Updates keep coming from Facebook regarding their News Feed algorithm, and while many marketers have been frustrated with the impacts of previous updates, this news is something to smile about.
Facebook’s announcement released on Tuesday generally means increased Page reach, and used optimally, this could help brands gain back some reach that the last algorithm update diminished.
More specifically, starting Tuesday, this update will mean that when a Page tags a separate Page, brand, or celebrity in a post, that content will possibly surface for followers of both Pages. This simply means that new people, outside your fan base, will begin to see your content.
For example, this post by Target that also tags Nate Berkus’ Facebook Page could quite possibly appear on both fan bases’ News Feeds, allowing Target to reach users that haven’t even liked their Page.
While this feature was already present for updates from friends, this is brand new to Pages.
The key here is to be strategic and make content relevant to both pages’ audiences. And, as always, the algorithm will continue to take into account how engaging the content is to users.
What do you think of this update? Has Facebook finally started listening to brands?
I was asked yesterday by a colleague about my thoughts regarding this YouTube video published by Veritasium, a video production outfit [mostly] aimed at illustrating scientific principles, discoveries, technologies, etc. in an extremely entertaining and intuitive way. For some reason, however, Veritasium has taken extreme measures to vilify Facebook as an effective marketing channel for businesses. The latest installment of these, entitled Facebook Fraud, is the subject of this blog post today. Facebook Fraud Although I appreciate the skepticism and pursuit of what Veritasium refers to as an “element of truth”, I feel a duty to weigh in on the subject on behalf of professionals like myself that have spent years tuning their Facebook advertising skill set into something extremely valuable to the companies that they represent.
If you’d like my chippy video summary rather than watching it for yourself, here you go: the video is aiming to expose some “secret” or breach of ethics that Facebook’s advertising platform uses to take your company’s hard-won advertising dollars. The hypothesis proposed is that Facebook either encourages or creates “ghost” Facebook accounts (spam accounts that don’t represent real people) to “Like” your page, thereby charging your advertising budget with a “Like”. The video does not make clear whether the accusation is founded on Facebook creating the accounts themselves or not, but those details will probably flesh themselves out (SPOILER ALERT: they don’t). Basically, the video surmises that Facebook uses or encourages “Like” farms located in unregulated countries are charging your Facebook advertising accounts unjustly, and that is why your audience is not buying your stuff after becoming fans of your page. Amidst the fallacies of the actual scientific method employed, tests completed, data group accumulated of which I am no real expert, I have found two points that I can absolutely rebuke with my own credentials and expertise as a professional Facebook marketer and advertiser.
- It’s not Facebook’s fault that you used their platform incorrectly, or to a limited capacity with limited expertise.
It is very irresponsible to put the onus of gaining qualified clicks on the ad platform itself, rather than whomever is planning and setting up the targeting. The very explicit example here: targeting ads geographically, and then turning around and using the geographic response as an implication of a flawed system. Not to mention the specific target areas… it would be like targeting Manhattan (population ~1.6M) and Oklahoma City (population ~599K) with the same ad, and then reading implications from more New Yorkers than Oklahoma residents.The method used in the video’s flawed Facebook ad campaign example would be similar to bidding on only top-level, most generic, “common denominator” keywords in your PPC campaign and then being mad at Google for not delivering fully qualified clicks upon arrival. “Buying” Likes is hard, and it takes a planned strategy that allows for mid-campaign adjustments, A/B testing, targeting segmentation, etc., so presenting it as the “simple” solution that the video does, is not accurate.
This method also missed targeting completely. I don’t even want to have to say this, but it bears repeating I guess: You must target your ads and campaigns to your target market and audience if you want your target and audience groups to interact with your page. I’m not sure how this piece got lost here, but with ~1B users on Facebook, chances are there will be some users that are not qualified to interact with your brand but may very well “Like” your page for any number of reasons if advertised to.
So, here’s a quick rule of thumb to keep in your back pocket (or on your thumb, I guess): You shouldn’t advertise your brand to everyone on Facebook. If you do, you’ll end up with the same issue that our silly testers did– paying for a Facebook audience that does not interact or engage with the brand or page beyond the initial “Like”. When I’m selling mufflers for a Honda Civic, I should probably advertise to Honda Civic owners or mechanics. I should also probably use the nation’s native language in my ad when advertising in said country (…but that’s more of a personal preference… ).
