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Updated: 48 sec ago

Tue, 14/01/2014 - 11:46pm

A Facebook reader, similar to the popular app Flipboard, , but a new report suggests that the social network could launch the product by the end of the month. According to Re/Code, Facebook will soon launch “Paper,” a Facebook product that acts like Flipboard, a visual news magazine app with customized recommendations.

If true, this falls in line with Facebook’s efforts to bring more and more features from outside the social network to inside, prompting users to spend more and more time within the site. Re/Code’s sources that this has been a “multi-year effort” by Facebook’s , and it’s almost ready to come to fruition.

Re/Code explains what “Paper,” is, but Facebook declined to comment on the matter (standard procedure on rumors):

The product is known as “Paper,” according to a source familiar with the matter, and it is similar to Flipboard, a buzzy mobile-focused news reading app. Paper looks to be either a standalone mobile application or a Web experience suited to mobile devices, according to this person. Facebook could launch the app before the end of January, this person said, though the timetable could change.

Paper and Flipboard share a number of similarities, according to this person. Both essentially act as aggregators of rich media content, displaying a mix of news stories from publications like the New York Times or the Washington Post, along with status updates from Facebook users — all in a visually stunning “paper-like” format hearkening back to a time before digital devices.

The efforts are known internally as Project Reader, Re/Code sources say, and are led by Facebook Vice President of Product .

According to AppData estimates, Flipboard’s Facebook app has 5.5 million monthly active users and 3 million daily active users (making it the 25th-most popular Facebook app in terms of AppData DAU estimates).

However, could this move flop?

A guest post on The Next Web makes a valid point, that the trend in online and mobile now is toward niche. Facebook wants to be an internet supermarket, where users can come to get news, chat with friends, get shopping recommendations and view visually striking content. People do still want to do all these things, but not everyone wants to go to Facebook for everything, Ciaran Treacy writes:

The problem is that neither has, or would work for Facebook. The reality is that people don’t want a one stop shop for all of their online activities, especially with a company who have had notorious dealings with data-selling and profiling.

What the social network needs to realize is that the future of social is niche, you can’t be everything to everyone.

Twitter has fallen into Second Screen mode, working as a real-time accompaniment to TV and major events. LinkedIn is strictly professional. Google still trundles on with Google Plus, but is increasingly refocusing on its devices, looking more towards Apple and device integration. Each begins to fill a niche in our lives, offering diverse experience without too much overlap.

Readers: What do you think of Facebook finally launching some sort of reader?

Top image courtesy of .

Categories: Facebook

Tue, 14/01/2014 - 7:57pm

2013 was a whirlwind year for Facebook marketers, as the and the maligned algorithm was tweaked a few times. What did you learn from it all?

Social marketing firm ShortStack compiled all of the important Facebook marketing lessons of 2013 into a handy infographic, allowing marketers to draw on what they learned in the past for success in the future.

Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.


Categories: Facebook

Tue, 14/01/2014 - 4:47pm

In June 2013, Facebook adopted a Twitter and Instagram staple to be clickable on the site. Reaction to the use of hashtags on Facebook , but there are several brands who hashtag their posts.

Analysis by Quintly shows the top hashtag users on Facebook in the fields of automotive, hotel, politicians, TV shows and banks/financial institutions. TV and automotive pages were the highest hashtag utilizers among this group, with a Costa Rican television station actually using them most often.

Here’s the overall tally via Quintly, taking into account Facebook posts from July 1 through Dec. 31, 2013:

  • Cars & Automotive | 1380 pages analyzed | 225432 posts | 15976 hashtags used
  • Hotel | 700 pages analyzed | 75262 posts | 9678 hashtags used
  • Politician | 1109 pages analyzed | 150114 posts | 7441 hashtags used
  • TV Shows | 1294 pages analyzed | 376548 posts | 21439 hashtags used
  • Bank/Financial | 734 pages analyzed | 131893 posts | 8955 hashtags used

Among the TV show pages to use hashtags, Quintly found that Costa Rican station Teletican Canal 7 had 2 of the 3 most-used hashtags in the study, with #TD7, the station’s hashtag for sports topics being used 3,057 times in that span and #TN7, the hashtag for general news, used 2,324 times.

With cars and automotive, the other category with a high hashtag usage, #Hyundai edged out #BMW. Here’s the top 10, with the number of times the hashtag was used from July 1 through Dec. 31, 2013:

  1. #Hyundai 1953
  2. #BMW 1376
  3. #Audi 1287
  4. #Chevrolet 1047
  5. #MercedesBenz 893
  6. #Toyota 785
  7. #Renault 746
  8. #Kia 739
  9. #AMG 628
  10. #rideinluxury 616

Overall, Quintly found that South American and Indian brands, pages and politicians were the most active adopters of hashtags. For instance, the most-widely used hashtag of #Michelle refers not to First Lady Michelle Obama, but to Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

Quintly’s Maximilian H. Nierhoff summed up the findings in a blog post:

Overall, we can now easily determine that the hashtag usage differs by pages in the analyzed categories. While automotive pages are mainly promoting their brand names and car models, pages of the predefined hotel category are trying to push partly branded hashtags with a destination focus. Politics and social media is always interesting, in this case it is kind of surprising that primarily South American and Indian politicians are focusing on pushing their names and campaigns by using hashtags.

