Social Media Advertising Has Entered A New Era.

As user growth slows and social commerce grows, Marketing Land begins a series on the changing face of paid social marketing.

In his keynote address at this year’s F8 Developers Conference, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared, “The future is private.” The guy who made this statement has spent the last 18 months fending off accusations for exploiting customers’ personal information and data. However, the underlying message—that Facebook is shifting its focus to private, messaging networks—highlighted a critical challenge for social media marketers: the social media landscape is changing fast, and marketers must adapt to stay up with growing ad platforms.

Not just Facebook will experience transformation. It seems that people are using social media less frequently overall. New automated systems require adjustments to bidding techniques. And social commerce is reaching a whole new level as platforms roll out new in-app buying features and brands and influencers forge deeper connections.

For those working in social media marketing, keeping up with the constant flux of the industry is a full-time job. We want to be more than just a daily news source for your social media marketing needs. That’s why we’re launching a brand-new series focused entirely on the modern social media landscape. As the roads are being constructed, we will do our best in the next weeks to provide a rough guide.

The place of advertising in today’s “digital living room”

Mark Zuckerberg has stated repeatedly that the future of Facebook is not as a social feed but as a “digital living room” where people can congregate in private groups. Privacy, however, is not the buzzword that marketers should be using if they care about social return on investment.

We may be on the cusp of a new age, but I’m not sure that it has anything to do with privacy, says Susan Wenograd, VP of Marketing Strategy at Aimclear. While that is having an impact, I think we’re also feeling the consequences of these platforms maturing, competition heating up, and consumers’ increasing demand for content they can relate to.

According to Wenograd, times have changed since ad agencies could get away with a half-baked creative idea and yet see positive results.

According to Wenograd, “you have to have a pretty iron-clad marketing direction to get traction quickly so you don’t burn through all your money.” “Many brands enter paid social without one and get frustrated when they don’t get immediate returns because they’re unaware of how competitive it actually is compared to a couple years ago,” he added.

At SMX Advanced this month, Wenograd reiterated similar points during her talk about optimising social media ads: in an oversaturated ad market, the most successful brands will be those that can successfully combine strong paid tactics with a focus on high-quality creative.

“Agencies that can’t strategize their way out of a paper bag will fail, as they should have long ago,” Wenograd warned the crowd.

Increased success in social commerce

If instant messaging is the new media, then social commerce is the big winner. New e-commerce features are being rolled out across social media platforms with the goal of keeping users within the app from discovery to purchase.

According to Nyha Shree, chief marketing officer at, “2019 could, in many ways, be the breakthrough year for social commerce, when we finally start to see it coming.This is the determining factor in how effectively their social commerce initiatives turn browsing into buying, and buying into loyalty.

And it’s not just about finding and buying stuff, either. Shree is quick to point out that advertisers need to do more to stand out by providing memorable experiences for their target audiences on social media.

“Brands like Disney and Threads [an ecommerce fashion company] are already paving the way” in using conversational chatbots in the checkout process, “mimicking a sales associate and helping to maintain brand personality,” as Shree put it.

Facebook’s venture into in-app purchase has been restricted to Marketplace, but Instagram is making headway with its brand-new Checkout feature. The platform initially launched Checkout for a select number of businesses, but has subsequently opened it up to a wider range of influencers on the app who collaborate with the brands.

Five of Snapchat’s Official Accounts, including Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics and Kim Kardashian West’s KKW Beauty, now have their own in-app storefronts.