Good morning, let’s get social.

One thing everybody has been talking about for the last eight or nine months is how digital marketing is pretty much the whole ball game right now, where digital marketing includes everything from websites, apps and email to (as we said yesterday) webinars and virtual events.

But one of the central planks of digital marketing is engagement through social channels, including social advertising. That’s what we’re taking a look at in today’s newsletter: a strategy for brands to deal in an automated way with questions fired at them through social channels, and the likely increase in social ad spend in the coming year.

Another big story in 2021 is likely to be the increasing importance of short-form social media for marketers, as it reaches wider and wider audiences: Snapchat, Instagram Reels, and of course TikTok (if it’s still with us). We’re keeping an eye on that space too.

Kim Davis,
Editorial Director, MarTech Today

 
 
 
Social Media
 

Socialbakers now features conversational AI chatbots

Socialbakers has now added conversational AI chatbot technology to its social media monitoring and management suite, allowing brands to respond automatically to queries delivered through social media channels. The AI chatbots will answer frequently asked questions, and automatically identify unanswered questions, escalating unresolved issues to a live customer agent with the entire inquiry attached. Socialbakers says the chatbots can respond to questions in any language.

“Inbound messages from social media channels increased threefold during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, overwhelming brands with questions from their customers,” said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, President, Socialbakers in a release.

Why we care. Brands need to meet their customers where they are, and today that means in digital channels, especially social. Automation is one way of providing consumers with engagement and answers in the shortest space of time.

 

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Marketing that our collective future depends on

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Social Media
 

Retailer to increase social ad spend in 2021

In new research, social advertising automation platform Smartly.io reports that, with brick-and-mortar transactions limited by COVID, retailers have shifted their attention to digital social channels, a trend that will become even more marked next year.

Based on a survey of 300 retail marketing executives around the world, 76% intend to increase their Facebook ad spend in 2021. While only 38% intend to increase their Instagram spend, although 42% see the best ROAS on that channel. Instagram adoption is on the increase among retailers, with 90% reporting spending on the platform in 2020, in comparison to 56% last year.

No fewer than 74% currently allocate 30% or more of their marketing budget to social channels; 12% allocate over half. 

Why we care. Digital marketing will remain the key focus for retail (and just about everyone else) through the winter, and likely at least the first half of 2021. It’s an unlooked for bonanza for social platforms.