Chances are you’ve been on Facebook for years as a “profile.” You keep track of your kids, friends, kids’ friends, and you get it. Facebook is awesome for connecting. Then you try it for your business and things don’t go so smoothly.
Maybe you have only 50 fans and you’ve been beating your head on a wall to figure out what it is you’re doing wrong, if anything. Pages can be the bane to your existence, but it doesn’t have to be. Many things can be implemented when starting your Facebook business page or if your page had been in a lag. The first thing you need: A plan.
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.
Facebook today released a new mobile layout for business and fan pages, which gives users more actionable information up top but pushes unpinned page posts further down the screen.
The redesign better optimizes pages for the mobile use case, for instance, looking up a store’s location or hours, viewing a restaurant’s photos or seeing reviews and friend recommendations. The layout, with a top row of buttons and a prominent map and recommendations module, is similar to the design Facebook had been using for its local search product Nearby. The image below shows the new look for a brand page with multiple locations, an individual location page and the admin view of a page.
Facebook is testing an update to the page admin panel, which gives more prominence to reach metrics for recent posts and encourages page owners to promote those posts to increase their audience.
Some users are seeing a “Posts” section at the top of pages they have admin rights to, replacing the “Notifications” section, which included recent comments, wall posts and other fan activity. The new section shows the organic and paid reach of each recent post, along with an option to promote the post. Notifications are available from the top menu.
Facebook began testing new designs for its mobile app install ads and page post ads in its iOS app this weekend.
Following an update for Facebook for iOS, some users began to notice that the ads got a bit of a refresh. Page post ads have a new Like button in the corner, potentially making them more effective for fan generation, not just engagement and content marketing. Late last year Facebook changed the way page post ads appear to non-fans so that instead of a call to action to Like the page, the ads promoted interaction on the post itself. Now, these ads do both.
“Facebook for Every Phone,” the official page for Facebook’s feature phone application has become the first page on the social network to surpass 200 million Likes, according to our PageData tracking service.
The page was created in August 2011, and back in June 2012 it was the first page to surpass the 100 million Likes mark. It’s still the only page to have done so. By comparison, the No. 2 page on the social network is its official community page, “Facebook,” with 87 million likes. YouTube holds the No. 3 spot with 70 million Likes.
Facebook for Every Phone is a native mobile app compatible with more than 3,600 different Java-enabled feature phones. The growth of the app’s fan page is an indication of how many of the social network’s mobile users are on feature phones. Facebook for Every Phone users are given the option to Like the page when they first log in to the app, a company spokesperson told us in April last year.
Page post ads in the desktop News Feed once again include a “Like Page” button, which could make the unit effective for fan acquisition once again. However, the mobile version of the ad does not include the same call to action.
Page post ads can be links, photos, videos, offers, questions, events or statuses. These can be promoted to a page’s existing fans, friends of fans and audiences without any connection to the page. It used to be that when the ads were shown to non-fans, the unit emphasized the “Like Page” action over engagement, such as likes, comments and shares.
On Nov. 22 last year, Facebook changed this so users would interact with the post itself and be less likely to Like the page. Spruce Media found that clickthrough rate of this placement dropped from 2.52 percent down to 0.62 percent as a result. Conversion rate fell from 12.8 percent to 6.5 percent. The average cost per fan increased 270 percent.
Now, starting some point in the past week, the “Like Page” button is back for desktop News Feed page post ads, though not for the mobile equivalent. Advertisers should be aware of these differences as they plan their campaigns. Page post ads are generally good for content marketers and pages looking to increase engagement, but they are not optimized for fan acquisition. If getting new fans is an important secondary goal, advertisers may not want to buy mobile page post ads since they do not currently have the Like Page button.
For advertisers, it can be hard to keep up with Facebook’s tweaks, especially since the social network often tests different variations with different users. These design changes can significantly affect how users interact with ads, but advertisers do not get any information about whether their ad was shown to someone in a test group. An ad could be effective in gaining fans one day but then greatly underperform the next because of a small difference an advertiser can’t see. This makes it difficult for advertisers to compare past campaigns or to feel like they can apply previous learnings to their strategy today. We’d like to see Facebook give advertisers an accurate preview of what their ad will look like to the majority of the audience being targeted. Currently the social network gives advertisers a basic idea of what elements are included in an ad but day-to-day design changes are not reflected in the preview.
Facebook is now promoting its new Subscriptions feature by recommending people to follow based on the Pages users have Liked. For example, the screenshot below shows recommendations for a user “because you like [the Page] ‘Facebook + Journalists.’” The people being recommended are high-profile journalists for The New York Times, former managing editor and current opinion columnist Bill Keller, and social media editor Liz Heron.
Facebook launched the Subscribe button in early September as an asymmetrical feature encouraging users to receive updates published by non-friends (who have enabled their personal profiles to receive subscriptions). It has already introduced subscription recommendations, showing “People to Subscribe to” based on who a user’s friends already subscribe to. Those recommendations, and the new Page-based ones, appear in the sidebar module on the right side of a user’s active page — a conspicuous channel for subscription discovery.
The difference here is that Facebook is using Page context to target recommendations, rather than purely social context. Heron’s profile shows the total number of subscribers but no information about friends, presumably because the user has no friends who currently subscribe; Keller’s profile instead shows that one friend is subscribed but not the total.
[Thanks to Dan Birdwhistell for the tip and screenshot]
While many Page managers religiously check Facebook’s Insights dashboard to get the latest stats on traffic and engagement, some encountered news alerts instead of their normal Page stats today. According to the alert messages, Page stats are said to be unavailable due to an insufficient “number of fans interacting with your page” – despite the fact that some Pages in question had large audiences.
Facebook confirmed to us this evening that the Insights issues today were indeed a bug. “Pages are very important to us and we’re working on fixing this issue as we speak,” a Facebook spokesperson tells us. “None of the data will be lost and insights will appear as they had previously.”
Last week, beverage maker Vitaminwater launched a new campaign on its Facebook page: An in-house application that includes games and a contest where users can help choose a new flavor of its vitamin sugar water. The result, so far? The page was the fastest-growing among any major brand over the week, according to our PageData analytics service. It gained 323,000 fans to reach 767,000 people today.
More generally, here are a few other notes about the top leaders this week. Coming after Vitaminwater was Cadbury Wispa, a relaunched line of candy bar dearly loved in some parts of the world. Its page gained 195,000 fans to reach 461,000 today. Behind it, a Venezuelan opposition politician named Leopoldo Lopez saw a massive increase, growing 189,000 fans to reach 206,000.
And a quick note. At the top of list is a page called Sarcasm Society. It is apparently the page for a site of the same name. Sarcasmsociety.com comes up as a top result when you google “sarcasm,” yet it has almost no actual traffic, according to Compete. And, finally, almost all of the page’s growth has happened within the span of a day or two. So we’re assuming there’s something fishy here. Same for another page on the list, called Getting Paid.
Top Gainers This Week
|| Gain, %
||Texas Hold’em Poker
||Celebs on Facebook