- The real reason your new audience isn’t interacting with your page is because you don’t have a social media strategy, your page is of no real value to your audience, and your content plan is crap.
Of course a fake company is going to have a hard go at engaging their Facebook fans– they aren’t offering anything real! Unfortunately for lazy marketers, people are not as stupid as you need them to be. Give them something of value, and you’ll be rewarded in kind, that’s how social media works– don’t judge a system fraudulent based on a fraudulent test. I could go on with notes like this examining the flaws of this “study” into Facebook’s “Fraud” and scheme to steal all of you monies, but I will end on this note: uninformed skepticism makes for great headlines; please allow your own objective thought to rule your judgement, not shocker headlines.
While Graph Search remains available only on the U.S. English version of the site, Facebook announced Monday the search tool will now allow users to search for more types of content within the platform.
Since Facebook’s initial announcement in January, Graph Search only allowed users to search what was in profiles such as location, workplace, and interests; however, this update now allows the search tool to display check-ins, comments, status updates, and photo captions.
Searches will still done through the standard search bar at the top of the screen, but the tool’s widened abilities are being rolled out slowly to “a small group of people who currently have Graph Search,” Facebook said.
While I was not one of the lucky few whom Facebook rolled the enhanced tool out to at the time of publication, here are some examples displaying Graph Search’s new capabilities, courtesy of Facebook itself:
Facebook also took a moment to address questions about privacy concerns saying, “As with other things in Graph Search, you can only see content that has been shared with you, including posts shared publicly by people you are not friends with.”
Lastly, while Facebook briefly experimented with showing ads on Graph Search results page in the past, it doesn’t appear Facebook is migrating back to that practice just yet; however, look for Graph Searches for posts to possibly become popular places to advertise in the future.
To learn more about graph search, visit www.facebook.com/graphsearch.
Well, look at that. Facebook went and changed something. Again.
Don’t panic, they’ve updated their Insights product. And in order to start using them and getting the biggest bang for your buck, we’re going to give a quick review on what’s new, what’s the same and what it all means.
Note: If you’re not familiar with Facebook Insights, we recommend you check out this brief overview.
So, what’s new with Facebook Insights?
Basically, the Insights themselves didn’t change since the data points are all the same. The biggest change is the visual insights in the page admin dashboard. So, essentially it’s prettier. Here are three major differences that you should note:
People Talking About This
One of the biggest changes is that the “People Talking About This” focus point is no longer the key metric in the dashboard. It has been replaced with a deep accounting of engagement, growth and reach (which is what PTAT was attempting to combine into one data point).
The Original View:
The New View:
Clearer Time Periods
Facebook has gotten clearer on the time periods that they’re showing you data for, which is great news since it will definitely eliminate some confusion between team members. Instead of the dashboard displaying an “assumed weekly” set of data points, users now see a concrete date range at first glance.
More Visually Intuitive
Data and analysis that make sense are great. Data and analysis that make sense AND look good are even better. In a world where everything can change just because it looks different (ahem, iPhone), the visual upgrades to Insights have us buzzing. Here are three reasons why we love it:
1. This update allows for versatile graphs for individual metrics that relate to actual user actions. This includes likes, comments, and shares. The visual impact allows for reporting to be more easily understood by a greater number of people.
2. The post-level insights are big, bright and (may we say) beautiful with clarity. This is going to eliminate a ton of confusion about post data and what the actual results are.
3. The data points are clearer and provide better action-oriented insights like when your fans are actually online. Talk about being able to create a better approach to posting!
All in all, we’re digging the new version of Insights. We are positive that the new visual layout will provide for clearer and more memorable reporting.
For those of you who have been using the new version for a bit, what changes have you noticed in your organization that can be tied back to the update? Tell us in the comments below!
Oh my god, you guys—did you hear?! FB Ads, is like, so much better today than yesterday…seriously. So grab your PSL (or pumpkin spice latte, if you’re still calling it that), settle down in front of your Sunday Night Football, and let me tell you all about it!
