Your Facebook Page Organic Reach is Dropping (But Not Really)

Today, Facebook announced an update to Facebook page organic reach reporting that will result in numbers that will be up to 20-percent lower than what is normally reported.

Before you freak out, let’s be clear: Nothing is really changing.

Organic Reach Reporting Change

Back in November of 2017, Facebook announced the following change to Facebook page organic reach reporting:

Reach counts will now be based on viewable impressions. On Pages, we’ve historically defined reach as a person refreshing their News Feed and the post being placed in their feed. For paid ads reports, we’ve moved to a stricter definition that only counts reach once the post enters the person’s screen (“viewable impressions”).

First, this change hasn’t been implemented yet. It goes into effect on Monday, February 12.

Second, advertisers may be confused by this change since this is already the way that paid reach is recorded for ad reporting. The difference in standards for organic and paid reach is odd — so, it’s a good thing that this is changing to make them consistent.

What does this mean? It means that nothing actually changes. The way Facebook reports organic reach will change. You should expect those numbers to drop. But the number of people who actually see and engage with your content should not change.

Of course, it’s likely that most page admins won’t be aware of this update, and they’ll be startled by the drop in reported organic reach. And since so many marketers obsess over this metric, it’s imperative that Facebook make this change very clear.

For the next few months, Facebook will be providing both metrics (“previous organic reach” and “new organic reach”) to help with the transition.

Facebook New Organic Reach

The Problem with Organic Reach

Organic reach has always been my least favorite topic and the typical marketer’s favorite gripe. This latest update highlights my issue with it.

Actions are easy to confirm. Facebook says 10 people commented on a post? I can count that. There were 20 purchases? I’ll check my records (though there are some holes here). Clicks and landing page views, while your records won’t match up 100%, can at least be checked against some verifiable form of reality.

But reach? You have to take Facebook’s word for it. And how they define it can significantly change how it’s reported.

For example, you can reach a single user both organically and with an ad. But as soon as that person is reached with the paid version of the post, the organic reach is no longer counted. The result is a deflated perception of organic reach.

And we’re dealing with the other example now. Do you reach a user when their news feed loads your post or when that post is actually within view? And does the post need to be partially in view or fully in view?

These numbers can easily be manipulated to alter perception. And it’s close to impossible for a page admin to confirm accuracy.

That’s why I don’t care about reach. Yes, I know, reach matters. If you don’t reach anyone, no one can engage with your content. But this extreme example misses the point.

How Facebook reports on the number of people who “saw” your post does not change the number of people who acted (reacted, commented, shared, clicked, converted) on it. These actions are what matter most. They are what you should be focused on.

Update to Mobile Page App

Today’s announcement also includes an update to the Facebook page insights within the mobile app.

Facebook Page Insights Mobile

Insights will be redesigned to surface some of the most important information at the top on the mobile app.

  • General metrics (likes, reach, and engagement)
  • Results of actions recently taken on posts
  • Preview of new Page engagement (demographic information of new followers)

Your Turn

What are your thoughts on this latest update to reach reporting?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post Your Facebook Page Organic Reach is Dropping (But Not Really) appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

Your Facebook Page Organic Reach is Dropping (But Not Really)
Source: Great Facebook Feeds From Around The Web

Facebook Ads Guide: 55 Custom Audiences to Target People Ready to Act

Multiple factors contribute to whether your Facebook advertising campaigns succeed or fail. Copy, imagery, optimization, bidding, placement, and countless other factors all matter. But nothing matters more than targeting.

In order to have this consistent, dependable success, you need to graduate beyond interests, which is best for top-of-the-funnel targeting. For sustained middle and bottom-of-the-funnel results, it’s imperative that you master warm targeting with Facebook Custom Audiences.

Custom Audiences began as a simple concept, launching with the ability to target current customers by email address in 2012. It’s nearly six years later, and advertisers have a cupboard full of ways to target customers and those who engage with them — both on and off of Facebook.

Below is a close-to-complete guide of the ways that you can use Custom Audiences to target warm audiences of people who are ready to act. It’s close-to-complete for a couple of reasons:

1. There are nearly limitless variations you can create based on variables
2. Facebook is constantly adding to these options

But consider this list a starting point. Many of these options are buried, and you’re bound to be exposed to a few for the first time. I encourage you to read through and experiment with the audiences that you can leverage.

[NOTE: I will provide step-by-step background, set-up, and strategy instructions in my Advanced Custom Audience Targeting training course, occurring first on Jan. 30 and Feb. 1.]

Customer File

It’s the granddaddy of Custom Audiences. Originally, this type of audience and “Custom Audiences” were used interchangeably.

Facebook Customer File Custom Audience

With this method, advertisers upload a customer list to Facebook with up to 15 identifiers. Facebook then searches out those same people on the platform. Typically, you can expect anywhere from 30-70% of your list to match up to Facebook users. When you’re done, you can use this to target or exclude users on Facebook.

The primary advantage of creating Customer File Custom Audiences is that those on that list are a customer at some level. They either provided an email address or made a purchase from you. As a result, this will be a valuable list for targeting that can be used for all purposes.

Of course, there are some inherent weaknesses with this method.

