytelling. And it’s worth noting that videos perform best on Instagram, seeing 49 percent higher interactions.

2. Do a poll asking what type of content people want most 

Instagram has many interactive features in its Story functionality. Use them! If you feel like you’re unsure what your followers really care about, utilize the poll to see for sure. It’s possible you’ve been creating content for something they’re peripherally interested in, but they are really curious about how you created your product’s landing page or how you scaled your company one year in. Instagram influencers and bloggers swear by the functionality, especially because it can have surprising results. You may think your followers want one type of content when really they want another. 

Be open to what you haven’t yet considered. In addition to the polls (where followers can choose one of two options), also use the “Question and Answer” functionality so people can submit, in their own words, what they most want you to talk about.  

Related: 3 Keys to a Highly-Effective Content Marketing Strategy

3. Host a Q & A on Facebook or Instagram Live 

While using the story functionalities is a great way to glean some initial insights, it also depends on what your viewers are doing when they flip through your story and if they currently have the time, interest, or energy to engage. “Another great way to bolster your content strategy is to host a Q&A on Facebook or Instagram live,” says Sarah Lefebvre, CEO of Localiz. “Followers may be more likely to submit questions if you’re going to answer in real-time, and you can tell by the questions or engagement that you’re getting as you navigate different topics what is resonating the most.”

Even better — since only a fraction of your audience will tune in for the live, you can use the answers you gave and strategies you talked about in future posts. Save the video, take notes, and convert into posts of their own. Now that you know for sure it’s something people are interested in! 

Related: How Your Business Can Capitalize on Facebook Live

4. Make sure you have a call to action in every post

Finally, it sounds so simple but is often overlooked. Make sure there’s a call to action in every single post! It doesn’t have to be the same every time, but use something like, “Message me if you’re interested,” or “Follow me for more content like this.” Even asking viewers to comment with a watermelon emoji if they are also looking forward to summer drives engagement and lets you know who is paying attention to your posts. 

Without a call to action, people simply don’t know how to engage. Be clear, state what you’re looking for, and give plenty of direction to viewers and followers — all of which leads to a direct message conversation or whichever KPI matters most to your business.

By: Jennifer Spencer / Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

8 Social Media Engagement Hacks // Social Media Engagement Ideas // Social Media Engagement Strategy. Wondering how to boost your engagement on social media without ads? Struggling with low engagement on social media and low reach after the new Facebook algorithm? Looking for social media hacks and social media engagement hacks to boost your business? Want MORE people to see your social media posts?

In this video, I’ll show you 8 Social Media Engagement Hacks to help you boost your social media engagement, get more people to see your social media posts, and get more organic engagement on social media for your business. Here’s What You’ll Learn In This Video: How to use Social Media Engagement Hacks to boost your visibility How to Get More Comments On Your Social Media Posts How to Get More Likes on your social media posts How to use Facebook Group How to Get more followers on social media Other Videos You Might Like: How to Create Custom Audiences in Pinterest Promoted Pins https://youtu.be/-lOPemBgQco =====Want more Marketing insights and strategies? Connect with us for more free content, resources, and training==== http://MarketingSolved.com http://facebook.com/mrktgsolved http://facebook.com/groups/marketings… http://pinterest.com/katherinesulli http://twitter.com/mrktgsolved http://twitter.com/mrskatsulli http://instagram.com/marketingsolved

TikTok Reportedly Considering Instagram Billionaire Kevin Systrom For Vacant CEO Role

As TikTok and Oracle ORCL -0.7% work out an acquisition deal, the social media company is also thinking about who will be its next CEO after its last chief, Kevin Mayer, departed after only a few months.

One of the people in the running for the job is Instagram billionaire Kevin Systrom, who left Facebook in 2018, according to a New York Times NYT -1% story. The discussions between Systrom and Tiktok are only in the early stages, the Times reports. TikTok could not be reached to comment for this story. A spokesperson for Systrom declined to comment.

TikTok’s divestiture from its Chinese-owned parent company ByteDance very much remains a work in progress. Bloomberg reported this afternoon that the U.S. Treasury department has tentatively approved a deal that would leave TikTok’s U.S. operations largely in the hands of American stakeholders, including Oracle. ByteDance still needs to get approval from President Trump by Sunday, the day when a Trump-issued executive order goes into effect that would effectively ban TikTok in the U.S.

Mayer was seen as a strong choice when his hiring was announced in May. He had spent years at Disney DIS -1.2% overseeing its M&A deals and working on the launch of its streaming service, Disney+. But Mayer unexpectedly departed last month, saying he had not expected to be caught up in tensions between the U.S. government and China. Vanessa Pappas, TikTok’s general manager, has been serving as TikTok’s interim chief.

In Systrom, TikTok would get someone who has already created one social media giant—and someone immensely familiar with one of TikTok’s main rivals: Mark Zuckerberg. Systrom sold Instagram to Zuckerberg and Facebook in 2012 for almost $1 billion and then built it up to over a half-billion users before leaving.

