Jetblue’s controversial giveaway structure, new leaks about Instagram’s branded content ads and Facebook users decline. Here’s the latest in social media news: Instagram’s New Branded Content Ads Connects Brands and Influencers It’s official: at a press conference last Tuesday, Instagram confirmed they’re developing a new ad format to partner up brands and influencers. The social giant’s Product Manager, Ashley Yuki also reported that 69% of users come to Instagram to engage with celebrities and influencers. This acts as an interesting insight for businesses. Particularly those wondering if influencer marketing is worth it for their brand. The new ‘Branded Content Ads’ mean that strategised targeting will be available for sponsored (or paid) content. Instagram for Business 101 Grab our ebook Instagram for Business to take your Instagram game up a notch! AdAge explains: “Until now, brands could hire popular Instagram users to work on ad campaigns and promote products with branded content, but the posts would only reach the followers of the influencer. Branded content ads let the advertisers promote these Instagram posts just like they would any other ad.” While brands could use posts featuring influencers as advertisements, the new branded content ads will showcase a more honestly presented advertisement with ‘paid partnerships’ displayed on the post. This is a feature that was beta-tested back in June 2017 with great success. Image source: Social Media Today If influencer marketing is part of your business’s social media strategy, branded content ads could be good news for you. When the option rolls out, you’ll be able to advertise beyond organic audiences. JetBlue’s Unique Instagram Giveaway Model We love Jetblue. What with their comfortable flights, whistful wanderlust inspiration and all-’round inspiring brand aspects. But would you delete your entire Instagram feed for them? Well… Maybe. Since the mega-brand announced they’d be giving away a year’s worth of flights to three lucky winners this week. The giveaway offered entrants free travel to over 100 destinations across the U.S., Caribbean, Mexico and more. The catch? To enter you needed to delete (or archive, like the clever kids did) all your Instagram posts. This was to promote their ‘fill in the blank’ all you can jet campaign, encouraging Instagrammers to ‘create a blank slate’ by hiding all their content. Then, JetBlue asked entrants to upload a customised image, tag @jetblue and #allyoucanjetsweepstakes. Was the new take on a classic giveaway platform worth it? Well, with its media coverage, general stir online and over 24,000 people opting in to participate, we’re going to say yes. So, what can we learn from JetBlue’s gutsy move? When done differently, social media giveaways have the potential to make headlines A too-good-to-resist prize can generate an awful lot of buzz for your brand Template-style giveaway imagery ideas could be something your brand may want to try out The final boarding call for entrants was posted yesterday and the lucky winners were drawn at 9 am EST March 8, 2019. Curious to see who won? Meet Sked - The most powerful Instagram scheduling platform A place to plan & schedule your Instagram posts, Stories, videos and more. Tag locations, users and products and manage all your hashtags in one place to save 5+ hours every week. Facebook’s US Users Down 15 Million In new data collected by Market Research Firm, Edison Research, a huge drop in US Facebook users was announced. As reported on by The Verge, two key takings were found: 12 to 34-year-olds are among the demographic that’s most declined Facebook has lost 15 million users (or a 6th of the U.S. population). This is when compared with 2017 Despite Facebook’s recent earnings report outlining their global usage at a whopping 2.32 billion, a decline in users has hit the platform hard. While the reasons for Facebook’s decline aren’t 100% clear, we can speculate. Have people become fed up with Facebook’s declining post reach? Maybe they’re jumping ship to Instagram to avoid the sea of ads Facebook now homes. And with the first quarter of 2019 almost here, we recommend reviewing your current social media strategy and analytics to see which platform is working best for your business. Key analytics to check are: Platforms your audience are most predominantly using – have they changed? How your audience is engaging with content online Ways your business can stand out within the social media landscape What’s New at Sked Social This week we brought you key ways travel brands can stand out in the age of Instagram. Here we ran you through why Instagram is the perfect platform for travel brands. We also covered key strategies travel brands are using to stand out. Some of the biggest brands in travel are truly shaking things up with their social media strategies and it’s darn inspiring. If you’re in the travel industry, this is not one you’ll want to miss. Is your brand yet to plan out your next campaign? If so, check out these 5 brands creating the best e-commerce campaigns on Instagram. While you’re at it, here’s our guide to staying sassy yet classy on socials. And if you’re yet to carve out 5 hours per week organising and scheduling social media content with Sked Social, here’s your 7-day free trial.