Social Media Advertising Updates 2020

The world of social media advertising can feel like it is evolving at light speed. To help you stay on top of opportunities to achieve your marketing goals, we wanted to take a moment to share a current overview of all Q1 and Q2 changes to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Linkedin, Pinterest, and TikTok .

Facebook & Instagram Updates

New Shopping Custom Audiences

Now you can create a new Custom Audience to reach people who interacted with your Facebook or Instagram shop. Don’t have a shop? Now might be the time to build one. To use this audience, create a new Custom Audience and select Shopping. This is another way you can remarket to customers who are interested in your products.

Facebook is Testing Email Marketing Tools

A select group of small businesses and pages have been given access to test email marketing tools from Facebook. Facebook wants to be the dominant path of reaching new and existing customers and this new product shows they’re going to be going outside the realm of advertising offerings to now include other digital marketing solutions.

As reported by AdWeek, the tool as of right now only has the capability to send emails to lists the advertiser provides. So that means it doesn’t allow sending emails to, for example, lookalike audiences. For the moment, it doesn’t appear any different than regular email marketing. Just like traditional email marketing tools, you will be able to compose the email from Facebook, choose the audience (that you supplied), and track performance. According to AdWeek, a spokesperson for Facebook said, “We’re testing new email marketing tools with a small number of businesses to help them more efficiently notify their customers of changes to their services and operations. We’re evaluating whether these tools are beneficial for people and businesses before deciding whether to expand it further.”

App Installs Objective is Now Available for Instagram Branded Content Ads

Advertisers with app install campaigns can now take advantage of branded content ads on Instagram. Any Instagram user can enable Branded Content Tools in their settings and advertisers can partner with them to run branded content ads. Branded content ads can appear to end users as news feed or story ads with a “paid partnership” disclaimer tag.

Instagram branded content ads


Although branded content ads have been around for a while now, this is the first time it’s been available to be compatible with the “app installs objective,” which presents advertisers with a unique opportunity to take advantage of the novelty of the ad type while it’s fresh.

LinkedIn Updates

InMail Conversation Ads is the New Ad Format

A new version of the regular InMail Ad has been introduced on LinkedIn Campaign Manager: this is the InMail Conversation Ad.

The new conversation ad format is a variant of the InMail ad format with the difference that it allows a higher level of interaction to the user. In the regular Inmail ad, the user receives a message in their LinkedIn mailbox in which there is a call to action (download a document, register for a webinar, etc.)

The user can basically do this or do nothing. With the new Inmail Conversation ad format we can offer the user multiple call-to-actions. In the main message, we can include several calls to action, and depending on what the user selects, we can show another message with other calls to action. The objective of this new ad format is to improve the conversion rate, offering more options to the user than the classic InMail ad format.

New Company Targeting Options

Q1 of 2020 left us with two new company targeting options on LinkedIn. These are:

Company Category

The company category targeting option consists of a series of categories of companies predefined by LinkedIn such as:

    1. Forbes World’s Most Innovative Companies
    2. Fortune 100 Fast Growing Companies
    3. Fortune 500 (US only)
    4. Fortune Global 500 (Worldwide)
    5. Top Companies and Top Startups from several countries, etc.

Company Growth Rate

The Company Growth Rate allows us to target only those companies with a certain rate of growth year over year. According to LinkedIn official documentation, the rate of growth year over year is determined by factors such as number of employees or revenue growth. These are the options available right now:

    1. Negative growth companies
    2. 0% – 3% company growth
    3. 3% – 10% company growth
    4. 10% – 20% company growth
    5. 20%+ company growth

Twitter Updates

Promoted Trend Spotlight Ad Units in the Explore Tab

The new ad unit allows brands to take up “premium real estate” in the top section of Twitter’s Explore tab on both mobile and desktop.

In addition, Twitter built out a new analytics page and advertising platform, and Twitter Surveys are expanding globally. You can learn more about Twitter brand surveys here.

