Facebook Ads Updates – What Businesses Need to Know

In case you missed it, yesterday was the 1st annual Facebook Marketing Conference (fMC). It was a day of inspiring (cough, cough) keynotes by CFO Sheryl Sandberg, VP of Product Chris Cox and Director of Global Business Marketing Mike Hoefflinger, as well an opportunity for Facebook to announce changes to business fan pages, potentially exciting updates to the Facebook advertising platform and many other Facebook-will-rule-the-world declarations. So what do you really need to know?

Facebook Pages will be getting a face lift

Say hello to Timeline for Pages. On March 30, all Pages will be transitioned to the new look. You need to start thinking now about how this is going to impact your brand’s presence on Facebook. Personally, I like the look, and unlike personal pages, these pages will have more options to help manage interactions as well as create a look and feel that will resonate with potential customers. Pages are turning into mini websites. A few key things to know:

  • You can pin posts to the top of your feed, creating a “sticky post” (something you’ve been able to do on blogs for years). Have a customer testimonial or maybe a promo running? Pin it to the top for additional exposure.
  • Another option for highlighting important posts – widen them by clicking on the star icon
  • Say adios to those Welcome tabs that encourage “likes”. Now, it’s a Pay-To-Play-Game. That’s right, run Facebook ads and you can still send visitors to that custom welcome tab (or any tab for that matter) but, and this is a very important but, those arrows that point to the Like button on your welcome page? Get rid of them. Instead, it’s time to really think about these pages as true landing pages. Here’s an example of how an existing Facebook Exclusive tab (that was being used as part of an advertising campaign) looks on the new layout.  Obviously the Like Us call to action no longer makes sense. You can still encourage some type of call to action that sends visitors offline.
  • Dimensions for that new flashy cover photo – 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall

New Premium Ad Units

Updates to Facebook’s Premium products was a major topic of discussion. Not all the updates are actually new though and,  I’m confirming this with our Facebook reps, but what they failed to mention is in order to take advantage of these your company needs to pony up somewhere in the $30K range per 4 week period. Bummer…the 1% always wins…

Here’s a snapshot of where ads can show up via their Premium offering:

Mashable has a great post on ad updates that I recommend reading – http://mashable.com/2012/02/29/facebook-ads-explainer/ – but I am particularly curious about:

Targeting mobile devices – personally, I believe this is a big deal. Almost half of Facebook 800 MILLION+ users access the site on their mobile device. The ads will appear as Sponsored Stories in your news feed, which begs the question: is this going to backfire or will users simply accept them.

Offer ads – these are, believe it or not, free for businesses, but they’re only available for fans to see. I can easily see how a business would take advantage of these. I’m waiting on a few details from our rep and will share details as soon as I have them

Reach Generator

Right now you may only reach 16% of your fans each week.² Reach Generator guarantees that you reach 75% of your fans each month and an estimated 50% of fans each week³ in a simple, always-on way.

Again, this is great news for businesses, but read the fine print “This package is only available for qualifying clients. Please reach out to your account team to learn more.” More details to come…

Needless to say, there are still a few details around who will actually have access to these new features (In other words…$$$ wins.) Regardless of whether you run ads on Facebook though, be sure to update your page for the new look and consider how you will interact with fans and how your fans interact with you.

Ian Mackie About the author
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