This week we headed down to the Facebook offices in London to attend a training session about the basics of Facebook advertising. Despite using their platform regularly, they provided some interesting insights that we thought we’d share with you.
Facebook & The Future
Our hosts began with a quick summary of where the company was in regards to their 10 year plan that they revealed at previous F8 conferences. Facebook’s main focus currently is on developing messaging and groups on the platform. 7 of the top 10 apps used around the globe are messaging apps – of which Facebook owning a few. With more than a billion people using messenger every month it’s clear why this platform is a top priority for Facebook. However, what was made clear is that video is still king when it comes to content on social.
Groups have also become a main focus for Facebook in 2019 due to the discovery that the most engaged users on the platform, who are most likely to convert too, tend to be part of meaningful groups. This is why Facebook is looking for ways to nurture these groups as well as improving the search results to help people find relevant groups more easily.
Moving forward, as outlined at the latest F8 conference, Facebook expects to take bold moves into artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality space in coming years. Facebook wants to be able to use AI in future to be able to translate content in a more sophisticated way. For example, being able to provide captions on live 360 videos in real-time using AI. They are also planning on using the technology to make the platform safer by being able to spot and block harmful content quicker.
Facebook vs Instagram
When looking at the difference between Facebook and Instagram some key differences were highlighted, some of which will seem obvious if you use the platforms regularly. For instance, Facebook is centred around personal connections like friends and family compared to Instagram that is used for inspiration with a lot fewer reciprocal following.
Some other interesting stats about social that were shared included:
- 1 in 3 Instagram stories get a direct message reply
- 100m people use the “explore” area of Instagram regularly
- 59% of people are influenced by Instagram when purchasing a car
- 54% of people use Instagram to get updates on their favourite team or player
- Mobile is now considered the first screen for video content after overtaking television last year
Although on average Instagram and Facebook are used in different ways by many, this may not be the case for your specific target audience. Which is why it is crucial to understand your audience and how best to target them.
Many people and organisations that work with Facebook only use one of two types of placements when advertising with them. The most common placements being in feed and in stories. However, Facebook’s advice is to take advantage of their full range of placements as they have seen that when more placements are used in the same campaign, those campaigns tend to see better results. This is what they call “placement optimisation”.
A common question they are asked is how can the same creative be used across a range of different ad placements? Their answer is to use their placement assets configuration tools for those times when you only have access to one creative.
Mobile First Creative
Since mobile has now taken over as our primary way we view content, all creative for social media should now be mobile-first. ⅔ of videos viewed on Facebook are less than 10 minutes long and many of which are watched without the sound on. Which is why Facebook have created a framework to consider when producing creative for social.
- Capture – the attention of the audience in under 3 seconds
- Design – for sound off by adding captions where needed. Tell your story visually and use text or graphics to help deliver the message.
- Frame – create surprising content
- Play – be playful in your creative
Facebook’s creative hub is available to people and organisations to help put your creatives together into posts. This tool also lets you preview posts on mobile to ensure your creatives are really mobile first.
People Based Targeting
Facebook provides agencies, businesses and advertisers with a host of ways to narrow down who sees their content. There are three different audience types available – these are:
These audience types are produced using the data Facebook already has about their users. This includes demographic data, device information, location targeting and interest targeting. Interest targeting goes beyond the pages that you like on Facebook. They now look at how users interact with various pages to get a better idea of what they are interested in. This could mean that you may not like any pages about gaming, but if you interact with gaming related content you could be targeted with gaming-related ads.
Custom audiences build on the data collected from Facebook and include advertisers using Facebook Pixel as well. This is best used for retargeting dynamic ads. By setting up ads in a dynamic broad setting you ads will be shown to people who have also visited related websites rather than having to land on your website for example.
Lookalike audiences are users that share traits and interests of your core, ideal audience. It is best to avoid broad matches when it comes to lookalike audiences in favour of more targeted, relevant ones. By narrowing down the types of users you wish to target the more quality conversions your campaign is likely to produce.
Those are just some of the insights we gained from our brief meeting to Facebook. If you’re looking for help with your paid social strategy then get in touch with a member of our expert team who will be able to advise you on how best we can assist you.