Facebook brings post insights back to Pages Manager app after temporary removal

pages managerA recent update to Pages Manager for iOS has returned detailed post insights to the product after a version earlier this month was released without them.

Facebook released version 2.0 of its Pages Manager app for iOS in early May to make the app faster and include new features like photo filters. However, it did not include the same level of per-post analytics as previous versions. Page owners could see how many people they reached but when they tapped the area that used to lead to more information, they were instead directed to a screen where they could buy Promoted Posts. Now, the additional metrics have been brought back.

Users can tap the “reach” metric to be taken to a new screen with an additional breakdown of how much of that reach was organic, paid or viral. They can swipe left to see details about engaged users, post clicks, link clicks and stories created. Another swipe will present People Talking About This, likes, comments and shares for the given post.

pages-manager-post-insights

Page owners can still promote their posts from the app by tapping the “promote” button. Another feature that Facebook removed from Pages Manager a few weeks ago, but hasn’t brought back yet is the option to create an Offer post. Admins have to create those from Facebook.com.

Facebook also made some bug fixes and performance updates in the latest version of Pages Manager released this week.

Facebook gives admins new way to create ‘unpublished posts’ directly from page

fb-targetingFacebook is testing a new way for page owners to create “unpublished posts” — those that intentionally do not appear to all fans of their page – directly from the composer on their page.

Unpublished posts do not appear on a page’s Timeline or in fans’ News Feeds, but they can be promoted with ads. This allows page owners to make posts that are tailored to a specific audience and ensure that they are only seen by that audience, not distributed to anyone who Likes the page. It also creates a way for advertisers to test different creative options for their page post ads without overwhelming their fans with multiple posts. Unpublished posts do not contribute to People Talking About This counts or appear in Page Insights.

hide-from-feed-unpublished-post

Now page owners can make these kinds of posts directly from their page by clicking the clock icon used to schedule posts. After users select a year, a “hide from News Feed” option will appear. Checking that box will prevent the post from being distributed to fans’ feeds, though it will still appear on the page’s Timeline. Then a page could promote the post or use it as part of a page post ad in the mobile or desktop News Feed. Photo posts, link posts and video posts are eligible.
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Facebook extends mobile page redesign to Android

pagesFacebook has begun to roll out its new mobile page layout to Android, a spokesperson from the company tells us.

Two weeks ago the social network debuted a redesign for business and fan pages on iOS, putting more actionable information about a business, brand or personality near the top of the screen. Now the design in reflected in the mobile web version of Facebook and eventually the Android app.

The redesign, with a top row of buttons and a prominent map and recommendations module, better optimizes pages for the mobile use case, for instance, looking up a store’s location or hours, viewing a restaurant’s photos or checking reviews. Options to Like, call, share or check into a place are easy to access. Instead of having to click to view a map, users can see the map, address and hours immediately. Place ratings are now visible on mobile location pages and a few recommendations can be read without having to click and load a new screen. A photos section allows users to quickly swipe through images, as they can in the mobile News Feed.

android-pages-layout

Page owners can now easily switch between the admin view and public view, which is a useful new feature. They can also pin one post to appear near the top of the screen, but they have to take this action from desktop. Facebook has eliminated the standalone sections for events, videos and photo albums. However, these will continue to show in the Timeline stream when they are posted, and one can be pinned to the top if desired.

Page owners should also keep in mind how the new design affects their cover photo since it will be darkened and the page name, description and profile photo will appear on top of it.

Facebook updates iOS Pages Manager to improve speed, allow photo editing, but removes detailed post insights and offers

pages managerFacebook released version 2.0 of its Pages Manager app for iOS on Wednesday, making it faster and including features like photo filters and stickers from its other applications. However, it no longer includes detailed post insights such as clicks and People Talking About This, and it no longer allows page owners create offers.

Previously, page owners could get several metrics about each of their posts, but now the only per-post metric that’s available is overall reach. Tapping the number leads page owners to a screen where they can pay to promote their post. To see insights like Link clicks, engaged users or even shares, page owners now have to visit desktop.

Many page owners may see this as another way that Facebook is putting its revenue-generating Promoted Posts feature ahead of functionality for admins. For example, a recent change on desktop replaced page notifications in the admin panel with prompts to promote their posts. [Update: A Facebook spokesperson says these features will be integrated in the next version of the app.]

