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With New Ad Platform, Facebook Opens Gates to Its Vault of User Data

The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook built itself into the No. 2 digital advertising platform in the world by analyzing the vast amount of data it had on each of its 1.3 billion users to sell individually targeted ads on its social network.

Now it is going to take those targeted ads to the rest of the Internet, mounting its most direct challenge yet to Google, the leader in digital advertising with nearly one-third of the global market.

On Monday, Facebook will roll out a rebuilt ad platform, called Atlas, that will allow marketers to tap its detailed knowledge of its users to direct ads to those people on thousands of other websites and mobile apps.

“We are bringing all of the people-based marketing functions that marketers are used to doing on Facebook and allowing them to do that across the web,” David Jakubowski, the company’s head of advertising technology, said in an interview.

Continue reading…

Instagram begins serving ads in the UK

The seven UK advertisers are trialling Instagram’s new “Sponsored” paid-for ad unit to increase the reach of their content on the platform, which now has more than 200 million monthly active users.

The Facebook-owned photo app first began trialling the format in the US in November.

The units are charged on a cost-per-mille basis and brands can currently choose to target audiences by age, gender and geography. A threshold has not yet been set for the number of ads a user is likely to see on any given day, but this is likely to remain minimal as Instagram continues to roll out advertising “deliberately slowly”.

Waitrose was interested in being among the first brands to trial the format because it believes Instagram can help the retailer build on its already-existing “Love Food” brand platform in a highly engaged social environment, Rupert Ellwood, Waitrose head of marketing communications, told Marketing Week.

Read on…

Facebook Announces Facebook Media — A Resource For Media Organizations

Marketing Land

Facebook today rolled out Facebook Media, a new resource to help media organizations and public figures with their Facebook efforts. Facebook Media is modeled after Facebook for Business, a hub for advertisers on the social network.

Facebook director of media partnerships Nick Grudin explained the purpose of the effort in a blog post:

Every day, content creators around the world — from digital publishers, to public figures, to video producers — use Facebook to connect with their audiences in innovative ways. They reach new fans, start conversations and drive discovery of new stories. In the process, they make Facebook more vibrant.

At Facebook, we are committed to building a platform to make these connections broader, richer and more dynamic. That’s why today we are introducing Facebook Media — to highlight great examples and new trends illustrating how public figures, organizations and media are using Facebook to connect with their audiences.

Facebook Media is filled with best-practice advice, much of which applies to anyone using Facebook as a marketing tool. For instance, there’s a good list of tips for driving referrals to digital properties that should be required reading.

 

Continue reading…

You Might Not “Like” This, But You Should

MediaPost

Boy, it’s been a hard year for the Facebook “like” — because, well, no one likes it anymore.

First came the news that a simple “like” was useless —  to advertisers anyway –because it has long ago stopped meaning that consumers who “like” advertiser pages will actually see the content that is then stuffed into their News Feed

And then, this week, came this news: Facebook is now disallowing most incentivized “liking,” of the “’Like’-our-page-if-you-want-to-enter-the-sweepstakes” variety. From a post on a Facebook developer blog: “You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page.”

Now, this is a sad day. If you can’t trick people into liking your Facebook page, why even get up in the morning?

Or is it such a sad day?

I think not. It’s actually a much-needed reset of what used to be advertisers’ baseline Facebook currency, a measurement of their worth. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen an advertiser boast about its number of “likes,”  at least publicly, for three reasons:

1.     A lot of these “likes” were just the sort of ill-begotten, meaningless clicks that came out of this silly incentivizing meme.

2.     Given the death of organic reach, it’s become less and less clear what those “likes” actually mean, anyway.

3.     Lastly, marketers who don’t do social media for a living stopped pointing to their “likes” because their social specialists told them to. “Shut up about the number of ‘likes’ we have, already! You’re embarrassing yourself!”

Continue reading…

Facebook raises the frequency cap on ads

Digiday

Facebook has quietly altered its ad policy to allow brands to show ads more frequently to those who don’t already follow the brand.

