Innovations in Search and Social [February 2023]

What’s new in the realms of paid search and social media? Basis’ Senior Vice President of Paid Search and Social Amy Rumpler compiles all the latest news, trends, and resources each month for easy access.

Twitter recently relaxed its advertising policies, allowing cannabis companies to advertise in the 21 states where the sale of recreational cannabis is legal. To get into the weeds: Advertisers must be licensed by the appropriate government bodies, can only target jurisdictions where they are licensed to advertise, must be pre-authorized by Twitter, and cannot target people under the age of 21, among other standard advertising policies. Also, creative cannot specifically promote sales, so messaging should remain focused on awareness and branding.

Two young businesspeople patiently monitoring Twitter’s advertising policies.

Twitter’s new feature is exactly what it sounds like. As part of an effort to generate more revenue while creating ad units with high perceived ease and value, brands can now pay for their tweets to appear in search results for specific keywords on Twitter. It’s similar to promoted tweets that appear in users’ timelines, but with the added benefit of appearing in search results.

According to data from Sensor Tower, top brands spent a total of 400% more in 2023 to advertise on TikTok between January 1 and the Super Bowl, compared to the same time frame in 2022. Meanwhile, top advertisers spent 43% less on Twitter during this same time frame when compared to the year prior (well, hello, Search Keywords Ads…) Given that Twitter has long billed itself as the top second screen platform during the big game, AdWeek believes this shift in momentum is notable.

The company’s vice president of global business spoke with The Drum recently about what lies ahead for the year, including a continued focus on becoming a stronger and more nimble organization. At the same time, the company is leaning more heavily into AI through features like Advantage+, which allows advertisers to reach and convert audiences with less setup time and better efficiency. In a separate but related Digiday article, GroupM predicted 90% of digital ad campaigns will be influenced by AI by 2027.

Speaking of AI, Search Engine Land compiled a list of top use cases for ChatGPT that search marketers can test today. Topping the list: creating strategic ads and assets, including multiple variations, in minutes; optimizing landing pages; analyzing and researching competitors; and investigating performance changes along with possible causes. Perhaps ChatGPT can help potential Twitter advertisers brainstorm a list of biddable search keywords…

Digital Trends put together a helpful comparison of Google’s Bard and ChatGPT, based on currently available information (Bard is in Beta testing; ChatGPT offers both a free and paid version). The main differences seem to be their intended use cases, with ChatGPT supplying direct answers to direct questions, and Bard being designed mainly to augment Google Search. For all the plusses of both platforms, they’ve also faced challenges: Internal Google documentation shows that employees are still tinkering to ensure Bard gets answers to questions right, and ChatGPT returned incorrect and problematic answers in early demos. Regardless, most media outlets and industry experts seem to agree that AI is driving the “next generation of search.”

Spoiler alert: The mom leaves her AI android son in the woods to, um, power down.

If 2022 was a year of crisis in social media, 2023 is poised to be a year of opportunity. eMarketer’s predictive report for the coming year discusses how the rise of BeReal and other new apps might impact Meta, Snapchat, and TikTok; plus, what could happen to TikTok amid governmental regulations; and which platforms stand to benefit most from Twitter’s user and advertiser decline. The silver lining lies in the platforms’ abilities to develop new ad formats (hello again, Search Keywords Ads…) and technologies to engage users and brands alike.

This new partnership will allow Conde Naste Entertainment to produce and share exclusive content via Pinterest, aligned with key seasonal moments and events. With video content continuing to dominate in engagement, the addition of high-end publisher content could help drive more discovery, interest, and usage of the app throughout 2023—usage which advertisers can benefit from as well.

It looks like Meta is taking a step back in its ambitions for social commerce domination and is pausing its push for live shopping features on Instagram, after doing the same on Facebook last year. While increasingly popular in China and among younger audiences, the tactic didn’t seem to catch on with the masses in 2022. The timing is interesting, as elsewhere it’s being reported that Amazon, TikTok, and YouTube are doing the opposite and leaning more heavily into live shopping this year.

Hey, those heather gray slant-pocket joggers aren’t gonna buy themselves.

The new Artifact app combines articles, facts, and artificial intelligence into a curated news experience based on user interests and engagement. As users tap on articles that interest them, Artifact will learn and determine what new articles to serve them in the future (similar to TikTok’s approach with video). This article includes a link to join the Artifact waitlist.

The first quarterly eMarketer report of 2023 addresses predictions for how social network ad spending will change this year, as well as the key trends that are likely to influence user behavior and engagement. TikTok remains a standout in the space, as short-form video continues to dominate. In fact, video now accounts for more than half of all social ad revenues, and by 2026 it will capture more than 12% of overall media ad spend in the US.


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