First, uploading a customer file results in a one-time, static audience. What that means is that as your customer list updates, your audience doesn’t — at least, it doesn’t without the help of a third party tool. If you don’t update it some way, the audience will be outdated and lose its effectiveness.

Another weakness is that the identifiers that a customer provides to you may not be the same information they provide to Facebook in their profile. Notably, a customer may provide you a different email address than what they publish for their friends. This will make the match rate less successful.

BASIC SPECS

Up to 15 identifiers:

  • Email
  • Phone Number
  • Mobile Advertiser ID
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • ZIP/Postal Code
  • City
  • State/Province
  • Country
  • Date of Birth
  • Year of Birth
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Facebook App User ID
  • Facebook Page User ID

1. Upload, Copy/Paste, or Import

Using this first method, advertisers can provide Facebook with a customer file consisting of up to 15 identifiers by uploading…

Facebook Customer File Custom Audience

…copying and pasting…

Facebook Customer File Custom Audience

…or importing via MailChimp integration.

Facebook Customer File Custom Audience

2. Lifetime Value Lookalikes

The thought here is that you first upload an entire customer list with up to 15 identifiers, as you would above. But you then include a column for Lifetime Value for each customer.

Facebook Customer File Custom Audience

This list wouldn’t be used for targeting, but instead becomes a source so that Facebook can generate a Lookalike Audience of people similar to your most valuable customers. More on Lookalikes at the bottom.

Website Custom Audiences

And now it gets good. Real good.

Website Custom Audiences allow advertisers to create audiences based on actions performed on the pages of their own website. This is thanks to the Facebook pixel, which is a snippet of code added to your website.

The granularity of the audiences you can create depends partly on the amount of traffic as well as your diligence creating detailed pixel events.

What’s nice about WCAs is that they update in real time, and the match-up rate is high. Below is a sampling of the powerful audiences that you can create.

BASIC SPECS

  • Source: Selected owned pixel
  • Duration: 1 – 180 days

3. All Website Visitors

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

4. Visitors by Device

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

5. Visitors by Frequency

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

6. People Who Visited Specific Web Pages

You can include an entire URL, partial URL, or multiple URLs or keywords. There are a million and one uses for this type of audience.

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

7. Visitors by Time Spent

Not all website visitors are created equal. Focusing on those who spent the most time — though a smaller audience — can lead to amazing results.

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

8. From Your Events: Page View

Assuming you have the Facebook pixel installed on your website with events, the applicable events that have fired will appear for you…

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

The PageView event is one example.

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

9. From Your Events: Purchases

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

10. From Your Events: Registrations

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

11. From Your Events: Adds-to-Cart

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

12. From Your Events: Searches

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

13. From Your Events: By Search String Parameter

In the example above, you can create an audience of people who performed any search on your website. But you can also focus on searches by specific keywords.

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

14. From Your Events: By User Agent Parameter

What operating system and software were people using when they visited your website?

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

15. From Your Events: By Language Parameter

The language setting on someone’s browser can help you surface content to the right people in the proper language.

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

16. From Your Events: By Referrer Parameter

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

17. From Your Events: By UTM Parameter

UTM parameters are tracking codes you can add to the end of links broken down into campaign source, medium, name, term, sq, and content. At minimum, you need to include a source. Here’s an example of such a link…

https://jonloomer.com/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=example_campaign

You can create an audience based on any of these UTM parameters…

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

Using the example link above, we could create the following audience for the “email” medium.

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

18. From Your Events: By Value Parameter

You can create audiences based on the value of purchases made on your website, assuming you’re using the value parameter with your Facebook pixel event code.

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

19. From Your Events: By Currency Parameter

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

20. From Your Events: By Content Name Parameter

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

21. From Your Events: By Content ID Parameter

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

22. From Your Events: By Aggregated Value

Earlier, you saw how you could create audiences based on a single purchase. But you can also do so based on all purchases someone made in aggregate.

Facebook Website Custom Audiences

App Activity

If you have an app (mobile or web) utilizing the Facebook SDK, you can create audiences of people based on their activity within that app. This can be a great opportunity for re-engaging and pushing people further along the funnel.

BASIC SPECS

  • Source: Selected owned app
  • Duration: 1 – 180 days

23. Anyone Who Opened the App

Facebook App Activity Custom Audiences

24. Most Active Users

Facebook App Activity Custom Audiences

25. Users by Purchase Amount

Facebook App Activity Custom Audiences

26. Users by Segment

Segments will be defined by you…

Facebook App Activity Custom Audiences

Offline Activity

Back in 2016, Facebook launched Offline Event Sets, allowing advertisers to provide Facebook with offline data that could then help show whether such sales were influenced by your ads. This was extremely valuable for brick and mortar stores, in particular, who struggled to show the impact of their ads.

About a year later, Facebook followed that up with Offline Event Custom Audiences, allowing you to create audiences of those who purchased something offline.

BASIC SPECS

  • Source: Selected owned event set
  • Duration: 1 – 90 days

27. People Who Interacted Offline

Facebook Offline Event Custom Audiences

28. From Your Events

When you send Facebook your offline data, you include a column that indicates the event performed. This can then be used to refine your offline event audience.

Facebook Offline Event Custom Audiences

Engagement: Video

Facebook Video Views Custom Audience

A great top-of-the-funnel audience is anyone who engaged with a video (or multiple videos) you’ve published. Someone can view your video — with or without sound — and automatically be added to an audience for you to target later.

