On the heels of its acquisition of popular messaging app , Facebook isn’t done shopping. that Facebook has purchased virtual reality firm Oculus VR for roughly $2 billion.
$400 million in cash and 23.1 million shares of Facebook stock. The agreement also provides for an additional $300 million earn-out in cash and stock based on the achievement of certain milestones.
Zuckerberg posted to his Facebook timeline about what this means for the company:
Oculus’s mission is to enable you to experience the impossible. Their technology opens up the possibility of completely new kinds of experiences.
Immersive gaming will be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won’t be changing and we hope to accelerate. The Rift is highly anticipated by the gaming community, and there’s a lot of interest from developers in building for this platform. We’re going to focus on helping Oculus build out their product and develop partnerships to support more games. Oculus will continue operating independently within Facebook to achieve this.
But this is just the start. After games, we’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.
Brendan Iribe, Co-Founder and CEO of Oculus VR, commented on the acquisition :
We are excited to work with Mark and the Facebook team to deliver the very best virtual reality platform in the world. We believe virtual reality will be heavily defined by social experiences that connect people in magical, new ways. It is a transformative and disruptive technology, that enables the world to experience the impossible, and it’s only just the beginning.
Facebook will hold a conference call later today to discuss the acquisition.
that it is expanding the capabilities of , allowing advertisers to create lookalikes based on people who visit their websites, use their mobile apps, or are connected to their Facebook pages.
Before, advertisers were only able to create based on information like email addresses, phone numbers and user IDs.
In beta, used Lookalike Audiences to target website visitors and saw a 2x decrease in cost per lead.
Now, advertisers can more easily use data from their Facebook pixels to reach those who are similar to people who have bought something from the website.
In a , Facebook offered examples of how this can help brands attract users similar to those who use their mobile app and those who like their Facebook page:
Perhaps you’re an app developer that’s looking to find more people to purchase car rides in your rides on demand app. You can now create lookalike audiences based on people that have previously purchased taxi rides in your app and reach those audiences with mobile app ads.
For many businesses, engaging customers and prospects in ongoing conversation through their Page is an important part of their marketing strategy. These advertisers can now use lookalike audiences to reach people like the fans connected to their Facebook Page.
Readers: What do you think of this update?
Facebook ads have long been scrutinized by major advertisers for a lack of control over frequency capping and a lack of accurate traffic estimates. In an effort to answer these concerns, Facebook has started beta testing a new campaign type that focusses specifically on those points.
The new reach & frequency campaign type from Facebook is the newest campaign structure created for major advertisers who wish to more accurately plan and predict the delivery, cost and reach of brand campaigns.
The key advantages/features of this campaign type are:
- You can now enter a lifetime campaign frequency cap for each individual
- Receive reach and budget estimates that are 99 percent accurate (according to Facebook)
- Increase the reach of unique people across your target audience
- An indicator bar to give you the percentage of people you will be reaching out of your total potential audience
- You can now receive your estimates through either a maximum budget amount or a desired reach goal
By allowing advertisers to cap the amount of times an ad is seen by a user, the potential reach and the reach quality of each campaign will undoubtedly increase without increasing spend.
Another interesting aspect of this campaign type is the potential reach indicator bar. As anyone who has published ads on Facebook will tell you, estimating an accurate potential reach is next to impossible. This new tool allows you to accurately see how much of your target audience you will actually reach with your budget amount, which will inevitably increase how much major advertisers are willing to spend.
For the time being there are several temporary limitations on this new (beta version) campaign type:
- It is only available in CPM pricing
- Campaigns must last a minimum of 3 days and a maximum of 30 days
- You cannot pause campaigns or change goals
- Only available for page posts or domain ads
- Only one ad unit can be running at a time
- No friend-of-fan or fan exclusion targeting, only fan targeting available
- Facebook campaigns from the same page targeting the same audience will jeopardize the ability of reach and frequency campaigns to deliver in full
Some of these restrictions will be removed in the upcoming months, once the campaign type has been rolled out and released to the general public.
