Red Hot Thoughts | Is your social media iOS 14.5 ready?

On Tuesday (20th April), Apple announced its intention to make its iOS 14.5 update available to all iOS users next week. This will mean Apple will start requiring all apps in the App Store to obtain permission through its AppTrackingTransparency framework to “track” users across apps and websites owned by third parties for advertising and measurement purposes. But, what does this mean for social media marketing? And how can your social media team be ready in order to obtain and utilise the same data to help achieve your social marketing goals.

In this article, our Head of Social, Claire Warne will be discussing how Apple’s new policies will affect Facebook advertisers and some of the things you can do to help you survive this latest update.

 Facebook on apple phone iOS14.5

Firstly, what can we expect to see?

Facebook has been doing a huge amount of preparation for this update.

Back in January, the default attribution window was changed from 28 days to 7 days. As a result, advertisers may have already experienced a small decrease in the performance of your ads. However, with the next phase of the roll out, it will depend on how well prepared you are. If you are well prepared the impact should be minimal, although you may experience some reduced performance, particularly in remarketing. The quality of lookalike audiences may also be impacted. For those who are not prepared, there could be a very significant change.

If I’m not prepared, what can I expect to see?

Worst case scenario, you are no longer able to track purchases and you will no longer be able to optimise your campaigns towards purchases. This will impact your ability to run, optimise and report on your Facebook campaigns.

What impact will iOS 14.5 have on our campaigns?

Firstly, if iOS users ask the app not to track their activity, their data will not be sent to Facebook. Instead, Facebook will provide data from their new Aggregated Event Measurement, which is expected to provide limited and delayed data. It is also unknown how many people are likely to opt out, leaving Facebook to essentially fill the gaps. As such, you are likely to see impacts on your attribution, targeting and optimisation.

What effect do you expect to see on targeting?

Facebook has advised that the size of website custom audiences (used for remarketing) may decrease and will not fully update in real time as the data from Apple will take up to three days to be processed. This is likely to also have an impact on the quality of lookalike audiences.

In addition, excluding recent purchases may become less reliable, which may have an impact on ad performance through wasted budget.

And what about optimisation?

For some of our clients who run larger, more targeted campaign we have had to review how we structure their activity, as Facebook is introducing a limit on how many ads can be live at any one time from one Facebook page. This is tied to advertising spend and is 250 ads for businesses who spent less than $100,000 USD in their highest spending month of the last 12 months.

It may also be the case that, if Facebook has less customer data – and especially purchase data – its automated optimisation may be less reliable.

Do you expect this to impact other social channels?

While Facebook has made the biggest changes in reaction to the iOS 14.5 update, we would expect this to impact all social channels. However, because Facebook is so heavily reliant on data to run their adverts and because Facebook is such a dominant channel in the online advertising space, it may be that they are disproportionately affected. Other channels appear to be taking more of a “wait and see” approach.

Social Media Apps

What should I do to minimise the impact?

Here at Red Hot Penny, we have been taking steps with our clients to minimise the impact on this update. We started talking to our clients about iOS 14.5 in February, to discuss ways in which their advertising may be impacted and ways in which to mitigate the risk.

If you have any concerns about your social advertising due to this update, Red Hot Penny are offering some free support that you can request by getting in touch by clicking the button below.

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