Checking the top 10 hashtags for TV shows, South America is leading again by posting branded hashtags most frequently. Pages in the Bank/Financial category are rarely utilizing hashtags. If so, partly to promote their products or just to highlight general topic-related words.

Readers: How often does your page or brand utilize hashtags in Facebook posts?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Categories: Facebook

Mon, 13/01/2014 - 10:27pm

Ever notice how memes take on a life of their own? Memes are similar to the game of “Telephone,” as the original phrase often changed considerably as it is whispered from person-to-person. Sometimes a person in the chain changes the phrase for comic effect, sometimes not. The same can be said for Internet memes.

Facebook decided to their evolution as they travel through the social networking site. Until now, it had been impossible to trace the evolution of memes because of lack of data. Facebook was able to study more than 460 million individual meme instances. They found that as memes were changed slightly, depending on need or niche, they sometimes became more popular. For example, adding the phrase “please post this” to the meme made it two times more likely to be shared.

In September 2009, 470,000 Facebook users posted the following as their status update: “No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, post this as your status for the rest of the day.”

According to Facebook’s blog post:

At some point someone created a variant by prepending “thinks that” (which would follow the individual’s name, e.g., “Sam thinks that no one…”), which was copied 60,000 times. The third most popular variant inserted “We are only as strong as the weakest among us” in the middle. “The rest of the day” at one point (probably in the late evening hours) became “the next 24 hours”. Others abbreviated it to “24 hrs”, or extended it to “the rest of the week.”

For this particular post, 121,605 different variants of this meme appeared in 1.14 million status updates. Facebook decided to to connect the variants similar to the way geneticists trace the lineage of a particular genetic sequence using a gene tree and then used a simpler process called Yule.

Tracing genes is much more difficult because, to study them, one must go back generations to examine mutations. With a meme, Facebook easily started at the origin of a post and then traced when copies and mutations occurred, which are the two basic ingredients in the evolutionary process of a gene. Using the Yule process, they showed that every instance of a meme variant has a constant probability over time:

  • How popularity will be distributed among variants;
  • Characterized popularity distribution: If it lands close to 0, all variants are equally popular, close to 1 and a few variants are extremely popular; and
  • If most of the meme copies are made among friends, lineage can be constructed very easily.

The parallels between the evolution of memes and genes will continue to be traced as posts propagate and evolve through Facebook and beyond. While this study only traced memes on Facebook, it revealed how ideas transmit themselves through social ties in general.

Categories: Facebook

Mon, 13/01/2014 - 3:19pm

Facebook has acquired link-sharing service Branch, according to the , Josh Miller. The Verge reports that the deal is worth about $15 million.

Branch makes it easier for friends to talk about news and current articles, and share the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, WordPress or anywhere on the web. Branch’s team will stay in New York, Miller said, and form Facebook’s Conversations group, with the goal of helping people connect with others around shared interests.

Miller announced the news :

After two years building Branch and Potluck, I am thrilled to announce that we will be continuing our mission at Facebook!

We will be forming Facebook’s Conversations group, based in New York City, with the goal of helping people connect with others around their interests. Their pitch to us was: “Build Branch at Facebook scale!”

Although the products we build will be reminiscent of Branch and Potluck, those services will live on outside of Facebook. A more thoughtful note and details to come soon but I am writing this haphazardly from a mountain in Japan (I was tipped that the story was going to leak while on vacation).

Readers: What do you think Facebook can do with Branch’s team?

Categories: Facebook

Mon, 13/01/2014 - 2:29pm

Do you run a Facebook page for your business?  If so, this short guide will help you realise the potential of your page by following a set process to make community management much more scientific.

1. Find Your Cost & Savings

Step one is probably the simplest of them all – whether you already run a Facebook page for your business or are just about to start, the first step is to figure out your costs. Not your advertising budget, or how much you’re paying an agency, but your true, full costs. This includes you & your team’s time, any impact on the brand if there’s a social disaster, project management, advertising costs, and the cost of any tools you may want to use.

2. Define Your Position

Reverse personas can really help here – don’t think at this stage about who your business is talking to in this arena (that comes in just a sec), but think about who your business would be if it were a person.

The key at this stage is to be creative whilst being true to your brand. Don’t decide to make your business something it isn’t for Facebook – stay true to who you are as much as possible.

3.  Understand Your Audience

Using Facebook’s Power Editor, Facebook insights, and other available tools, you can begin to profile your audience to find out who they are (if they exist already on your page), or who you want the audience to be if you are just starting out.

A useful technique is to create personas based on the data you’ve pulled and think of your audience in this defined way.

4. Eye Up The Competition

In step four we delve into competitors content (rather than their audience) to find out what is working for them in terms of content types, posting times, content themes and tone of voice to ensure that your Facebook content offering is competitive.

Our Datify data is really useful at easing the pain of this step as we can analyse any pages content quickly and efficiently, however there is a manual, but labour-intensive way of pulling this data out yourself if you are prepared to trawl through posts in the front end of Facebook.

5. Generate Ideas & Draw Up Your Content Strategy

Now that you understand your audience and can see how your competitors are doing (and what they are doing better than you) it’s time to put your strategy down on paper.  All of your hard work on the above steps will pay off at this stage.

