Social Scanner: AdBlock’s open letter to Twitter
October 16, 2013 | Russ Martin | Comments
Twitter gets a stern warning on its ad strategy
BlackBerry isn’t the only brand with an open letter. Earlier this month the German company Adblock published an open letter on its site warning Twitter of making too many changes to its advertising model ahead of its upcoming initial public offering.
The cheeky, friendly letter was surely designed to to capitalize on the current stream of near-constant Twitter publicity (Sinead O’Conner anyone?) but also shone a light on the biggest challenge for any social network: bringing in ad dollars without alienating users.
Of course, the letter came with a caveat. If Twitter doesn’t adhere to Adblock’s suggestion, it will start blocking Twitter’s ads from the 200 million plus consumers who have downloaded its ad blocking software. Adblock has a list of “whitelabel” sites with “acceptable” ads (Reddit is a good example) and another “blacklist” of “unacceptable” ads (one Google reportedly shelled out a lot of cash to stay off of).
It may have been little more than a thinly veiled threat, but the “Acceptable Ads’ standards are a worthy guide for any marketer – social or otherwise.
- Acceptable Ads are not annoying.
- Acceptable Ads do not disrupt or distort page content.
- Acceptable Ads are transparent with us about being an ad.
- Acceptable Ads are effective without shouting at us.
- Acceptable Ads are appropriate to the site or tweet that we are on.
Though vague, the five rules outlined are an excellent manual for crafting ads, especially ones for social networks. As for Twitter, by most readings (including Adblock’s) it currently hits these criteria. Consumers only see one promoted tweet on their timeline at any given time. Same goes for promoted accounts and promoted trends. Other marketing materials appear only if a consumer chooses to follow brands.
But, as Adblock points out, many expect the company’s approach to advertising to change as public filings reveal revenues quarter-by-quarter and Twitter comes under increased pressure from investors to turn a profit.
Meet the man behind the best branded Vines
They call him the Vine whisperer. Jethro Ames, a freelance art director based in San Diego, has made Vine videos for the likes of GE, Burt’s Bees and Comedy Central. With 35,000 of his own followers, Ames has perfected the art of creating stop motion videos that convey an entire story in just six seconds. Using the format, Ames says brands can “create smart content without breaking the bank.”
In a recent interview with Digi Day, also weighed in on the Instagram vs. Vine debate and what each offers brands, saying, “The six-second format pushes the creative limits in a way that 15 seconds doesn’t. The community for video watching is a lot stronger on Vine – they’re supportive and more engaging. And, even though brands kind of waited to see what would happen when Vine launched before jumping on the bandwagon, they’re jumping on now. Instagram video was exciting when it launched, but brands didn’t latch on. Even brands that have established followers don’t use Instagram video all that much.”
The entire purchase cycle increasingly lives on social
In a column for Marketing, KBS+ chief invention officer Cameron Wykes wrote Wednesday that much of the purchase cycle for e-commerce now lives on social media. While in the past social was used mainly to drive consumers to an owned retail site Wykes says using tools like Chirpify marketers are now able to loop through the call-to-action, consumer engagement and full transaction right on sites like Twitter and Facebook.
The Numbers: How rich media ads perform on Facebook
With all the interest in Facebook advertising this year, ShopIgniter decided to take a look at how well Facebook ads performed in 2013.
Facebook activity on a mobile device, by the end of Q2 2013, up 68% from the previous quarter
Share Facebook has in the mobile ad market, surpassing Google’s current 17%
Conversion rate of those who clicked on rich media on Facebook, a rate ShopIgniter puts in line with the “best performing digital channels”
Click-through rate on photos, compared to .06% on links
Average engagement rate on paid photo posts on Facebook, compared to 3% on organic photo posts
Consumers who responded with negative feedback to a paid note post, compared to .06% for a paid photo post
Read the full report here.