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Facebook platform industry news: Compass Labs, ShopIgniter, Marin and Syncapse

compass-labs-shopigniter
Compass Labs/ShopIgniter

Social marketing platform Compass Labs today announced its partnership with ShopIgniter, a platform for creating rich media social posts. Through this partnership, brands can now develop rich media campaigns through ShopIgniter and promote them with paid media through Compass Labs’ CLIQ Ads Manager and with the insights gained from the CLIQ Social Intelligence platform.

With Facebook putting new demands on Preferred Marketing Developers to offer or influence all components of Facebook marketing, particularly paid media, many PMDs are forming business alliances like this one to better serve marketers throughout all stages of a campaign.

marin-softwareMarin Software

Advertising management platform Marin Software today announced new features for Facebook advertisers, making it easier to create different campaigns and optimize them, through automatic algorithms or enhanced reporting. Marin identified the following four key updates to its platform:

  • Facebook Campaign Wizard – Quickly and easily create Facebook campaigns at scale by entering just a few variables such as headline text, images and audience targets.
  • Creative Rotation Optimization and Reporting – Rotate creative within a single ad type or even rotate ads across different ad types after identifying the highest performing ads within a campaign.
  • Bidding Enhancements for Facebook – Decrease costs and increase performance by optimizing for any objective across the purchase funnel.
  • Single Interface View of Facebook Results – See all results in a single interface, including attribution and any financial or social objectives.

syncapseSyncapse

Social marketing platform Syncapse today announced that Maarten L. Albarda will serve on its industry advisory board. Albarda was previously Vice President, Global Connections for Anheuser Busch InBev, and before then Global Director, Media & Communication Innovation for The Coca-Cola Company.

Hearsay Social puts focus on ‘social selling’ with new software for sales reps

Hearsay-Social-LogoHearsay Social, maker of social media management software, is announcing a new Social Sales Solution to give individual salespeople better tools for monitoring their social networks and publishing relevant content.

The platform will identify top stories from a user’s network across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and send alerts about key people to reach out to in order to build and maintain relationships with prospects and customers.

Hearsay Social co-founder and CTO Steve Garrity says many salespeople, such as real estate agents, insurance brokers and consultants, use their personal social media profiles for business, building networks of friends and professional contacts. Through machine learning and natural language processing, Hearsay Social can pick out important posts and updates from those networks, such as someone getting married, moving or starting a new job. The salesperson could then comment on the item or send the person a direct message, though Garrity says many salespeople use these alerts as a prompt to pick up the phone and call the customer or lead directly.

Hearsay-Social-Activity-Feed

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Facebook brings Promoted Posts to mobile, tests audience options on desktop

pagesFacebook has brought its Promoted Posts feature for pages to its mobile apps for iOS and Android, as well as m.facebook.com. At the same time, the company has begun testing different targeting options for page owners using the desktop version, in some ways limiting the control people have over their ads.

Previously, Promoted Posts could be created through the Pages Manager mobile app, but not from the main application or mobile site. Now, however a user accesses their page, they’ll have a way to easily increase the reach of their posts.

promote-mobile

On desktop, some page owners are finding that Facebook has changed who they can target Promoted Posts to. Earlier this month some page owners lost the ability to promote their posts only to current fans. The post has to reach both fans and friends of fans. Some page owners might be frustrated by this since they may want to ensure their message is only being seen by the most relevant audience. However, these page owners can still use the main self-serve ads tool to create more targeted ads to fans only if they want.

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Platform industry update: Wildfire, ShopIgniter, Shoutlet, Spredfast and more

wildfireWildfire, the social media marketing platform owned by Google, announced Tuesday that it is shutting down its self-serve Promotion Builder product.

The company will instead offer promotions solely as part of its Social Marketing Suite for enterprise clients. Basic, Standard and Premium promotions will be retired June 30. Promotions data will be available for export up until July 31.

The Social Marketing Suite covers ad buying, page management, conversation monitoring and analytics, in addition to promotion development. Previously, anyone could visit Wildfire’s site, sign up for an account and start creating and running social promotions, such as sweepstakes, coupon offers or user-generated content contests. Now, Wildfire doesn’t offer any pricing information on its site and asks potential customers to contact the company directly.

