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Christie McDougall

Christie McDougall

Apple (iOS14) Changes

So we’re not sure if you’ve heard, but Apple are about to launch a new update to their operating system (iOS14) that will have some significant impacts to the way we are able to run our social media ads.

In a nutshell, until this point people have been able to opt-out of having their data tracked when interacting on social media, however you have to dig pretty deeply into the settings to turn it off. With the new update, people will be given the option to opt-in to having their data tracked and as I’m sure you can imagine a lot of people are going to be saying no thank you to that.

So what does this mean for your ads? A lot of our targeting options for Facebook and Instagram are gleaned from how people spend their time on social media. We are able to target people based on what videos they watch, what posts they like and their interactions with friends as well as what websites they visit (when a Facebook Pixel is installed). Now we can’t actually see all this data as it attributes to a person (so don’t panic), but if they for example, watch a video on a new baby care product and then tag a friend, Facebook’s algorithm will pop that person into a group who’s interests might include “baby care” or “parenting” etc. Likewise, I bought a product from Officeworks recently, so now get targeted with ads for back to school supplies from Officeworks. If people opt out of having their data tracked, then targeting options like this will no longer be possible (or at least a lot less targeted and specific).

Whilst Apple and Facebook haven’t been very specific on exactly how these changes will impact marketers, we know for certain that there will be impacts, and we wanted you to be aware. So what can you expect?

  • A potential decline in results whilst the new rollout happens and the changes are adopted by users
  • Your data may change. We used to be able to work with a 28-day attribution window (I.e. if someone saw an ad visited the website, but only converted 14 days later it would still record the conversion), but Facebook is now only able to offer a 7 day attribution window so for the first month at least the numbers on clicks, conversions and recorded events may change slightly from day to day.

Now, we know this might be a concern so here is what we are doing about it to make sure that your campaigns are being well looked after:
We have downloaded historical data for the last 30 days on your campaigns so we can see exactly where changes have occurred and to what metrics when the new rollout takes place.

  • We currently use third party platforms for reporting and this will partially allow us more access to data via the API integration, rather than natively on Facebook so we will continue to monitor closely any benefits in data review that this will offer.
  • When the rollout does happen we will be taking time to closely monitor performance and if and where there are any declines we will be making changes to negate those declines wherever possible.
  • We are keeping up to date with other professional bodies and industry leaders so we can make sure we are getting all the learnings possible from the wider collective and applying those to our active campaigns
  • Keeping up to date with updates from Facebook on how they are handling the changes. They have been working on an algorithm to essentially ‘plug holes’ with anticipated data based on past performance, but when they have actual statistics on how many users are opting out they will be able to do more, so we are keeping track of this.

Whilst we are currently at the mercy a little of both Facebook and Apple as we wait to see what the fallout will be there is something that you can do:

  • If you are currently keeping track of your customers’ details please continue to do so. There is potential for us to use these lists to find new customers in the future.
  • If you do not currently have a good CRM system then investing the time to create one now would be invaluable in the future. The types of details we need are name, email, phone number, postcode etc.

Whilst this is only affecting Apple users at the moment, it is highly likely that Google will follow suit (they have said as soon as 2022) and this will again have big impacts to not only social media but also websites and Google Ads, so everything we do and learn now will be setting us all up for an easier road going forward.

Of course, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out, and if you want to learn more about the rollout and changes, here is a good article that offers some more detail.

Christie McDougall
Christie McDougall

Christie is our Digital Strategy manager and looks after our playbook process. Although she is most skilled in Social Media and PPC and helped TheOnlineCo. achieved Facebook Marketing Partner status, she has a comprehensive and thorough knowledge of marketing in a digital world. She uses her talents in strategy and planning to help clients understand exactly how to grow their business online and have all their marketing efforts pulling together in a collaborative effort, thereby achieving scale and cost efficiencies.

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