This campaign type addresses most of the concerns voiced by major advertisers and will inevitably increase Facebook’s relevance when considering which platform to spend advertising dollars on.
For the past week my fellow colleagues and I have been impressed by the results achieved by this campaign type so far, and as we continue with our comparison testing we expect to effectively prove that this campaign type is by far the most effective.
Matthew Gangnier is a Paid Social Analyst at iProspect, a leading global digital performance marketing agency. He is responsible for Facebook and Twitter social ad campaigns for major national advertisers in Canada. When he’s not driving digital performance for his clients, Matthew loves golfing and the great outdoors.
Offerpop, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer in apps, announced today a round of talented new hires. The newest members of Offerpop come from companies such as Brown University, UBS Financial Services and Cassidy Turley.
Here’s the full list:
- Matthew Davie, Senior Product Manager, from Penton
- Aaron Graham, Design Manager, from Spring Creek/Mediabrands
- Evan Miller, Corporate Sales Executive, from Cassidy Turley
- Kevin Kleinman, Corporate Sales Executive, from Madison Logic
- Fred Hwang, Account Executive, from Splice
- Katie Barnwell, Business Analyst, Brown University
- Jenny Zhang, UI/UX Designer, from Sailthru
- Peter Chan, Senior Product Manager, from Billtrust
- Adam Lamartine, Senior Marketing Designer, from LivePerson, Inc.
- Winson Yuan, Junior Front End Developer, from General Assembly
- Derek Cheng, Finance Operations Specialist, from UBS Financial Services
Companies who want their new hires included in the post must contact us directly at justin.lafferty (at) insidenetwork.com. Must be a Facebook PMD or Facebook Strategic PMD to be included.
Image courtesy of .
Shortly after Facebook started showing its , many marketers and page admins were curious about it — and apps.
In a blog post Monday, it has been receiving about the new design.
Facebook cleared up the confusion about the left side of the page:
It will vary from business to business. If you’re a business with a brick-and-mortar location, the left-side column will show a map, phone number, hours of business, likes and visits, information about your business, apps (if relevant), photos, videos, reviews, posts to your Page and the Pages your Page likes.
For businesses that operate primarily online, the left-side column will show: likes, information about your business, apps (if relevant), photos, videos, posts to Page and the Pages your Page likes.
Admins will also soon be able to rearrange the order in which these sections appear in the left-side column.
The company also more clearly explained the feature:
Admins receive a notification whenever their Page is added to another Page’s watch list. The notification indicates that their Page has been added to a list, but does not disclose the name of the Page that added them.
Readers: What questions do you still have about the new page design?
Brands are increasingly taking to to attract new customers, deliver visually pleasing content to current fans, and give everyone an inside look at companies.
So which industries are doing this the best? According to Socialbakers’ latest Instagram performance report, fast-moving consumer goods brands (FMCG) and home & living accounts.
Socialbakers, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer, recently released its report of top brands and accounts on Instagram in February. While alcohol brands generated the most engagement on Instagram in January, the industry dropped off the top five, while FMCG vaulted to the top.
Socialbakers also pointed out two other Instagram pages that are working like gangbusters: GE and National Geographic. National Geographic dips into its high-quality photography from the magazine, giving Instagram followers a look through the lenses of the magazine’s photographers. GE actually invited six influencers and six fans to come up with a marketing campaign.
Socialbakers social media analyst Phillip Ross wrote about what makes a successful brand on Instagram:
So this month, it becomes a little bit clearer just what a brand has to do to strike it big on Instagram: take advantage of the fact that talented people who want to make compelling visual content are out there, and are often excited to be able to help spread the word about a brand with a big following for the increased reach it will give their own page. Even if they don’t work with such creative types directly, brands can certainly learn from them. Some examples of these prime lessons? Post consistently, both in message and in frequency. On that same note, make sure that your account can be found easily, and that users only have to find one account to know it is the brand’s official one.
Readers: What other brands are doing well on Instagram?
Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Facebook recently made a change to Power Editor, moving some of the into sections called More Demographics and Behaviors. Hat tip to Andrea Warner of Marketer’s Braintrust for sending this along to Inside Facebook.
Readers: Have you seen this? What do you think about the switch?
This week brought news that the social gaming company DianDian Interactive, otherwise known as FunPlus, raised $74 million in a Series B round. It’s the largest funding round for a social gaming company in nearly a decade.
FunPlus board member Richard Lim told The Wall Street Journal that the company did not want to do an IPO, choosing instead to remain private. The funds will be used to launch more games, and to expand its offices in Beijing, San Francisco and Vancouver. Although the company is based in China, most of its revenue comes from players in North America and Europe.
The games from FunPlus are showing high engagement as well. Family Farm Seaside has a DAU/MAU engagement of over 35 percent, compared to 18 percent for Farmville, and 20 percent for Farmville 2. Family Farm, another game from FunPlus, has a DAU/MAU engagement of 19 percent this year.
Will FunPlus be able to ride its farming game wave to the top like Zynga? Having raised $87 million so far, it certainly seems possible.
For more information, visit AppData or call us at .
As the winter turns into spring, many college students (as well as families) can’t wait to kick off the season with a tropical vacation.
But where are they going? Facebook pulled some data showing the most popular beaches, based on , during the month of March. It tracked the increase of check-ins relative to the previous month for people 18-24 and those over 25 years old.
See if your favorite vacation destination made the list:
Popular “College” Spring Break Beaches:
- Panama City Beach, FL
- Santa Monica Beach, CA
- South Beach, FL
- Gulf Shores Beach, AL
- Port Aransas, TX
- Main Beach (Santa Cruz), CA
- Venice Beach, CA
- Fort Myers Beach, FL
- Cocoa Beach, FL
- Mission Beach, CA
Popular “Family-Friendly” Spring Break Beaches:
- Myrtle Beach, SC
- Main Beach (Santa Cruz), CA
- Santa Monica Beach, CA
- South Beach, FL
- Jupiter Beach, FL
- Orange Beach, AL
- Banana Bend Beach, TX
- Huntington Beach, CA
- Long Beach, CA
- Newport Beach, CA
Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Travel-related pages are some of the most popular on Facebook and major airlines such as Southwest and Virgin utilize Facebook to entice travelers with deals and timely posts.
How can advertisers utilize the social network to attract those with wanderlust? That’s what Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer Ampush wanted to find out.
The company put together a comprehensive infographic, showing how advertisers can cater to travelers on Facebook. Click below to check it out.
Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.
IgnitionOne, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer, announced this week that they completed the acquisition of Knotice, a privately-owned digitial marketing technology company. With this addition, IngnitionOne will provide a comprehensive integrated digital marketing technology solution, adding data management and multi-channel digital messaging. This includes email-based marketing automation capabilities into its Digital Marketing Suite SM.
Will Margiloff, CEO of IgnitionOne said in a press release:
Today we see other large players attempting to piece together point solutions, but we have a strong advantage when it comes to the number of solutions already integrated, level of fidelity and agility we have right out of the gate. Based on the complementary capabilities of Knotice and IgnitionOne’s existing technologies and shared vision of our teams, this integration will move forward quickly and smoothly, to the benefit of our clients.
Knotice’s cloud-based DMP features actionable analytics and digital messaging solutions. The technology also provides:
- Data Consolidation: Collects, stores and makes readily available customer data across disparate platforms and touch points;
- Data Fidelity: Automatically enriches individual data profiles, both known and anonymous;
- Email CRM: Complete email marketing system reaches the right customers at the right time based on these enriched profiles
- Mobile: Robust mobile data intake, advanced SMS and mobile web combines for greater reach and understanding of consumers on mobile; and
- Cross-Device Clarity: 1st-party data ties to cross-channel activity, allowing consistency and relevance across touch points and devices used.
