For many consumers, checking Facebook has become as important as checking email — so it’s no wonder that marketers are flocking to connect with this tremendously large audience. This column focused on the best way to take advantage of this platform’s current and emerging marketing opportunities and ad products. It no longer runs as a standalone column, but has since been incorporated into the Social Media Marketing column.

Unifying Facebook Page Content & Ad Copy

In my last column, I discussed strategies for testing content on your Facebook page. I also talked about how important it is, even when testing, to retain the character of your brand in all your content. Your Facebook page should have an identity to it, and you should strive to hold that identity constant. Part of holding this identity constant is making sure that your advertising is aligned with your Page content. That means keeping the style and character of your ads consistent with the status updates, photos and videos you’re posting on your Page. This principle is not just limited to [...]

Unpublished Posts: Using “Dark Posts” On Facebook To Test Content

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 5.43.58 PM Did you know that Facebook offers the capability to create unpublished posts on your Facebook Page? Such “dark posts” have actually been around for over six months, but it was only recently that Facebook has allowed them to appear in the Newsfeed. With Newsfeed being by far the most engaging placement on site, it’s not a surprise that more and more advertisers are expressing a renewed interest in unpublished posts. The primary (and most exciting) use case for creating unpublished posts is message testing. Before “dark posts,” Pages that wanted to test post content would have to bl [...]

How To Create & Use Facebook Custom Audiences

Finding offline customers online is one of the Holy Grails of online marketing, and that's what Facebook’s “Custom Audiences” advertising product is designed to do. As Facebook puts it, “Custom audiences let marketers find their offline audiences among Facebook users.” The feature allows you to match phone numbers, email address, or user IDs gathered offline to actual Facebook users. That contact information might come from customer loyalty programs, applications on Facebook, prospective customers or elsewhere. Any contact list that you have is usable. Custom Audiences is the s [...]

How To Maximize Facebook’s Recent Link Upgrade

There are few things that instill more fear into social media marketers than being required to drive organic traffic to a site, campaign, or even a Facebook tab via Facebook. Facebook’s strong suit has never been click-throughs. As a result, social media marketers have done everything in their power to boost the presence of links. Shorten the link – done! Post photos and include the link in the status/caption – done! Use a call-to-action in caps, e.g., CLICK HERE – done! Doing one, two or all three has not yielded the sort of click-throughs that we see organically on Pinterest or [...]

Facebook Sponsored Results: An Under-Explored Opportunity

About six months ago, Facebook introduced yet another type of ad for advertisers to try: the Sponsored Result. Marketers can serve Facebook users searching for Pages, Applications, and such with ads in the Search bar. As Facebook says, the goal of Sponsored Results is “... help [Facebook users] better find and discover the brands, products, and experiences relevant to them.” For advertisers, it’s a great way to increase exposure and to send more people on to your Page or Application.   The Details Sponsored Results ads do require some creative. While the image, title, an [...]

Taking Advantage Of Facebook Offers

We’ve talked at length about the importance of engaging your Facebook community beyond simply acquiring fans. Page Post ads are a great way to encourage this interaction. If you're a retailer, consider Facebook Offers, a relatively new type of Page Post that allows brand pages to create coupons and share them exclusively on Facebook. Offers can be beneficial to businesses both on and off Facebook. On Facebook, you can spread the word about your product or service to your fans, as well as to their friends. At the same time, you’re driving traffic off Facebook to your store or website and [...]

Taking Advantage Of Facebook Placements

Facebook is constantly rolling out new products and capabilities for advertisers. This makes the platform extremely dynamic, but it can also be hard to keep up with all the changes! One of the most major announcements in recent months is the introduction of placement targeting. Previously, marketplace ads were only shown in the right rail. Now, advertisers can choose to serve their ads to specific placements, like Desktop and Mobile Newsfeed. Obviously, this allows advertisers to collect a great deal more data, and, more importantly, permits campaign-specific placement targeting. That [...]

Beyond The Campaign: Exploring Next Steps

So, you’ve chosen your ad types, written creative, ran and optimized your campaign. What’s next? Evaluating Success It’s a fairly straightforward process to decide if your campaign was successful. Did you get fans? Conversions? Sign ups? Did you fulfill your campaign’s original goals? That should be easy to measure. The optimization strategies outlined in my previous column should have allowed you to make the most of the dollars you spent on Facebook. You’ve (hopefully) come away feeling satisfied that it was money well spent. Don’t forget about the less tangible successes [...]

How To Optimize Facebook Campaigns For Peak Performance

To get the most out of your Facebook campaigns, you need to devote time to evaluating their performance -- not just after they’ve finished running, but while they are still active. You aren't best served by creating ads, running them for several weeks, and then checking them after they have finished spending. You will see much better results if you’re willing to optimize on a regular basis during the lifetime of the campaign. Determining Your KPIs So what is optimization? As we mentioned before, optimization is a term for improving performance of a given key performance indicator (K [...]

