Social Media

The new Apple prompt and what we prescribe

So, what does this mean for social media advertisers? A lot, actually. Every user that opts out will no longer be tracked across websites and apps outside of Facebook, rendering Facebook’s Pixel useless. While these individuals can and will still see ads, after clicking on them, Facebook will have no way of tracking those users’ actions (including conversions).

Haven’t seen it yet? Not to worry, it’s coming. Apple plans to begin enforcing its new privacy policies in early 2021, including a prompt similar to the one below on Facebook and all other apps on its devices. The prompt will offer a decision for users to make: “Ask App not to Track” your activity, or “Allow.” 

Apple’s new prompt, courtesy Tim Cook, Apple CEO.

Facebook, digital marketers, and privacy advocates all foresee that the majority of Apple users will “Ask App not to Track” their data, specifically when it comes to large social media apps such as Facebook and Instagram because of previous privacy controversy surrounding the company.

So, what does this mean for social media advertisers? A lot, actually. Every user that opts out will no longer be tracked across websites and apps outside of Facebook, rendering Facebook’s Pixel useless. While these individuals can and will still see ads, after clicking on them, Facebook will have no way of tracking those users’ actions (including conversions).

Here are some of the symptoms:

  1. While your ads may continue to generate conversions and microconversions (adds to cart, checkouts initiated, adds to wishlist, etc.), Facebook can no longer track this data. Numbers on your Facebook ads manager or other reporting dashboards will likely decrease.
  2. For those who have spent significant time on your website or completed a micro conversion, we typically create retargeting campaigns. These ads target people to specifically help push them over that edge to conversion. For anyone who chooses to not allow Facebook to track them, their data will not be collected for retargeting. This will limit retargeting audience sizes and decrease potential for personalized ads, such as dynamic catalog retargeting.

And a piece of Swello’s prescription:

  1. We can begin by accepting the reality of this situation — and that this is a win for many who advocate for personal privacy. This will be seen as a shift in the social media marketing landscape, but NOT as the end of digital marketing.
  2. We can still look at data holistically. Even in the past, some of our clients have thought that online marketing was not the right solution for them, but when ads were turned off, their sales and conversions declined dramatically. As soon as they flipped the switch back on, their conversion rate began to increase again. Recognize that social media ads, whether you see the hard data or not, are contributing to your marketing funnel.
  3. Facebook ads will continue to be one of the most powerful tools in building the top of your marketing funnel. Utilize email offers and marketing to harness your customers’ data in an ethical, opt-in sort of way, and nurture that consumer base.
  4. Use your email lists for direct retargeting on Facebook, and use them to create lookalike audiences for traffic and cold conversion campaigns. Facebook’s algorithm isn’t getting dumber — even for artificial intelligence, this principle applies: “what doesn’t kill you (Facebook’s algorithm) makes you (Facebook’s algorithm) stronger.”

Of course, this list of prescriptions is only general guidance — the solution for every business is going to look slightly different. If you have questions, contact your account manager at Swello. If you’re ready to strategize with a Swello digital marketing expert for the first time, you can start here.

While no one knows the full remedy (as the privacy changes and their effects are continually evolving), we here at Swello are prepared with strategies to treat the symptoms and work towards lasting health for your Facebook ads and overall digital marketing plan.

Now is not the time to cut social media ads out of your marketing budget, because platforms like Facebook and Instagram get your products and services right into the palms of your potential purchasers — privacy and online advertising can win, together.

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