Brian Deagan, CEO of Knotice said in a press release:
We share the same vision of unified, integrated marketing. We also share the same commitment in providing marketers with advanced technology to better understand and connect with consumers, closing the loop on end-to-end customer lifecycle management. The acquisition of Knotice continues IgnitionOne’s history of adding top entrepreneurs to their leadership team and providing room to drive vision, expand product development and be part of something really big.
Facebook is giving users’ posts another chance to be seen in a feature called Unread Stories. Some users are seeing News Feed posts like the one above, prompting them to check out stories they haven’t seen yet.
This leads users to a page called , which shows a sampling of friend posts they haven’t previously seen in News Feed.
A Facebook spokesperson noted that this is a test:
This is a small test of a unit in News Feed to help people find stories they may have missed.
Readers: Have you seen this?
(Hat tip to Matt Eagle of Tweople.com)
Around this time every year, basketball fans and office workers fill out their brackets for the — also known as March Madness. Some go chalk and just pick top seeds, some throw in some upsets, and some base their picks based on which mascot would win in a fight or which school has their favorite colors.
But how would a bracket based on Facebook data go? That’s what SocialCode, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer, wanted to find out. Facebook also utilized its users behavior to figure out who the social network is pulling for in the tournament.
So who will be crowned NCAA champions?
According to both SocialCode and Facebook, it’s the Duke Blue Devils. Both companies’ Facebook-data fueled brackets have coach Mike Krzyzewski’s team winning the national title.
SocialCode has Duke defeating Virginia in the end, while Facebook’s data thinks that the Blue Devils will face Florida in the title game.
Here’s SocialCode’s formula for determining winners:
Alumni Social Rank (# alumni basketball fans/#alumni) + Student Social Rank (# student basketball fans/#students) + Seed Ranking
Here’s how Facebook used its users’ data to determine its picks:
Tournament results are based on the total number of posts and comments containing words related to each school’s team that were made in the two weeks culminating with Selection Sunday. For the Social Bracket, the “winner,” of each game was selected for having accrued a higher total number of mentions in that time frame.
This is the third straight year that SocialCode has generated NCAA Tournament predictions in this fashion. In 2012, SocialCode’s data accurately predicted that Kentucky would win the championship and also predicted a major upset, as No. 15 Norfolk State defeated No. 2 Missouri.
Here’s a look at the SocialCode bracket (click to enlarge):
Here’s Facebook’s social bracket — filled with upset picks (click to enlarge):
Readers: Did you fill out your bracket?
Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Previously, had 273k fans, but 339k active users. You don’t have to be a fan to interact with the page, so being a “fan” is not as important as it once was.
Likely, the fans are first to consume the content, who then activate others to like, comment, and share. These secondary interactions are key to the high engagement. The fact that people can “like” the content and also “like” the page is an intentional confusion on Facebook’s part.
The unique reach of these 273k fans is 82,797,695 users worldwide. This is 303 Facebook has said that the average number of friends per user is 130. We know the average fan has 320 friends (since not all users are fans of pages).
The 303 figure is actually surprisingly high, since the 82 million is a unique, unduplicated reach. Likely, the average break.com user has closer to 500 friends, since common friends are not counted in reach.
Put another way, brands like WWE have 10 friends per fan vs 303, but they also have over 100 million fans. There are almost a billion users on Facebook, so break.com can reach 8% of them with social context (the friends of our fans).
This 303 fan figure for break.com is the The engagement and virality figures later in this analysis corroborate this. In other words, Break.com fans are highly influential among their peers. Hard to determine how much is driven by the content itself or self-selection of who becomes a Break.com fan.
Posts are up 43.3% and correspondingly, likes are up 37.2% and views are up 38.6%. We don’t see saturation at 4.27 admin posts per day. Break can probably post 10 times per day with no degradation in impressions per post or engagement, so long as the quality bar remains the same.
Looking at most recent posts, red is low and green is high. The “caption this” post got 738 comments, largely because of the offered prize. ”Fill in the blank” and “click like” posts get the most responses– and this 1/2 combo was most powerful. Technically, it’s against the TOS to administer contests outside of apps, but many brands do it and nobody seems to get busted. We are not saying brands should do this, however.