BASIC SPECS

  • Source: Single or multiple engagements
  • Source: Single or multiple videos
  • Duration: 1 – 365 days

29. People who watched at least 3 seconds of your video

Facebook Video Views Custom Audiences

Clearly, a 3-second view would be the lowest quality but result in the largest audience.

Other options (though all are set up identically otherwise)…

30. People who watched at least 10 seconds of your video

Facebook Video Views Custom Audiences

31. People who watched at least 25% of your video

Facebook Video Views Custom Audiences

32. People who watched at least 50% of your video

Facebook Video Views Custom Audiences

33. People who watched at least 75% of your video

Facebook Video Views Custom Audiences

34. People who watched at least 95% of your video

Engagement: Lead Form

Facebook Lead Ads allow advertisers to collect leads (email addresses and other contact info) without sending a user away from Facebook. Thanks to this Engagement Custom Audience, those who engage with the form can be added to one of three different audiences for targeting and exclusion purposes.

Advertisers can create audiences based on the interaction with one, multiple, or all forms you have during a given time period.

Facebook Lead Form Custom Audiences

BASIC SPECS

  • Source: 0 (all), 1 or multiple lead forms
  • Duration: 1 – 90 days

35. People who opened your form

Facebook Lead Form Custom Audiences

This includes everyone who opened the form, whether they submitted it or not.

36. People who opened but didn’t submit your form

Facebook Lead Form Custom Audiences

37. People who opened and submitted your form

Facebook Lead Form Custom Audiences

Engagement: Fullscreen Experience

Facebook launched Facebook Canvas in its continued attempts to keep people on Facebook and improve the user experience. Canvas presents an immersive mobile experience for users who can view videos, images, product feeds, text, and more in one view.

For publishers, the one issue with this was losing the traffic and potential targeting power that goes along with sending someone to your website. This was changed with the launch of Fullscreen Experience Custom Audiences. You can create audiences of people who engaged with any Canvas, or one or more specific Canvases.

BASIC SPECS

  • Source: 0 (all), 1 or multiple canvases
  • Duration: 1 – 365 days

38. People who opened your canvas

Facebook Fullscreen Experience Custom Audience

39. People who clicked any links in your canvas

You can provide links within your Canvas, though they don’t need to go to your website. That’s where creating these audiences can be helpful. Think, for example, about a Canvas promoting a product with a button that sends users to an Amazon page.

Facebook Fullscreen Experience Custom Audience

Engagement: Facebook Page

The Facebook Page Engagement Custom Audience is a sneaky effective audience to target. You may assume that those who visit your website will be more effective than those who interact with you on Facebook, but that is not always the case.

In fact, it makes sense. Interacting with you on your website doesn’t mean they’ll interact with your ad on Facebook. And if someone has engaged with you on Facebook before, they’re likely to do it again.

BASIC SPECS

  • Source: Selected owned page
  • Duration: 1 – 365 days

40. People who engaged with your page

This is the broadest audience of all people who engaged with your page in any manner…

Facebook Page Engagement Custom Audiences

41. People who visited your page

Facebook Page Engagement Custom Audiences

42. People who engaged with any post or ad

This can be particulary effective when looking for an audience to target with your ads…

Facebook Page Engagement Custom Audiences

43. People who clicked any call-to-action button

Facebook Page Engagement Custom Audiences

44. People who sent a message to your page

A small audience, but potentially very valuable…

Facebook Page Engagement Custom Audiences

45. People who saved your page or any post

Facebook Page Engagement Custom Audiences

Engagement: Instagram Business Profile

Is your business on Instagram? If so, you can create an audience of those people who engage with your profile there — in nearly identical ways as with your Facebook page above.

Your Instagram profile will need to be a business profile, and you’ll need to connect it to your Business Manager in order to access this feature.

BASIC SPECS

  • Source: Selected Instagram business profile
  • Duration: 1 – 365 days

46. People who engaged with your business on Instagram

Instagram Business Profile Custom Audiences

47. People who visited your Instagram profile

Instagram Business Profile Custom Audiences

48. People who engaged with any post or ad

Instagram Business Profile Custom Audiences

49. People who sent a message to your Instagram profile

Instagram Business Profile Custom Audiences

50. People who saved any post or ad

Instagram Business Profile Custom Audiences

Engagement: Event

It’s an old school feature, but many marketers still run Facebook Events. I’m not talking about the pixel events this time, but the posts on Facebook that alert people of an upcoming party or other activity.

Thanks to this Engagement Custom Audience, you can create audiences of people based on their specific activity with any event or specific events.

Facebook Event Custom Audiences

BASIC SPECS

  • Source: 0 (all), 1 or multiple Events
  • Duration: 1 – 365 days

51. People who responded Going or Interested

Facebook Event Custom Audiences

52. People who responded Going

Facebook Event Custom Audiences

53. People who responded Interested

Facebook Event Custom Audiences

Lookalike Audiences

It may be cheating a little bit to include Lookalike Audiences because these aren’t people who are connected to your business in any way, but this is — at least loosely — part of the Custom Audience family.

