Posted on December 10, 2014 at 14:55 PM
Over 1 billion people use Facebook every month (1.35 billion, to be exact). Understandably, that’s a lot of stuff clogging up the news feed. A new update, which rolls out mid-January 2015, will filter out unpaid promotional posts that businesses post as regular status updates in user news feeds. With the average person on Facebook having more than 300 friends online, it’s no surprise that the social media giant has capitalized on a way to get businesses who market on the platform to pay for their play, so to speak.
Businesses have been successfully using the platform for years as a way to promote services and products, and have in recent years been able to purchase advertising for more focused, refined marketing efforts. However, organic reach has long been the most effective means of capturing the consumer and reeling them in for a pitch. With the new update, companies won’t be able to effectively reach their followers organically if their posts are considered too promotional by Facebook’s algorithm filters, and those posts will see a significant reduction in distribution. For those who have relied on the loyalty of their followers and their engagement on these posts, their sales could take a heavy blow with the update.
What options lie ahead for businesses on Facebook for promotions? The most obvious choice is paid advertising. Facebook offers a few options – domain ads, page post links, and multi-product ads. Here’s a quick breakdown of each, and how you can use these in conjunction with your comprehensive marketing plan.
Domain Ads – These ads are seen in the right column of the newsfeed. Because these are only visible here, there is no mobile version of this ad type. This is considered the least effective ad these days, simply because of placement, but this also means your click-through rate will be super affordable. Facebook does a great job of refining ads to your targeted demographic based on their browsing habits and clicks.
Page Post Link – These ads look a lot like a status update in user news feeds, and are the most commonly used ad type. These ads perform particularly well with product promotion, blogging and news. A nice, flashy image can be used to make a high impact, and you can use both text and link description to better explain your pitch. Another plus? You can use these to target new followers on your page with the direct ‘Like Page’ button on each ad. These can be seen in the right column, in the newsfeed and are on mobile, making these a great option for those seeking tablet or smart phone users.
Multi-Product Ad – This is a relatively new ad type on Facebook, released in June 2014. This ad type is ideal for e-commerce advertisers looking to highlight multiple products from their online store. This is available on the newsfeed only (although it also shows on mobile, just in newsfeed format). Similar to a page post link ad, these appear similar to a regular post by any user, but rotate up to three products with only one post. This is a huge cost savings to advertisers because they can essentially show off three products with the cost of only one ad. Each product in the ad features a photo, title and link to that particular product on the company’s website.
Within these ad opportunities lie many other cool ways to promote the business. It all comes down to the desired end result. You can increase page likes, encourage more engagement on the company Facebook page, invite followers to install your mobile app, reveal coupons, announce a contest, or promote an event or special offer. We recommend split-testing ad campaigns to measure what is most successful for your brand. Cost-per-click can vary based on demographics, placement and budget, so tinker around with the parameters until you find a sweet spot. It’s important to get familiar with these ad types sooner rather than later, thanks to the upcoming update. Facebook is moving into pay-for-play territory for businesses, so be sure to include social media advertising in your 2015 marketing budget
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