The five biggest announcements from Facebook’s global developer conference

On the 18th and 19th April Facebook hosted F8, their annual global developer conference, where the technical community joined up for two days of workshops, product demos and 1:1 time with Facebook’s product experts. Whilst the content and announcements at F8 are typically geared towards developers, there is always interesting and important news that digital marketers should be aware of, too. For this post I’ve selected five top announcements but you can watch the full keynote here.

Facebook Analytics

What is this: During the F8, updates were announced for Facebook Analytics in order to help businesses better understand their customer behavior across devices and channels. This update is designed to enable businesses to measure and optimise their complete customer journey across mobile, web, bots on Messenger, and now Facebook Pages and Offline Conversions, too. Facebook will also be launching automated insights, custom dashboards, and additional…

Facebook is at the forefront of marketing technology innovation

Mark Zuckerberg was on stage yesterday at this year's Facebook for developers conference, showing off some nifty new software and coming out with some rather clever ideas for augmented reality products. Here we ask which innovations do marketers need to be aware of and plan for? Perhaps most important of all isn't the new innovations he announced, but what he re-iterated. He made it clear he is sticking to Facebook's 10-year road map, which was launched last year and again given prominence in this year's conference. The roadmap looks deceptively simple, but it reveals a whole host of different strategies and new technologies that Facebook will be investing in. You can click on the image below to see a higher resolution version. There are a few extremely interesting things worth noting from…

Facebook is no longer all about B2C

The received wisdom in digital marketing circles has always been that Facebook is great for B2C marketing - and stalking old schoolmates - but not really worth the effort for B2B. This attitude is based on the assumption that the majority of people don’t want to see, much less share and engage with, work-related content on Facebook. After all, it’s where most of us go to blow off steam, watch cat videos, and catch up with friends. Consequently, most marketers choose instead to focus their efforts on platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter - but they’re missing a trick. In a recent survey of B2B marketers, almost three-fifths of respondents reported that Facebook ads delivered the best ROI of any platform. If 2016 has taught us anything, it’s that the received wisdom can’t always be trusted.…

Five ways to supercharge your Facebook video ad campaigns for your brand

Facebook is now pretty much a ubiquitous presence in many of our lives. The platform now has over 1.65 billion monthly users and is considered so influential that it was even accused of affecting the outcome of the US presidential election. What’s been fascinating to see is how Facebook has evolved as a mobile + video-first platform over the last couple of years. Of the 1+ billion people on Facebook every day, 100 million hours of video is consumed. Emerging social apps such as Snapchat have redefined how video is consumed on mobile (from clunky and expensive to quick and informal) and Facebook themselves point to the 2015 ALS ice bucket challenge as a turning point for social video proliferation. The trend proved just how simple and easy it was for anyone to upload video online, whether it was…

Data based best practices for more effective Facebook advertising

Facebook is the largest social media network in the world, and it owns some of the other big beasts in the Industry (Instagram, WhatsApp). It has over 1 billion monthly active users, allowing businesses to access vast swaths of the world's population. What is more, it has among the best ad targeting options in the industry, letting you send laser targeted ads to the people who your services will be most relevant to. Because of this, Facebook advertising can be a great way to generate more leads, sell products and generally boost your bottom line. But increasing popularity means increasing Cost Per Clicks due to competition. If you don't produce quality ads then you're just throwing money away. It's extremely important to optimise your ads by looking at the latest data on what works and applying it to your ad copy and visuals. That's…

Chart of the day: Dark posts are mot expensive than boosted posts on Facebook, whilst boosted posts are shared more.

Research has found that dark posts have less interaction and cost more than boosted posts. Dark posts are a term for posts that only go to a certain section of a Facebook page's fans. They therefore don't appear on the page, just in certain followers newsfeeds. Who the post is shown to is determined by the page- you may seek to only target followers of only a certain demographic or those with certain interests. The study found: Boosted posts on average received over 70% than dark post, but receive more likes on average. Marketers also promoted dark posts for longer, with an average of 42 days for dark posts and 27 days for boosted posts However dark ads were less shareable and less cost-effective. Most ads…

Chart of the Day: What clickthrough rate can new Facebook advertisers expect?

With declining reach in organic Facebook posts, we are seeing competition on Facebook hot up. Last September Sheryl Sandberg announced that Facebook had passed the 4 million advertiser milestone and that was only 6 months after the 3 million milestone was passed... If you're thinking about investing in Facebook advertising you will want to model the return on marketing investment to make the business case. Knowing average clickthrough rates can help you make the case. Facebook's own Ad Manager will enable you to estimate reach, but what clickthrough rate can you expect on Facebook? This new research from WordStream's Facebook advertising customers shows that across sectors clickthrough rates (CTRs) vary from around 0.5% through to 1.6%. More advertisers naturally means more competition, so you will need to model the average Cost…

Facebook changes the way its algorithm ranks content, weighting reactions higher than likes

Since Facebook introduced new ways to react to posts, with emotions like 'Love, wow and angry' as opposed to the traditional 'like', we've been interested how they affect the way Facebook's algorithm ranks content. Now Facebook has confirmed that it will be weighting the importance of reactions more than 'likes' when it comes to deciding what posts will be shown to users. Facebook's newsfeed algorithm is extremely important deciding what content gets seen, and generally is far more likely to show a post that is highly engaged with to a large majority of a page's followers compared to one that is failing to drive engagement. This means many brands are trapped in negative cycles, where posts are shown to only a tiny percentage of followers (1% is common), and then they fail to get engagement from that 1%,…

Facebook announced the US launch of a new 'Jobs tab' and will let users apply to jobs via Facebook

At $247 dollars per user, LinkedIn makes almost double what Facebook does from each of its members. Facebook is a much larger player because it has many times the number of users, but Facebook still probably looks enviously at LinkedIn's value per user. A large part of why LinkedIn users are so much more valuable is because LinkedIn is built around applying for jobs. Many industries are having to compete fiercely for talent at the moment with unemployment at or near historic lows in the US and UK. This makes the ability to search for and hire talent highly desirable for companies of all sizes, and Facebook's latest move shows they clearly are wanting to capitalize on this.

Job posting and application directly on Facebook.

As of February 15th businesses pages on Facebook in the…

Facebook allows third-party measurement and commits to an audit by the Media Rating Council

Facebook has been under fire since the revelations last year that it had been mistakenly inflating the view counts/durations on its videos. This may have influenced how brands spent marketing budgets, but the metrics were just plain wrong. As we saw in my chart of the day yesterday Facebook had been wrongly overstating views by as much as 80% . In response to this and other revelations of widespread ad fraud in the online advertising industry, P&G's Chief Brand Officer announced a series of demands to online ad providers, which they would have to comply with or else P&G would spend its seven billion dollar ad budget elsewhere. The demands were as follows: Adopting one viewability standard – P&G will be accepting the Media Ratings Council (MRC) - validated viewability standard, and expect all its agencies, media suppliers…

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