What are Social Mirror Ads?

It can be difficult to decide which social media channels to advertise on. Are you good on Facebook and Instagram or do you need to be on TikTok and Snapchat as well? What about LinkedIn and Pinterest or is that spreading the budget and audience too thin? How do you do all the things?

Enter Social Mirror Ads!

Social Mirror ads mimic the look and feel of top social media platforms however, the ads appear not on the social platforms, but on thousands of other websites and apps and run across all devices. Each ad links back to the social platform it is mirroring and, has a second call to action button that links to the advertiser’s website!  Ads contain unique social actions related back to the originating platform (for example, the like icon, the heart icon, the pinning icon, the retweet icon… those actions are available). These ads can integrate with all the major social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, TikTok, SnapChat, and YouTube. Creatively, ads can be display, video or carousel.

Mind blown!

To break this down into even simpler terms, you know we at ST Digital love our one sentence descriptions on digital products, here is a basic definition of Social Mirror ads:

Social Mirror ads look like your social media display or video posts but appear on other websites and apps, linking back to the social media platform and your website, and run across all devices using our targeting strategies.

So how does this work? It is brilliantly simple, as easy as posting!

Step 1: Create a social post and provide us with the URL of that post. Like this example here of a Tweet on Twitter from Yankee Candle:

Now Step 2: Enhance it with additional call to action opportunities.

We take your post and create it as an ad – that looks just like (and links to) the social post – and run it across thousands of websites and apps!

The best part is the ad has three call-to-action opportunities:

  • Clicks on the Social Media logo and your profile image, take the users to your Social Media business page.
  • Clicks on the Call-To-Action button take the users to your website.
  • Clicks on the Social Media icons below the ad take you to that post on your Social Media page.

On the visual above, if you click on the upper right hand corner on the Twitter icon it takes you to the Twitter business pages (this is the same for all the social icons except for the SnapChat icon – that goes to “add me” as a friend since you can’t socially post).  The Call-To-Action button, in the case above the “Learn More” button goes to the advertiser’s website and landing page of choice.  The social action icons below the CTA go to the specific post and allow the user to complete additional actions (like, share etc.).

To show return on investment, we can report the total number of all the various clicks on the ad in your monthly report.

With Social Mirror ads we are NOT running the ad on the social media platform. Notice in the example above, the ad is not on Twitter, it is on the website Business Insider. What we are doing, is “mirroring” the EXACT look of your social post as an ad that runs on thousands of OTHER websites and apps, targeting just to the people you want to reach, across all devices.

The ads can be display, video or even carousel depending on the social platform, so creatively there is a tremendous amount of flexibility.  Static, video, carousel can be run for most (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram), although some ad platforms, like Snapchat, users would only expect a video or static ad, not a carousel.  TikTok and YouTube users may expect a video, since it’s a video platform.

Social Mirror ads can be done with any organic or paid posts from your business account on these eight social media platforms:

So how are these ads targeted? As always, we start with the geographic area. You tell us the geographic area you want to reach, and then we layer in targeting strategies like Behavioral Targeting, Keyword Targeting, Artificial Intelligence (AI) Targeting and this also works with Retargeting as well.

  • Behavioral Categories – Showing your Social Mirror ads to specific consumers based on their previous on-line behavior, across all devices.
  • Keywords – Showing your Social Mirror ads on webpages and apps that contain keywords related to your business, across all devices.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) – Showing your Social Mirror ads to people using machine learning to target consumers based on who is engaging with the ad, across all devices.
  • Retargeting– Following people after they leave your website and showing them your Social Mirror ad, on other websites and apps they go to, across all devices.

Here is an example of what a social mirror ad might look like in the wild, using our keyword strategy:

We can also use Mobile Conquesting Cross Device Targeting to follow people who have been served a Mobile Conquesting ad, a Social Mirror ad when they go onto all their different devices.

Now as for results, the average click thru rate (CTR) for a social mirror ad is .49% which is 7x higher than the national average.

We have also found that there is little variance on the performance across the different platforms. Meaning all the different types of Social Mirror ads linking to the 8 different social platforms, performed well.

