Meta is still reeling from the impacts of Apple’s ATT update for iOS, which has seen many users cut it off from data tracking entirely, limiting the insight that it can then share with its ad customers.
Indeed, in Meta’s most recent earnings report, it outlined how Apple’s update, which it has publicly criticized many times, will likely hurt the company’s bottom line to the tune of around $10 billion in 2022.
That’s a massive amount, even for a company of Meta’s scale – and as such, Meta is once again launching a new ad campaign to both win over small business ad dollars, while also taking another dig at Apple’s change.
As you can see in this new ad spot, the latest in its ‘Good Ideas Deserve To Be Found’ series, Meta’s looking to reinforce the value of personalized ads for SMBs, and how they can match businesses with the most interested customers.
As explained by Meta:
“While there are some glimmers of optimism, small businesses are still facing the challenge of a lifetime. Meta’s most recent Global State of Small Business Survey showed that 20% of small businesses around the world were still not operational as of January 2022. Personalized ads have been a lifeline for small businesses through the pandemic, helping them find new customers and grow when it was difficult for people to be in person. In fact, 74% of SMBs using personalized ads reported that these advertisements were important to the success of their business.”
Meta’s hope is that this message will help to stop users from choosing to opt-out of data tracking when using its apps. Though for many, that ship has probably sailed, with the prompts already showing up, and users already flicking the switch, with no follow-up query to ask whether they might want to switch ad tracking back on at a later stage.
Still, Meta needs to do something, and maybe, by using the small business angle, that will help to lessen resistance to its tracking tools.
Which is the approach that Meta has taken from the start. Back in 2020, before the launch of Apple’s update, Meta explained that:
“We understand that iOS 14 will hurt many of our developers and publishers at an already difficult time for businesses. Many of these are small businesses that depend on ads to support their livelihood.”
It’s not Meta that Apple’s really hurting, the company sought to present, but small, mom and pop operators – “it’s you that will lose out if Apple enacts this change, and if individuals block its data tracking”.
In this respect, both elements are at least partially true – Meta loses out due to ad dollars shifting away, while its advertisers lose out due to less targeted, and thus, more expensive campaigns, which drive lesser results.
At Meta’s scale, that does indeed have an impact on the broader business landscape, but whether it’s actually Meta that’s hurting the most or SMBs, that’s more difficult to say.
In any event, that’s the stance that Meta’s taking, and it’ll be hoping that this new campaign once again underlines the value of personalized ads, not just for you, as a user, but also those businesses within your community.
In addition to the new campaign, Meta has also shared some tips to help SMBs navigate the changing digital ads landscape, and mitigate the impacts of changes implemented by big bad Apple.
- Meta advises SMBs to work on short, mobile-first ads to drive more engagement on Facebook and Instagram. Meta says that its mobile users watch videos 5x longer than static images
- Meta also suggests that SMBs utilize its Conversions API, which can help to create ‘a reliable and privacy-safe connection between your marketing data’. Meta’s Conversions API enables advertisers to send info on customer actions directly to Facebook, and can include website events, in-store activity or any other off-Facebook conversion data.
- Meta says that its ‘Click To Message Ads’ have also become a more valuable method for maintaining direct connection in the post-ATT world. “By adopting this ad format, small businesses can do what they’ve always done best – provide personalized, white glove customer service and build strong customer relationships while making a sale”. So rather than relying on data-matching, you encourage potential customers to get in touch direct, facilitating immediate response.
- Lastly, Meta also says that its Instant Forms and other lead generation tools can also be an effective way to collect first-party data.
So really, what Meta’s saying is that you need to build up your own direct connection where possible, and there are Facebook ad tools that can facilitate this. But it’s a bit of a shift in strategy, in that for years Meta has tried to push people to rely on its data-matching to deliver the best results.
In some cases, that may still be possible, and reports are that Meta’s automated audience matching and optimization tools are still delivering in some respects. But by tracking your own data, and utilizing that direct info, you’re negating the loss of insight as a result of Apple’s update, which will ensure a more stable framework for your marketing process.
