Once you leave high school, it’s believed that the popularity contest is over, right? It no longer matters what brand of jeans you wear, if you’re a jock or a nerd or what kind of car you drive. Well, it matters again, especially if you’re trying to build your brand on Facebook.
Facebook is a tricky nut to crack, especially with all the talk of algorithms and things that, on a basic level, you probably don’t really understand. If you post something on your Facebook page, your fans should be able to see it and then “like” it. Unfortunately, Facebook is a little more complicated than that, but they’re working on it.
As more Facebook users check their News Feed from their phone, the mobile app install advertisement is becoming the hottest trend for developers. But it takes more than just a screenshot of the app to get a user to download it.
Leah Na’aman, the marketing manager for SocialClicks, talked at the Inside Social Apps conference recently in San Francisco to share some best practices for really reaching customers and potential app users through the News Feed.
The one fail-proof tip? Blue hair.
Being Liberal has 600,000 fans on Facebook. Coca-Cola has 65 million fans — a following 100 times bigger.
Coke has an astronomical annual ad budget and marketing machine.
Being Liberal is just one guy posting content — zero ad budget.
But one of these pages has 800,000 active users. And the other has more than 900,000 active users. Which is which, and how come?
I’ve read a few articles lately (New York Times, Financial Review, NPR) about the misplacement of brand ads on Facebook and other social networks that have me thinking. While Facebook worked quickly to resolve the issues and get the advertisers back up on the platform, I feel that the whole issue could have been prevented altogether though better practices of Facebook campaigns.
The real power that Facebook puts in the hands of advertisers is the ability to target to a specific audience more accurately than any other mass media, both digital and offline. To quote the amazing Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility.” This is what advertisers need to recognize. The responsibility of targeting falls on their shoulders. Running a quality Facebook campaign is a mix of targeting science and the art of connecting audiences with messages that speak to them.
Facebook wants to simplify advertising and place the focus on the objective, not the method. The company announced Thursday that it is turning its advertising model around and going from 27 types of ad units to less than half of that, making the goal of the ad the first thing an advertiser sees, rather than a list of types of ads. While this may not benefit major brands that habitually spend money on Facebook, these changes to Facebook’s ad flow could mean that more small businesses enter the fray, now that some of the complexities have been eliminated.
Ticker, the real-time activity feed Facebook launched in 2011, is being pretty much retired in the latest redesign of News Feed and replaced by separate feeds that users can choose from.
A small remnant of the feature remains in the bottom left corner of the site, where Facebook displays one recent item at a time, almost camouflaged within the bookmarks/chat sidebar. The stories would be almost unnoticeable, except that they refresh whenever there is new activity, typically every few minutes, but sometimes within seconds. It’s unclear how much this contributes to the user experience, but Facebook could remove or tweak the feature based on how much engagement it generates. Users can hide this by clicking the gear icon.
Among the changes Facebook announced today regarding News Feed were a number of improvements for app developers, including larger feed stories, an updated games feed and app bookmarks that are visible from any page users navigate to.
The most obvious component of the redesign is how much bigger stories and photos appear in the feed. The example below is full size.
Facebook has begun rolling out an updated design for the user About page on their Timeline, which now gives users more options to customize their page and features larger visuals and more integration of Open Graph apps.
Reader Matt Navarra says today he was prompted with a pop-up on his profile that said, ”Add things you care about to your all-new About page.” The new page is appearing for users with the latest design for Timeline, which includes some users in the U.K. and New Zealand. These users can now choose which apps and content types appear on the page and choose the order in which they appear by using the edit icon in the corner. Users have one long page that they and friends can scroll through or jump to specific sections by clicking on titles in the bar across the top of the page.
Sections for Open Graph apps summarize user activity in a Pinterest-like format similar to how these items appear in News Feed. Sections for movies, books, music and other content include new “Want to Watch/Read/Listen” lists.
Facebook is experimenting with reduced image sizes for some page post ads that appear in the desktop News Feed, a spokesperson confirms.
Ads that do not include social context — meaning the user does not have a friend connected to the page being advertised — now include smaller photos and video thumbnails. Page post ads that include social context have full-size visuals.
The social network is “testing different sizes based on connectedness,” the spokesperson says.
Page Post Ads in the Facebook News Feed generate 14 percent higher return on investment for companies in the retail sector compared to Marketplace ads in the sidebar, a study from Nanigans has found.
Several other studies have shown the strength of News Feed ads over those in the sidebar, but those studies have often compared Sponsored Stories, which are ads that can only be shown to the friends of users who have connected with the advertiser and they must lead to a destination within Facebook. With its latest study, Nanigans looked at ads leading off-site in formats that could be targeted to any user, regardless of social connections.
Page Post Ads are ads that began as posts on a company’s Facebook page. In this case, the posts were photos that included a link to the retailer’s site in the caption. These can appear within the feed on desktop and mobile. Marketplace ads are the traditional ads in the desktop sidebar, which include a headline, body copy and small image. Note that the examples below are not necessarily Nanigans clients, they’re just used to illustrate the different ad types.