Social media sites are quickly evolving from places where people merely interact, to serious companies that can provide for their employees and their consumers. The clearest path toward that goal is to provide opportunities for brands and marketers to engage with audiences and buy ads. This is exactly the path that Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter are heading down.
Instagram and Pinterest to Introduce Ads
Looking to move out of the red and into the black, Instagram and Pinterest are both showcasing their new advertising units that will be unveiled soon. The sites offer great opportunities for brands to connect with consumers through highly visual ads. Based on what we’ve seen, we’re anticipating that the in-feed layout of these ads will have high engagement levels, perhaps similar to Facebook news feed ads. Neither site has announced when ads will be available to all marketers, but we’re expecting it to be within the next six months.
Twitter’s IPO Shows Channel’s Strengths
Twitter began monetizing in 2010 when it launched its advertising program. Since then, Twitter’s advertising revenue has skyrocketed from $7 million in the first year, to a whopping $221 million in the first six months of 2013. This puts Twitter in a good place as it takes its next step – going public.
The specifics regarding Twitter’s IPO are becoming clear: the company expects to offer 70 million shares at $17-$20 a share when it goes public next month. The site is joining Facebook (currently at $52 a share) and LinkedIn ($243 a share), other social networks that have already evolved to full-fledged media companies on the exchange. The current success of Facebook and LinkedIn is proving that these networks are evolving and will likely be a part of the digital landscape for years to come.
Why This Matters For Brands
Since RIESTER isn’t an investment firm, we’ll refrain from offering any recommendations on the Twitter IPO. But as marketers, we can offer some direction in terms of the new advertising options on Instagram and Pinterest. These ads will be an excellent way to reach key demographics with bold and visual ads. But you won’t be able to properly leverage these platforms unless you have mastered use of the sites for brand purposes. We’re here to help you do that.