Innovations in Search and Social [March 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.

According to eMarketer, YouTube Shorts and Retail Media are well-positioned to benefit from a TikTok ban, along with Instagram, Netflix, and BeReal (although BeReal has yet to monetize its app). No matter what happens, social video ad budgets are forecast to weather the downturn in ad spending better than nonvideo formats.

While CPMs on some platforms (TikTok, for example) may be a steal, depth of engagement comes easier on platforms with innovative new offerings. Topping the list of boundary-pushers is Snapchat, but there’s plenty of potential for other platforms to innovate in the AR-driven e-commerce space as well.

Cat with googly eyes from an augmented reality app filter

One of the many joys of AR: Putting googly eyes on your cat.

Whereas in the UK and US people still view social networks as, well, social, in China they’re already synonymous with commerce, with nearly 40% of internet users also engaging in livestream shopping. Livestreaming is the next logical frontier for growth, especially for brands that cater to shoppers’ motivations and evolving habits.

Two new ad options are coming to the IG feed. The first, Reminder Ads, is designed to let users opt into alerts about specific events in the app, which helps brands build awareness, anticipation, and consideration for upcoming events. The second, in Instagram Search, allows ads to appear ahead of organic search results. 

While it’s not a new concept in social media overall, “Watch mode”, which will provide a continuous feed of vertical video content, is certainly new to Reddit. Sound familiar? With more users spending more time on platforms like TikTok, it makes sense that Reddit is aligning with this trend.

This insights report discusses how leaned-in gaming audiences have headed to Reddit as their number-one source of information and recommendations. Reddit’s latest research shows that game launches aren’t the only hot topic: DLCs (that’s “downloadable characters,” for the n00bs out there), microtransactions, and subscriptions are also incredibly popular with the Reddit community. At every stage of the funnel, marketers have an opportunity to maximize retention and recognition with this niche, highly engaged audience.

Screen recording of Super Mario Bros

Plus, Redditors know where to find all the hidden stuff in Super Mario Bros.

To help advertisers connect with users at every stage of the purchase journey, Pinterest shared some key tips and tricks that include how to align media objectives, measurement considerations, and more. One standout to take note of: “Video is the hero format for full-funnel impact…the average campaign should allocate 50-60% of budget toward video formats.”

According to Social Media Today, more users are opting to share updates via intimate circles and within DMs than ever before, due in part to the amount of divisive content in public feeds. That doesn’t mean social feeds aren’t still incredibly valuable placements for reaching audiences, but brands should consider how to leverage messaging to provide more ways to connect with customers directly.

This report covers a handful of key themes that all recruiting pros should take note of: how the role of recruiters continues to evolve, how the microeconomic picture will impact the workforce, the continued move for recruiters to focus on skills over pedigree, and key themes around employee learning and development. They also discuss what employees really want and how companies can convey that through culture.

Clip from the Spice Girls video "Wannabe" with the caption "So tell me what you want, what you really, really want"

Weirdest. Job interview. Ever.

As reported by a few sources now, Meta’s new platform (“P92”) will focus on text updates and incorporate decentralized user data usage and experiences. While this might help them avoid perceived issues around censorship, the real benefit could be in allowing different communities to set their own rules, and letting users take their data with them from one community to another. The complexity of a system like this might be a hard sell, however.

AI in Search and Social: A Roundup of Latest News (This subhead was written by Bard.)

Lastly, there’s so much going on right now in the search and social space related to AI, I could literally have written an entirely separate post on the topic! Instead, here’s a list of links to catch you up on the latest:

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