Lookalike Audiences allow you to target those who are similar to people who are already connected to or interacting with you. Facebook does this by looking at a source audience (your Facebook Page or a Custom Audience), finding the similarities among those people, and finding a larger group of people who are similar to them.

This is particularly useful when your source audiences are small and you need to start somewhere.

BASIC SPECS

  • Source: Selected owned Custom Audience or Page
  • Location: One or multiple countries or regions
  • Audience Size: 1-10% of selected Facebook country population

54. Based on a Page

Facebook Lookalike Audiences

55. Based on a Custom Audience

Facebook Lookalike Audiences

Your Turn

I’ll cover these audiences in much more detail in my Advanced Custom Audience Targeting Training Program, but this is a good list to get you started.

Any other audiences I missed? Let me know in the comments below!

The post Facebook Ads Guide: 55 Custom Audiences to Target People Ready to Act appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

Facebook Ads Guide: 55 Custom Audiences to Target People Ready to Act
Source: Great Facebook Feeds From Around The Web

Facebook Marketers are Already Fumbling News Feed Change

It’s been a little over a week since Facebook announced the latest news feed change intended to surface more content from friends and less content from brands. In that time, it’s clear marketers are setting the groundwork for future news feed changes.

Call me cynical. But marketers are going to screw this up.

Facebook will have no choice. Marketers, never wanting to accept a challenge to simply be better, choose instead to blame Facebook for their unfair treatment. This reaction will ultimately lead to — once again — a poor news feed experience.

The History of News Feed Changes

I’d like to say that this is recent bad behavior from marketers, but it’s nothing new. I wrote a rant back in 2014 that would apply equally today (seriously, read it). Very little has changed.

Marketers have a pretty poor track record when you look back — objectively — at changes that Facebook has had to make over the years. Repeatedly, Facebook needs to beat back something marketers are doing that diminishes the news feed experience.

I encourage you to read through the list of news feed updates Facebook has made since August of 2013. So many of these are in reaction to marketers making the news feed worse.

A few examples:

  • Jan. 21, 2014: Showing more from friends
  • Apr. 10, 2014: Cleaning up spam
  • May 27, 2014: More control over sharing from apps
  • Aug. 25, 2014: Stop with the click-bait
  • Nov. 14, 2014: Enough of the overly promotional stuff
  • Jan. 20, 2015: No more hoaxes
  • Aug. 4, 2016: Seriously, enough of the click-bait
  • Dec. 15, 2016: No we mean it about fake news and hoaxes
  • May 10, 2017: Your links suck
  • May 17, 2017: Last warning on the click-bait
  • Aug. 9, 2017: No more cloaking
  • Aug. 17, 2017: Now click-bait is ruining videos
  • Dec. 18, 2017: No engagement bait, either

This is just a sampling of news feed updates that needed to be made because of marketers, brands, and publishers who were willing to do whatever it took to get a click. And there is plenty more, especially if you go back before 2013.

It’s Never the Marketer’s Fault

When Facebook makes these changes to the news feed, the natural response should be to ask…

Why was this change necessary? Am I doing something wrong? What mistake am I making? What, if anything, should I do differently?

Instead, it’s always that Facebook is unfairly harming them. Facebook just wants to force brands to pay. Everyone who likes my page wants to see my content — that’s why they liked it in the first place!

Oh, and the big one: What can I do to take advantage of this change?

Ugh…

The reality is that marketers often harm the imbalance of a quality news feed. As a result, Facebook makes changes.

Facebook owes you nothing. You spent years building your business thanks to Facebook. That’s awesome. But your content is no longer good enough. That’s not awesome.

Facebook owes everything to their users. If people enjoy their experience on Facebook, they come back more often. If they come back more often, there are more people for you to potentially reach (still possible, when done right!). Even if you can’t reach them organically, this activity gives you more targeting power. And more people, ultimately, to reach with ads.

Look, the news feed changes aren’t perfect. That’s why they have to make so many of them. And you can debate whether Facebook truly knows what people do and don’t like.

But what we do know is that what Facebook does is working. By “working” I mean that after all of these years, it’s still growing and people use it more and more.

If Facebook lets marketers ruin the news feed, that will not benefit your business. Users will enjoy Facebook less. They will use it less often. There will be fewer people to reach. And that would be both organically and paid.

You should want Facebook to be picky about what they show users.

Ask Yourself…

Let’s not always assume the worst about Facebook’s intentions when these changes are made. Don’t get defensive. Instead, attempt to understand the changes before we judge them.

Let’s ask ourselves some questions (because I love that type of exercise, apparently)…

1. Is click bait good?

Of course, it’s not. It’s freaking awful. You use psychology to make me feel like I need to click something, only to be disappointed in what I ultimately see. It’s manipulative. No one likes manipulation.

Click bait sucks. People don’t create click bait. It’s unnatural behavior. It’s slimy. Stop showing me that stuff, please.

2. Is engagement bait good?

Engagement bait was used for one reason: To trick the algorithm into thinking that you’re creating good, quality content. There’s no other purpose for it.

3. Is overly self-promotional content good?

I don’t care if this content comes from a page or from a person. Overly self-promotional content is annoying. Yeah, we get it. You’re awesome. You have stuff to sell.

Show me something else.

4. Is all content created inherently good and needs to be seen?

The answer is obvious: No.