With the above data in mind, it’s time to get a little creative, but with defined boundaries set by what the data says and what you want to achieve.  This will help you focus your brainstorm and come up with the most relevant ideas.

6. Monetise Your Engagement

As part of your initial content strategy it is absolutely acceptable to include some commercial posts – whether they be pushing your products, services or just about your key brand messages.  A common mistake made by social media managers creating their first content strategy, or for businesses taking their first steps on Facebook is to overload their content with too many commercial posts.  This can lead to a very unengaged page and needs to be avoided.

As a general rule, having one in five posts as commercially led is about right when you start out, and this can be increased to one in four, or even one in three over time depending on how your audience react and how your engagement rate performs.  Naturally you’re posting to Facebook to try to generate return on investment for your activity, but at first this can require a little patience so as to not alienate your early audience.

7. Measure & Iterate – or Pivot

At this early stage I’d recommend fully delving into your data every 2-4 weeks in order for you to measure what is happening and how you are performing.  In essence this will be a revision of steps three and four, to see how your audience is developing and how your content is faring versus that of competitors.

There is plenty of useful data to pull out of Facebook Insights to get a quick indication of performance such as post engagement, page reach, the demographics of your audience who are engaged and so on.  However, more value can be gained by using more bespoke methods.


If you follow this process, I am confident that your Facebook page will perform better than before and that you will be able to continually improve the performance of your page over time.  This will allow you to increase your brand awareness, and return on investment by using data to plan your content intelligently.

To find out more including seeing example data and learning how to pull out some of the key metrics please download our free eBook, “Facebook Community Management is a Science Not An Art” by clicking here.

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.

Categories: Facebook

Fri, 10/01/2014 - 6:24pm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants Facebook to be more like a newspaper, and a recent test discovered by Fast Company shows that designers are doing what they can to make this true. Facebook is toying with using serif fonts on link headlines, a small change to the untrained eye, but something very noticeable to font aficionados.

Above, the old lettering is on the left, while the new test is on the right. Facebook confirmed to Fast Company that this is something they’re testing among select users. Additionally, ads appear bigger within News Feed on this test.

Facebook commented to Fast Company about the test:

This is a small design test we are currently running. We are constantly testing new features across the site and have nothing more to share at this time.

Alicia Antoniolli, Social Account Manager for 3Q Digital, offered her take on this test with Inside Facebook:

When any change is made to allow advertisers to take up more real estate in the News Feed, it’s a good day. The headline will be larger and more readable, which is a win for advertisers. The needle was pushed considerably in September when the news feed underwent many changes. The link posts, showcased in this new update, were allowed much larger images and more ad text allowance, which pushed Facebook advertisers to consider it as a top ad unit. This possible new change is simply a slight move in the same direction.

Readers: What do you think of the font changes?

Image courtesy of Fast Company.

Categories: Facebook

Fri, 10/01/2014 - 6:00pm

Kenshoo, a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer in Facebook Exchange and ads, announced recently that the company hired Gary Nafus, previously the Vice President of Sales at Oracle Corporation before starting at Kenshoo. Nafus will be the company’s Managing Director of the Americas. Since March 2013, he has been a member of Kenshoo as the Vice President of Sales and Interim Marketing Director, Asia Pacific.

Nafus will oversee efforts in the key markets of the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil, helping marketers make the most of their advertising budgets through Kenshoo’s innovations such as Halogen Technology, ActiveCluster, Demand Driven Campaigns and SmartPath. He has more than 15 years of experience with enterprise-class software sales.

Nafus commented on the news in a press release:

Kenshoo’s industry leading position is a reflection of its commitment to product excellence and client satisfaction. With digital marketing flourishing in the Americas, Kenshoo has an opportunity to help savvy marketers thrive in the two most important sectors, search and social. I’m excited to be working with Kenshoo’s teams to better serve agencies and brands in these regions.

Ted Krantz, Kenshoo’s Senior Vice President of Revenue, welcomed Nafus to his new role:

Gary has already proven himself an invaluable asset to the Kenshoo team and was the perfect fit to oversee Kenshoo’s expansion efforts in the Americas. With rapid growth in the search and social advertising arenas, Gary’s direction will play a key role in determining Kenshoo’s approach for these markets to drive client adoption and success.

Categories: Facebook

Fri, 10/01/2014 - 1:00pm

There has been much uproar over Facebook’s to its EdgeRank algorithm and how it of business brand page updates. Nicholas Carlson over at Business Insider has infact claimed that “Facebook screwed lots of online retailers just in time for the holidays,” and in a way he’s right of course:

It has been a less profitable holiday season for many online retailers thanks to a small change Facebook made to how the site works.

Facebook’s News Feed — with all its eyeballs, engagement, community and domination of the mobile phone experience — has become a key influencer along the path to purchase, and is a key pillar of any self-respecting businesses’ marketing strategy for retailers, the food & beverage industry, travel … just about everyone actually.

However, the businesses’ continued reliance on their brand pages and Facebook promotions such as like gates, contest apps, surveys and “highly engaging timely content,” — which has never actually been the best way to use Facebook for marketing — that is the real problem.

It’s 2014 and it should be every marketer’s New Year’s resolution to try and truly understand how Facebook works and break free from their increasingly hidden fan pages. Admittedly it’s not easy, because even Facebook’s own solution for businesses (more and more targeted advertising) is not even the best way to speak to your customers on Facebook.