Snapchat Updates

While there were no major updates for Snapchat in Q1 we’d like to share with you some of the highlights and key opportunities for this popular platform for reaching Millennials and Generation Z.


  • Total Snapchat daily users – 229 million
  • Over 90% of 13-24 year olds in the U.S. are reached daily on Snapchat, and over 75% of the 13-34 age bracket

Quick Advertising Overview

  • Minimum Ad Spend – $5/day
  • Target by mobile OS (Android or iOS), cell service carrier, connection type (WiFi or mobile data), device make, etc.
  • Demographic Targeting Options – Location, Gender, Age, Household Income, Household Makeup (presence of children, etc.), Education Level, Life events, Occupation, Marital Status, Interests, and more. (See full list of current interest targeting options below)
  • Targeting Options – Goal-based bidding for app installs, Lookalike audiences, Customer match (by email or mobile IDs), Retargeting (only retargeting based on actions within Snapchat), “Snap to Store” (offline conversions)
  • Ad Reporting Metrics – Impressions, click rate, swipe-up rate, video views (reporting views to 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%), average screen time, installs, internal app actions, conversions such as add to cart, add billing, info, searches, page views, checkout, etc., and ‘cost-per’ metrics associated with each of those categories.
  • Tracking Options – Vanity URLs, UTM tags, mobile-friendly landing page
  • Ad-Type Options – Awareness Growth, Video views, App installs (swipe-up leads to app install page), Web views (swipe-up leads to the landing page of your choice – can be gamified, show content, collect information, etc.), App Engagement, Dynamic Ads
  • Ad Creative Options – Vertical video, may include still images (click here for video specs)
  • Snapchat recently opened up programmatic advertising to fill space inside the content sections of the app (not available to the public yet)
  • Story Ads in the Discover section are now available
  • Impression bidding on AR lenses are now available for all advertisers

TikTok Updates

In June 2020 TikTok announced to advertisers that it’s open for business. We all knew this was coming. The company officially introduced a new brand and platform called “TikTok For Business” that will serve as the home for all its current and future marketing solutions for brands. The site includes access to TikTok ad formats, including its marquee product, TopView, which is the ad that appears when you first launch the TikTok app. Other products under this TikTok For Business umbrella include:


A video first format that presents your brand on the best and unmissable placement of TikTok, capturing full user attention with sight, sound and narrative.

  • Leading access to user attention – showcase your brand on TikTok’s most premium real estate.
  • Up to 60 seconds of full-screen and long-form video, with auto-play and sound.
  • Distraction-free viewing grabbing 100% user attention.

Brand Takeovers

With brand takeovers, you can immediately hook user attention with full-screen static or dynamic display, delivering a strong visual impact for your brand.

  • Capture user attention through a full-screen visual experience.
  • Multiple creative format options with static or dynamic display.
  • Both 3-second JPG and 3-5 second video supported.

Branded Hashtag Challenge

This is a one-of-a-kind engagement format that taps into user passion for creation and expression. Delivering strong brand awareness with a level of engagement that goes far beyond a simple click.

  • Invite all users to participate and create content around your campaign theme, with all UGC aggregating in the hashtag challenge page.
  • 3 to 6-day package options with supporting media placements, creative guidance, and seamless setup.
  • Average engagement rate of 8.5% through likes, comments, and shares.

Branded Effects

With Branded Effects, you can dial up the fun with tailor-made sharable stickers, filters, and special effects. Branded Effects is a creative and fun visual experience that engages with the camera-first generation with visual languages that span time, place, and culture.

In-Feed Videos

Tell your brand story like a TikTok creator by integrating video content into users’ “For You” feed. With In-Feed videos, your brand can appear in the “For You” feed with up to 60-seconds of auto-play video with sound. In the feed, users can like, comment, and share your videos, they can follow you, and they can shoot videos using the same sound.

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