June 30, 2020: Facebook boycott grows; Pinterest drives online grocery shopping; Instagram expands Shopping features
Here’s what’s worth knowing this week:
Facebook Boycott Grows
A widespread Facebook advertising boycott is taking place, largely spearheaded by a campaign called #StopHateForProfit which is urging businesses to show they will “not support a company that puts profit over safety” by stopping Facebook advertising through July.
Why is this happening?
The boycott is largely in response to Facebook’s handling of questionable posts from President Donald Trump, as well as ongoing issues with disinformation that have intensified in recent weeks due to protests against police brutality and racism, and other news events that have exposed the failures of Facebook’s moderation approach, specifically around hate speech. The Anti-Defamation League, NAACP, Color of Change and Sleeping Giants are among the organizations leading the boycott.
Which companies are boycotting?
Over the weekend, a slew of new brands pledged they would pause their spend on Facebook. Outdoor brands The North Face, Patagonia and REI were some of the first brands to participate last week and were soon joined by Verizon, Unilever, Target, Coca-Cola, Ben & Jerry’s, Eddie Bauer, Adidas, Levi’s, Beam Suntory, Chipotle, Conagra, Denny’s, Ford, Starbucks, Microsoft, Clorox, Pfizer and Hershey’s. So far, more than 100 brands have taken the pledge.
A growing up-to-date list of participating brands can be found here.
What’s Facebook saying?
A Facebook executive has said the company has a “trust deficit” on a call with close to 200 advertisers, according to the Financial Times which obtained leaked audio of the call. However, the platform also claims that it catches 89 percent of hate speech before it spreads on the social network.
TLDR; Facebook needs to step up its moderation and policy game if it wants to save its ad revenue.
It’s no surprise that brand safety continues to remain top-of-mind for many marketers. This particular advertiser boycott, analysts say, is different — it’s quickly gaining real momentum and has more staying power with large Fortune 500 companies joining in. And the list of participating brands will only continue to grow. With a recent survey from the World Federation of Advertisers showing that a third of the top 58 advertisers will, or are likely to, suspend advertising on the platform, with another 40% considering doing so, it should be a wake-up call for Facebook to make a real commitment to clean up its policies and do more than just lip service.
This is yet another example of the immense power advertisers have over the platforms they choose to advertise on. After all, money talks. We saw this in 2017, when Marc Pritchard, the CMO of P&G, famously kept his ads off of YouTube for more than a year over concerns about inappropriate content. Ultimately, parent company Google overhauled YouTube’s policies and hired more human moderators to clean up the platform, and P&G felt that the platform was safe to resume advertising on.
Pinterest Drives Online Grocery Shopping
A new study conducted by Pinterest shows that Pinners are more likely to grocery shop online — and spend more.
Give me the numbers.
As a result of COVID-19, an estimated 50 percent of all US consumers have now grocery-shopped online, an increase of 40 percent year-over-year. Since shelter-in-place orders began in March, the number of online purchases Pinterest drove to grocery retailers jumped nearly 70 percent over February, further accelerating in April.
As well, Pinners are food shopping online more often than people who aren’t on Pinterest. Before COVID-19, two in three Pinners shopped for groceries online at least once every two weeks — 14 percent more likely to do so than non-Pinners.
Lastly, Pinners also end up spending more when shopping for groceries online — 27 percent more than non-Pinners for click and collect shopping. For personal shopping, Pinners spend 14 percent more than non-Pinners.
Will these shifts stay when shelter-in-place restrictions are lifted?
Yes, the shifts we’re seeing on Pinterest are likely here to stay, as eMarketer predicted that COVID-19-led adjustments will “cause a lasting step change” in grocery ecommerce, as shoppers who have never tried buying groceries online will become more comfortable with the habit.
With 250 million people using Pinterest every month to decide what to do or buy next, Pinterest is the visual discovery engine that every brand should be using in its influencer marketing efforts. There is a unique and timely opportunity to reach consumers as they’re most open and receptive to new ideas. For CPG and food/beverage brands, specifically, Pinterest is a great opportunity to reach consumers — especially knowing that the majority of consumers come to Pinterest without a specific brand in mind, with 97 percent of searches unbranded. This provides an opportunity for brands to win consumers at a crucial stage of the customer journey.
For more tips on how to get started, check out our Pinterest one-sheeter here.
Instagram Expands Shopping Features
Instagram has announced that it’s expanding access to Instagram Shopping to more businesses, including creators who want to sell their own merchandise.
The company has introduced new “Commerce Eligibility Requirements” that offer a set of guidelines that interested businesses must follow in order to qualify for Instagram selling. To be eligible, users have to have a connected Facebook page, sell physical goods, and tag products from a single website they sell from and personally own. It is, however, worth noting that users need to apply and be accepted to take advantage of these features. Users can follow these steps and apply here.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen Instagram slowly but surely progress its ecommerce capabilities, debuting Shopping in 2018 as a way for users to browse, purchase and order products from brands without leaving the platform. As well, most recently in May, Instagram launched Shops, which allows brands to build virtual storefronts into their accounts for a more seamless shopping experience. With more than one-third of Instagram users saying they have bought something directly from a shoppable ad on the platform, it’s easy to see why Instagram would continue to invest in shoppable features for its more than 1 billion consumers, creators and brands on the platform.
Over the past few months, we’ve seen creators continue to make money from various influencer-to-consumer (ITC) revenue streams, which has resulted in increased sales for merch and a variety of influencer-to-consumer brands. With the expansion of Instagram Shopping, more creators have the opportunity to sell their products directly to the followers — all within the Instagram ecosystem, which is an added bonus for Instagram, as it takes a cut of the sale. As well, it’s also no coincidence that this expansion to more types of sellers and creators comes at a time when Facebook’s rival, Google, has been working to diversify the revenue streams for its own set of creators on YouTube. Just last week, YouTube began allowing a select group of creators to sell their merch in a “digital shelf” directly below their video, taking a small commission on these sales.