Facebook’s News Feed is a lot of things, but these days, it’s rarely inspirational.
With 2.13 billion monthly users, Facebook has more reach than any other social network, but it’s not the best option for consumers to get ideas and enjoy visually pleasing experiences. In recent years, Pinterest and Instagram have filled that void.
The visual nature of Pinterest and Instagram puts more focus on imagery and style. They’re a welcome alternative to Facebook’s status updates, political rants and personal milestones. The two networks are where consumers turn to find visual inspiration, whether it’s in food, fashion or home design.
Facebook has released its Q4 and full year 2017 performance results, once again posting solid numbers across the board – though there are some interesting notes on the impact on their shift towards more ‘meaningful connections’
First off, on active users, Facebook’s monthly active user count rose to 2.13 billion, an increase of 14% year-on-year.
It’s not just you and your Page – according to new research by BuzzSumo, the average number of engagements with Facebook posts created by brands and publishers has fallen by more than 20% since January 2017.
BuzzSumo analyzed more than 880 million Facebook posts from publisher and brand Pages over the past year, noting a clear decline in engagements since early 2017.
Facebook has published a new study which examines the effectiveness of traditional video approaches – i.e. TV ads – when looking to reach modern, mobile consumers.
Working with Metrixlab, Facebook commissioned a study of some 759 video ads from 300+ brands, across nine verticals, and distributed across 25 countries. The researchers surveyed video viewers to get their responses on brand recall, then collated them relative to each approach.
The core of their findings was this:
“We discovered that ads created for mobile first stand out on Facebook and Instagram, and perform better across a range of different metrics.”
The first area they looked at was brand recall, separating the video approaches into three distinct categories.
We all know the drill: It’s all about promoting your “unicorns” – the top 1-3% of your best content and/or offers, the ones with unusually high engagement rates, e.g. click-through rates of 10% or higher.
Why? Facebook sponsored posts with high engagement rates get assigned high Relevance Scores, which get rewarded by the Facebook Ad algorithm through increased exposure at lower cost.
The cost per click for a sponsored post with 1% engagement rate might be around $3-5 per click, but if you can raise the engagement rate to 10%, your CPC will fall to around 25 cents.
But how do you make the content you’re trying to promote get 10%+ click-through rates?
When Facebook replaced its old Interest Targeting feature with Audience Optimisation in 2016, there was plenty of speculation about whether the new feature would improve on the limitations of its unpopular predecessor.
After the release of Preferred Audience Optimization, Facebook announced to publishers that the new interest tags “do not limit reach.” Moreover, the social network, which generates well over 10% of all organic traffic to online publishers’ websites, promised that the use of the new interest tags would increase click-through rates.
Surprised by this result, we hypothesised that our algorithm might not have generated high-quality interest tags.
We therefore decided that we should repeat our experiment, but this time with randomly generated tags. Using the same experimental design as before, we shared posts with random tags and posts without interest tags on alternating days. After 4 weeks, we compared median impressions, clicks and CTRs achieved by posts tagged with random interest tags to the figures for untagged posts.