Users are posting more videos relative to photos and statuses — unique compared to most Facebook pages. Then again, this is Break.com and the page itself is posting video. Photos get more impressions than other types of content, which is increasingly true because of timeline. It will be more true when Instagram is fully integrated, Facebook’s camera app gets more usage, and mobile continues to grow.
Top posts are all photos, no surprise. The higher the emotional content, the greater the feedback. “Like this if you’re ready for a 3 day weekend,” had the greatest number of interactions (likes, comments, shares) for break.com over the last 30 days.
The “free shirt Friday” posts each Friday build upon themselves, as fans anticipate this in a virtual “happy hour.”
And this post had more impressions than fans with 301,411 impressions. It reached 108,672 users, which is 40% of the fan base. Yet it had 2.79 impressions per post. When fans who see the post directly, their friends (many of whom are also fans) will notice. The 7,712 likes, 1,065 comments, and 690 shares all generated “stories” in the news feeds of friends.
The 56 negative feedback actions is low at 0.6%. Under 1% is excellent. There will always be people providing negative feedback because of overposting or content they don’t want.
Young male fans dominate, to no surprise. They outnumber females 3 to 1, a ratio that usually (but not always) holds similar when you look at engagement by gender.
Looking at storytellers by age and gender, we see that males outnumber females 2 to 1 in storytelling– liking, commenting, and sharing, which are actions that generate stories in the news feeds of fans. Females, in general, share more. Here we are looking at data from our export, which is not available except via this tool or others can that pull this from the Insights API.
The number one city for Break.com is Los Angeles. However, 4 of the top 15 cities are not in the US. Who would have thought that London would be #4 and that Tunis, Tunisia is #6? Or for that matter, Makati in the Philippines is #18 and Istanbul, Turkey is #21? Turkey is the #3 or #4 country on Facebook in terms of fans, by the way.
Your top 10 countries based on fans. Great Britain and the Philippines are #3 and #4, while Turkey is only #11 (didn’t make this chart), just above Norway. These are two digit country codes from Facebook.
Reach (unique impressions by country) of 3 million users. Would be interesting to see how this compares with the reach on the web properties. Note that break.com generates 30.6 million impressions monthly, so this represents 10 impressions per user and a quarter billion impressions every 8 months.
Were we to double the fan base and double the post frequency, we’d generate an ADDITIONAL 1.1 billion impressions per year on this property. Then the question is how much of this can flow to the web property, how can apps assist here, and how many incremental ad dollars can this generate?
52% of your viral impressions are at a frequency of one. Amazingly, 24,549 users have 21+ viral impressions per month. 7.9 million impression per month are viral (about a quarter of all impressions). This is over 20 times the average on Facebook.
Not surprisingly, few fans visit the actual page– they interact from within the news feed (their home page). Only 46,098 fans visited the timeline out of 50,278 total. Timeline accounts for 91.7% of all page visits. 28 of these page visits were by Break.com folks looking at insights!
Readers, what do you make of these impressive figures? Have any awesome campaigns of your own you’d like to share? Let us know!
While Facebook’s and have gone through renovations recently, the company has silently rolled out a new look for event pages, as seen above. Hat tip to Inside Facebook reader Matteo Gamba for pointing this out.
That’s what it looks like for desktop, but the redesign has also extended to mobile.
For the event creator, the mobile design also includes a box showing how many people might be interested in attending:
However, when this button is tapped, the app doesn’t suggest friends. It just goes to the general friends list so the user can invite more people.
Readers: What do you think of the new design?
I tend to judge businesses’ social media efforts based on how much content optimization they are doing based on data. A lot of Facebook marketers simply post content and hope for the best – safe to say this isn’t the best way to run your page, and definitely won’t lead to constant improvement in your efforts.
We all have to report to someone, be it clients, our marketing director, or the business owner. Naturally, everyone wants to show improvements in what they’re doing. The first step in achieving improvement is to start tracking your key metrics if you aren’t already. You can do this using or more detailed analytics platforms like Socialbakers.
