March 11, 2018
We’re only two and a half months into 2018, but Facebook continues to roll out a steady flow of new updates in the best interest of digital advertisers. As a business, you may feel Facebook let you down with the latest curveball announcement regarding News Feed displaying less Page content in users’ feeds. However, Facebook has not forsaken digital marketers, as is made clear in the network’s numerous product updates made especially with businesses in mind.
What follows is a summary of the top Facebook product updates from February to March (so far) to help you stay in the know without having to scrounge for the information across the Internet.
Let’s kick things off with product updates Facebook introduced in the month of February.
An updated Ads Manager
Rather than having to switch between Facebook’s Power Editor for creation and editing capabilities to Ads Manager for overall management of ad campaigns, Facebook has condensed the two into one interface.
The resulting, combined platform, says Facebook, “reduces the tools advertisers need to learn, and allows us to focus our resources on maintaining and improving a single interface.”
You’ll now find the new Ads Manager wherever you normally would find the old Ads Manager or Power Editor.
You also have the capabilities of Quick Creation (for advertising experts) and Guided Creation (advertisers who prefer some guidance in creating their campaigns).
On the publishing workflow side, you have two options: instant publishing (quick edits, then publish) or automatic drafts (saves any edits in a draft until you choose to publish).
And finally, the reporting features of Power Editor and Ads Manager are now all located in one place in Ads Manager and can be saved to Ads Reporting.
New features for Facebook Analytics
Facebook Analytics rolled out four special updates for its custom dashboards, user measurement, and charts.
Goals—You can now use goals to track metrics relevant to what your business wants to achieve. In your custom dashboard, your specific goal (e.g., revenue) is represented by a green dotted line on your chart so you can see where your measured data falls in relation to that goal. It’s useful in conceptualizing where you are and where you want to be in your campaign.
The “My Goal” tab is located next to the “Events” when editing or creating a new chart.
Real-Time Measurement—Instead of having to exit and return later to see metrics for user activity in relation to your campaign, you can now view active user data from within the last 24 hours. It’s nearly real-time data that’s represented by a pulsing blue circle on your chart.
Labeled “Active Users: Last 24 Hours,” this chart is located in “Growth Metrics” under “Overview.”
Currency—Previously, Facebook Analytics only tracked transactional events in US dollars. Now, you can choose your currency preferences by going to your global settings and selecting from the dropdown options.
Bar Charts—Analytics now allows you to pin bar graphs from other sections in the platform to your custom dashboard. By selecting the pin at the top right-hand corner of a chart, you have the convenient breakdown of data where it’s most useful to you.
New labels for ad metrics to improve clarity
There are a lot of ad metrics for Facebook advertising, which the network has acknowledged can be confusing. For better clarity, Facebook introduced two new labels for ad metrics: “estimated” and “in development.”
The former indicates that the outcomes for a given ad metric are based on sampling or modeling (i.e., a representative group from a given population or demographic, as opposed to the entire population). Therefore, the numbers given in a metric are estimated, reflecting the measurement at scale. The reason Facebook provides the metrics based on samplings is to provide updated information as quickly as possible.
When a metric is labeled “in development,” you are being told that the given metric is still evolving. For example, the automated measurement of ad recall lift is a developing metric Facebook continues to work on, so any generated outcomes for this metric are labeled “in development.”
Six principles for organization success
More of a guide for fundamental behaviors than technological insights, Facebook’s six principles for organizations’ success are:
- Open by Default—This is a guiding principle that essentially inspires connectivity and transparency with the public.
- Mobile First—Facebook believes the future of the workplace lies in using mobile to unify workers and easily communicate, which will overall make for a more effective work environment. Specifically, Facebook encourages your organization to use Workplace Chat, the professional version of Messenger.
- Expressive Communication—For more substantive communication within the organization, Facebook’s Workplace Chat includes text, emoji, GIFs, and Live and Group video.
- Integrated, Not Isolated—With cloud integrations like OneDrive and G-Suite, as well as improved capabilities for sharing digital folders and files, Facebook believes you can improve the overall workflow within your organization.
- Connected Workplaces—Workplace’s Multi-Company Groups feature allows you to connect and collaborate with teams in other companies that your organization is working with.
- Personalized and Prioritized—Facebook says it’s building the Work Graph similar to the Social Graph in that it gathers information from your online work behaviors to personalize predicted work items to help you prioritize.
A guide for successful movie marketing campaigns
Facebook released guiding tips for those of you who create movie marketing campaigns. There are three things in particular that Facebook advises you do:
- Design for Mobile—As with any other campaign, optimizing your movie ads for mobile is crucial in reach your targeted audience, as everyone uses their phone to look up movies on the spot. Specifically, Facebook suggests fast cuts, text overlays for dialogue, and a call-to-action (e.g., “Buy Tickets”).
- Scale Your Targeting—Set your campaigns to reach a broader audience, as Facebook says movie campaigns perform better when scaled for larger audiences as opposed to narrower ones.