So what is the solution? The key to understanding Facebook is to understanding why it acquired 1.2 billion-plus users. The simple answer to that question is that it allowed people to simply connect with friends. “Connect” in this case meaning communicating and sharing experiences, ideas, and messages, through the digital formats of text, photos and video. That’s all reasonably well-understood … but what businesses tend to overlook though is the “with friends” part.

Other than marketing people and analysts, few of those 1.2 billion Facebook users created accounts because they wanted to be informed on what was happening at Proctor and Gamble, what new products were available at the Gap or how much Absolut Vodka loves Christmas. Between TV, online advertising, e-commerce and blogs, there were plenty of existing channels already happily broadcasting that information at you.  People created their “social” Facebook accounts because they want to share what they are up to with their friends… oh and er… yes, to see what their friends are up to also: people which whom they have real relationships.

Friends-of-friends is still the most powerful and natural conversation happening on Facebook. This is why Facebook so carefully keeps tweaking EdgeRank: to ensure that those powerful conversations continue to surface prominently in the newsfeed to retain the primary value of the Facebook service to its users.

So the real challenge to a Facebook marketer becomes how to get friends talking to friends about brands and retailers on Facebook in the natural manner that friends use. To get native content in the News Feed created by the users themselves (truly native Facebook advertising). “Brand advocates” is a term you’ll be increasingly hearing as innovative marketers look to the Facebook population as a source of marketing not just an audience.

This challenge is complex, but the rewards are worth it. Friends’ News Feed updates can reach far, due to their higher engagement rate versus fan page updates. Friends’ News Feed updates are more trusted by friends than your fan page updates, and friends often are friends because of similar interests.  A post made by your friend is a recommendation, not an ad. People love recommendations; people think they hate ads. Most importantly, these recommendations reach new consumers that fan pages do not.

Solving this challenge requires the proper integration of digital and real world marketing efforts. Effort and money marketers are already spending. When executed creatively, brands’ interactions with their customers in the real world, gives them the ability to tap into that consumer’s network of friends in the social world.

Don’t think Facebook users are willing to participate in your marketing schemes? Next time you see a movie recommendation, a picture of a juicy steak that tags a restaurant or a picture of someone’s favorite new shoes on your News Feed, think again. Turning up the dial on existing user behavior can be done by savvy social marketers.

2014 is a new year. Is Facebook ad buying going to be just another line item your business checks off or are you going to accept the challenge of tackling the huge opportunity of having your retail brand succeed on social in a new way… the right way?

Timothy Brown is a social media marketing veteran developer of multiple apps and web properties covered in publications such as Time, Forbes, GQ and Wired. Presently he is the co-founder of Reqvu, Inc. a company that specializes in social word of mouth.

Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Categories: Facebook

Thu, 09/01/2014 - 7:24pm

An updated shows that there coming to Facebook ads by April 9, including the sunsetting of and better targeting options. Facebook has been planning this since June 2013, but the company that sponsored stories will end soon.

Sponsored stories have been on the cutting board since Facebook announced its ad simplification plans last year. Facebook is wrapping up its simplification efforts, encouraging advertisers to take advantage of an objective-based advertising flow. Sponsored Stories were often controversial and were the subject of a , as users were angered over how their information was being used in this advertising model.

A Facebook spokesperson addressed the changes:

As announced in June of last year, we’re brining the best of sponsored stories – social context – to all ads. Since this update makes sponsored stories redundant, we will no longer offer them as a standalone ad unit for marketers. Social context will continue to appear with all ads where eligible. Our social advertising honors the audience that people choose, so nobody will see information in social context for an ad that they couldn’t already see.

The newest version of explains that Facebook now has more efficient ways to advertise, other than sponsored stories:

In an effort to better align our Ads API with our Ads Simplification effort, we’re making changes to simplify the creative data model to be more intuitive. The focus of creatives will be on the promoted object and the creative assets instead of the creative type, making them more consistent across promoted object types.

The post suggests that advertisers start using page post and page like ads, which have better social context. Existing page post and page like sponsored stories will continue to deliver. Advertisers will no longer be able to create (such as Amazon sponsoring a link a user posted to a product page) or open graph sponsored stories (such as Spotify advertising that a user is listening to a certain artist). Existing domain and open graph sponsored stories will end permanently after April 9.

According to the Facebook Help Center, there are :

  • App shared sponsored story
  • Check-in sponsored story
  • Domain sponsored story
  • Event sponsored story
  • Game played sponsored story
  • Open graph sponsored story
  • Page like sponsored story
  • Page post comment sponsored story
  • Page post like sponsored story
  • Page post share sponsored story

Facebook’s developers roadmap also explained the changes that will come to targeting on April 9:

The overall concept of targeting has been redefined as having four key areas (locations, demographics, interests, behaviors). This organization creates more flexibility and precision in audience creation in terms of the and/or logic between groups.

Example: historically, if you selected “Parents” “Photography” “Photo uploader” within interests, the audience constructed was People who are Parents OR interested in Photography OR people who upload [many] Photos. However, the intended audience was: “Parents, who are interested in photography and upload pictures”. Now, the specific audience will be targeted as intended.