Smaller brands and businesses could look to alternatives like Offerpop, North Social or Heyo, which give marketers a range of tools for running social promotions and creating other custom experiences across social, mobile and web properties, but without the cost and commitment of an enterprise contract.

Forrester assesses social relationship platforms

thumbs upForrester Research released a report Tuesday evaluating eight top social relationship platforms in terms of their current offering, strategy and market presence. Shoutlet received the highest score for current offering and Spredfast had the top score for strategy. Salesforce.com’s Buddy Media led in market presence.

Forrester looked at Adobe, Hearsay Social, Salesforce.com’s Buddy Media, Shoutlet, Socialwave, Spredfast, Sprinklr and Syncapse, rating each on 49 criteria. Overall, the study found no clear leaders in the space, but most were “strong performers.” Socialware and Syncapse were in the lower tier of “contenders.”

Shoutlet led the current offering category largely because of its comprehensive feature set and easy onboarding. Spredfast excelled in strategy because of its highly satisfied customer base, which found its measurement and reporting capabilities to be the strongest of all platforms.

The full report, “The Forrester Wave™: Social Relationship Platforms, Q2 2013,” is available for purchase here.

ShopIgniter updates rich media advertising platform

ShopIgniter_color_logo_vert_blackSocial marketing and commerce company ShopIgniter this week announced an update to its Igniter platform, which helps companies create rich media posts on Facebook, as well as its entry into the paid media management space.

The combination gives brands an end-to-end solution for running interactive advertisements in the Facebook News Feed. For instance, a company could show off a new product line with a video and image gallery that link to the retailer’s website or includes an entry form for a related sweepstakes. ShopIgniter provides templates, but experiences and design are fully customizable.

Instead of hosting these experiences in page tab applications that users hardly visit, ShopIgniter presents them in-stream so users can interact with and share the posts directly from News Feed. ShopIgniter says rich media posts generate more engagement and less negative feedback than traditional posts.

ShopIgniter now has a small media buying team to manage campaigns for clients. Sr. Director of Strategy Justin Kistner, who recently joined the company after leading product at Spruce Media, says he’s bringing on more media buyers and a product team is in the works but for now the company is mostly advising clients on how to apply paid media to their rich media posts created with ShopIgniter.

shopigniter-fiat-example

Facebook identifies engaging posts for page owners to promote

fb ads 2Facebook is testing a homepage module that recommends a recent engaging post for page owners to promote and reach more people with.

Reader Matteo Gamba says he saw the “Get More For Your Budget” prompt, shown right, next to his News Feed today beneath a summary of his current ad campaign. It identified a well-performing post and linked to a page where he could buy additional reach through a Promoted Post.

Specifically, Facebook noted that his post was getting 85 percent more engagement than other recent posts on the page. This is something that many Preferred Marketing Developers are building into their platforms to provide marketers with data they can act on and recommendations on how to allot their ad dollars.

When companies have an engaging post, best practices suggest that they capitalize on this by applying some paid media to increase its distribution. Some might initially think the opposite: that they should pay to promote their posts that aren’t doing so well. However, Facebook and third-party ad providers say to focus on what’s already working and amplify it. The money spent on promotion will go further if the post is already naturally engaging and leading users to interact with it or share it with friends.

For now this module seems like a small test to increase Promoted Post sales, but if Facebook expands this into an actual product as part of an update to Insights, there could be less incentive for marketers to use some of the software that third-parties are developing to make these sorts of observations and suggestions.

Facebook adds threaded comments to API

commentsFacebook has added API support for its new commenting system that allows users and pages to reply to specific comments on a post.

The social network last week made the new comments — with threaded conversations and a ranking algorithm meant to put the most relevant and high quality comments first — an option for all pages and users with more than 10,000 fans or followers. Now it has updated the Graph API to allow developers to incorporate comment replies.

This is a necessary addition for Preferred Marketing Developers or anyone building page management tools, and it’s somewhat surprising Facebook didn’t introduce API support for the feature when it initially went live last week.

Social media customer service platform Conversocial says it has already integrated the new commenting system, less than 24 hours after the API launched. Other companies are likely to follow soon, which should help large brands that use third-party software to manage their pages and could benefit from the new threaded comments, which better organizes conversations.

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