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The areas covered off in the show about Paid Social included, amongst others:
Farhad explained that the reason why using Paid Social to amplify posts is so important is because organic reach on platforms such as Facebook are in the single percentages. [For some good stats on Facebook organic reach, see socialbakers report from earlier this year.] He also added that paying for social reach of content also enables them to track the activity about what people look at, click on and pages they visit and loop it back into a broader marketing plan in terms of reengaging those users later on, highlighting his company’s NatWest T20 Blast Cricket campaignas a successful case study.
However, the impact that paid social is having on the user experience was highlighted by a blog post from Stephen Waddington’s 16 year old daughter, Ellie, called ‘The not-so-secret Internet diary of a Gen Z teenage girl’, where she wrote that one of the reasons she likes Instagram so much is that ‘the apparent lack of advertising allows it to stand out from other social media sites because almost all of the content you come across is personal, as opposed to the hundreds of sponsored posts and spam videos that you have to trawl through on Facebook.’ Unfortunately for Ellie though, Farhad said that Facebook had announced that small to media sizes businesses will be able to advertise on Instagram from September, but he agreed that the commercial imperative for all platforms is one they will have to work out in terms of getting the right balance between what they can commercialise and not ‘pissing off’ their users to the point of how Ellie described her experience. Vikki said she wasn’t surprised to hear Ellie’s views and that it’s a trap that most of the platforms have fallen into at some stage or another.
This led us onto a discussion about paying influencers such as YouTubers [see our show with Hannah Witton]. Vikki talked in depth on this but made the important point that it’s the responsibility of marketers to use the data and tools that are available to track people with real influence, and not just the ones who are the biggest names [in this space] and not be so lazy and use the same people time and time again.
A good film that discusses engaging with YouTuber is ‘The Creators’, which premiered on The Drum in March, and follows Zoella and a few other YouTubers behind the scenes in terms of them creating content and events that they attend.
The final areas that were discussed included how platforms such as Outbrain and Linkedin, help drive traffic to blog content, both for B2B as well as B2C activity, with Farhad highlighting work Threepipe are doing with fashion retailer, Reiss, and Vikki talking through campaigns she works on for Intel.
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