Brands are now able to hit users with the same news feed ad twice in a given day, whereas previously brands were only able to do so once per day. Similarly, the number of news feed ads brands can serve users they are not connected to — users who have not liked that brand’s Facebook page — has risen to two daily from one. The number of news feed ads brands can serve to their page followers will remain at four, and the total number of ads a Facebook user can see in a given day will also not increase.

Facebook announced the changes in an email it sent to agencies this month.

While the change affords brands greater frequency for their Facebook ads, it also creates a risk of Facebook users becoming annoyed with brands and, correspondingly, Facebook itself.

“These changes raise the stakes,” OMD’s chief digital officer Ben Winkler told Digiday. “Advertisers who send out high-quality, relevant messages will benefit. Those who don’t, will do so at their own peril. People like great content, regardless of the source. But they have zero tolerance for one bad ad, let alone two.”

Jeff Semones, president at M80, said the move is just the latest sign that social media advertising is no longer, in fact, social. The old-school view of social media, he said, was that it would be digitized word-of-mouth marketing: brands would inspire customers, and those customers would in turn speak favorably about the brand on social media. The modern view of social is that it’s an advertising medium like any other.

“We tell our clients to think of Facebook less like a social network, and more like an advertising network,” Semones added.

Facebook’s transformation from a platform for well-crafted creative to merely a platform with reach has been a constant refrain during weeks, especially among attendees at Digiday’s inaugural Platform Summit last week.

“Facebook is now a place to drive reach to your content-marketing programs and less a place to be the center of your architecture,” 360i chairman Bryan Wiener said on Thursday.

Nestle digital manager Emily Cloud said on Thursday that the company has even begun repurposing images posted to Facebook for Pinterest.

And in late July, Sean Ryan, JCPenney’s director of social and mobile marketing, likened Facebook ads to “display ads on steroids.”

Enthusiasm for Facebook has not waned in light of these changes, however. And Winkler thinks that consumers’ may have a greater tolerance for repeat ads than some perceive.

“As long as Facebook continues to improve their product and their ad-targeting, that level may be higher than you think,” he said.

IDG Nanosite

The revolutionary Nanosite goes mobile. A mobile Nanosite features multimedia content, polls, and full social media sharing capabilities via Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Screen Shot 2014 08 21 at 2.22.30 PM IDG Nanosite

Facebook Launches Cross-Device Reporting

MediaPost

Being able to track campaign performance across devices has become increasingly crucial to advertisers as consumer attention shifts from desktop to mobile screens. To that end, Facebook on Wednesday rolled out cross-device reporting for ads, allowing marketers to see how people are moving among devices and across mobile apps and the Web.

“Facebook already offers targeting, delivery and conversion measurement across devices. With the new cross-device report, advertisers are now able to view the devices on which people see ads and the devices on which conversions subsequently occur,” stated a Facebook blog post today.

As an example, the company said an advertiser can view the number of customers who clicked an ad on an iPhone, but then later converted on desktop, or the number of people who saw an ad on desktop, and later converted on an Android tablet.

In a recent analysis conducted between May 15 and July 24, Facebook found that among people who viewed a mobile Facebook ad in the U.S., nearly a third (32%) eventually clicked on the same ad on the desktop within 28 days. The conversion rate was lower over shorter periods of time. So within a week of seeing a mobile ad, 22% converted on the desktop, and after a day, 11%.

The cross-device reporting relies on data from Facebook’s conversion pixel, a piece of tracking code used in conjunction with the social network’s software development kit (SDK), to get reports on which device someone saw an ad and eventually converted. The overall aim is to go beyond last-click attribution to see how different devices and app actions influenced a click.

To see cross-device conversions for campaigns, advertisers can go to the Facebook Ad Reports page, click Edit Columns and select Cross-Device on the left-hand menu.

Facebook is best for small businesses

Warc

Facebook is by far the most effective social media platform for driving offline sales for small businesses, according to a new report.