During the period allotted for the breaking change, all advertiser accounts managed by PMDs will NOT be added to the new targeting types, unified interests (unless previously added by request), or demographic and behavioral changes. This is to prevent disparity between Facebook UI and PMD tools.

Readers: What do you think about these changes?

Categories: Facebook

Thu, 09/01/2014 - 6:32pm

ShopIgniter, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer, recently developed a way to track conversions gained from a Facebook mobile ad. The company developed a landing page for mobile web that allows marketers to track conversions and actions regardless of the ad’s original goal or intent.

The mobile web landing page generates a URL tag that marketers can track to see when customers made significant actions, such as adding an item to the cart. One major automotive retailer using ShopIgniter’s technology experienced add-to-cart rates of 13 to 27 percent via the mobile web landing page linked to in a Facebook ad. ShopIgniter reports that users viewing the landing page would usually interact with 2 or 3 things.

ShopIgniter Senior Director of Strategy Justin Kistner explained to Inside Facebook how it works:

We built a system in our platform that will automatically generate what’s called a URL tag for every post and ad created on our platform. What that does is instead of using a view tag to pass the ID of the ad onto the site, where a conversion would take place, we used a parameter in the URL that automatically gets created on our system. In the world of standard web analytics, this is how web analytics tracking has been done. … When a person would show up on that website then the analytics would pick up that URL tag and read it.

The thing that we did that is unique is we have our system automatically put them in place, and then we also have the analytics already embedded on our landing page, so it takes care of a process that was a manual process previously. It automates both the implementation of the URL tag in the ad as well as the implementation of the analytics on the landing page.

Essentially, a brand can work with ShopIgniter to develop a responsive mobile web landing page, then create a optimized for offsite conversions (or whatever the goal is) that leads users to that page, where major actions like adding an item to the cart or subscribing to an email list can be tracked with a URL tag. Kistner said that as many brands seek to develop mobile apps, the mobile web page is often ignored or not optimized.

Categories: Facebook

Thu, 09/01/2014 - 2:39pm

SocialClicks, the Tel Aviv-based Facebook ads API partner, announced recently that the company has released the latest feature of its SocialClicks Advance Technology Suite, Predictive Automated Bid Optimization.

This new technology allows Facebook marketers to let run themselves when they’re away, guaranteeing the best rates overnight or over a long weekend.

SocialClicks Founder & CEO Alon Michaeli described this new feature:

Our latest optimization algorithms provide clients with game-changing results. Not only does this technology make life simpler for marketers tasked with the 24/7 job of managing Facebook campaigns, but it leads to the acquisition of new high quality users, while significantly reducing costs and the risk associated with any digital campaign.

Predictive Automated Bid Optimization can govern changes to both bids and budgets on the moment they’re launched. It allows marketers to keep tabs on their campaign without doing so manually all the time. Once basic preferences for campaign control are set, ads are optimized based on the predefined goals and targets. Algorithms are continually updated with real-time and historical information from campaign and individual ad analytics.

SocialClicks clients who have already been using this are seeing an average reduction in cost per acquisition by 16 percent.

A press release explains how Predictive Automated Bid Optimization works:

Behind the scenes of this new feature, algorithms are continuously updated with real-time and historical information from campaign and individual ad analytics, and synthesized into many statistical data points to predict future campaign performance. The platform then forecasts outcomes and makes the optimum changes to bids and budgets, driving the required scale and the acquisition of high quality users.

Categories: Facebook

Wed, 08/01/2014 - 10:08pm

Kelly Householder works at Infusionsoft, a company that produces marketing software for small businesses. The company encourages employees to have a small business of their own.

So Kelly sells welding plans for $19.97 online for DIY welders — should you want to make a folding table, workbench, welding cart, or other object to prove your manhood.

He had just over 1,000 and produces content regularly.

The plight of small business

They have a page, but aren’t exactly sure whether things are working. So they dutifully keep posting content, since the consultants remind them of the 1.2 billion people that are on Facebook.

And maybe they bought some software or hired a social media expert. If they’re lucky, this is what happens:


Organically (without paying), he’s getting 400-500 people to see his posts. Kelly has tried boosting posts sporadically, at the recommendation of Facebook and .


The boosted posts get a lot more engagement. But is it worth it?  Do you know how much it costs and whether it drives sales in the long run?

Answer: don’t boost posts. It’s the crack of Facebook marketing — a quick hit, but not smart.

A boosted post is convenient.

Instead of one-offs, what you need is a simple strategy that builds up your audience, engages them over time, and nudges them to buy when it’s time.

It’s called Audience, , and Conversion. Read how it works here.


You don’t buy a wife at the store — you endure the courtship process. 

You nurture social customers over time.

You water and tend a garden that produces veggies a couple months after you plant the seeds.

And when you do, Facebook is there to amplify your existing marketing efforts. You’re social, not self-promotional.

Here are the 3 funnel steps:

AUDIENCE He has one campaign dedicated to just getting fans using .


$3 a day and he gets fans for 20 cents each. So that’s 15 fans a day at a steady trickle.


He’s targeted an audience of 22,000 people — all specific welding interests. In the last few days, he’s spent $8 to get the 41 fans, but also drove a whopping 244 photos views, too. That’s pennies per engagement.

