Facebook allows Power Editor users to create unpublished Offer ads

Unpublished (or dark) posts are becoming a very popular advertising unit on Facebook. Though it can only be done through Power Editor, unpublished posts allow marketers to create a Facebook ad without having to post a story to Facebook post. Admins can create an unpublished post for photos, videos, or other types of post, but according to AllFacebook, it appears that Facebook is expanding this capability into Offers.

AllFacebook reader Or Fialkov tipped off the site to this new ad capability.


Readers: Have you seen this?

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Facebook gives Offers emails a new look

offersFacebook has updated the design of the emails it sends when users claim an offer on the site.

The new emails, redesigned earlier this month it seems, have a more modern look with elements from the latest site redesign. The offer is presented in a module with a horizontal photo, similar to how it appears in News Feed, however it is much larger, so page owners should make sure they include a high quality photo with their original offer.

The email even includes the site’s top navigation bar, with quick links to a user’s profile and to their offers section. Offer details are also clearly listed with icons, similar to how information is presented on event pages.

This improved design could help users recognize that these offers are coming from Facebook rather than a third party. We’ve heard from users who have been wary of offers because they thought they were spam or part of some other app. The cleaner presentation of important information like expiration date could possibly increase conversions after users claim an offer. One difference page owners might not appreciate is that there is no longer a call to action to Like the page which created the offer, but Facebook might have found that few users were Liking pages from these emails.


Compare to the new email design to what Facebook had been sending previously:

offer plus redeem code

Thanks to Matteo Gamba for the tip and the screenshot.

Facebook brings new Offers format to Android

offers-android-bookmarkFacebook today announced that its new version of Offers with larger images and calls to action are now available on Android.

In February, the social network began testing the new layout on desktop with an option to shop immediately or get a reminder before the promotion ends. The interface also lets users decide if and when to share the offer with friends. We started seeing this on iOS in early April, and the company officially announced it a few weeks later. Now, the product is uniform across desktop and mobile, including Android.

Overall, the new design is likely to increase conversions on Offers posts because of the cleaner design and more prominent buttons to “Get offer” or “Shop now.” The “Remind Me” button available for some retailers working with Facebook directly allows companies to prompt users to redeem their offer at a later date through a notification on Facebook.


Facebook continues Offers test with ‘remind me’ button now on mobile

featured imageFacebook is continuing its test with a few global retailers to make Offers more effective in generating online sales. Part of this includes a new “remind me” button on offers that appear in the mobile feed.

When we found Facebook is testing a new version of Offers in February, the options to shop immediately or get a reminder before the promotion ends were only available on desktop. Now we’ve seen this on mobile, too. The “remind me” button could be especially useful here since the prominence of mobile ads leads to a lot of clicks, but users might not be as likely to complete a purchase on their phones.


Facebook recommends deals in new ‘My Offers’ section

offersAs part of a recent test that gives users a dedicated section of the site to collect offers they’ve claimed, Facebook is now recommending other offers that users might be interested in.

Last week we saw Facebook testing a new version of its Offers product, which gives users the option to shop immediately or get a reminder before the promotion ends. The new offers, which are being tested with a few select retailers, feature larger images and the interface lets users decide if and when to share the offer with friends. Offers are saved to a new section of a user’s account, which they can access from an Offers bookmark in the left-hand menu.

This week the social network began suggesting additional offers in the My Offers section of the site. Beneath offers that users have already claimed, users may see “Recommended Offers” from other retailers that have promotions going on. Facebook is perhaps hoping to turn this section into a destination for deal-hunting consumers.


Facebook tests new version of Offers to increase conversions, give users control when they share with friends

Facebook is testing a new version of its Offers product, which gives users the option to shop immediately or get a reminder before the promotion ends. The interface also lets users decide if and when to share the offer with friends.

The new implementation could be more effective in leading to direct sales for retailers, while helping users remember to take advantage of the offers they’re interested in and giving them more control over how their activity is shared.

A Facebook spokesperson says the company is working with a few global retailers for this test, but for now other pages aren’t affected and their offers will continue to appear in the original format.



Facebook says 500,000 pages use Promoted Posts, 42M users claim Offers

smb marketingFacebook shared new statistics about some of its latest products for business pages today on its fourth quarter earnings call, including that nearly 500,000 pages have used Promoted Posts and 42 million users have claimed an Offer.

COO Sheryl Sandberg said revenue from local businesses was strong in Q4 2012, with the number of local businesses paying for advertising on Facebook doubling since the beginning of 2012. Sandberg says this is in large part because of Promoted Posts, which make it easy for businesses to buy ads directly from their pages instead of the more complicated ad dashboard. This product rolled out in June, and by December 300,000 pages had promoted 2.5 million posts. Now Facebook says nearly 500,000 pages have tried the offering, and about 30 percent are first-time advertisers on Facebook. More than 70 percent of pages who have tried Promoted Posts have become repeat customers, Sandberg says.

