Can Facebook, Instagram posts predict buying behavior?

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There’s an interesting way marketers are reaching out to customers through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. When users post that they’re pregnant, or recently engaged — or another significant life event — that’s data marketers can use to predict buying behavior.

Viralheat, a social marketing management firm, says that many clients are seeing success by tracking this type of conversation. For instance, a variety of retailers could target ads toward a user (or join the discussion) who posts a picture of a ring on Instagram with the hashtag #Engaged or makes a public post about an engagement.

Viralheat spoke with Inside Facebook about how brands can use more information that users freely post in order to turn fans into influencers.

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Case Study: Retailer uses Custom Audiences to drive 35:1 ROI

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One of the most popular ad tools on Facebook right know is Custom Audiences. An online retailer recently tapped Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer SocialWire to reach current customers with targeted ads via Custom Audiences, experiencing an average last-click return on investment of $32 for each $1 spent.

The campaign opened up the client’s inventory of 50,000 products, pushing advertisements for 600 of them. SocialWire found that 89 of these products had an ROI greater than 35:1, with some hitting as high as 45:1.

How did they do it?

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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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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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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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Facebook to enlarge images in sidebar ads

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As advertisers flock to the News Feed and often eschew the right sidebar, the value has declined for many cases. Facebook looks to rectify that by making images in the sidebar ads bigger, the company announced Wednesday.

According to Facebook, these sidebar ad images will use the same proportions as desktop News Feed ads, they will be larger than past sidebar ads, and there will be fewer of them.

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3 verticals poised for breakout success in Facebook advertising

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Over the last five years, a number of industries and consumer verticals have found success with Facebook advertising. From home services to mobile app downloads and consumer finance, many direct-response advertisers have achieved significant returns from their Facebook ad campaigns.

Several consumer verticals are on the cusp of breakout success with Facebook advertising. They have been given a shot in the arm by Facebook in recent months with the social network’s addition of several new performance-oriented ad solutions. Those solutions are helping turn Facebook into a hybrid engagement plus performance ad solution.

Retail, online gambling and automotive are all poised for breakout success in Facebook advertising. Let’s take a closer look at each and some of the new ad solutions Facebook provides companies in these verticals.

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Infographic: Accelerating native advertising using rich media on Facebook

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As organic reach becomes harder to come by, with more and more competition for News Feed space, many brands know that native posts need to be combined with advertising.

Moontoast, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer, published an infographic showing how rich media on Facebook can drive awareness, voting and lead generation. The infographic notes that for roughly every $1 spent on Facebook ads, a company receives 4,000 impressions on an ad. While Facebook might be better for conversions than Twitter, the 140-character service is much better for clickthrough rate.

Learn more by clicking below.

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How is the Facebook ad landscape evolving?

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As smart marketers know, the Facebook ad ecosystem is constantly changing and evolving.

Kevin Bobowski, the VP of Marketing at Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer Offerpop, recently discussed with Inside Facebook how advertisers and marketers are grasping that organic reach on Facebook is diminishing, and how Google’s cessation of Wildfire signaled that the social ad landscape has changed drastically.

Inside Facebook: What does the news of Google and Wildfire mean for Facebook marketers?

Kevin Bobowski: I think for the Facebook ecosystem, with this news around Wildfire, one of the interesting data points that has come up since the Wildfire news, is the diminishing reach of Facebook. Brands are more and more reliant on paid advertising to reach fans and acquire audiences on Facebook. I think because that’s happening, it’s just really clear to us, when we talk to our customers and major brands, that they’re diversifying from Facebook as they think about a social media presence.

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Shorty Awards: Which Facebook ad campaign was the best in 2013?

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As the Shorty Awards (Monday, April 7), draw closer, one of the most competitive categories is the race for the best Facebook ad campaign of the year. Among the nominees are Pepsi, the University of Phoenix, Game of Thrones and Nissan.

Greg Galant, Co-Founder and Executive Producer of the Shorty Awards, described to Inside Facebook the importance of Facebook in today’s marketing ecosystem:

Brands are embracing new platforms such as Vine and Instagram video at a rate that’d put even a tech-savvy teenager to shame. We’re excited to honor the best in the industry and to have Unmetric return as our partner recognizing the top Facebook campaigns from 2013. Facebook has become a vital part in every marketing strategy and this year’s finalists showed that innovation and originality still exist on the decade-old platform.

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