This is true of user content, too. Marketers like to talk about how users shouldn’t be forced to see baby pics and cat videos from friends they don’t care about, but the reality is that this stuff is part of the algorithm, too.

The firehose doesn’t work. Expecting users to curate the content they want to see at the levels they want doesn’t work. If you need proof, compare the growth of Facebook to Twitter.

5. Is brand content inauthentic and unnatural?

The answer is a clear and obvious YES. If you don’t see this, you need to take a closer, more honest look.

Is how you’re posting the way a person would post? If not, what’s different about it? What’s unnatural? What’s inauthentic?

That’s the kind of stuff that Facebook is trying to get rid of.

Brand Content Isn’t Inherently Bad

Understand that brand content isn’t inherently bad. But marketers often create bad, unnatural, inauthentic, manipulative content. As a result, they’re lumped together.

But, I can tell you that not all brands will suffer from this. As I scroll my news feed, I still see a ton of brand content. And I fully expect I will continue to see brand content.

Why? The content I see isn’t manipulative trash. It’s useful, entertaining, educational, and natural.

I’m not going to act like this stuff is easy. Creating good content that people want to see when you’re trying to build a business and ultimately sell stuff is hard. It’s an insane challenge. Decide whether you’re up to that challenge.

Maybe the News Feed is Better Without You

I’m not saying this to be mean. It’s a business decision that you need to make.

Maybe, just maybe, you’re wasting your time with organic content on Facebook. Frankly, it’s not easy to create good content that people want to read.

Hell, there’s no freaking way I could create good, interesting, engaging content in some industries. Be honest with yourself. Understand what you have to work with. Can you make content that will survive the algorithm?

If not, that’s okay. Stop it. There’s no need to keep wasting your time and resources.

Do you get results from ads? Keep your focus there. If not, feel free to find your ship somewhere else.

Don’t You Dare Do That From Your Profile

Good God, I’m already seeing this. Facebook says that people want to see stuff from friends more than they do from brands, so user content is favored. The marketer’s response: Sell crap from their personal profile.

FREAKING STOP THIS MADNESS!

This is a clear and obvious case of marketers thinking they are being wronged. People want to see their content, and dammit, they’re going to make sure these people see it.

Your friends didn’t become your friends on Facebook to see you sell crap (I realize there are exceptions, but hang with me). They became your friends on Facebook for lots of reasons, but almost never is it to get sold stuff.

If your page isn’t getting the traction you want it to get, fix your page. Don’t torture your friends.

And if you think they don’t mind, they’re just being polite.

Please Don’t Ruin Groups

The marketer’s next frontier of things to screw up on Facebook because this update is not their fault is groups. Because group content may now start appearing more often in your news feed (since it features person-to-person conversation).

Expect the inevitable: Pages will start creating groups, followed by a whiny post along the lines of…

“Facebook won’t let me reach you anymore. Join this group instead!”

Really? You think people want to see your brand content so badly that they’ll join a group so that they never miss it? Okay then…

More News Feed Changes Are Coming

I hate to say it, but this is only the beginning. It’s because the actions by marketers are all too predictable.

Marketers will use personal profiles to sell their stuff because they’re convinced that they’re being unfairly punished and their followers desperately want to see their content. They will ruin content from profiles.

Unfortunately, we know what Facebook’s going to do next: Make yet another update to the news feed impacting business uses of personal profiles.

Yes, there already is such a restriction in place. But that’s mainly regarding having a profile for a “thing” that isn’t a person. You technically can sell stuff and be annoying as a person all day long.

For now, at least.

And we know that brands will create groups, but not for the purpose they were intended. They are supposed to be created to generate natural conversation among people. But marketers, determined to show 100% of their content to 100% of the people, will create groups and spam the heck out of them.

Ultimately, Facebook will need to respond. Group content will take a lower priority.

It’s all coming. It’s so painfully obvious that it’s coming.

I’m Not Immune to This

Look, I’m not completely ignorant. I know where this thing is heading.

One day, my page may not reach anyone organically. If that’s the case, it will likely be my fault.

As more and more people and pages join Facebook, the competition is constantly increasing. The bar you need to pass to reach people keeps rising. What was good enough today may not be good enough tomorrow.

I don’t get insane organic numbers. I also don’t dedicate myself to creating amazing organic Facebook content. I’m admittedly quite boring.

My focus is more on the ads side. If I begin to lose reach, I’ll have two options: 1. Get better, or 2. Dedicate my time elsewhere.

I could whine and complain and kick and cry, but what freaking good is that going to do me??

Your Turn

There are good marketers out there. Be good marketers. If you see bad marketers, steer them in the right direction. There is time to save them.

What are your thoughts on all of this?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post Facebook Marketers are Already Fumbling News Feed Change appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

Facebook Marketers are Already Fumbling News Feed Change
Source: Great Facebook Feeds From Around The Web

Facebook Ads Research Tool: Test and Learn

Facebook is rolling out a new tool called Test and Learn for Facebook advertisers.

Facebook Test and Learn

In a very general sense, Test and Learn allows you to run tests of your advertising to find what’s working for your business.

Let’s take a closer look at what this is and how you might use it.

Test and Learn: Overview

To access Test and Learn, you’ll find it under Measure & Report in your advertising menu.

