The Facebook News Feed is one of the best places for your brand to be. It’s the most engaging spot on Facebook, generating more likes and comments than any other area of Facebook. According to Internal Data at Facebook from July 2012, 40% of user time is spent in the News Feed. It’s also where 60% of likes and 35% of comments occur. Page posts in the News Feed generate more than 8x the engagement that ads in the right-hand side experience.
The News Feed provides prime real estate for brands, and with the upcoming release of the much-anticipated redesign, they’ll have even more. The average News Feed image is 2x the size of a 300×250 banner. The News Feed is also the most scalable platform for advertisers. On mobile devices, posts from your brand are able to take up the full screen.
How The Facebook News Feed Can Be Used to Benefit Your Brand
So, how can your brand use this information to increase exposure and engagement on Facebook? Here are a few ways that the Facebook News Feed can be used to promote your brand.
1. Drive Awareness and Engagement of Your Messages
One way your brand can utilize the News Feed is to promote your messages. You can promote regular page posts or special announcements to ensure that your followers don’t miss anything and that your brands stays in the forefront of their Facebook experience.
2. Drive Fan Acquisition
Another way to utilize the News Feed is to attract new fans. You can promote regular posts and updates to those who aren’t currently following you or you can create special posts that invite non-followers to like and interact with your brand.
3. Drive Online Sales and App Installs
The News Feed can be a great way to promote a new app or product that you’ve recently released. An easy way to do this is to post on your page and include a link to your site or where you can download your app in the app store.
4. Drive Mobile App Installs
The News Feed can also be used to promote apps that live outside of the Facebook platform. An effective way to do this is to advertise in the mobile news feed only, allowing users to purchase the app immediately on their smart device.
If you’d like to learn more about the redesigned News Feed and what it means for brands, click here.
Facebook is an ever evolving platform and it seems that they may be adding yet another change. According to insidefacebook.com, some users are now seeing stories about upcoming events.
In a very similar format to the upcoming converts stories introduced last month, users are now seeing upcoming events. Although these stories were always visible through your Facebook calendar, it seems Facebook felt this was an underused function. In response to this, Facebook has begun publishing stories on the News Feed in regards to upcoming events.
There is speculation that this may present an opportunity to advertisers of said events. By utilizing the Facebook algorithm sometimes referred to as Edge Rank advertisers may be able to promote events. Buying ads on what events users have previously attended may be able to allow advertisers to better reach their target market.
The appearance of events in the news feed still appears to be in the beta process. Facebook has yet to comment on any long term, long reaching implementation of this platform change. However, it seems that this could become a lucrative idea for both Facebook and promoters a like. It seems that this type of advertising tends to lend itself to promoted posts which in turn can use Facebook’s algorithm and targeting tools to reach the intended audience. We at Majestic Media are excited to see how this develops .
Since the revamping of the algorithm that selects what users see in their News Feed, there has been a significant amount of backlash from brands claiming users are not seeing their posts. While it has always been the case that not all page posts will be displayed to all users, many feel that the new algorithm makes this more likely to happen. The Edge Rank Algorithm sorts the stories that users see on a variety of factors with the overall goal being that users are seeing the content they are most likely to interact with.
Facebook is now addressing this concern by allowing users to select to turn on page notifications. In doing so it will ensure that the users will see all content posted by the selected page. Facebook confirmed the new change in a statement provided to insidefacebook.com.
“We are currently rolling out the ability for people to receive notifications from specific pages, friends or public figures that they are connected to. This feature will help people keep up with the people and things that they care about most.”
Facebook has introduced four new metrics so that page admins can better understand who and why users are seeing their posts. The four metrics are:
- Post impressions fan – The number of impressions for a page post among people who have Liked the page.
- Post impressions fan unique – The number of fans who saw a page post.
- Post impressions fan paid – The number of fan impressions that came as the result of an ad, Sponsored Story or promoted post.
- Post impressions fan paid unique – The number of fans who saw a page post in an ad, Sponsored Story or promoted post.
Previously, page admins were not able to tell where their impressions from post were being generated. Whether the impression was from a fan, a user who is subscribing, or merely a friend of a fan, their was no way of knowing. With these new metrics, page admins and owners will be able to better gauge what posts to promote and what posts achieve organic impressions. This should make managing page posts less of a guessing game and help page owners reach their target audience.
Facebook has confirmed the rumours that they will allow targeted page posts. Page admins are no longer limited to only targeting based on location and language. The change will only apply to the newsfeed display. All posts targeted using the new criteria will still appear on the pages timeline.
Admins can now target post based on:
- Interested in
- Relationship status
- Location (country, state, city)
Facebook released the following statement about the new ad system:
“This will allow advertisers to more efficiently reach the right fans and increase the relevancy for people when they see page posts in their news feed, which overall leads to increases in engagement rates for page posts.”
The ability to more effectively target users should be a great benefit to advertisers and increase the frequency that this feature is used.
Facebook has now added even more options to sponsored stories. Advertisers will now be able to select whether the story appears in the news feed on either desktop, mobile or both. There is also an option to have your stories displayed on the right hand side on desktop mobile or both.
By allowing advertisers to pick placement it will also allow them to more accurately measure their performance of their ads in each location. It remains to be seen which location would receive the most clicks but it seems that the news feed would most likely be the winner. Ads that appear in the news feed have a more organic feel and it’s less obvious than they are ads. Another consideration is that Facebook has yet to define the price point differences for the various options. This may be a determining factor in which location advertisers select .
Facebook has made it even easier to access game apps by adding Feed Gaming. This new feature will allow users to directly access games through one of Facebook’s most visible channels, the Newsfeed.
With this new feature developers can add a short sample of their game that users can then share with their friends via their Newsfeed. Due to the fact that users are not actually installing the app permissions will not be requested while playing the shortened version.
The main benefit for developers is that when a user has finished playing the sample version of the game they will be prompted to install a full version of the app. Facebook feels that will directly increase engagement and installs for game apps. To further this point the Facebook developers blog cited Angry Birds, Idle Worship and Bubble Witch Saga as examples of how this new tool can be implemented.
Angry Birds encourages users to compete to beat a high score on a specific level, Bubble Witch Saga rewards users with “coins” based on their gameplay.
At Majestic, we feel that having these kinds of “try before you buy” type of games can be of great added value to marketers utilizing the platform. We’re currently working on a few social games for a few global brands and will experiment with this tool and publish some results. This opens up the possibilities for marketers and how they can engage with audiences.