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A roundup of recent changes on Facebook

A reminder of Facebook's changes during October

Since a relative lull of announcements about new developments in August and September Facebook has been busy with releasing a bunch of updates since and some are well worth knowing about. The biggest from an advertiser perspective is the launch of Lead Ads and Facebook retail listings, but the one that will get the most media coverage once rolled out is the so-called Dislike or “Emotion” buttons. Local business verification is also an important one for many brands.

Here’s a quick roundup with links to articles that explain the topic in more depth.

Facebook Lead Ads

Lead Ads look like other Facebook ads except that when you hit the call-to-action button you stay on Facebook with a Facebook form collecting the customer data. This is particularly useful on mobile as it reduces the load time an external page is likely to suffer and enables Facebook to auto-fill many of the fields on the form.

Early results are positive with beta testers reporting far lower CPA costs.

Currently not many eCRM systems are set up to auto-integrate those leads – you need to manually import them via csv. But automation will come and a number of Facebook’s ad partners are already geared up for it. You’ll need to use Power Editor to access Lead Ads at least for now.

Facebook Reactions: the “Dislike” button

Mark Zuckerberg created quite a hoo har recently announcing an apparent “Dislike” button that wasn’t really a dislike button at all but would enable people express something other than “Like”. Cue lots of concern about online bullying. Yesterday was the big reveal and rather than a single button, users will now have a set of emojis to choose from.

fbreactions

Ireland and Spain get the roll out first.

There’s a video about it here.

For us one of the key points to note is that every emoji click is read by Facebook as a “Like”. So you’ll be teaching the algorithm that you like the news that you’ve just clicked on (cue more harrowing updates in your newsfeed). For more on how Facebook uses data from your click history see this blog post I wrote on Ad Preferences.

Instagram ads

Lots of opportunities now for advertisers on Instagram. My Digiterati colleague Carlton is writing a blog post on some of the features which we’ll share with you next week. There’s no new platform to learn as you create the ads via Facebook’s Ads Manager or Power Editor. And it’s a fantastic way of finally getting your url to surface on the platform somewhere other than your About text.

Local business verification: finally here

It’s long been a frustration of brands that are very active on Facebook that they’ve been unable to access the coveted verification tick (the Business one will be grey – see the Jasper’s Market screen grab below) to differentiate from the blue Profile one). Celebrities and public figures have had it for a long time, but brands have had to sit on the sidelines, often amidst fake profiles passing off as themselves with no way to prove legitimacy of which Page is the official one.

facebook-local-verification

To get verified go to your Admin settings and confirm your identity by using your business’ publicly listed phone number or uploading an official document like a phone bill.

More information in Facebook's annoucement here and on Smart Insights here.

100% in-view impressions

Another new ad unit gives advertisers the option to purchase ad impressions where the entire ad—from top to bottom—has passed through a person’s screen in News Feed. This new buying option will be available for every type of ad delivered in News Feed, including text, photo, link and video ads.

It looks as if these buying options will inevitably be at a premium but could arguably work for long-form ad types and brands wanting to avoid paying for viewers who are merely “tyre kickers” with no deep interest in the topic.

Videos instead of photos in Facebook profiles

This is quite a fun new feature for profiles. You will be able to upload a short looping video clip instead of a photo as your Facebook profile. No word yet on when this might be rolled out to brands.

Editor's note:

For more information on the recent changes to Facebook involving ecommerce and advertising options, see our Alert blogs:

Facebook releases dedicated shopping section and more in bid to boost ecommerce

Facebook release powerful new B2B marketing solution: Lead Ads

 

By Marie Page

Marie Page @marie_page is one of the UK’s leading Facebook marketing experts. She is a founding partner of digital marketing consultancy The Digiterati and the Digiterati Academy, an e-learning portal for marketers and entrepreneurs. She recently published a book and online course “Winning at Facebook Marketing with Zero Budget”.

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