4 ways to benefit from combining Facebook brand & direct marketing

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Many marketers think of Facebook marketing as a brand activity – not one that can drive conversion directly. However, it doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition. By combining brand marketing and direct marketing actions, social media marketers can drive both amplification and conversion.

Companies are growing their social media budgets and with more money comes increased expectations (and scrutiny). The need to prove ROI of efforts and social media’s role to the bottom line is becoming essential. This still isn’t down to a science, however. As Social Media Examiner points out in its 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 88 percent of marketers still want to know how best to measure social media ROI.

This makes Facebook ripe for a convergence of brand marketing and direct marketing. Why? Because by combining brand marketing and direct marketing actions, social media marketers contribute to specific data and revenue objectives, allowing them to show ROI and measurable business impact. In the process, they prove the value of the social media investment and the social marketer’s value as well.

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How Facebook’s Instagram integration could rock the industry

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Digital marketers are used to assimilating platform updates and advancements into their ad campaigns, but there could be a sea change on the horizon.

It’s been over two years since Facebook acquired Instagram, and the social giant has finally dropped a big clue about how it might integrate the photo-sharing platform. If a recent test proves to be a precursor to a bigger strategy to come, Facebook could position itself as a marketing ecosystem that will challenge everyone – Google, Twitter, etc. – to catch up.

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Life after like gating: How to keep growing and engaging your fan base

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Recently, Facebook announced that they will eliminate like gating for Facebook pages on Nov. 5.

Fan gating (or like gating) allows brands to require consumers to become Facebook fans in order to view exclusive content, redeem coupons or enter sweepstakes. In the short term, the move might be a blow to brands that rely on fan gating to grow their audience. But ultimately, the change will encourage brands to focus on strategically growing an engaged, relevant audience. It is a sign that social marketing is evolving past goals like “getting more likes,” and maturing into a practice that is focused on delivering real business value for an unusually low cost.

This is a good thing, we promise.

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Facebook betting big on virtual reality: A look at the Oculus VR deal

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When Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion back in 2012, industry experts believed the social media giant overpaid for the photo app. The same brand of thinking followed Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp in February this year. Regarded as the tech deal of the century, industry opinion was split down the middle on whether the deal made any sense, or Facebook massively overpaid for WhatsApp.

And then in March, Facebook announced its plan to acquire Oculus VR, the maker of virtual-reality for $2 billion (the deal was approved by the FTC in May); the acquisition was completed in July. Needless to say, the deal evoked polarized reactions from the industry in general, Oculus’ Kickstarter backers and the stock markets.

This led to a fresh round of debates and discussions about Facebook’s penchant for making deals that don’t make immediate sense.  The keyword here is ‘immediate.’ Dig a little deeper and the acquisitions start making sense (at least people start to tell themselves that they make sense).

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How to navigate the Facebook ad campaign maze: Part II

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In part I of our series on strategies for navigating the Facebook ad campaign maze, we looked at how marketers can successfully launch and manage their Facebook campaigns. Today’s post examines the best ways to get the most out of your Facebook ad creative.

Hint: size does matter!

As I wrote in a previous Inside Facebook post, Facebook has made it clear to marketers that it wants – and its users expect – a compelling, visually appealing reason to engage with a brand’s ad. That requires smart, compelling creative that recognizes the intelligence of the average Facebook user. No more generic ad creative or text-heavy wall posts. Instead, those must be replaced with high-quality ad creative that uses engaging images and limited text.

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Optimize your Facebook advertising performance with the right bidding

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Facebook is running one of the largest auctions on the Internet and it enables anyone to buy advertising space on Facebook through the online auction. However, the auction doesn’t work like a traditional one: the highest bid is not always enough to win it. A well-performing ad – e.g. high click-through rate and positive ad engagement – with a combination of high enough bid will allow you to win the auction and get your ad shown on Facebook.

Selecting the most suitable bidding type helps you to improve your campaign performance. At the moment Facebook offers four different options: Cost per click (CPC), Cost per thousand impressions (CPM), Optimized CPM (oCPM) and Cost per action (CPA). There is no golden rule for the right type, thus I recommend you to test different options. However, there are some tips for you how to go forward with testing.

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How to navigate the Facebook ad campaign maze: part I

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Now that summer is here, it’s a good time to reflect on the past six months of Facebook advertising. The year started with a mega deal — the company’s $19 billion cash-and-stock deal for social messaging app WhatsApp — and has evolved along with the way with the introduction of more advanced direct marketing-based ad targeting features and tools.

What’s been clear throughout each of these announcements and changes to its advertising platform is that Facebook is no longer just an engagement or branding platform for marketers. Now, it is a highly diversified engagement plus direct-response performance-based advertising platform.

Facebook now offers advertisers a growing set of ad solutions that help generate real, measurable business results. By implementing these ad types, marketers can begin to realize the full customer acquisition benefits of Facebook advertising.

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A look into Facebook’s ‘Big Like Theory’

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In the TV show “The Big Bang Theory,” the humor and fun of the show comes from the relationships between the main characters as expressed by their geekiness. Geekiness often evidenced by their special and superior understanding of complex mathematical algorithms and science problems. As viewers we don’t always understand all of it, but we get that geeky commonality is what brings this group together and makes them tick.

Facebook ticks along pretty much in the same way, using complex algorithms and science to determine the strength and quality our relationships with our friends to affect what content we see and like in our News Feed… to keep us entertained enough to come back for more and more. So now I’ve got a “Big Like Theory: I’d like to share with you that plays into that idea.

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How ‘sticky’ is Facebook?

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For most Facebook users, the social network has become a fully integrated part of our life. Our personalities now mesh with the online world in the form of Facebook making us all one step closer to eventually that in the not too distant future we will all in some small way become cyborgs. So the question becomes, how ingrained is Facebook into our lives?

With hundreds of cable channels, on-demand videos, HD video game consoles, and massive libraries of e-books all calling for our attention, Facebook continues to stand out as a major player for our time and attention making it one of the stickiest websites in the world.

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Infographic: Is your Facebook profile hurting your job search?

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Looking for a job should be simple; you spend hours trawling career websites, tweaking your CV, writing cover letters, and brushing up on your interview skills.  But, in an age where Facebook has become such an important part of our lives, could your profile be hindering your job search?

It’s definitely a possibility: 69 percent of employers say they’ve rejected candidates based on their social media activity and, with 77 percent of employers actively using social media to find candidates, having a Facebook profile to be proud of (or at least knowing how to hide the things you don’t want potential employers to see) is becoming even more important.

To help with this, Distilled put together a guide to help job seekers optimise four social media channels, including Facebook. You can check it out below to learn about how you can change your Facebook profile, and not miss out on that all-important new job.

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