Facebook Test and Learn

To guide you, Facebook asks “What question do you want to answer?” Right now, there are only two such questions…

Facebook Test and Learn

One can assume more questions will be added as this tool develops. It also appears that you can request specific tests that aren’t listed from your ad rep (if you have one).

Essentially, you are able to create two types of tests:

  1. Campaign Comparison Test
  2. Account Test

Campaign Comparison Tests allow you to compare two campaigns (obviously) to determine which results in the lowest cost conversions.

Account Tests help uncover how much your ad accounts lift sales for your business.

Both are actually much more complicated than that, but this is the short definition. Let’s take on each test separately.

Campaign Comparison Test: Overview

This test will allow you to uncover which of two similar campaigns resulted in more conversions at a lower cost.

I know what you’re thinking because I was, too: “But can’t you just see that in the ad reports by comparing Cost Per Conversion?” This is actually different.

The difference: This test utilizes Facebook’s Conversion Lift measurement. This is how it works…

1. Test Group 1: Random sampling of people who saw ads from the first campaign during the test period.

2. Test Group 2: Random sampling of people who saw ads from the second campaign during the test period.

3. Control Group 1: Random sampling of people in the target audience who were held back from seeing ads in the first campaign during the test.

4. Control Group 2: Random sampling of people in the target audience who were held back from seeing ads in the second campaign during the test.

Facebook then compares how the test groups compared to the respective control groups.

Keep in mind that, unlike when viewing your results in Ads Manager, this test does not rely on an attribution window. By default, a conversion is reported when someone views an ad and converts within a day or clicks an ad and converts within 28 days.

That’s not involved here. In this case, Facebook only cares who saw the ad, who didn’t, and how many conversions resulted from the people who saw or didn’t see the ad. That’s the conversion lift.

The truth is that some of the people in your target audience may have converted anyway — especially if they are part of a warm audience. Or maybe someone saw an ad and converted more than a day later. Ad reports don’t account for these scenarios. This test will.

Read this for more on Facebook’s testing methodology for the Campaign Comparison Test.

Campaign Comparison Test: Set Up

Now that you understand what this is, let’s set up a Campaign Comparison Test.

Facebook Test and Learn

You’ll need to provide the following…

1. Two campaigns. Ideally, they’ll be very similar, minus one major difference (objective, optimization, bidding, placement, creative).

2. Event source. This is the type of conversion event that you want to track.

3. Schedule. This is the date range of your test. Facebook recommends that the test runs for a month or more — but no less than two weeks. They need enough time to get results to find answers.

As you can see below, the event source can be a standard event from your Facebook pixel…

Facebook Test and Learn

If you select a standard event, these campaigns will be compared based on total purchases, for example, of any products on your website (not just those products that were promoted). In this case, you’ll obviously need the Facebook pixel installed on your website with pixel events.

But you can also select an app event, offline event, or custom conversion.

Facebook Test and Learn

Click “Review” to take a final look…

Facebook Test and Learn

If you’re ready to start your test, click “Create Test.”

Campaign Comparison Test: Review Results

The “Learn” tab will include a list of your tests with columns for the test names, test questions, status (active, planned, completed), and test schedule.

Facebook Test and Learn

If you click the name of the Campaign Comparison Test, it will bring up a page for results — if you have any.

Facebook Test and Learn

In the example above, my test had just begun, so I don’t have results. But when I do, I’ll be able to click on the individual campaigns to view them separately as well as view the comparison in this main view.

I only began testing this tool, so I don’t yet have results to “Learn” from. However, Facebook does provide some examples in their documentation.

There is an Incremental Efficiency section…

Facebook Test and Learn

This comparison shows the cost per incremental conversion of each campaign, calculated by dividing the number of incremental conversions for each campaign by the total amount spent during the test.

There is also an Incremental Efficiency section for each campaign. It shows the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and cost per incremental conversion.

Facebook Test and Learn

Simple math in the above example as Jasper’s Market brought in $81,543 for a given campaign test group after spending $35,148 — a 2.32 ROA.

The Lift Results section for individual campaigns shows sales lift, incremental sales, and incremental conversions driven by the campaign.

Facebook Test and Learn

In this example, conversions would have happened with or without a particular campaign. However, this campaign resulted in 295,000 more conversions for a lift of .27%.

When your test is complete, you will also be able to export results.

Ad Account Test: Overview

This test works much like the Campaign Comparison Test, except that we’re looking at the impact of the entire ad account. The test runs as follows…

1. Test Group 1: Random sampling of people who saw ads from your ad account during the test.

2. Control Group 1: Random sampling of people in the target audience who were held back from seeing your ads during the test.

Facebook then compares the number of conversions that result from both groups to calculate the conversion lift.

If you want to get into the technical weeds, you can read this documentation for more details on Facebook’s testing methodology.

Ad Account Test: Set Up

The Ad Account Test is set up mostly the same way as the Campaign Comparison Test with one obvious difference: You don’t provide two campaigns to compare.

Facebook Test and Learn

You still need to select a conversion to test against. That could be a standard event…

Facebook Test and Learn

And that could be an offline event, app event, or custom conversion.

Facebook Test and Learn

Click to review…

Facebook Test and Learn

If you’re good to go, click “Create Test.”