Digital marketing company G/O Digital surveyed 1,000 US users aged 18 to 29 for a study on Facebook advertising and found that 84% of respondents said local deals or offers on that site were a major influence on their purchasing decisions. Further, 25% said “it’s very important and I would be likely to make an in-store purchase within a week”.

Facebook offers that could be redeemed at a local store were by far the most persuasive marketing tactic. Some 40% cited this as being most likely to influence them to make an in-store purchase at a local or small business.

Promoted Posts were effective for 12% and photos/videos for 11%, while loyalty app promotions gained a 10% response.

Facebook was also way out in front when respondents were asked which social media channel they found most useful for researching products or services before visiting a local business. Fully 62% opted for Facebook, with Pinterest (12%), Twitter (11%) and Instagram (9%) trailing in its wake.

“The most bang-for-your-buck way for many small businesses to drive in-store activity and sales through social marketing in the short term is going to be Facebook,” Jeff Fagel, G/O Digital CMO, told ClickZ.

“Pinterest and Twitter should definitely have a place in their larger social marketing strategy, but will serve different purposes and support different objectives,” he added.

Amid the ongoing debate about privacy, and recent revelations surrounding Facebook’s manipulation of news feeds, G/O Digital’s research suggested that local relevance and personalisation might be more important for users.

It found that just over one third (36%) of respondents felt that “ads that are targeted based on your personal interests and past purchases” were most likely to influence them to interact with Facebook ads from small businesses. More than one quarter considered “ads that are targeted based on current location” to be most influential.

“It’s all about relevancy,” Fagel declared. “For example, if you offer me $2 off a hot dog at a baseball game, I won’t mind having my mobile viewing experience interrupted by this ad, because it’s solving an immediate, relevant need that I have: feeding my hunger and giving me a discount at the same time.”

Social media marketing must move beyond buzz baiting

MarketingWeek

European brands are spurning chances to convince and convert social media fans into long-term leads by concentrating on attention-grabbing campaigns instead of functional content created to serve a specific purpose.

Marketers know the likes of Facebok and Twitter are key to online success but all too often talk about “likes” and “retweets” as indicators of success. Granted, buzz is important when tussling with competitors for share of voice. Nevertheless, with all the data and tools at a marketers disposal surely the need for more long-term objectives is far bigger.

It has not gone unnoticed by Twitter. The social network is letting advertisers from today (8 August) create content focused on specific marketing goals or what it dubs “objective-based campaigns”. It is part of a wider masterplan to get marketers to think harder about campaign objectives with the business realising its cost-per-engagement will only go so far before brands shift social media strategies to be more business focused such as driving web site visits or app downloads.

The dearth of maturity when it comes to social media marketing is highlighted by Forrester in a recent report on social media (mis)use. Social media is a “tick box” activity that focuses on attention-getting campaigns across Europe, it found, as many Europeans show lower interaction and trust levels to social marketing than any other region. The report goes on to draw parallels to search natural search engine results, which a third (33 per cent) of Europeans’ trust in comparison to 45 per cent of US consumers.

It points to the lack of advancement in standard operating procedures for social media marketing across Europe. If a campaign fails, there is a tendency to blame social media not working in that market. In fact, the discipline works just fine in European markets; strategies are just off.

However, there are brands making structural changes to enhance their ability to produce content based on consumer preferences. Pernod Ricard, Adidas and Mondelez have all restructured to give more local spin to their marketing, which could bring about social efforts that better reflect the intricacies of a market’s social media usage.

Like, many marketers, all three are working to find the right balance between global and local, particularly when it comes to digital activations. Key to this charge is community management, one of the most underrated marketing roles and tools. By understanding local nuances and what makes your local fans tick, marketers can augment their investments to secure long-term value though stronger advocacy and ultimately sales.

The need for better social infrastructure investment is pivotal as social spend is tipped to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17.6 per cent from 2012 to 2017, according to Forrester. With more people using social networks to explore brands, brands need to be more surgical in their efforts to tie activities to users’ preferences and usage of Facebook and Twitter.