These will allow you to see your Facebook performance over time in terms of reach, engagement, and raw interactions. This allows you to quickly produce something a little like the below to report:
The problem is, not many graphs will look as good as the above one! To achieve constant improvement like this you need to get really smart with your social content.
Once you’re tracking your performance, you are able to start analyzing more deeply to find ways to improve. Using some of the tools mentioned in a previous Social Media Today post, you can start to pull out more and more data to help you improve.
At Datify, we use the following process to constantly improve client’s content on Facebook. First, we start measuring their performance over time as discussed above. Next, we analyze the performance of each and every post that goes out. The priority here is to think about engagement rate (comments + likes + shares/total audience). In this formula total audience can be reach or page likes dependent upon your preference. We tend to use page likes, as you are then able to compare this to competitors at the next step. Other aspects to study include time of posts, type of post (photo, video, link, status update), post author, post topic, and any post targeting.
Having all of this data in one place allows you to go deeper into performance and create insight graphs such as the below:
By judging the quantity of different types of post versus their performance you can get an initial view on which content strands, types, and more are working and whether the balance of your content strategy is right.
This initial view allows you to optimise your strategy to start the improvement straight away. Sometimes presenting your data like this can show you some really interesting results that you weren’t expecting.
Once you make the initial changes to your schedule based on the above, you will need to constantly monitor performance to continue the improvement. Ideally you want to be studying your performance in this way weekly to enable you to continually optimise your strategy.
Another tactic is to study your competitors in the same way to pick up useful hints and tips that you can use in your content strategy going forward. We’re not suggesting you copy their content, but that you consider their campaigns and learn from them to see how you could potentially improve by developing their general ideas. To study competitors quickly you will most likely need a paid analytics tool as Facebook insights will only provide you with their page like growth rather than any interaction or engagement metrics.
In conclusion, you need to get granular with your data and analyze every post you publish to assess it’s performance so that you have a clear picture of the data informing your content strategy going forward. You need to invest serious time into analyzing your performance in order to continually learn and optimise, and ultimately to improve over time.
Ben Harper is one of the co-founders of Datify, a data driven marketing company based in the UK. Datify specialises in insight led strategies focussed on driving ROI for a range of clients across the social & search arenas.
Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.
Do you ever feel like you’re missing out when you see how fabulous your friends’ lives seem on Facebook? You’re probably not alone.
In the – those 18-33 – more time is spent on social media than in another previous generation. And social media is how they plan social events, according to a study by JWT Intelligence:
- 57 percent use Facebook to coordinate social plans at least once a week; and
- 62 percent use Facebook to post about what they’re doing, where they are, and/or who they’re with.
One of the top drivers of social media use is organizing get-togethers with family and friends. With this in mind, Evento, a new social ticketing platform, aims to enhance the use of social media for people when planning group outings with friends.
Ophir Zardok, co-founder and CEO of Evento, told Inside Facebook:
It’s a matter of culture and how they consume. They publish everything to the world. They like to share, are open to share, and want to share. They want people to know what they’re doing. They don’t think about privacy and are more transparent.
Through Facebook, Evento’s app allows users to identify which of their friends are attending an event and where they’re sitting, giving them the ability to buy available seats near their friends’ locations. Fans can also send invitations to their Facebook friends, requesting that they join in on the fun. This solution caters to millennials who suffer from FOMO (the fear of missing out) by allowing people to share and promote their activities, encouraging others to join in.
A recent Pew Research study found that while millennials are more lax on their privacy, they are less trusting of others than previous generations. They are also the first modern generation to have higher levels of student loan debt, poverty and unemployment, and lower levels of wealth and personal income than their two immediate predecessor generations (Gen Xers and Boomers) had at the same stage of their life cycles. But Zarkok sees that millennials view work differently.
Working with Gen Y is challenging in terms of what they’re expecting from work. The incentives are different. They would rather have more days off or work from home than have a raise.
However, despite , they are confident about their future. According to Pew, 53 percent say they don’t have enough cash flow now, but will in the future, compared to 30 percent of Gen Xers.