And his CTR is 4.8%, which is a sign of relevancy — that he has good content and is targeting the right folks.

These are all FOF (Friend of Fans) ads that ensure anyone who sees the ad also sees that one or more of their friends likes it, too. Being in the newsfeed helps, too. So if your ads have less than a 1% CTR, something is wrong.


Now we want to make sure that our posts are being seen in the newsfeed. This is what we’d want a boosted post to do, but use Facebook’s Power Editor (a free tool made by Facebook) to create these ads.

Kelly has ads targeting his fans, friends of fans that like welding, people who work at welding companies, farmers, and even blue collar folks that own their own homes.

The ad that performs the best, at over a 10% CTR, is the one targeting his fans. Not a surprise.

He’s spent only $1.46 to make sure his 1,400 fans see his messages in the News Feed (the Facebook homepage).

The super high CTR means that he doesn’t pay much for the traffic. In other words, if you double your CTR, then you pay half as much per click/engagement.

When targeting fans, you should regularly get 2-3% CTR on engagement posts and perhaps half that on non-fans. Of course, fans are more likely to interact, so you must separate out your ads to see the effect.


If you’ve got your audience campaign driving new fans and your engagement campaign warming them up, then your conversion campaign is ready to get them to buy.

In a conversion campaign, you set up dark posts, also known as , to make sure your offer is seen by fans and people on your email list.

Kelly has a few ads in his conversion campaign.

Two of them are at 6% CTR and one is at 10% CTR.

This is excellent, since it drives his cost per click down to 8-10 cents.

He’s running an offer to a free pack of 10 welding plans, targeting welders, of course.

Solid targeting functions like throwing raw meat in front of starving lions.

And he is targeting his existing fans, of course. The 10% CTR is fantastic.

He’s uploaded a custom audience of a couple hundred emails, which matched down to 100 users (50% match rate). But they haven’t produced any impressions yet. Same for the lookalike audiences, which you can make from an existing custom audience. WELDING IT ALL TOGETHER Believe it or not, we ran through this entire process in about 40 minutes. That’s how long it takes to create a dozen ads. If you’re really fast, you’re cloning existing ads to test out new targets, which takes seconds. Kelly of DIY Welding Plans is on the right, while I’m on the far left.

It’s the  process that matters. You want to spend 15 minutes twice a week on your campaigns, not all day and then getting burned out.

If you’re wanting to get in shape, you’d do a few light workouts a couple times a week, not go crazy in a mega-workout and not be able to exercise for a month.

I hope the 3 campaign technique of Audience, Engagement, and Conversion simplifies your life.

This works well for small business owners, agencies, B2B lead gen, and even enterprise.

Love to hear how it works for you!

Categories: Facebook

Wed, 08/01/2014 - 6:00pm

Facebook has Bangalore-based startup Little Eye Labs, the company’s website announced. Little Eye Labs makes a tool that can track and fix performance issues with Android apps. should bolster Facebook’s Android applications, which received overhauls in 2013.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources told TechCrunch previously that the deal was worth between $10 million and $15 million.

Facebook Engineering Manager Subbu Subramanian confirmed the deal in a statement:

I’m excited to announce that we’re acquiring Little Eye Labs, a company that produces world-class technology to help developers build more efficient products with Android. This is an opportunity to welcome some of the industry’s most talented engineers to our team in Menlo Park, Calif. At Facebook, we remain focused on producing useful and engaging mobile applications. The Little Eye Labs technology will help us continue improving our Android code base to make more efficient, higher-performing apps.

Little Eye Labs also blogged about the acquisition:

Today, we’re very excited to announce that Facebook is acquiring our company. With this acquisition, Little Eye Labs will join forces with Facebook to take its mobile development to the next level! This is Facebook’s first acquisition of an Indian company, and we are happy to become part of such an incredible team.

Little Eye Labs was founded about a year ago by a bunch of program analysis geeks who wanted to build better tools for Mobile developers and were later backed by GSF and VenturEast Tenet Fund. We released our official version of Little Eye for Android in early April of this year, and since then we have had many Android developers and testers using Little Eye Labs to measure, analyze, and optimize their app’s performance. We’re thankful for the opportunity we’ve had to make an impact in the development of some of the best apps out there.

The entire Little Eye Labs team will move to Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park, California. From there, we’ll be able to leverage Facebook’s world-class infrastructure and help improve performance of their already awesome apps. For us, this is an opportunity to make an impact on the more than 1 billion people who use Facebook.

Readers: How can Facebook’s Android apps be improved?

Categories: Facebook

Wed, 08/01/2014 - 1:00pm

As Facebook page admins get started with 2014, the social marketing experts at ShortStack created a detailed template, including image sizes, for page admins looking to get ahead.

ShortStack also released some tips for Facebook marketers looking to take their page to the next level.

ShortStack shared some advice for Facebook page admins looking for some guidance:

  • Update your cover photo frequently  – once a month is ideal.
  • Always include a photo description when you update your cover photo image; in the description, provide links and a call to action.
  • Use arrows and other design elements to direct Timeline visitors’ eyes to the Like button or to an app.
  • Coordinate your cover photo with your profile photo.
  • If you haven’t yet, experiment with free photo-enhancing sites such as Pic-Monkey.

