To many commentators, they are two peas in a pod: Facebook and Twitter dominate mindshare when it comes to social media, and each is now courting video producers and advertisers aggressively. But to me, that is where the comparison ends.

While Facebook goes from strength to strength, with third-quarter-2017 advertising revenue up 49 percent over the prior year, Twitter’s ad sales declined by 8 percent over the same period. That tells you everything you need to know about how these two social darlings will have diverging strategies in 2018.

The social pyramid is now mature, so it’s no wonder that the two platforms are looking toward TV ad budgets for that extra step up. But while Facebook has a diversified product set to monetize, Twitter is going all-in on video, which is now its biggest ad format.

This is one of the most competitive spaces in media sales today, targeting national and multinational brands and agencies for budget that is coming under pressure for reduction. But there is another, overlooked pocket of media spending that is begging to be unlocked.

Small local businesses may already advertise at the bottom end of social, and large national chains bring national campaigns to the head, but the swathe of large regional businesses in what I call the “torso” is the major short-term to midterm opportunity when it comes to social ad spend. Facebook has already identified this middle market as its next big advertising growth opportunity. Read more from…

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