Zuckerberg and Facebook clearly see TikTok as a threat already. Instagram has rolled out a number of new features that copy TikTok, including a short-form-video editing tool and changed its main feed to make it more like TikTok. In Washington, Zuckerberg reportedly stressed to politicians that TikTok was a threat to American users; Trump and other Republicans have expressed worry that TikTok may mishandle user data to satisfy the Chinese government.

Add Systrom to the mix, and the battle between TikTok and Facebook becomes one of the most intriguing rivalries in the corporate world.Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

Abram Brown

 Abram Brown

Abram Brown is a senior editor at Forbes, where he covers social media and internet culture. In the past, he directed Forbes.com’s features coverage and edited across Forbes magazine. As a writer, he has reported from three continents—from the mines of Nigeria to the mansions of Greenwich. He has worked on over a dozen Forbes lists; profiled the 63rd, 153rd, and 478th richest person in the world; and once spent a delightful evening discussing murder mysteries over 25-year-old scotch with (top-earning author) James Patterson. Both men drink Macallan, and both believe the butler really did do it. 

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Oracle Reportedly Wins Race To Acquire TikTok’s U.S. Operations

The Journal did not have details about the deal, including its price.

Microsoft on Sunday evening said it was out of the running for TikTok and that its bid had been rejected by ByteDance.

Oracle emerged as frontrunner in the race to acquire TikTok last month. The software giant’s bid was being backed by venture capital firms General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital, both of whom are major investors in TikTok’s Beijing-based parent ByteDance.

One of Sequoia’s partners, Doug Leone—a major Trump donor—and Bill Ford, CEO of General Atlantic, had reportedly been working with the White House to help secure the deal for Oracle’s consortium.

Oracle’s bid beats out a competing joint offer by Microsoft and retail giant Walmart, which had publicly entered the fray on Thursday, telling CNBC that it would use TikTok to grow its e-commerce and advertising business.

Last month, Trump had endorsed Oracle’s bid calling it “a great company” while expressing support for the company’s billionaire co-founder Larry Ellison, who is also a donor to the President’s reelection campaign.

Key Background

Last month, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer announced his exit from the company, just months after taking charge. According to a Financial Times report, Mayer had not anticipated the extent to which TikTok would become involved in tensions between China and the U.S. when he took over in June. A TikTok spokesperson had told CNN Business that they respected his decision since the “political dynamics of the last few months” had significantly changed the scope of Mayer’s role. 

Last week, TikTok had filed a legal challenge against the president’s executive order banning U.S. transactions with the video-sharing platform and its owner ByteDance. It is unclear how TikTok’s lawsuit against the Trump administration will be impacted by the sale. TikTok is also facing a class-action suit in Illinois filed by the parents of dozens of minors which alleges that the app collects facial recognition data, location data and data on close contacts from minors, and discreetly sends it to servers in China.

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Siladitya Ray

Siladitya Ray

I am a Breaking News Reporter at Forbes, with a focus on covering important tech policy and business news. Graduated from Columbia University with an MA in Business and Economics Journalism in 2019. Worked as a journalist in New Delhi, India from 2014 to 2018. Have a news tip? DMs are open on Twitter @SiladityaRay or drop me an email at siladitya@protonmail.com.

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New China Export Rule Could Jeopardize TikTok U.S. Sale

The Chinese government has added artificial intelligence technologies including ‘personalized content recommendation’ tools to its export control list, a move that could potentially jeopardize the pending sale of TikTok’s U.S. operations, Nikkei Asian Review reported first.

China’s Ministry of Commerce, on Friday, released an updated export control list that included “personalized content recommendations based on data analysis” and a number of other technologies, restricting exports both for military and civilian purposes.

While Beijing’s order does not explicitly mention TikTok, one of the app’s key features— recommending personalized videos— is based on an algorithm that might fall under the restricted category.

It is unclear when the new restrictions will go into effect but TikTok’s Beijing-based parent ByteDance is reportedly trying to finalize its sale in the U.S. as early as this weekend.

While President Donald Trump has repeatedly insisted that according to his August 6 order ByteDance has till September 15th to sell TikTok, a second executive order issued by Trump on August 14 gives TikTok and ByteDance 90 days from the signing of the order to divest its U.S. operations, pushing the deadline beyond the U.S. presidential elections.

TikTok presently shares technical resources including its user interface and some software code with Douyin, an identical Chinese variant of the app that is walled off from the rest of the world, and the new Chinese order may add additional complications to their separation.

China’s actions follow several trade-related sanctions issued by the Trump administration against Chinese tech firms including Huawei, which severely limits their access to chips made using U.S. technology.

Key Background

Oracle is competing with a joint bid from Microsoft and Walmart to acquire TikTok’s U.S. operations after the White House threatened to ban the app for allegedly sharing sensitive user data with Chinese authorities. Earlier this week, TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer announced his exit from the company, just months after taking charge. According to a report by the Financial Times, Mayer had not anticipated the extent to which TikTok would become involved in tensions between China and the U.S. when he took over in June.