Ad Account Test: Review Results

If you click on the Ad Account Test link, it will bring up a results page that looks similar to the report for the Campaign Comparison Test…

Facebook Test and Learn

Once again, I don’t have any results yet, so let’s go to Facebook’s examples.

Lift Results will show the percentage of conversion rate lift, incremental sales, and incremental conversions.

Facebook Test and Learn

In the example above, ads increased a company’s conversion rate by 152%, causing 62.3K conversions that wouldn’t have happened without the ads.

The Incremental Efficiency section shows incremental Return on Ad Spend and cost per incremental conversion.

Facebook Test and Learn

In the above example, the brand spent $35,148 to get $81,543 in sales, a 2.32 ROAS (I know, it’s the same example as was provided for the Campaign Comparison Test — I can only share what I’m given).

What to do with Results?

When running the Campaign Comparison Test, you should be comparing two very similar campaigns that are different in one specific way (creative, objective, optimization, placement, etc.).

As mentioned earlier, the Cost Per Conversion in your ad reports doesn’t tell the whole story. If one campaign is resulting in more conversion lift than another, it could provide valuable insight into creative, objective, optimization, or placement — not just for these campaigns, but for others.

The Ad Account Test can help you understand the overall health of your advertising. Sure, your ads are currently leading to sales. But would those sales have happened without your ads? What’s the overall lift? If you determine that your lift or ROA aren’t acceptable, you should test individual campaigns against one another to help improve your results.

Your Turn

Do you have Test and Learn yet? Have you created any tests? I’d love to hear about your results.

Let me know in the comments below!

The post Facebook Ads Research Tool: Test and Learn appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

Facebook Ads Research Tool: Test and Learn
Source: Great Facebook Feeds From Around The Web

Facebook News Feed Update: Now What?

You’ve undoubtedly heard by now about the big Facebook news feed update that was announced recently. I did my best to break down what I think is happening, but now it’s time to step back and evaluate how — and if — this changes things.

First, to summarize:

1. Person-to-person is prioritized. The news feed is sorted and customized based on a ranking system. Facebook wants you to see more stuff from people. As a result, you will see fewer posts from pages.

2. Long and thoughtful replies get a boost. This was the second half of the announcement, and it seems to be a significant pivot. Recorded videos will not get nearly the weight they once did. Passive scrolling and low-quality engagement are now bad. Posts that get long, thoughtful replies will get priority in your feed.

So… Now what?

Don’t Freak Out… YET

Yes, this certainly sounds bad for pages. But as I’ve said repeatedly now, we simply don’t know how this will impact your page until these changes are rolled out. Why freak out about something before it happens?

When I wrote my post about this on Friday and shared it to Facebook, guess what happened? That post has received more reach, shares, engagement, and link clicks than any of my posts in recent memory.

Admittedly, I’m not as active on my page as I once was. I don’t post for the sake of posting. I basically post when I have something to say, and it’s typically about once per week.

Still, kind of weird to get that type of engagement when it’s supposed to be disappearing, right? I mean, that’s the whole point of the update in the first place.

Of course, it wasn’t just me. Social Media Examiner conducted a Facebook Live to discuss the news feed update that resulted in more than 5,000 shares, 400,000 views, and 1,000 comments. After a quick glance, it looks like a typical video of theirs gets fewer than 10,000 views.

Social Media Examiner Facebook Live

Our two pages are just a couple of the dozens and dozens of examples. Marketers were sharing the “horrible news” of how brands will disappear in the news feed, all while resulting in ridiculous engagement numbers.

Shouldn’t these posts have fallen into an abyss? A ghost town?

Did anyone notice the irony?

Granted, maybe this change hasn’t been put in place yet. But we’ve heard before that pages would receive lower priority in the feed.

Examples…

In 2014, the news feed was updated to show fewer text updates from pages.

Later that year, overly promotional posts from pages were punished.

In 2016, Facebook made an update to news feed that sounded eerily similar to the most recent announcement:

Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook. That’s why today, we’re announcing an upcoming change to News Feed ranking to help make sure you don’t miss stories from your friends.

I don’t recall seeing a signficant drop in my page post performance after that change. And, who knows? Maybe I won’t this time either.

Live Video is Good

I hated typing that line. Did you feel it?

I have no issues with live video. However, I do hate when marketers react based on post type to get the most reach.

We’ve seen it so many times, I’ve lost track. Remember when marketers used an image with an ugly link above it? They did that to get more reach. Remember that update I mentioned above about text updates? Those had to be devalued from pages only (not people) because EVERY FREAKING POST from pages was a text update.

That’s what annoys me about this. Yes, Facebook does really seem to be encouraging us to use live video. But don’t use live video for everything. Don’t abuse it. I don’t need a live video five times per day from you.

You know what’s coming, right? Later this year, an update to the news feed regarding live video from pages.

By all means, use live video. But use it because the format is the best method of conveying your message. Not because the news feed algorithm will be tricked to show it to more people.

Create High Quality Content

This goes without saying, right? But sometimes, I feel that marketers need a reminder.

Far too often, we get blinded by analytics. Strategies are based on the numbers. People like videos, so we need more videos. This link update did poorly, so no more links. Short text over long. Call to action. All that stuff.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t be strategic. But don’t forget that your audience is human. Create good content — in whatever format is best — that they’ll want to consume. That they’ll find helpful, educational, or entertaining.

