Facebook’s recent newsfeed changes are predicted to cut into publishers’ ability to generate revenue from branded content on the platform. This means you’ll be more likely to see status updates from your friends than public content created by publishers.
However, Facebook page engagement has already been on the decline — dropping by 20% in the span between January and August 2017. This is bad news for brands wanting to reach fans with an organic post and equally bad for publishers posting to Facebook to drive traffic back to their site.
On the other hand, this is fantastic news for the advertising ecosystem because it means brands and publications that want to reach their users will now have to buy ads to reach their targeted audiences. For smaller brands, this evens the playing field. Until now, big brands with a large presence on Facebook had the advantage — reaching hundreds, thousands or even millions of users organically (even with low organic reach). Now, brands big and small must consider buying ads on Facebook.
Facebook values engagements on posts, and I’ve been working on Facebook campaigns that leverage engagements. Here’s a process that I’ve been testing:
• Step No. 1: Generate international and low-cost likes — start with about 1,000. These aren’t people who will purchase necessarily, but they serve an important role nonetheless: engagement.
• Step No. 2: Post a piece of content on Facebook and get those newly engaged people to react to your post in the form of pressing “like” (or “heart,” etc.).
• Step No. 3: Take the post from step No. 2 and run it as an ad to local audiences with the engagement already built in (local can be miles, a city, state or country — wherever the market area is). Facebook will see an ad that is getting a lot of engagement and promote it even more. Your prospects then see an ad that people are fully engaging with.
When you post organically to your page, you are not reaching potential buyers. But with Facebook’s newly limited organic reach, this is a good way of leveraging Facebook’s emphasis on engagement. It’s through this method, I believe, that social proof can be accomplished. I like to think of social proof as what happens when you walk down the street and see three restaurants: Two are empty, one is full. You’ll walk into the full restaurant because it’s full. That’s exactly what engagement on posts and followers on your page can do for your business: provide social proof, increase Facebook’s interest in sharing the content and drive up the overall efficacy of the ad.
So, yes, Facebook made some changes, yet it remains the leader.
According to eMarketer (paywall), Facebook is expected to run about $22 billion in advertising in 2018. This is all display advertising. Google’s display advertising is expected to earn about $7 billion, so it’s still the juggernaut.
Finally, let’s look at the other ad kingdoms (made up of proprietary data, unique ad units, and the ability to directly track consumers across multiple devices). Below is the spending breakout according to eMarketer (paywall).
• Oath (Verizon, owning AOL, Yahoo and others): $3.69 billion
• Amazon: $2.4 billion
• Snapchat: $1.2 billion
• Twitter: $1.2 billion
• Linkedin: $920 million
The most interesting one for me is Amazon, with its ability to target their 20 years of shopper data even targetable down to the local level — zip code, city and DMA.
Enjoy your digital advertising journey!