As far as reporting, you won’t be able to tell you how many clicks go to the social page vs their website, but you do get an overall click total for the ads.

So there you have it! It is as simple as a post looking in the mirror and seeing something even greater!

Top Digital Advertising Trends for 2020

Anywhere you look, you’re going to see trends for the new year, trends for the new decade, and all sorts of news about the “visionary” year of 2020.  Looking ahead, here are a few key things to watch out for as you plan and finalize your marketing budgets.

Instagram Ads –

We all know Instagram as Facebook’s little brother.  But, Facebook’s trusty sidekick has seen some impressive growth since it’s inception in 2010, and even more so since Facebook took control in 2012.

According to this article, there are “More than 500 million people using Instagram Stories every day.”  Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users.  That means there is plenty of opportunity for businesses to utilize this platform to expand their customer base. 

There are so many ways that you can utilize Instagram as part of your digital strategy.  Here are a few reasons that might clear up your thoughts on whether you should use Instagram for your business:

  • 72% of users have bought a product they saw on Instagram.  This stat alone should be a driving force for you.
  • Instagram has access to Facebook’s targeting options.  This is HUGE!  Facebook is an advertising beast, and known for having one of the most advanced social media advertising platforms, and Instagram has that same capability.
  • Instagram is a visual platform.  Because this app is photo-centric, people are expecting to see photos and videos of your products/services.  You can add text if you’d like, but it’s not mandatory.  Having a photo or video centric platform allows your followers to remember your brand better.

There are many industries using Instagram to their benefit.  For example, if you’re an auto dealer, check out this blog on how you could use social media, including Instagram, to promote your dealership.  Also, casinos utilize the popular carousel ad to highlight different entertainment and food options, along with their gaming opportunities.

Voice Search –

It’s here. Are you ready for it?  Voice search is growing every day.  How many times have you talked to Siri or Alexa today looking for the nearest restaurant or the latest show times of the movie you want to watch?

When it comes to Voice Search, it’s imperative that your SEO is being optimized for it.  With 41% of adults using this tool daily, being optimized for voice search is so important.  When people use voice search, they are usually looking for deals and sales, personalized tips, information about upcoming events, and customer service… ALL of which should be aspects of your business info that is optimized for voice search!

Here are a few ways your business can get found in Voice Search:

  • Get to “position zero” (first organic listing on Google)
  • Optimize your Google My Business listing
  • Long tail keywords and questions on your website
  • Lightening fast page speed
  • Accurate online directory listings

Be sure to consult an SEO professional and have the discussion about ensuring your business is being optimized for Voice Search.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ads–

What is AI? Simply put, it’s showing your display or video ads to people across all devices, using machine learning to target consumers based on who is engaging with the ad.

The advancement in technology is unbelievable and being up to date on the latest and greatest is a huge advantage your company can have over the competition.

Think about it this way, AI excels at analyzing data in large scale.  Then, this AI learns from the data and can improve its analysis, predictions, and recommendations very quickly. Being able to find people, similar to the people that are interacting with your ads, and showing your ad to them is exactly what you want.  AI is basically creating the ideal customer profile you want.

Video Ads –

According to our own Kiri Tamte-Horan, Digital Video Is King

Simply put, the amount of ad dollars spent on video alone will eclipse even social media.   The main reason…Content.  With video, you have the opportunity to include more content into a smaller amount of time.

From 2015-2020, Video ad spend is projected to have increased 21.9%.  That being said, my only question to you, is where will you place your video advertising?

Mobile Conquesting Ads–

By 2020, over ¾ of all online display advertising revenue will come from mobile, nearing $84.5 billion.

Add in the diversified capabilities of Mobile Conquesting, and you’ve got so many different opportunities to target your potential customers, this should be at the top of your list for digital strategy moving into 2020.  Here are a few ways to get started with Mobile:

Let’s be real…almost everyone has a smart phone these days. Also, most of us live busy lives between our careers, families, and anything else that sets our souls on fire.  We are generations of people on the go.  So, what better way to market to this extremely busy world, then to target them on the device that they always have with them…their smart phone?

As you can see, there are many trends that are taking flight as a new decade approaches.  These are just a few that will help you in your quest for a successful digital campaign.