Time To Get Personal With Facebook’s Page Post Targeting

Marketers communicating via their Facebook pages could once only speak to their entire fan base at the same time. While we've been able to geotarget posts, we'd never been given the chance to say “hi” to the men (or women), between the ages of 18 to 35 (or 35 to 55) that were single (or married, or engaged or in a relationship), or to customize our communications to each group. Now we can − with  Page Post Targeting. For the first time on the Facebook platform, sans advertisement, we have been given the chance to have a conversation with very distinct groups. This will allow brand [...]

Reaching The Right Audience Through Facebook Ads

facebok-advertising-tips More than any other element, targeting is what sets Facebook advertising apart from other channels. Anything that a user inputs into his or her Facebook profile is targetable: age, gender, relationship status, location, interests, level of education, and more. These capabilities allow you to reach customers at a much deeper and more customized level. Instead of waiting for your customers to come to you, you can bring highly relevant content to them. Don't Oversimplify Overlooking or oversimplifying your targeting approach limits the kind of success you can have. The abundance of targe [...]

Simple Tips For Writing Effective Facebook Ad Copy

It’s easy to dismiss creative as a lesser element of Facebook advertising. But it really does matter! In the many campaigns SocialCode has run, we've seen massive variance in performance across different text elements.  Here is an opportunity to showcase what your brand or product is about, to distinguish yourselves from other ads or potential competitors, and to capture even more data. Again, Facebook is a unique platform and as such requires unique creative. Not all ad types allow for creative input, but the most widely used Standard Click and Like Ads do offer creative control, a [...]

Is It Time For Facebook Advertisers To Conduct Click Fraud Audits?

shutterstock_83575045-fraud An Achilles heel of pay-per-click internet advertising is the risk that someone will click on an ad they're not the least bit interested in. To the extent that unqualified clicks are limited to a few over-caffeinated users who click wildly, this isn't really a big concern -- especially to advertisers accustomed to the targeting constraints of traditional media. Yet click fraud, usually called invalid clicks by advertising platforms, has been a real concern over the years. Click fraud comes in many forms. Paid to read schemes target ads which compensate the hosting site with a percenta [...]

Designing A Facebook Campaign To Meet Your Marketing Goals

In the last column, we saw that a number of different elements make up an effective Facebook campaign. One of the most important elements is ad selection. In contrast to some forms of digital marketing, which offer almost no variety or evolve very slowly, Facebook is constantly updating their inventory of ads to provide even more choices for advertisers. Just recently, they introduced the ability to target ads to users on mobile phones. To take full advantage of the platform, it’s key to understand these ad types and which work best with your marketing objectives. We’ll continue t [...]

How To Get Serious About Your Facebook Reach

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? That’s the question a lot of marketers are asking themselves since Facebook began providing reach data directly on Timeline posts. Now “no one” may be a bit extreme, but if only 3% to 6% of your posts are reaching your Facebook community, that sound is just not loud enough. It’s been suggested that the recent addition of this data is meant to illustrate how many people brands are not reaching, thus prompting marketers to consider Facebook’s Reach Generator. The Reach Generator, which sounds [...]

Facebook Advertising Decoded

Traditional advertisers often find Facebook daunting. Social media marketing is the future, that is certain, but transitioning established advertising strategy to new media can be a challenge. It’s worth it: with over 900 million people at your disposal, the possibilities are nearly limitless. The breadth of data available through Facebook and the versatility of its ad units allow marketers to customize solutions for any type of client, whether a Fortune 100 brand or a local mom and pop hardware store. At the same time, it can be a bit overwhelming. Facebook isn't like other type [...]

How To Integrate The Latest Platform (e.g. Pinterest) Into Your Facebook Presence

You need to be where your consumers, fans and prospects are, but, with so many social platforms, it can be difficult to keep up and make sure everything works together. Ensuring the marketing, strategy, and consumer journey is consistent, fits together, and tells a story that ladders up to your objectives and goals is easier said than done. It’s safe to bet that Facebook has evolved into the hub of your social media marketing, and the announcement of Timeline for Pages may make it even more central. It is the place where your content, stories, and communication live as well as thrive. B [...]

Why Facebook Advertising Needs To Be Comfortable Checking “In A Relationship With” Facebook Content

When asked the question, “Notice anything new on Facebook?” -- besides the company's  filing for an IPO, of course -- my guess is you would answer it with gusto and say “Timeline" or "Ticker.” And you would be correct — at least for the most part. There was another large change that managed to fly quietly under the radar, one that’s incredibly important to marketers taking advantage of Facebook Ads: Featured Stories. In January, Facebook rolled out Sponsored Stories in users’ News Feeds and called them Featured Stories. Now marketers can promote user activity, including post [...]

Infographic: How Facebook Grew Users & Pages In 2011

Lots of attention, and debate, on the growth of Google+ this week. It's a good time to revisit the figures for that other social network you might have heard of, Facebook. It increased users by 37% to 800 million last year, and brands like Coca-Cola and Disney have millions of fans who follow them on Facebook. These stats and more were compiled into an infographic from SocialBakers: Want the infographic for yourself? You'll find it here: Facebook grew 7 users per second all of 2011. Gathering Stats Want to track these types of statistics directly? All Facebook has an excellent Faceboo [...]

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