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This week at Econsultancy Towers we hosted a few roundtables, one of which was 'Facebook: Optimising and Measuring the world's largest social media platform'.
For those of you that have attended a roundtable before, you'll be aware that we hand out a trends briefing, which is an up-to-date document on trends, pulled together by the research team before the event.
For those of you that haven't attended a roundtable before, you'll know what to receive when you do go.
I wanted to share the trends with you, as Facebook changes so frequently that it's always good to keep ourselves informed. Some of this information has been written about before on the blog, but I've found some new reports and statistics to reiterate the importance of knowing these changes, if you're using Facebook for your brand.
So, onwards and upwards with the three most important trends that I found.
Facebook's ad engine is easy to use, but difficult to master. Here's a few 'secret' features which may surprise even an experienced Facebook marketer.
Facebook is good at secrets. Often it rolls out functionality without telling anyone but its closest partners. Then the new functionality slowly leaks into the Power Editor ad platform.
And it takes even longer for new stuff to get into their consumer-grade ad interface.
Seems that Facebook doesn't want to confuse the newbies ;-)
With all media we see seasonal shifts in effectiveness, which is why it’s important for advertisers to be aware of seasonality across media and optimise around it.
As newer advertising platforms like Facebook develop and evolve we start to get a sense of some of the seasonal factors at play.
As such, we thought we’d dig into seasonality on the platform, and here’s what we found...
When promoting a post on Facebook, you can only have text in 20% of the post's photo.
Lately that seems to have changed. I set out to discover what's going on, and had surprising results.
I know, I know. Another day, another update to Facebook business pages.
This one is a bit larger than most though, and may have some interesting effects on your content.
So let’s dig in to the new business page format before it rolls out to the entire network on June 19th.
If you take the time to churn through the various brand updates that pop up in your Facebok feed, you’ll quickly notice that some look more professional than others. This isn’t necessarily down to the content. On Facebook, formatting counts for quite a bit.
Facebook is all about design. The feed is structured to encourage users to click on items in the newsfeed, so it stands to reason that by increasing the opportunities to click, you’ll also be able to increase traffic to your page.
Here’s a quick guide to adding embedded buttons to your posts to give them that professional sheen...
As the news broke that Facebook would be parting with a truly massive $16bn to acquire messaging service WhatsApp, the internet (as is its wont) was awash with opinion.
Would this devalue Facebook? The market certainly seemed to agree, with almost 5% being shaved off the FB price after hours. So, is this a crazed land-grab that will spell the end of Facebook, WhatsApp, or both?
Or a very smart decision?
Q4 2013 saw a spike in quarter-on-quarter impressions and click-through rates on paid Facebook ads.
This comes at a difficult time for brands on Facebook. News feed changes on Facebook have forced posts from free-to-run ‘pages’ further down Facebook users’ news feeds.
Brands and companies are now being encouraged to concentrate on paid ads for their Facebook marketing strategies and forget the free channel of running a Facebook page.
The latest report from Kenshoo seems to bolster the logic in this possible change in direction for Facebook into a more ad driven marketing landscape, rather than a content driven one.
Here are some more stats from the research.
A new startup offering customized Facebook applications for those of us without programming skills.
We spoke with founder Martín Acuña Lledó to find out more.
Here at Econsultancy, we are big fans of the Reddit AMA, where a notable business person, politician, or often a celebrity sit down to answer point blank questions from the community. Recently, Lars Rasmussen, Facebook’s Director of Engineering, did an AMA and explained Graph Search in as simple a way as possible.
The thread, which reveals that Graph Search has been in development since Summer 2011, includes many elements a marketer can skip (including Rasmussen's experience on one of Zuckerberg's famous walks, and the "best and worst things about working at Facebook") but also the most straightforward "tech in non tech speak" explanation of Graph Search since Rasmussen was asked to explain it like he was talking to a five-year-old.
In the rush for more Likes, Comments and Shares on Facebook, it's tempting to dumb down.
But could underestimating your fans backfire, or even damage your brand?
Twitter and Google+ may be gradually increasing their user numbers, but there’s no doubt that Facebook is still the king of social networks.
As evidence of that fact, Facebook accounts for 52% of the 4bn pieces of content shared everyday through social.
So tapping into all that sharing is an important challenge for marketers and even a partial success could lead to untold riches, or at least a boost in traffic and conversions.
They identified seven different types of social sharers, ranging from altruists who share because they want to help to careerists who share because it helps them in business.