The company also put together a comprehensive template for optimizing images on Facebook.

Click here to see all the tips from ShortStack.

Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Categories: Facebook

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 11:04pm

Facebook has apparently made a small change to the .

Where it used to say “Following,” allowing users to access a feed of pages they’ve liked and celebrities/public figures/prominent users they’re following, it now says “Pages and Public Figures.”

This would make it a little easier for users to understand just what’s in that tab, and would allow users to see a stream of posts from the pages they’ve followed, bypassing the controversial News Feed algorithm.

Facebook revealed the redesigned News Feed, along with the News Feed menu, .

Readers: Have you seen this?


Categories: Facebook

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 8:39pm

Competition — — is growing in the , but Facebook is still the social login leader in Q4, according to a study released recently by Janrain. While Facebook is still the  No. 1 choice for users connecting with sites overall, the social network is downwardly trending with music apps and B2B sites.

However, Facebook is seeing increasing social logins through retail sites and media sites. Overall, 45 percent of social logins throughout the Web in Q4 happened via Facebook, but Google+ isn’t far behind at 35 percent.

Facebook did a little better in Q4, Janrain notices. The social network actually gained 0.2 percent of the market share of social logins from Q3 to Q4, but Google+ is still a hot riser, as partnerships with popular sites such as SoundCloud are doing for Google+ what did for Facebook.

Janrain Product Marketing Manager Michael Olson spoke with Inside Facebook about Facebook’s social login performance in Q4:

They had experienced a few consecutive quarters of moderately declining share in terms of preference for consumers, and really reversed that trend in Q4. We saw them maintain their 45 percent share on aggregate across all different types of websites. Clearly, they’re still the most popular choice for consumers at 45 percent. They’ve got about a 10 percent lead on Google, which is the second-most popular choice. Overall, I think it was a positive story for Facebook.

Facebook did see quarterly increases in a few key verticals, namely retail. That’s major for Facebook as it shows that more consumers were willing to connect to retail sites via Facebook during the . More people also connected through Facebook to media sites, entertainment and gaming sites, as well as consumer brand sites in Q4.

One area where Facebook is trending downward is music sites. Olson told Inside Facebook that there’s just more competition out there. Previously, Facebook was the overwhelming social login choice through sites and apps such as Spotify, Pandora and Songza. Now, Google+ is making up some ground and eating away at Facebook’s market share, namely with SoundCloud, which has integrated better sharing and login techniques with Google’s network, Olson said:

Facebook has traditionally dominated on music sites. That’s been their highest-performing segment, or one of them. I think that the decrease during Q4 is really just a function of increased competition. Google+ recently completed a sharing integration with SoundCloud, which is similar to Facebook’s integrations with Spotify and Pandora. What that’s done is it’s made consumers associate listening to music online more with sharing via the Google+ platform. That’s the correlation with the increased preference for Google. Google, to their credit, has done a great job consolidating all of their services, with GMail, Google Plus, YouTube and Google Play all under a single Google account. … YouTube happens to be a very popular service for music discovery and listening to live concerts or recorded concerts. That means consumers are more likely to associate music discovery and those types of websites with the Google identity.

The full report, with all charts and analysis from Olson, is available here.

Readers: Are you seeing yourself login to sites and apps via Google+ more often?


Categories: Facebook

Tue, 07/01/2014 - 5:17pm

After several admins reported a for many Facebook pages, a new study of 1,000 pages by social media analytics tool Locowise shows that on the average, organic reach went up by 6 percent in December (compared to the previous month). But in terms of gross numbers, only 38 percent of the pages reported an increase in organic reach in December.

Locowise founder Ian Mullane said the pages were randomly selected, with fanbases as small as 257 fans and the largest at more than 50 million fans, and including the verticals of consumer packaged goods, car manufacturers, sports and music personalities, B2B, B2C and small businesses.

However, the use of paid reach rose in December, with 25 percent more pages choosing to advertise posts. Of the 1,000 pages tracked, 41 percent used some kind of paid media in December. Viral reach was down 3 percent in December. 53 percent of the pages showing increases in organic reach also boosted some posts.

Mullane discussed these findings with Inside Facebook:

I don’t think this study says anything different, as whilst the headline is 38% saw an increase, 62% therefore saw a decrease. I do think we can all snap shot sometimes, in reaction to the flurry of studies done after any announced EdgeRank algorithm change and then make a judgement around that particular short period. In my experience, a detailed monthly reach analysis is performed by a small minority and to this level of detail rarely at all.

I note that more than half that did see an increase were participating in paid activity as well. I don’t think it is a huge jump to suggest that these are likely probably the ones with dedicated social resources to manage performance. The additional paid element is likely demanding a close analysis of performance and that in turn is building a better understanding of what content is best for the page which carries through to all posting.

Locowise’ findings shows that links were 22 percent more viral in December, while photos and text status updates were down 8 percent and 7 percent respectively. in December — a 70 percent uptick, though only 12 percent of the pages monitored used video that month. Photos were used by 93 percent of the pages — a 2 percent decrease from November.

The number of posts was also up in December by 5 percent.  Average daily activity increased rom 1.29 posts per day to 1.32. 64 percent of all posts were photos, 22 percent were links and 13 percent were status updates.