- Increase Your Ad Frequency—In layman terms, increase how often an ad is delivered to each person over a given period of time. Since movies are entertainment and most people enjoy going to the movies, there’s a better chance that a consumer will cave and go see your movie if they are frequently reminded of it.
Reach measurement now captures post views
Previously, Facebook measured reach by how many times a post was delivered to users’ News Feeds. Now, however, for more useful and realistic measurements, Page Insights captures post views. To help you adjust to the change, Facebook says it’s including the old way of reach measurement side-by-side with the new way in the overview section.
A Page Insights design optimized for mobile
To make it easier for you to review your Page Insights quickly, Facebook has restructured the metric overview in a redesign optimized for mobile. Specifically, the most useful information is now located at the top of the page:
- General page diagnostics (e.g., number of “likes”)
- Results of recent actions (e.g., a new post)
- Preview of new page engagement (e.g., new demographic information)
The updated Page Insights design is currently available for both iOS and Android.
3D posts now support standard gITF 2.0 file format
This file format allows developers to build 3D objects complete with realistic rendering, lighting, and textures for a more interactive experience in News Feed.
Increased focus on local news and breaking news on Watch
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to place more focus on local news, as local news is closer to the people. To accomplish this, Facebook said it is giving local news more priority in News Feed. Specifically, if you’re a local publisher and users follow your Page, your posts will pop up in their feeds more so than posts by bigger publishers.
Additionally, Facebook has talked about making a section within its Watch tab for breaking news.
This significant focus on news overall stems from the staggering discovery of Russian troll accounts distributing politically divisive ads on Facebook during the 2016 US Election. Facebook seeks to redeem itself by diminishing “fake news,” promoting accurate content, and eliminating platform misuse across the board to give users a more fulfilling Facebook experience.
Experimenting with the “Downvote” button
Early in February, we discovered that Facebook is testing a “Downvote” button for post comments. Slightly different from the “Like” button, “Downvote” allows users to indicate to the post’s publisher (and Facebook) when a comment on a post is deemed inappropriate.
The new button appears next to “Like” and “Reply” under each comment.
Promoting community through the Facebook Community Leadership Program
Facebook announced early in February at the Facebook Communities Summit Europe that the company is investing up to $10 million in community leadership grants.
In addition, the Community Leadership Program offers residency and fellowship opportunities to community leaders to train and support them in their endeavors. The program also offers Community Leadership Circles (where community leaders can connect), new tools and opportunities for Facebook Group administrators, and promotion of community safety.
It’s still early in the month, but let’s review Facebook’s updates so far for March 2018.
New partnerships for leveraging new technologies
Facebook announced at Mobile World Congress 2018 its planned partnerships focused on improving existing and building new networks in under-connected regions. Additionally, Facebook said it hopes to “leverage new technologies, tools and programs” (e.g., Terragraph and OpenCellular) so that everyone has the opportunity to be online.
Trip Consideration to reach prospective travelers
Trip Consideration is a new way for you to showcase promotional offers and popular destinations to users, prompting them to book a flight or hotel stay. What makes Trip Consideration different from Facebook’s Dynamic Ads for Travel is that it’s not exactly an ad format; rather, it targets those people who are still in the baby stages of planning a trip.
Essentially, Trip Consideration plays off of existing audience targeting options to zero in on those people who aren’t necessarily the frequent traveling type but are seriously considering a trip. The feature allows you to deliver ads to those users to give them the extra nudge they need to book.
A guide for click-to-Messenger ad campaigns
Facebook released a guide to help you connect with consumers through click-to-Messenger ads. Click-to-Messenger ads are Facebook ads that include a call-to-action that users can click to start a Messenger conversation with your business.
These are the three tips Facebook offers for click-to-Messenger campaigns:
- Choose the Right Target Audience—For example, if your campaign is focused on promoting a new line of maternal clothing, you probably wouldn’t want to target men with your ads. In another scenario, your ideal audience may be users who’ve previously interacted with your ads or your business, as you’ve identified that they have an interest.
- Set Expectations—Facebook suggests using your ad to show users what a Messenger conversation with your business might look like. For instance, use text bubbles with sample questions they might ask along with your business’s response. That way, users get a better idea of what they get out of engaging with your click-to-Messenger ad.
- Optimize Delivery—This tip somewhat overlaps with the first one in that it focuses on optimizing ad delivery for users who are most likely to engage in a Messenger conversation with your business. In other words, which members of your targeted audience are most likely to use Messenger to learn more about your business?
A community finder for connecting women entrepreneurs
In honor of International Women’s Day, Facebook launched a community finder, which allows entrepreneurial women around the world to connect with each other. The forum is intended to foster community relationships amongst business women, regardless of the size of their business.
That’s the rundown for February and March! As we move further along into 2018, it will be exciting to see what other product updates Facebook will have for us, especially as more focus is geared toward mobile platforms, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality.