Facebook roundup: July 2012
Page tabs? You still do them?
In potentially hard-hitting news for businesses, it’s been revealed that engagement with tabs has reduced by 53% since the launch of the timeline and revised business page layouts. ‘Engagement’ is a horrible word as it generally seeks to hide the real, interesting metric behind marketing babble and nonsense, and in this case the stat of interest is average tab views per visit.
The ‘tabs’ are the custom pages or apps that can be added to Facebook business pages, and in many ways the stats are hardly surprising as advertisers can no longer set a custom page to be the default landing page for new visitors. The tabs / custom pages also aren’t really particularly obvious in their placement, and anecdotal evidence says many don’t realise tabs still exist in timeline.
Of course this was part of Facebook’s ploy with timeline: to get people interacting more with the main timeline and less with side-apps. So don’t worry too much, just make your timeline interesting!
In Facebook for mobile news, many of you will be very familiar with the ‘reach’ data available in Facebook insights. Well they’ve now changed what they consider to be reach to include mobile traffic and some other tweaks – you can read a bit more here. There’s also been an interesting study on mobile vs desktop interactions, with mobile more likely to generate post likes but very unlikely to result in photo views. Perhaps worth considering for your Facebook marketing targeting? See the full AdParlour study.
An interesting post by llsocial shows some limited stats on improved performance of Facebook posts of all types when accompanied with an image. I’ll always say never trust a limited test with only one case study, however there is a certain logic in using the increased visual appeal and real-estate to grab attention. Give it a try and let me know what results you have.
Results with video are less clear, but social video is clearly of interest to to design firm Autodesk who have acquired the leading Facebook app Socialcam for $60m. Big bucks! I haven’t used it myself, but I’m disappointed by my own ignorance; do fill me in if you’ve used it much.
It’s all just branding…
It turns out most marketers just see Facebook ads as brand awareness generating, and aren’t focused on generating ‘likes’ or business leads. Sigh, it’s like traditional display advertising all over again. Us Attacats love quantifiable and accountable advertising where you can actually see what impact your money is having, and display and ‘branding’ activity has never really ticked that box satisfactorily.
Spending on acquiring ‘likes’ is bad enough if you have no idea what value a ‘like’ then provides to your business, and the BBC doubt that many companies are even advertising to real people. However it’s most disappointing to see advertisers primarily using the Facebook ads platform for branding when it is likely most aren’t sufficiently quantifying the results.
But, for those wishing to push more ads (and hopefully measuring the results) through Facebook, the company are opening up the ability to purchase ‘premium’ homepage, news feed ads and mobile ads to API Partners through the Power Editor. No more $35,000 minimum spend – woo!
You might like, you might not
You’re browsing a site, read and interesting article, and wonder “Hmm, I wonder if this site has any other content at all? Ideally content that my friends and/or connections have already stated their ‘like’ for.” Well now you don’t just have to wonder!
Yes, thanks to (another) Facebook social plugin sites can show a little Facebook-y popup in the bottom-right – once you’ve finished reading or spend a certain time on an article – that recommends other posts on that site have been ‘liked’. You can install in on your site using a little bit of code (tied into the Facebook social graph data), and you can see a little preview here – just go to the bottom-right and you’ll see it.
Facebook does CRO
Following requests from advertisers, Facebook now offer the option to create ‘unpublished’ posts using the Pages API. Basically that means advertisers can create a page variation for use in advertising campaigns – so let’s say containing a message to encourage new ‘likes’ – that won’t be shown on their timeline or the news streams of current subscribers or fans. It means advertisers can conduct conversion rate optimisation with different landing pages or messages within Facebook. Good news for hardcore Facebook advertisers!