The Pew study also showed that millennials do love Facebook. 81 percent of those polled were on Facebook and had a median amount of 250 friends, far more than any other generation.
Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.
The social gaming space is dominated by King and Zynga. As we , King’s games alone take up a quarter of the Facebook app market. However, the Barcelona-based Social Point has been growing steadily, and its numbers are nothing to sneeze at.
The company’s biggest hit is Dragon City, which boasts over 24.7 million monthly active users (MAUs). This year alone, the game’s MAUs are up 65.5 percent, and its daily active users (DAUs) are up over 20 percent. Here’s a snapshot of Social Point’s top Facebook apps, courtesy of AppData:
The developer boasts over 38.5 million MAUs on the platform, an increase of 172 percent year-over-year. DAUs are at almost 7.8 million, up 283 percent year-over-year. DAU/MAU engagement has increased almost 6 percent year-over-year, showing that more users are playing one of Social Point’s games on a daily basis.
The company recently announced a shift in strategy. In an effort to create games that have longer lasting appeal, the company has four new games in the works that will be “mobile action social strategy” games rather than “breeding” games like Dragon City. The first one, “League of Warriors,” is set to launch this spring. According to our sister site Inside Mobile Apps, the company has doubled its workforce in the past year and its revenues have increased 10-fold in the past two years.
Even though Social Point’s revenues are a fraction of King and Zynga’s, the company’s growth makes it a strong contender for the next big thing in social gaming.
For more information about AppData click here, or call .
Social advertising is a rapidly changing enterprise. As the pendulum swings from data to creative (and back), Boost Media balances both to handle the creative for Facebook and other social ads for major companies such as Zynga, Geico, Home Shopping Network and Microsoft.
Boost Media also recently partnered with Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer Marin Software. The company’s Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Erik Ford, chatted with Inside Facebook about the ever-changing Facebook ad landscape.
Inside Facebook: What are some advertising trends you’ve been noticing recently on Facebook?
Erik Ford: Advertisers are becoming a lot more comfortable with the Facebook ad platform. I think that’s because of a couple main reasons. One, the advancement, maturity and the robustness of the platform. You’ve got the right integrations with going on now. You’ve got the right API calls available to give advertisers the data that they need and that they’re looking for. Just from the metrics that they need and the support they need, to target the right audience and measure it — they’re there.
Two, I think Facebook, since it’s still somewhat infant compared to the other networks, is very appealing to advertisers. They like the pricing, from an acquisition cost perspective, and they also like the uniqueness of the complementary data to pull things together. The guys that know how to use Facebook are starting to use Facebook’s ad platform the right way and they’re getting a lot out of it. The smartest advertisers are realizing that you can’t treat Facebook the same as you want to treat other networks or platforms. If you expect to just get direct response out of Facebook, then it’s going to fail every single time. But if you set up your goals in a way that essentially focus on brand, focus on extracting learnings that can be used in brand campaigns, direct response campaigns, other social channels, it’s a gold mine for customer intelligence.
Having that data allows advertisers to paint that path to purchase very well and understand how Facebook plays into the path to purchase. If you look at a lot of marketing studies today, everything posts to social recognition and referrals from friends and family. Facebook is the epicenter of that.
IF: What are some mistakes you still see from advertisers who are still stuck in the old mindset and unwilling to accept Facebook for what it is?
EF: I think it goes back to not treating it as its own. Marketers are very habitual people. It’s really funny because if you look at marketing overall, it’s a very dynamic and evolving landscape. It’s constantly changing. They need to respond to that and understand that. Just taking campaigns from another channel like a Google or a Yahoo or Bing, and take the same techniques or pour over the same creatives, is not going to work. So that’s step one. Overarching campaigns? Yes. But think about how the channel can work for you.