That’s easier said than done for some industries. But sit down and create a list of ways that you can help, educate, or entertain your target audience. Then decide the best way to communicate that message.

Generate a Conversation

It shouldn’t be surprising that the posts from marketers about the news feed change did so well in the news feed. It’s a topic that people care about. They’re passionate about it. It inspires emotion. And these posts also resulted in meaningful comments and engagement.

This stuff is hard, I know. It’s why not every brand will succeed on Facebook.

But when you share something, have a purpose. Think of your audience. Consider this a conversation rather than a direction to click on something only.

Instead of “Here’s my thing, give me money, give me clicks” center your attention around, “This is interesting, what do you think?”

Ultimately, posts that lead to long, thoughtful comments will have the most success on Facebook. And it just makes sense.

Is a post that gets lots of likes, but no comments meaningful? Not usually.

Is a post that gets lots of one word and one sentence replies interesting? Not as interesting as one with actual conversation.

This goes back to “just create high quality content, stupid.” But Facebook’s focus on thoughtful replies and away from passive engagement could be what does ultimately kill some brands on Facebook.

No Engagement Bait

Oh, Facebook wants replies? I’ll give them replies…

I mentioned this the other day, too, but it needs repeating. Facebook is ready for you, too.

From the News Feed FYI announcement:

Using ‘engagement-bait’ to goad people into commenting on posts is not a meaningful interaction, and we will continue to demote these posts in News Feed.

In case you forgot, engagement bait was the focus of another news feed update in late 2017.

That means, no vote baiting, reaction baiting, or share baiting…

Facebook Engagement Bait

And no tag baiting or comment baiting…

Facebook Engagement Bait

This is a confusing concept for some marketers. Facebook wants engagement, but you can’t bait users into it. You can actually get engagement without engagement bait.

This is consistent with Facebook’s emphasis on authenticity. Your goal is to not only get lots of comments, likes, and shares, but for that engagement to be meaningful.

Consider Groups

If you’re looking for ways to expand or shift your efforts to limit the impact of this change on your brand, you may consider exploring Facebook Groups.

From Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement:

The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.

The News Feed FYI post also alluded to how “people often interact around public content” in groups when talking about ways that brands can encourage conversation from people.

Back in July of last year, Facebook announced Groups for Pages, allowing brands to link groups to their pages — and even interact in those groups either as their page or personal profile.

I can tell you that I’m laying the groundwork for this as part of my business. While I already have multiple paid private communities, I think there’s room for a free one as well.

If you do create a group, however, do so intelligently. My fear is that marketers will create groups and then spam the heck out of the people within them. Groups aren’t a loophole for you to act a fool and pound everyone with your links. If you’re going to benefit from groups, it needs to be within the framework of an authentic community.

In some cases, creating a community around your brand would be fine. I think about software products that may need a support community, for example.

However, that isn’t right for all groups. While I’m planning a “Jon Loomer Digital Community,” people aren’t going to sit around talking about me all day (that would be awful for everyone). The focus will be on Facebook advertising support.

So, how can you create a community that would help your customers and potential customers?

The Impact on Advertising

In a vacuum, this update shouldn’t impact your advertising efforts. There is no indication that there will be fewer ad placements as a result of this.

If you were running Facebook ads before, you should keep running them now. Of course, ads can benefit from organic distribution as well. So if the content in your ads generates meaningful conversation, that engagement will propel your post organically in the news feed.

Otherwise, how this impacts advertising will depend upon how and if the market adjusts to these changes. Maybe many brands will suffer organically, and they’ll be forced to advertise to reach their audience. Mayby most brands won’t actually see a change. Or, maybe brands will suffer so greatly, that the fallout would be an exodus from Facebook ads.

Ultimately, these three scenarios impact the number of ads in Facebook’s inventory. The more ads Facebook needs to distribute, the more competition an advertiser has to get their own ads shown. And the more competition there is, the higher the prices go.

As a result, there are scenarios (namely, the exodus) that could result in ad costs going down. But more than likely, you should expect costs to either remain steady or increase as a result of this.

Maybe: Keep Doing What You’re Doing

Other than potentially starting a new Facebook group, I don’t plan on making any changes — small, large, or otherwise — in the way I create content for Facebook. My page has somehow survived more than six years of news feed changes, and I think I’ll survive this one, too.

Evalute what you’re doing now. Do you create content that inspires authentic engagement and conversation? If so, you’re probably going to do just fine. In fact, some seem to think you may even benefit from this change.

At the same time, how this impacts anyone is a big, fat unknown. We control what we can control.

It’s entirely possible that my results will fall off a cliff in the coming months. If that happens, I’ll need to adjust. That could mean changing the type of content I create. It could mean assessing how I generate discussion, and the language that I use. Or it could be a matter of exploring live video, groups, or more advertising.

But for now, I’m not going to worry about it. And if you feel you’re doing everything you need to be doing, you shouldn’t worry about it either.

Your Turn

What, if anything, are you changing about your approach in response to this news feed update?

Let me know in the comments below!

The post Facebook News Feed Update: Now What? appeared first on Jon Loomer Digital.

Facebook News Feed Update: Now What?
Source: Great Facebook Feeds From Around The Web