Facebook improves event ads, launches insights

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Facebook has made the event much more powerful for page admins.

In the next few weeks, Facebook is rolling out the ability to make it easier to promote events (not just boost a post about an event), as well as insights showing how many people have seen the event.

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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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Facebook announces ad targeting based on bandwidth connection

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Facebook on Wednesday introduced a new way to target ads: based on bandwidth connection. This will help advertisers reach users whose mobile connection may not be best for video ads or other data-hungry methods.

This new feature allows advertisers to target based on mobile connection: 2G, 3G or 4G.

Facebook Product Marketing Manager Brendan Sullivan announced this in a blog post:

Targeting by mobile network type helps advertisers choose creative that will run smoothly on any given device and connection speed. For example, serving a video ad to people in Indonesia with 2G connections may mean wasted impressions if people are unable to load the video or it buffers for minutes when clicked. Optimizing the creative — for instance, targeting a video campaign to people with high-speed connections, and swapping in an image or link ad for people with slower connections — means ads can perform more efficiently for the people seeing them.

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Back to school = back on Facebook?

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As the school year begins, are parents (and students) spending more time on Facebook?

According to Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer Marin Software, around this time of year, clicks on Facebook ads tend to have a huge spike. Looking back at 59 million Facebook ad clicks throughout 2013, the company found that activity takes off as summer gives way to fall. Marin also examined ad clicks for Google and Bing in the same time frame, finding that Facebook really charges ahead around the time of back to school.

In July 2013, Facebook experienced its second lowest volume of ad clicks at a level 25 percent below the baseline (January). But after that, Facebook ads are much more active. From July to August, there’s a 38 percent upswing.

Marin Software feels that this spike is due to parents having more time once their kids are back in school. Additionally, college students could be using the site more around that time too.

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The harmony of search + Facebook: a Q&A with BrightEdge CEO Jim Yu

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It’s becoming more evident that search and social are not exactly separate silos.

As customers use both search and Facebook in their purchasing decisions, it’s important for companies to make sure those presences are optimized. Jim Yu, the CEO of search and social optimization firm BrightEdge, spoke with Inside Facebook at the company’s Share14 conference in San Francisco about the relationship between the two platforms.

Inside Facebook: Can you talk about the way that the relationship between search and Facebook is evolving?

Jim Yu: What we’re starting to see is that you really have to think about the content that you’re creating and then you have to think about the integrated strategies across the different channels. Here’s what’s happening: I’m creating this piece of content. How am I going to drive engagement to this? A big part of it starts with understanding the demand. What do people care about? Once you figure that out, then you can create the content. Then you can drive that into different channels.

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How can B2B companies take advantage of Facebook retargeting?

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Facebook’s retargeting offerings, such as Custom Audiences and mobile app ads, have given a huge boost to the gaming and retail advertising sectors. Through retargeting, game developers have been able to gain installs and re-engage lapsed players, while retailers have been able to target users who stopped somewhere along the conversion funnel.

So what’s the next frontier for this kind of advertising? According to AdRoll, a Facebook Exchange partner, it’s the B2B sector.

AdRoll’s President and CMO, Adam Berke, talked with Inside Facebook about how B2B is the next big vertical for retargeting:

Generally, retargeting is known to be focused around retail, travel and classifieds, but one of our biggest verticals is actually B2B and technology. Those businesses use us because it’s very hard to find B2B decision makers and CIO types and people who are making those types of buying decisions for their companies. Once they find it, that data is really valuable. Once they identify their audience, whether it’s a SAAS product or a free trial or a freemium model, that has been a really big growth area for us. They’re starting to figure out ways to use mobile, also.

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Facebook relaxes News Feed ad frequency limits

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Facebook is constantly trying to balance user experience with marketing potential in its News Feed. Upcoming changes to the News Feed will alter the frequency with which users see a certain ad.

As first reported by Digiday, Facebook is loosening restrictions on ad frequency within its marquee product. An email sent from Facebook to advertising agencies illustrates three key changes:

  • A single ad can be inserted in News Feed up to twice per day (up from one).
  • Ads from a page that a person is not connected to can be inserted into News Feed up to twice per day (previously only one per page, per day).
  • Ads from a page that a person is connected to can be inserted into News Feed up to four times per day (remains consistent from before).

A Facebook spokesperson told Inside Facebook that this will not mean that users see more ads in News Feed:

This does not change ad load. We will not show more ads; rather, we are updating the spacing between ads, and relaxing some of the parameters around insertions of ads from the same advertiser.

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Instagram debuts advertising, marketing tools

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Instagram’s clout as a marketing channel just got a little bigger. Instagram announced recently that there will be a trio of tools for advertisers and marketers: account insights, ad insights and ad staging.

Instagram announced these new tools on its blog:

The new tools will help brands monitor their posts and campaigns by providing information on reach, impressions, and engagement. For example, an advertiser will now have access to a real-time campaign summary and data showing how their target audience is responding to each of their sponsored photos. Also, brand marketers will be able to better understand the best time of day to post a photo or video.

We’ve worked closely with several of our advertising partners to make sure these tools meet their needs. We’re now making them available to all Instagram advertisers, whose feedback will help us improve the product before releasing it to additional brands later this year.

So what can these features do?

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Should Facebook pages still pay to acquire new fans?

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A common refrain among small business marketers goes something like this: “We’ve paid to acquire new fans, and now we have to pay again to reach them?”

There’s been a shift recently in Facebook ad and marketing circles, prompting page admins and brands to put more investment in engagement. But has the “like” been rendered useless? According to Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer SocialCode, definitely not.

A new report by SocialCode shows that pages should keep doing campaigns to acquire new fans on Facebook, as they tend to convert more often than non-fans. Instead of just acquiring fans and hoping for profit, SocialCode Chief Innovation Officer Addie Conner told Inside Facebook that fan acquisition campaigns should be coupled with retargeting so these new fans don’t just disappear:

We were looking for new ways to scale on (direct response). Facebook started allowing new ways of retargeting against email lists through Custom Audiences. Immediately, we saw that if they use an email list on Facebook and were retargeting against those users, that works really well. We were able to get really efficient CPAs on that. If you think about fans, it’s just like another email list. You’re getting a group of users who are opting in to see your content going forward and you have an audience that is retargetable over time. If you measure the marginal benefit and it’s coming in, these people are saving you more money than they cost downstream.

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Top 4 tips for creating a successful targeted Facebook ad campaign

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It’s no secret that Facebook’s organic reach for pages has plummeted over the last year — or that the free ride is essentially over — but forking over a little cash for ads could do some good. The most efficient way to do this? Through creating a targeted campaign.

Social ads are a great way for businesses to foster consumer engagement and expand their reach, according to Phil Penton, president of Social Integration.

U.S. companies spent a combined $5.1 billion on social media advertising last year, and that number is expected to increase to $15 billion by the end of 2018, according to BIA/Kelsey.

Penton told Inside Facebook:

This is the hottest topic out there. Everyone was out there growing their fans [on Facebook], and spent a lot of time growing their Likes with the thought that they were going to be able to post content for free and their fans would be able to see it. The reality is that if you had 100,000 Likes on your Page, only 10 percent were seeing your posts anyway, which isn’t great to begin with.

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