The second thing is Facebook is similar to display in the respect that creative fatigue does set in. What we see time and time again is that advertisers are just not spending the time to refresh their creatives. Facebook is trying to call attention to that and disable your ads when they start to really drop in performance because they’ve seen it leave a bad taste in advertisers’ mouths and they want to prevent that. Don’t treat it the same way you have in the past and make sure that creative is fresh because you have a wealth of new audiences and interests that you can target against. If you take advantage of that and keep images fresh, your campaigns will go far.
IF: Can you tell me some ways that you’ve seen advertisers keep their creatives fresh on Facebook?
EF: There’s understanding, contextually, the environment. There are things like seasonality, there are trends that are going on, that you need to be playing on. Why isn’t a major brand like Coca-Cola piggybacking off Ellen Degeneres’ Oscar selfie shot that got retweeted over 3.3 million times? It’s a huge opportunity. It’s the same thing from a seasonality standpoint. I bought a new blender this week. As I finally replaced my old faithful Braun blender, I had a lot of messaging tied to New Year’s resolutions even though it’s March. If you’re gonna be seasonal, at least do something like, “Summer’s coming up and get ready for that beach body with a new blender.” So seasonality is really important.
You’d be surprised to see how people don’t have any kind of testing process or methodology. It doesn’t have to be complex. We actually posted an article recently that said, “Let’s challenge the conventional norms of A/B testing,” because there’s so much opportunity in throwing up a bunch of different things and seeing what works. The data will respond. You’ll see very quickly. You can pause the creative that isn’t working and run with the creative concepts that do work.
Overall, I think that leads into the third point — subjectivity. A lot of people think at agencies or in-house organizations on the brand side that they’re creative experts. I’m sure they are and I’m sure they have very great backgrounds, but the reception that we’re seeing — especially on Facebook — is that many different things work. You have so many different audiences. For example, for Clash of Clans, having the main characters of Clash of Clans in a very well-designed ad unit vs. something that actually looks like a kid took a Clash of Clans map and put it into Microsoft Paint and put in arrows and strategy can tend to out-perform that well-designed Clash of Clans unit. Don’t be afraid to try different things because you can be very surprised with the results you get.
IF: How have you seen advertisers adopting video, because I know it’s been something that Facebook has tried to push?
EF: I think Facebook’s smart and they’ve been ahead of the curve on that. … There’s no question that 2014, going into 2015, . There’s a production lifecycle to it and there’s higher costs associated with it. The brightest advertisers are becoming a little smarter about it. They’re making use of platforms like Instagram’s video capabilities or Vine to do more short brand video snippets that don’t require full-on production crews. It’s amazing because that parlays very nicely into this whole native explosion where it feels a little more genuine, with content being user-generated than it does with some sort of brand or marketing message. If Facebook continues to encourage this kind of native production for their ad units for advertisers, I think we’ll see some great traction there.
IF: What kind of role do you see Custom Audiences for websites playing this role? Will more advertisers flock to it?
EF: Custom Audiences is huge. For those who are actually using , they’re able to map their own database or CRMs against their own databases on Facebook and unlock more than they’ve unlocked before. … Facebook is removing a lot of extra layers or extra steps — both cost-wise and friction-wise to achieve the same results that you see in the display ecosystem. … By the time advertisers can actually get advertisements to eyeballs, there’s at least 30 percent taken right off the bat. Facebook is basically helping eliminate that toll, which advertisers should be cognizant of because they can use that comparatively against other buys that they’re doing. While they’re reducing that cost, they’re also elevating the sophistication in terms of targeting capabilities and getting data back against your CRM to create more intelligent campaigns, more intelligent interactions and more intelligent ways to store that data and use it for understanding the lifetime value of their customers. There’s a huge opportunity there for advertisers to use the data in bigger ways than just advertising.
Facebook rolled out an update to its , , and the one major change is the ability to select specific friends to share photos with, in addition to the already existing options of all friends and .
Version 8.0 of Facebook’s iOS app also features an update that makes it easier for iPad users to post and share, and “improvements for reliability and speed.”
TechCrunch pointed out the similarities between the new “Share with only these friends” option in Facebook’s iOS app and the similar feature in photo-messaging app .
iOS users: What do you think of the new photo-sharing options?