Broad category-based ad targeting inside Ads Manager and Power Editor have just received an expansive update this week, creating much more detailed categories and hierarchical listings. At first glance this update seemed like Facebook had broken down millions of “Big Data” records for us Facebook marketers to use with unprecedented access to super-granular market research.
Upon further examination, the update is just a time-saver–albeit an incredibly convenient one. What Facebook has done for us marketers, has simplified the ads targeting process by creating conglomerate groups driven by behavior implications from Facebook fans. For example: if you have ever “Liked” a page that is relative to NASCAR, you will now be grouped into the “Auto Racing” category for Facebook advertisers.
These targeting parameters have always been available to us as Facebook marketers in one form or another—Facebook has decided to streamline the process. The challenge here is that the categories are not all encompassing, but they definitely get the ball rolling in the right direction. So slap on your prospecting overalls, secure your canteen, and start to digging on these categorical gems in your targeting quest. Following is a brief overview of some specific category changes of note, plus my commentary:
Business/Finance, All – B2B marketing over Facebook has always been incredibly difficult. FB Ad targeting should have provided an easy way to “touch base” with target professionals, but has never provided a clean and clear solution. All of the sudden, B2B marketers can start taking Facebook advertising as seriously as their gaudy/fabulous B2C cousins.
Interests/Activities, Vehicle Brands – the brands subcategory allows the advertiser to pick amongst vehicle manufacturers. Basically, “Acura” will target users who interact with Acura-focused pages.
Interest/Activities, Travel – This category leaves me asking questions by some of the micro-categories listed as “Intender”. I want to know what keywords Facebook is considering as statements of an “intention to travel”. I’ll tell you what’s on my intention list:
- Buffalo, NY, USA
- Florence, Tuscany, Italy
Are we going to weigh these the same across the board as “Intender” locations?
“Good question, Dylan.”
Retail/Shopping, Consumer Electronics – Targeting a category like this has always baffled me as a sound strategy—why exactly would I need to target a group of people that have “liked” consumer electronics pages on Facebook? They are currently using Facebook, so I assume that on some level they are interested in consumer electronics—but groups like these tell me something completely different than what you see on the surface, and the information can actually be pretty useful.
Question: So what exactly am I qualifying this targeting group for?
Answer: The user’s willingness to “like” a page and be actively marketed to.
Pro-Tip: Use these trash categories as qualifiers!
Summary: All in all, with a little interpretation, this update gives us Facebook marketers the sum of about a weekend back each month for us to do with what we will (use it wisely, no West Wing marathons), so I give it solid marks for usefulness—8/10.
Like many of you, I have recently run into problems when attempting to add administrators to a Facebook page that I am a manager of using the email address associated with their Facebook account. When it doesn’t allow an addition immediately, the first logical step is to ensure the person I am attempting to add has, in fact, “Liked” the page I am attempting to give them control over. Unsurprisingly, this simple ask solves the problem more often then not (go figure), but what if it doesn’t?
At first, I assumed it was a setting within their account that would not allow people to make them admins of Facebook pages, events, apps, etc. However, after pouring over the new privacy settings for Timeline (personal profile) accounts, this option does not exist. So what could it possibly be? A glitch in the matrix? Did I break Facebook? Does this person actually exist?
It turns out we don’t have to go read up on Descartes to solve this Facebook complexity—and the actual problem stems from a sensible privacy measure that Facebook applied.
From Facebook Support:
“The new admins must meet two requirements: like the Page and set their likes to be public to the person adding the new admin.
The new admin can check whether their likes are public by going to their profile, clicking More > Likes > Edit (pencil icon) > Edit privacy. If those are set to public, then they can be added as an admin.”
The new admins must meet two requirements: like the Page and set their likes to be public to the person adding the new admin.
In other words, Facebook wants to make sure that the person you are attempting to add as an admin to your page actually wants you to know that they “Like” your page in the first place. As long as the oncoming admin has shared that information with you formally on Facebook (via their privacy settings), you will be able to add them.
I will post a new method as soon as this one becomes antiquated. Hopefully, it will be longer than 18 months…but we all know how fantastical of a notion that is.