Fundamental Marketing: What Facebook and Twitter are Doing

Ask yourself if you have ever seen a leading social channel market to you on another social channel?

It’s no secret that social media advertising is one of the most cost effective ways to attract new customers. Whether you’re a B2B company creating lead-generation campaigns, a small business looking to create more awareness, or a B2C product based brand looking to increase engagement and sales, social media is a strong marketing channel for multiple industries.

When I think of Facebook and Twitter, I almost overlook the fact that they too, have their own marketing strategies. (I would love to by a fly on the wall in those strategic planning meetings).

It’s no secret that their has been major changes in the past year with Twitter. From Twitter’s new rebrand, to the executive turnover, and the plethora of changes CEO Jack Dorsey is currently making in 2016. On the flip-side, it’s been impressive to watch how successful Facebook has been with Mark Zuckerberg at the helm of the operation. Facebook is constantly pushing the envelope on how to create and develop a better product and better user experience.

As a digital marker, I’m tuned into how I get targeted by certain advertisers. I love analyzing how other companies and marketers are targeting me with relevant services and products. I learn from how I’m marketed to. Sometimes I learn most when I’m a consumer and customer. Because in that moment, I’m an audience member to a company and not a marketer.

Lately, I’ve noticed something new. I’ve seen the two biggest social media channels, Facebook and Twitter, market themselves on multiple different digital channels.

This morning, I was on LinkedIn (another great social network), when I was targeted by Facebook. This specific advertisement was from Facebook for Business. I could tell right away the goal for this ad was lead-generation and contest submission. This ad was specifically promoting the famous “F Awards”. This is a Facebook marketing award given to the most creative brands on Facebook who have ran highly successful marketing campaigns from the past year.

I think this is great. The fact that Facebook is humble enough to understand that they have a great audience for this specific campaign on LinkedIn. Once again, they pushed the envelope here. They weren’t afraid to spend advertising dollars on an indirect competitors platform. They had a campaign goal, understood their target audience, and strategically advertised on the channel that would connect their goal to their audience. Any great business understands that they are never too large for fundamental marketing.

It’s not just Facebook pushing the advertising envelope here either. Recently I’ve seen Twitter advertising too. This makes a little more sense to me. It’s no secret that the last two years for Twitter have been up and down to say the least. So far, Jack Dorsey has fought endlessly to reshape and rebrand Twitter. Mr. Dorsey has high expectations for the future of Twitter, and not only does that start with growth, it starts with accumulating new users.

Just like Facebook advertising on LinkedIn, I’ve seen Twitter advertising via Google AdWords. Again, when you put your “consumer” hat on as a marketer, you can see some of Twitter’s strategy here.

Twitter needs new users, which means they need to get their product in front of new people. What’s a great way to build high volume of traffic? Google AdWords. Twitter understands this, and they too, just like Facebook, are not too large to market themselves on other digital platforms.

Another approach that’s been taken lately by Twitter, is good ol’’ traditional PR. Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO, hasn’t been shy to publicly address Twitter’s problems, and be transparent in his future growth strategies for the company.

I have two thoughts here. One, I like Jack Dorsey, but I know he loves the media. He likes to hear himself talk, so therefore, he likes any media outlet that will listen when he talks. (Almost all media will listen to Jack. And they should!)

Second, I think this is part of Jack’s bigger strategy. Get the media, talking about Twitter again in a positive manner. I hate the old saying “any publicity is good publicity”. That’s absolutely not true. Negative sentiment, referral, and PR can immensely hurt your company. The past two years Twitter has gotten a tremendous amount of negative related PR due to lack of growth, turnover, and low revenue numbers. Jack understands he has a platform (media), and he’s using it to his advantage. Ever since he’s taken over as Twitter’s new CEO, he has been right in front of the media. Which, currently, is a good thing. We are still talking about Twitter, and the new “changes to be”, opposed to what’s wrong with the platform.

My final takeaway is this. The fundamentals of marketing still hold true. No matter how successful or large your company is, outreach is still important. Finding and testing multiple channels to gain marketing and growth traction is still key to long-term success. I think it’s unique and cool that companies the size of Facebook and Twitter are still using marketing tactics that “us marketers” use everyday for startups to enterprise level clients.  Once a company gets stagnant and complacent is when that company fails. Seeing mega-tron brands like Facebook and Twitter use digital fundamentals like this tell me one thing. They still, at their size level, have growth in mind.