Can Meta reverse the tide on data-tracking, and get more people to opt back in – or at the least, to not opt-out when prompted in its apps? It’s hard to say, but there is some merit to this angle, and it’ll be interesting to see if Meta does get any sympathy, or if we see a change in perspective over time as Facebook and IG ads become less targeted, and costs increase for brands.
Elon Musk’s Team Asks for More Data to Complete Assessment of Twitter Bots
Okay, let’s just check in on the latest with the Twitter/Elon Musk takeover saga, and where things are placed to close out the week.
According to the latest reports, Musk’s team recently asked Twitter for more tweet info, in order to help it make an accurate assessment of bot activity in the app. This comes after Musk questioned Twitter’s claim that bots and fake accounts make up only 5% of its active user base, and said that his Twitter takeover deal could not go ahead unless Twitter could produce more evidence to support this figure.
Which Twitter did, by providing Musk with access to its ‘full firehose’ of tweets over a given period, which it shared with Musk’s team back on June 8th. Musk’s group has now had that data for a couple of weeks, but this week, it said that this info is not enough to go on, and that it needs even more insight from Twitter to make its judgment.
And after initially resisting calls for more data access, Twitter has now reportedly relented and handed over more tweet data access to Musk’s team.
Which may or may not be a concern, depending on how you see it.
In its initial data dump, Twitter reportedly gave Musk’s team info on:
- Total user tweets (within a given time period)
- Data on which devices were used
As noted, Musk’s team says that this has not provided it with the insight that it needs to conduct an accurate analysis of potential bot activity, so Twitter has now provided Musk with more ‘real-time API data’.
It’s not clear whether that means that Twitter has provided everything that its API systems can provide, but that could mean that Musk’s team can now access:
- Real-time info on tweet text and visual elements/attachments
- Data on retweets, replies, and quote Tweets for each
- Data on tweet author, mentioned users, tagged locations, hashtag and cashtag symbols, etc
- Date, time, location, device info
That should satisfy any analytical needs to uncover potential bot trends, and get a better handle on Twitter’s bot problem, though it also means that Musk has all your tweet info – which, again, it’s worth noting, Twitter up till now had been hesitant to provide.
I’m sure it’s fine. Musk’s team is beholden to disclosure laws around such, so it’s not like they can do anything much with that info anyway, in a legal sense. But the idea that the sometimes erratic Elon Musk now has all the tweets could be a little concerning for some.
But Twitter likely had to provide what it can, and if Musk is going to become CEO of the app soon anyway, he’s going to have access to all of that data either way.
Should be fine. No problems – no need to go deleting all your DMs (which are likely not included in the data that Twitter has provided at this stage).
According to reports, Musk’s team says that it now has the info it needs to make its assessment of bot activity, which should see the deal move forward (or not) sometime soon.
Of course, no one knows what exactly is going to happen next, and whether Musk’s team will look to renegotiate, or even back out of the deal entirely as a result of its bot analysis. But it does seem like, one way or another, Musk will be forced to go ahead with the $44 billion transaction, with Twitter’s past bot reporting methodology already accepted by the SEC, giving it legal grounding to argue that it’s acted in good faith, regardless of what Musk’s team finds.
The next steps then, according to Musk, would be securing debt financing and gaining Twitter shareholder approval, clearing the last hurdles for Musk to change the app’s name to ‘Telsla Social’, and add a million references to ‘420’ into the platforms various terms and conditions.
Because of the memes, because weed jokes are still funny to the richest man in the world – because he vacillates between inspired genius and a massive nerd who now gets to play out some fantasy of being cool.
Or something. Who knows what goes on in Elon Musk’s head – which is also why most are hesitant to bet against him, as nobody knows if and how he might be able to fix Twitter, and whether this is a great investment or a massive disaster.
It seems like we may soon find out. Maybe. Who knows. Either way, the memes should be great.
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