Thursday, March 1, 2012

Facebook news and views

Shared by Vivaki NY:

Last night at a Facebook conference in New York, four key ad products were announced.   All products are aim to increase Facebooks ad revenue - by giving marketers opportunities for broader fan engagement, better storytelling and enhanced context for paid placements.
  1. Pages Timeline - As of March 1, brands can transfer over to the Timeline format.   Brands have 30 days to complete the transition.
  2. Reach Generator - While Facebook algorithms have traditionally usurped news feed exposure (just 16% of fans see posts weekly or more), this new subscription only product will enable broader messages across the fan base - potentially as high as 75%.
  3. Upgraded premium ad units - 6 new premium ad options/upgrades were announced; photos, videos, questions, statuses, events and links.  These formats will allow page posts to seamlessly become content within ad units.   These premium ads will be delivered through the right rail, within the desktop news feeds and mobile news feeds.  There will also be an optional 4th placement, the "log out experience".
  4. Facebook offers - offers will allow coupons and other promotional items to be shared and forwarded throughout the social graph.
What the tangible benefit for brands?
  • Pages timeline:  Facebooks recent roll out of consumer Timelines demonstrated that users were willing to accept major platform changes in exchange for increased utility, functionality and visual appeal.  This move will allow brands to benefit from the enhancements and will present them with better options for storytelling and brand-building.
  •  Reach Generator: Brands have struggled with editorial calendars and news feed reach in the past.  Reach generator could potentially solve this problem. Facebook are f course endeavoring to create recurring income through sales of the subscription product to brands - so they can enhance distribution.
  • Upgraded Premium ad units:  Will allow brands to deliver richer experiences that what is possible now.  They also demonstrate that sponsored stories and implied endorsement have become central to the advertising strategy. Page posts are set to become primary advertising content - and this will no doubt deliver brands with good results - eg you'll see friends who've like the page within an ad.  Plus you'll be able to comment or like directly from the ad. The forth placement will provide a high reach in a new area of monetisation - however, we don't expect high engagement here.
  • Facebook offers - the social graph and network naturally enable social sharing of coupons and offers.  According to Facebook beta tests have resulted in +ROI for marketers and also add value to the consumer.

We are excited about these Facebook developments as we believe they present significant opportunities for brands.  Facebook continues to be a powerhouse in terms of Australian traffic and even more-so engagement.   We look forward to working closely with our clients to test and learn across the new product suite. 

We will be discussing short term and long term actions with you in the coming weeks to ensure we are supporting our clients in leveraging these changes. 

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