LinkedIn joined the ranks of Facebook this past July, expanding their advertising options into users’ news feeds with the Sponsored Updates feature. No longer relegated to the side bar, top banner or other page placement of traditional display ads, company updates can appear directly in a targeted user’s news feed.
But don’t think that the ability to get into the field of vision of your target audience is enough to get that click, like, lead or share. Users are getting more adept at filtering out content — the same way viewers learned to tune out TV commercials before the invention of TiVo.
To make the best use of Sponsored Updates, brands need to look beyond the basics and focus on context.
Pick a network, any network
For brands, the social networks are constantly trying to deliver the trifecta of great content to the right audience, at the right time, and in the right place. The networks’ ability to do this secures the advertising dollars that keep them afloat. Although LinkedIn has additional revenue streams, they are interested in competing for your Facebook ad spend. Sponsored Updates propelled them forward in that effort, as native advertising has distinct advantages for brands over display ads.
The ability to target content more and more accurately, with a multitude of filters, is the linchpin in this operation. And although I expect to see great success with Facebook’s roll out of Custom Audiences worldwide, we’ve been enjoying the ability to remarket via Facebook Exchange (FBX) for some time now. This type of precise targeting doesn’t change context, it just minimizes its importance.
What’s in your news feed?
What you expect to see on a social network is an indication of your intent. The reason people use Facebook is not the same reason people use LinkedIn.
And there it is: To make the most of native advertising, brands need to understand the expectations associated with user experience on each social network.
In our next post coming next week, we’ll take a look at how user intent can affect the success of native advertising.
For a how to on LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, check out How to Use LinkedIn Sponsored Updates from Social Media Examiner.