2012 Facebook Ad Updates Round-Up

Facebook has done some remodeling in the past few months, and we’re not talking about their offices. Facebook advertising has undergone some changes as users become more comfortable with the Timeline and more and more users login solely through their mobile devices. A short list of the updates Facebook advertising has undergone in the past several months include:
  • Ads in the news feed
  • Ads in the news feed on mobile devices
  • Ads that appear when you log out
  • Offers
  • Facebook Exchange

Marketplace Ad Updates

Ads in the News Feed
Premium ads are now visible in the news feed in addition to the right side of your home page. Promoted Posts are different from the traditional Marketplace ads in that they are derived from the brand page of the company and will be shown in the News Feed if a user or their friends have interacted with the brand page. Facebook states, “Placements in the right-hand side and in News Feed on Facebook’s homepage have an average of 5x-10x more engagement than all other places on the site.” It should be noted that in order to employ Premium ads, you must work with an ad rep at Facebook, meaning Marketplace ads such as Promoted Posts and Sponsored Stories are more accessible to the masses. Facebook breaks down how Premium ads work:

  • By posting on your Page and investing in Premium on Facebook, we will show your content to the right audience at the right time, always in the most impactful places.
  • For someone not connected to your brand, your story will appear on the right-hand side of their homepage as an ad.
  • For your fans and all of their friends, your story will appear as a Sponsored Story on the right-hand side and it can also appear in news feed on both desktop and mobile. All of these placements are on Facebook’s homepage.

Ads in the News Feed on Mobile Devices
This has been the year of everything going mobile. More and more users are connecting to Facebook and the web through their smartphone or tablet. We are a society on the go and we like to bring our technology with us. Facebook saw a way to monetize this trend by infusing news feeds of mobile ads with sponsored story ads, and to date, what a strategy. Another win-win for Facebook and advertisers, since Facebook’s mobile ads have been outperforming ads seen through a desktop. According to a study by social ad firm TBG Digital, “Promoted posts ads that run in the mobile News Feed have notched a 1.14 percent clickthrough rate (CTR) on average versus 0.083 percent for those running on desktop and 0.588 percent for those running only in the desktop News Feed.” The time is ripe to advertise to those on the go.


Premium Ad Updates

Ads That Appear When You Log Out
With 37 million people logging out of Facebook each day, and 105 million logging out per month, in a place of Facebook real estate with no other engaging content, Logout Page Ads have an enormous potential to make a big splash with users. These ads are huge in comparison to other Facebook ads, taking up almost the entire screen, and because they are not inexpensive, they align well with the old adage “you get what you pay for” since they are expected to guarantee a reach of at least 75% of a company’s fans. The ads use the new Reach Generator, which allows companies to pay to expand their reach so that the majority of their fans see a specific post, or in this case, ad. This type of ad can be targeted across Facebook, for those big brands who would like to move beyond simply targeting to their fan base. Be mindful of designing an add that will make the eye “stick”, since people on their way out are done with their Facebook session, and it will take a strong ad to gain traction on the logout page.

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Facebook Offers
Technically, offers are not an ad, but you can now turn an offer into an ad, so we’ll tack it on the list. Facebook is aiming for more users to discover offers, which in the past have only popped up once you visit a brand page. Now, when someone claims an offer, a more prominent story will be generated in their News Feeds, leading friends to discover the offer. Offers are similar to Facebook Deals, in that they don’t cost a thing to create. The caveat is that they aren’t yet available to everyone, as they are still being tested with a small portion of local Facebook partners. They are expected to be available to a larger scale of businesses in the near future. The aim with offers is for people to share them with their friends and to be discovered. To reach the largest portion of your audience, it should not be surprising that Facebook recommends extending their reach through employing ads. When a friend claims an offer, the offer can appear in a Sponsored Story format, among other, to ensure your offer gets pushed in front of as many eyes as possible. If you want to get creative and have the access, test out Facebook Offers. What you do in beta testing today could become a standard in best practices tomorrow. It’s all about engaging your audience and inspiring them to share.

Facebook Exchange
The way advertising functions on Facebook and across the web is changing with the announcement of Facebook Exchange. Facebook Exchange is the first Facebook advertising product that is influenced by what people do online outside of Facebook. In essence, it is a first for Facebook to offer a product that is intent driven, rather than discovery-based. It works by taking information gleaned from a users internet activity to retarget an ad precisely to them. For example, if someone was researching cars online, Honda might target an ad to them on Facebook. As  Michael Baker at Forbes put it, “Digital has hit the tipping point. It’s no longer digital marketing. It’s marketing in a digital world.” This retargeting advertising approach will integrate a business’ wider digital strategy to create stronger targeting on Facebook, which is a win-win for everyone.

As we delve deeper into the Digital Age and learn more about consumer behavior and how users interact and respond to ads, advertising is experiencing a shift. Facebook is keeping up with the new research and trends by adapting their advertising products to best tailor ads to users. Adding the mobile ads, and realizing the implications beyond Facebook and integrating them into the strategy, as they are doing with Facebook Exchange, keeps them ahead of the curve. Check back as we keep you updated on the newest ways to advertise on Facebook and informed about how your business can benefit.

Post written by Tia Marie Kemp aka @TiaMarieKemp. To learn more from Sociality Squared, become a fan

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