Infographic: Q1 performance of search vs. Facebook ads

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One of the biggest questions in online advertising is whether search or social advertising is the best route to go.

Kenshoo, a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer, recently compared how search advertising is performing in Q1, compared to Facebook ads. Though Facebook advertising’s cost-per-click has risen 35 percent year-over-year, it has decreased 26 percent quarter-over-quarter.

Other key findings (YoY):

  • Search ad spend increased 10% and Facebook spend increased 37%
  • Search advertiser revenue increased 12% and Facebook revenue increased 191%
  • Search clicks increased 8% and Facebook clicks increased 1%
  • Search average cost-per-click was $0.59 (up 2%) and Facebook was $0.25 (up 35%)

Learn more about the trends in search vs. Facebook advertising by reading below.

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Facebook PMD ShopIgniter announces two promotions to VP

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ShopIgniter, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer, announced this week the promotion of two employees to the role of Vice President. Clay Moore will move from Senior Director  of Marketing Solutions to Vice President of Marketing Solutions.

Justin Kistner will move from Senior Director of Strategy to Vice President of Strategy.

ShopIgniter CEO Matt Compton commented on the announcement in a press release:

The employees we’re recognizing today truly are ‘A’ players in their outstanding leadership, constant pursuit of excellence and track record of consistently outperforming expectations. It’s my privilege to work alongside such creative and driven employees every day to together propel ShopIgniter’s success.

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Facebook testing ‘Popular Pages in Your Area’ feature

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Wondering what pages people in your area like? Facebook is apparently testing a sidebar feature called Popular Pages in Your Area.

As brought to Inside Facebook’s attention by Samuel Edwards of Tenthwave and Danny Goodwin of Search Engine Watch, some users are seeing a sidebar module that allows users to see popular pages liked by people in their area.

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Slideshow: 10 apps growing wildly on the Facebook platform

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As Facebook’s F8 conference — a developer’s haven — approaches, the social network recently identified 10 high-performing apps to Inside Facebook that are either seeing stellar return on investment through ads or are growing through Open Graph and Facebook Login.

Some, like Hotels.com and Top Eleven: Be a Football Manager, may not be new to Facebook users, but the Facebook platform has helped emerging apps such as YPlan, Cooliris and Swell Radio, as well.

The F8 conference has been a major boon to apps such as Spotify … could the 10 apps listed below be the next to make it big?

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Texas, Milwaukee baseball parks lead Opening Week Facebook checkins

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Facebook tracked check-ins at Major League Baseball stadiums in the first week of games, with a couple of surprising venues leading the list.

Baseball fans checked into Globe Life Park/Rangers Ballpark, home stadium of the Texas Rangers, most often, followed by Miller Park, where the Milwaukee Brewers call home.

Find out where else baseball fans checked in during MLB’s first few days.

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Study: Brands still overwhelmingly prefer photos on Facebook

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Though Facebook has tried to make its link share post format more visual, with bigger images, many marketers still prefer to simply post photos (usually with a link) to their Facebook pages.

A new study by Socialbakers, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer, of Facebook posts in a month by more than 30,000 brands shows that 75 percent of the content posted were photos. Links were the next biggest group, with 10 percent. The reason why? 87 percent of the engagement happens on photos, Socialbakers found among the top 10 percent of posts.

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Facebook testing more descriptive review prompts

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In an effort to encourage users to leave better reviews on place-based pages, it appears that Facebook has beefed up the prompt.

As noticed by intrepid Inside Facebook reader Matteo Gamba, the input box for some review prompts offers a much more detailed preview of what a user can write.

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FTC approves $19B Facebook-WhatsApp deal — with a caveat

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The Federal Trade Commission approved Facebook’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp on Thursday, but issued a warning to the messaging app that it needs to keep its pre-Facebook level of privacy in place.

Bureau Director Jessica Rich wrote a letter to both companies’ legal counsel, noting that before making any changes to how Facebook uses data already collected from WhatsApp users, both companies must get affirmative consent. Facebook/WhatsApp also must not misrepresent their efforts in maintaining the privacy and security of data. Rich also recommends that WhatsApp users be able to opt out of any future changes to how newly-collected data is used.

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Facebook wants to clean up like-baiting and other spam

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Facebook vowed Thursday to keep the News Feed cleaner of spam, calling out pages that use like-baiting and other shady techniques to game the algorithm and receive outstanding organic reach.

Many times, passion pages or other types non-business affiliated pages will share an image while begging for likes, comments, and shares — launching the content into more News Feeds. However, Facebook says that this content is, on average, 15 percent less relevant than content with similar vital stats.

So Facebook is taking action against like-baiting posts, as well as content that is repeatedly shown in News Feed and spammy links.

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UPDATED: Is Facebook’s neglected sidebar on the rise?

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Facebook has been facing a problem: as the company made News Feed advertising more attractive, brands shifted more of their focus and money to Facebook’s most-visited product. Studies showed that the ROI for sidebar ads just wasn’t enough, as engagement is much higher on News Feed.

As a result, prices went up, reach took a dive and advertisers started to gripe or diversify their spending.

So now, in an attempt to maybe lighten the load a bit on News Feed, Facebook announced Wednesday that advertisers will be allowed to showcase bigger pictures in sidebar ads. This will be tested with select brands later this month, with a wider rollout later this year. Facebook hasn’t disclosed the exact dimensions of these images, but notes that they will be proportional to News Feed ad images.

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