A TikTok spokesperson told CNN Business that they respected his decision since the “political dynamics of the last few months” had significantly changed the scope of Mayer’s role. On Monday, TikTok had filed a legal challenge against the president’s executive order banning U.S. transactions with the video-sharing platform and its owner ByteDance.

While the official communication from the Chinese government on Trump’s threat to ban TikTok has been limited, China’s state-controlled media has been vocal about its displeasure on the issue. Earlier this month, a strongly-worded editorial on China Daily noted “China will by no means accept the ‘theft’ of a Chinese technology company, and it has plenty of ways to respond if the administration carries out its planned smash and grab.”

Siladitya Ray

 Siladitya Ray

I am a Breaking News Reporter at Forbes, with a focus on covering important tech policy and business news. Graduated from Columbia University with an MA in Business and Economics Journalism in 2019. Worked as a journalist in New Delhi, India from 2014 to 2018. Have a news tip? DMs are open on Twitter @SiladityaRay or drop me an email at siladitya@protonmail.com.

Fake Accounts Are Constantly Manipulating What You See on Social Media Here’s How

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Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram started out as a way to connect with friends, family and people of interest. But anyone on social media these days knows it’s increasingly a divisive landscape.

Undoubtedly you’ve heard reports that hackers and even foreign governments are using social media to manipulate and attack you. You may wonder how that is possible. As a professor of computer science who researches social media and security, I can explain – and offer some ideas for what you can do about it.

Bots and sock puppets

Social media platforms don’t simply feed you the posts from the accounts you follow. They use algorithms to curate what you see based in part on “likes” or “votes.”

A post is shown to some users, and the more those people react – positively or negatively – the more it will be highlighted to others. Sadly, lies and extreme content often garner more reactions and so spread quickly and widely.

But who is doing this “voting”? Often it’s an army of accounts, called bots, that do not correspond to real people. In fact, they’re controlled by hackers, often on the other side of the world. For example, researchers have reported that more than half of the Twitter accounts discussing COVID-19 are bots.

Fake accounts like this are called “sock puppets” – suggesting a hidden hand speaking through another identity. In many cases, this deception can easily be revealed with a look at the account history. But in some cases, there is a big investment in making sock puppet accounts seem real.

For example, Jenna Abrams, an account with 70,000 followers, was quoted by mainstream media outlets like The New York Times for her xenophobic and far-right opinions, but was actually an invention controlled by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian government-funded troll farm and not a living, breathing person.

Sowing chaos

Trolls often don’t care about the issues as much as they care about creating division and distrust. For example, researchers in 2018 concluded that some of the most influential accounts on both sides of divisive issues, like Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter, were controlled by troll farms.

More than just fanning disagreement, trolls want to encourage a belief that truth no longer exists. Divide and conquer. Distrust anyone who might serve as a leader or trusted voice. Cut off the head. Demoralize. Confuse. Each of these is a devastating attack strategy.

Even as a social media researcher, I underestimate the degree to which my opinion is shaped by these attacks. I think I am smart enough to read what I want, discard the rest and step away unscathed.

Still, when I see a post that has millions of likes, part of me thinks it must reflect public opinion. The social media feeds I see are affected by it and, what’s more, I am affected by the opinions of my real friends, who are also influenced.

The entire society is being subtly manipulated to believe they are on opposite sides of many issues when legitimate common ground exists.

I have focused primarily on US-based examples, but the same types of attacks are playing out around the world. By turning the voices of democracies against each other, authoritarian regimes may begin to look preferable to chaos.

Platforms have been slow to act. Sadly, misinformation and disinformation drives usage and is good for business.

Failure to act has often been justified with concerns about freedom of speech. Does freedom of speech include the right to create 100,000 fake accounts with the express purpose of spreading lies, division and chaos?

Taking control

So what can you do about it? You probably already know to check the sources and dates of what you read and forward, but common-sense media literacy advice is not enough.

First, use social media more deliberately. Choose to catch up with someone in particular, rather than consuming only the default feed.

You might be amazed to see what you’ve been missing. Help your friends and family find your posts by using features like pinning key messages to the top of your feed.

Second, pressure social media platforms to remove accounts with clear signs of automation. Ask for more controls to manage what you see and which posts are amplified. Ask for more transparency in how posts are promoted and who is placing ads. For example, complain directly about the Facebook news feed here or tell legislators about your concerns.

Third, be aware of the trolls’ favorite issues and be skeptical of them. They may be most interested in creating chaos, but they also show clear preferences on some issues.

For example, trolls want to reopen economies quickly without real management to flatten the COVID-19 curve. They also clearly supported one of the 2016 US presidential candidates over the other. It’s worth asking yourself how these positions might be good for Russian trolls, but bad for you and your family.

Perhaps most importantly, use social media sparingly, like any other addictive, toxic substance, and invest in more real-life community building conversations. Listen to real people, real stories and real opinions, and build from there. The Conversation

By: Jeanna Matthews, Full Professor, Computer Science, Clarkson University

Source: https://www.sciencealert.com/

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