Then there are Facebook Offers, which are a type of post that pages can use to drive interest and sales for their business. In September Facebook began requiring page owners to spend a minimum of $5 or $10 per Offer, with the option to pay more to promote the deal and reach a larger audience. As with Promoted Posts, costs can vary by page, however the first Offer a page creates is free. Sandberg says costs per redemption for Offers compare favorably to those from email, newspaper, paid search and display media based on data from the Direct Marketing Association. Sandberg didn’t say how many pages have tried these offers, but 42 million claimants is significant. In October Facebook said the majority of users who claim an Offer on the social network do so after seeing a story about it from a friend, not the original page post, indicating the viral nature of the promotion.

Facebook today reported $1.59 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2012 ended Dec. 31 — a 40 percent increase from the $1.13 billion reported in Q4 2011. Revenue from advertising was $1.33 billion, representing 84 percent of total revenue and a 41 percent increase from the same quarter last year.

3 out of 4 users who claim Facebook Offers do so after hearing about it from a friend

Facebook says the majority of users who claim an Offer on the social network do so after seeing a story about it from a friend, not the original page post.

Specifically, of the 100 most popular Facebook Offers, three-fourths of the claims came from friends of people who shared the Offer, explained Facebook Vice President of Business and Marketing Partnerships David Fischer at DMA 2012. Because claiming an Offer generates a story in News Feed and Timeline, these promotions can quickly go viral and reach a broader audience than a company’s fans. It’s important for Facebook to make this point, especially since Offers are no longer free to run.

About a month ago Facebook began requiring page owners to spend a minimum of $5 or $10 per Offer, with the option to pay more to promote the deal and reach a larger audience. As with Promoted Posts, costs can vary by page, however the first Offer a page creates is free.

Offers are created directly from the page publisher and do not require approval from Facebook before going live. Users can claim Offers on desktop or mobile and they will instantly receive an email from Facebook that includes the Offer voucher. Businesses have the option to add a barcode or unique coupon code to these Offers, allowing them to track how a campaign affected in-store and online sales.

Page owners looking for help creating an Offer can read a how-to on our Facebook Marketing Bible site.

Facebook to charge businesses for ‘Offers’ posts

Facebook today announced it will begin charging page owners at least $5 per Offers post, with the option to pay more to promote the post and reach a bigger audience.

Previously, page owners could create offers for free, just like making any other post. Companies, however, could pay to boost the unit into a page post ad, Sponsored Story or Promoted Post. Now that ad spend is mandatory. Businesses will still be able to run Offers for a minimal budget, but ads must be created in order for people to see Offers in their feeds.

Facebook also said businesses are now able to add a bar code or a unique code to these Offers, allowing them to better track the results of their campaigns and run them on e-commerce sites as well.

Facebook told us in February that offers would replace check-in deals — a promotion that was free to create but had to be approved by Facebook before going live. Consumers claimed these deals when they checked into a location through their phone. Although Facebook said no new check-in deals would be approved after the Facebook Marketing Conference where Offers were announced, the dashboard for creating check-in deals is still available for pages associated with a physical location.

Facebook bug leads Lululemon and more pages to post fake offers; other pages can’t create offers at all

A bug affecting Facebook pages, including several of Lululemon Athletica’s local pages, posted empty offers without the admins’ knowledge last week.

We’ve heard from a number of page owners that experienced this issue and several others that have the opposite problem: they can’t post offers to their page at all. As is commonly the case, there has been little communication from Facebook about the problems and page owners have been turning to Facebook groups and community forums to find out what to do. There are often dozens of bugs affecting different groups of users at any given time, but this one has been more than an inconvenience. For some, it has appeared damaging to their brand.

When fake offers were posted to certain fan pages last week, many admins thought their accounts had been hacked. Users were able to claim the offers, but the coupon they received via email turned out to be blank. Only after the Lululemon offers went viral did the company learn that the problem was the result of a bug in Facebook’s system. Facebook tells us it has removed the accidentally posted offers and sent an email explaining the issue to users who tried to claim them. However, some fans seem to be more upset with the businesses than Facebook.

Logan Ayliffe, who manages social media for French Broad Chocolates, says the company’s Ashville, N.C. store had to put up signs about the issue after fielding Facebook comments and phone calls from frustrated customers.

In a public Help Center thread about problems with Facebook offers, Ayliffe wrote, “I’ve spent the better part of two years building trust with my audience, never with the hard sell, always with the non-marketing-sounding culture building, always with the giveaways. And in one shitty bug, Facebook ate a chunk of that trust.”

He says he wanted to make up for the mistake by posting a legitimate offer to the page, but encountered another bug that initially prevented him from doing so. It seems that since Facebook introduced the “voice” feature for page owners to choose whether to post to their page as themselves or their brand, some admins have been unable to make offers. Facebook has not addressed the issue, but some users discovered that switching back and forth between their own voice and the voice of the page solves the problem.

Offers still haven’t rolled out to all business pages, though they were announced in February. Bugs like these might be part of the reason for the delay.

Page owners who are experiencing issues with offers can contribute to the Help Center thread here.

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