Changing the Way You Think of Reaching Consumers in Social Streams

Pop quiz!

Sorry, I know we’re still on summer vacation, but it’s time to start getting your brain moving again.

Question 1.
When you think of Facebook, is this the first thing you think of?


Question 2.
What about Twitter? This?


Question 3.
When you think of Facebook marketing, is this the first thing you think of?


If you answered “Yes!” to any of these questions, you’re thinking about social media all wrong. Here’s why:

By the end of June 2013 over 70 percent of all activity on Facebook and Twitter was on a mobile device. There are in excess of 219 million mobile-only users on Facebook and this segment is growing by 30 million a quarter! Staggering. At this rate, there will be more mobile-only Facebook users than total users of Twitter by the end of 2013. If you are working for a direct-to-consumer brand, your audiences are even more mobile.

This is Facebook and Twitter to your consumers. From this moment forward, mobile-first must become your view as well. Social is mobile.


By the end of 2013, analysts – with Facebook public data to guide them – predict $4 billion will be spent on Facebook advertising, and that now seems low. With this massive shift to mobile, more and more of those dollars are moving from the “right rail” ads we all love (kidding) to news feed ads. In fact, analysts estimate over $2 billion will be spent in the stream. Oh, and the amount of money being spent on Facebook, and on Twitter and LinkedIn – across social streams – is growing at about 80 percent a quarter by some estimates.

That’s a lot to wrap your head around, I know. So, let me say it a different way. By the end of the year, analysts believe that half of brands’ Facebook advertising budgets will be allocated to the news feed, totaling over two billion. That’s billion with a “B.” And, that’s just one social network. Granted, Facebook is the largest social network, but at 80 percent quarterly growth, it’s clear we are just beginning to scratch the surface of ad spending in social streams.

For many marketers, the stream is an increasingly important place to reach consumers, and it takes dollars to do that successfully – like most marketing. For those marketers spending money to reach key audiences, cute kittens have never driven the results you need.

From this moment forward, you must plan to integrate all of your amazing creative and media resources with the potential power of social networks to reach and engage key audiences.


I’m not necessarily a Facebook fanboy – there are many things about the social network that drive me crazy – but as a digital marketer driving value for big consumer brands, I can’t deny these truths. As with all new marketing opportunities, these trends are being driven by consumers first, and if we don’t root ourselves in their realities, we’ll never reach our potential.

Digital marketing success is elusive and often intangible. Strong email, banner or search ad CTRs, and conversions are our way of feeling the success of digital marketing. Social, hopefully, gives us a wholly new way to see and feel success, but it’s all happening in mobile streams. Now that you know, what are you going to do about it?

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