The average growth in December, in terms of fans, was 9 percent. Average gain to loss, where fan gain is divided by fan loss, was 13:1 — meaning 13 fans were gained for every 1 lost in December, up from 11:1 in November.

Mullane believes that the decrease in organic reach could continue:

Facebook does face an continuing battle to keep the feed full of quality, relevant content and I believe we will continue to see organic reach decreasing. Anyone remotely serious about utilising Facebook as a marketing channel will need to accept that paid (post boosting in this case) will become the norm. That in turn may have us all more conscious of our performance data and foster a more proactive approach to the analytics rather than just utilising the data for retrospective reporting.

Creative aside, (there will never not be a time when good creative content isn’t a factor) we can all benefit from a proactive approach to the extensive dataset available to us. Whether it be understanding which content type is currently getting the best reach or engagement, to optimising our posts to particular times of the day for maximum the outcome.

Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Categories: Facebook

Mon, 06/01/2014 - 11:00pm

Facebook has changed the way many people communicate, but the social network has also played a hand in how people gamble. At the recent Social Gambling & Gaming Summit in Las Vegas, several game developers and land-based casino executives talked about the importance Facebook has held in growing the business.

Casinos and game developers are finding more devoted gamers (and paying customers) through Facebook — and not just at poker and slots games. As a result, some casinos are even bringing popular Facebook games such as Plants vs. Zombies (an EA title) into real-life with physical games based on the apps.

Derrick Morton, a speaker at the Social Gambling & Gaming Summit, is the CEO of FlowPlay — makers of , a total Vegas experience that goes beyond cards and slots and allows users to work their way into upgraded suites, with jazzier outfits and invites to better parties. Vegas World has roughly 350,000 monthly active users, Morton said, and 70,000 daily active users. Morton spoke with Inside Facebook about how Facebook affects social gambling.

Inside Facebook: In terms of more in general, what does Facebook have to offer?

Derrick Morton: There’s really nothing unique to Facebook about gambling, or about social gaming, except for the social graph. The social graph allows you to have access to activities, leaderboards that show activity by day, activity by week, activity by game, people can share on their Facebook wall and compare on the leaderboard, and it’s big from a sharing point of view. That’s what Facebook is all about — sharing major milestones, jackpots and things that happen to you in the game with your friends and brag about it.

IF: Could more major land-based casinos take hold and develop Facebook games or some kind of portal where people could play their games through Facebook?

DM: Already, Caesar’s Palace runs the No. 1 casino game on Facebook, Slot-O-Mania, and they also own Bingo Blitz. So that’s two of the top Facebook games already owned by them. MGM (Grand) owns the No. 3 or 4 social casino, which is MyVegas. It does a really excellent job at connecting real-world casinos with virtual casinos. When you play MyVegas, you can get coupons or steak dinners or other things like that at an actual casino. So there’s a lot of activity already from land-based casinos entering the world of social gambling.

For us, though, what’s fun is we make about 1/3 of our revenue from people buying each other gifts and drinks inside the game. When you’re playing with someone else, you can buy a round of martinis, a round of champagne, or a round of beers for the players who are in the room with you. It improves the odds of everyone in the game temporarily.

IF: Do you feel we’ll see a little more revenue on the front in 2014? Are more people starting to play casino games through Facebook?

DM: The growth curve is probably not as steep as it was a year or two ago. Industry analysts only expect it to grow about 10 to 15 percent year-over-year for the next few years. I think the last I saw was 4.4 billion by 2015.

IF: What do you see coming up in the next year for social gaming and gambling on Facebook? 

DM: I think what’s going to happen is current gambling games in the real land-based casinos are highly regulated. And because of that regulation, they’re slow to evolve. Even if you have a great idea for a new slots game, it can take you 2 to 3 years to submit that idea, the artwork, the process, to regulators to get the approval that is necessary to actually get that game in front of consumers.

In the online and social world, that can be compressed down to weeks. I expect that the evolution of social casinos will run far ahead of real casinos, just because they’re not as regulated. Hybrid games are coming out — like Fringo, that combines the elements of slots and bingo. It’s gonna take what people are familiar with and creating an entirely new game out of it.

IF: You talk about how the evolution can move a lot quicker online because there’s not much red tape to cut through. Could a land-based casino try a game online, then reverse-engineer and bring it to the real world?

DM: I think that’s totally true. You still have to go through regulators for approval, but it’s certainly easier for them to go through that A/B process and the introduction process and to test new things before they take it to the real world. Testing a new game online can cost you $50,000-$100,000. Taking a new game to regulators and getting it on the floor to find out that it’s a failure could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions.

Readers: Do you play casino-based games on Facebook?

Top image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Categories: Facebook

Mon, 06/01/2014 - 4:26pm

Facebook will announce how the company did on Wednesday, Jan. 29. Facebook will host a conference call at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT that day, with Facebook executives detailing economic and advertising performance in the fourth quarter, as well as metrics such as users and mobile users.

On Jan. 29, people can listen in via a live webcast on Facebook’s Investor Relations website,  Following the call, a replay will be available at the same website. A telephonic replay will be available for one week following the conference call at conference .

This is an important quarter for Facebook, as Q4 encompasses the holiday shopping season.

At the in October, Facebook announced revenue of $2 billion, as well as 507 million mobile daily active users.

Categories: Facebook

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