As our Senior Account Manager, Natasha draws on over eight years of account and project management experience to lead our account team in providing exceptional service and work to a diverse roster of clients in all areas of digital marketing. She began her career working in Los Angeles at William Morris Endeavor, where she spent several years learning the entertainment industry and growing her account and project management skills. Upon returning to her hometown in South Florida, she began working in marketing and advertising as an Account Executive at Zimmerman, notably working on the Save-a-Lot and Lumber Liquidators national accounts.
Natasha provides daily hands-on service to clients both large and small, offering timely, creative solutions to meet their digital marketing needs. Natasha’s attention to detail, client service, and digital marketing knowledge allows her to excel and lead the team in client collaborations to create relevant and impactful digital marketing campaigns.
Natasha is a graduate of Penn State University, and in her free time, she loves spending time with friends and family, staying active, and soaking in the sun.
Bullseye Buzz: Social Media – The Semi-Undeserved Scapegoat
Social media has been “public enemy number one” for several years now. It’s been maligned over privacy issues, political interference, and phony influencing. And while, to some degree, social media has played a role in all of those, the truth is that it’s because social media is now a primary communication tool. It’s at the forefront of everything communication, marketing, and media. Its return on ad spend, and investment frequently rivals other marketing areas. It’s also why dramatic evolutionary changes continue to happen weekly. Here are just a few recent changes that illustrate this point.
Instagram for Kids
Instagram has never been for children. Anyone under 13 is prohibited from creating an account. And in response to recent reports of the abuse and bullying of teens on Instagram, the company began to address the issue. They now say that they’re working on Instagram for kids under 13.
Social media platforms often prohibit use by children, including Instagram’s largest competitor, TikTok. There are ad and marketing dollars to be had that cannot be capitalized upon in social media. Currently, children’s products, including everything from toys to cereals, to clothes need to promote products on other mediums such as television and YouTube Kids. An Instagram for users under the age of 13 will also give Instagram a massive boost in “new user” reporting data if it comes to fruition.
But it’s not going to be an easy sell to parents. In addition to fears over bullying, there is a lot of data indicating excessive screen time can be detrimental to a child’s development. But as most kids have spent the last year in virtual classrooms, watching their iPads and playing video games, it may be inevitable that screentime is going to go up. As the father of a 9-year-old, I know too well how interested kids can be in social media. Instagram is referenced by the shows a child watches, the YouTubers they follow, and their parents. Even our dog has its own Instagram page. There’s a strong interest in it.
Instagram says they understand they have a lot of work to do to secure children’s safety and privacy. If they get it right, this could be good for Instagram, marketers, shareholders, and, depending on your personal views regarding screen time, suitable for parents who want to give their kids access to a social media platform that offers some protective measures.
YouTube Takes on TikTok
Because YouTube’s algorithm ranks videos based on time watched, and since video creators and advertisers want videos long enough to include both pre-roll and mid-roll advertising, the average length of videos hovers at around 11 minutes. As users look more and more often for how-to and informational videos, YouTuber videos get longer and longer.
When was the last time you went to YouTube to watch various 30 second random videos? Attention spans have gotten shorter. Users are looking for quick bits of entertainment and information. It’s one of the reasons for the success of Instagram Stories and TikTok. Google’s YouTube has noticed and has begun rolling out their own version of quick videos, Shorts. Backed by the ability to reach billions of users, this has great potential to make YouTube more than just a warehouse for long-form videos on plumbing fixes, product reviews, music videos, and vlogs.
The new format includes one of TikTok’s most used features, utilizing music from artists. Google’s got the edge there, having the most extensive library available from which to draw.
The feature has its own carousel at the top of the page, and Google is experimenting with how they will serve new and viral content to users. Currently, Shorts is not monetized, but you can expect Google to roll out new opportunities for marketers and video creators as they learn what’s working best.
“We’re laying a lot of foundational things now. Over the course of this year and beyond, Shorts will be adding more capabilities as it observes what rises to the top”Scott Sheman, Product Lead, Shorts
Now testing on Android and iOS: when you Tweet a single image, how the image appears in the Tweet composer is how it will look on the timeline –– bigger and better. pic.twitter.com/izI5S9VRdX— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) March 10, 2021
Twitter Announces Tests
Over the last few months, Twitter has made a lot of news, and none of it for very positive reasons. And while people use the platform differently than other, more popular social media sites, it’s showing its willingness to change by testing a flock of new features that users have been requesting.
They’re testing new image sizes so that portrait-oriented pics aren’t automatically cropped. They’re experimenting with the ability to edit tweets instead of deleting and re-creating the tweet from scratch. They’re working on YouTube videos playing within the feed as opposed to off-linking to YouTube. These are designed to make Twitter more palatable for users and brands looking to share content on the platform. With the bad press about bots and bans and the character and media limitations, Twitter has struggled to grow at some social media competitors’ rates. In 2021, Twitter ranks 16th globally for most-used social sites. These kinds of changes for the better may irk some Twitter purists, but evolution is the name of the game for platforms that want to remain relevant today and tomorrow.
The Social Dilemma
While none of the news mentioned above explicitly addresses the acrimony that’s arisen towards social media due to its shortcomings, it’s important to remember that this medium is less than 20 years old. Its meteoric growth has outpaced any rivals. Call it growing pains. Ultimately all these issues are being addressed. The important thing to focus on is that they’re not stagnant. They continue to adjust and innovate. That’s good news for users, brands, and marketers.