360i POV: Facebook’s fMC 2012 Announcements


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360i POV: Facebook’s fMC 2012 Announcements

  1. 1. Integrated Solutions. Measurable Results. M arch 2012 360i Point of View on Facebook’s fMC 2012 AnnouncementsExecutive SummaryThe joint introduction of Facebook Timeline for Pages and changes to its premium ad format at theFacebook Marketing Conference (fMC) on Feb. 29 represented yet another milestone in the history ofFacebook. The implicat ions of both feature updates are significant and reinforce the need for a unified,holistic approach to Facebook market ing that integrates community, content and media strategies.For example, both fans and non-fans alike visiting a brands Page will now land direct ly on the Timelineas a default. As a result, paid media with deep-linking is all but required to promote a tab, application,contest, sweepstakes or interactive experience within a Page. And with ads appearing direct ly in users’NewsFeeds, the competition for real estate and attention has increased, meaning brands are morelikely to grow if they focus on developing strong content and creating a promotional media strategy tosupport it.The following is a summary of the changes and accompanying recommendations on how to mostsuccessfully navigate them. First, we explore the Timeline feature and what the marketer implicationsare in terms of content strategy and community management. Second, we take a closer look atupdates to Facebook’s paid media offering.Facebook Timeline for BrandsWhile individual users have been slow to embrace Timeline for Profiles, the introduction of Timeline forPages brings with it new opportunities and features that will inspire brands to re-imagine theirapproach to building community within the world’s largest social network.In its ongoing effort to optimize how Pages look and function, Facebook has introduced a beta versionof Timeline for a limited number of partners and brands , including Captain Morgan, Coca-Cola, TheToday Show, Manchester United FC, Heineken, SportsCenter and Ben & Jerry’s. All other Page adminscurrently have the ability to convert to the new format immediately, though all Pages will automaticallyswitch over to the new design on March 30, 2012.The aesthetics of the Timeline features are similar across both Pages and individual profiles; however,there are some important changes that will require page owners to revisit their overall strategy.Key Takeaways: 1. New navigation. With the update, it’s no longer possible for brand Pages to send visitors to a splash page or application by default. This me ans that Page owners will need to think creatively about how to encourage “liking” or direct attention to a specific inside page direct ly from the Timeline. Additionally, links to inside pages will move up from beneath the profile picture to more prominent real estate direct ly below the cover photo. 2. Greater content contro l. New enhancements empower Page owners to “lock” featured content prominently at the top of the Page for up to a week, or increase the size of content shared (such as text links, videos and photos). Given these updates, brands will have more control over the promotion of specific content, which may include featured, user-generated content (i.e. Fan of the Week). NEW YORK | ATLANTA | CHICAGO | DETROIT | SAN FRANCISCO | LONDON | info@360i.com | 888.360.9630 © 2012 360i LLC. All Rights Reserv ed
  2. 2. Integrated Solutions. Measurable Results. M arch 2012 360i Point of View on Facebook’s fMC 2012 AnnouncementsTimeline for Brands: Summary of ChangesThe rollout brings with it significant changes to the look and feel of brand Pages on Facebook andgrants marketers with more opportunities to emphasize specific content within their Pages. Beloware the new features are available at the time of the initial rollout:Cover Photo: With this new feature, brands will be granted a large, page-wide canvas across thetop of the Page. This 851 by 315 pixel space gives marketers the opportunity to share a compellingvisual image that can and should represent the brand’s identity.Profile Picture: Smaller image embedded at the lower left corner of your Cover Photo that will alsoserve as the image associated with posts in fans’ NewsFeeds, search and organic promotion. This isan ideal space to use a brand logo.Page Navigation: While text links to tabs, applicat ions and inside pages are currently located in theleft column of the Wall, a new navigation bar will feature up to four links directly beneath the CoverPhoto. The thumbnail images and order can be customized and additional app licat ions can be addedin a dropdown menu underneath the featured four images.Landing Tabs and Like Gates: At the time of this initial ro llout, all links leading to a Page willdirect to the Timeline. This means that splash pages and “like gates” can no longer be the defaultlanding tab. Deep-linking to tabs, applications and inside pages is still possible via media or statusupdates, but will requ ire a specific URL.Fan Activity: Whereas many Pages previously allowed fans to post directly to their Page wall, all fanactivity has now been aggregated into a box near the top of the Timeline. If a user’s friends or NEW YORK | ATLANTA | CHICAGO | DETROIT | SAN FRANCISCO | LONDON | info@360i.com | 888.360.9630 © 2012 360i LLC. All Rights Reserv ed
  3. 3. Integrated Solutions. Measurable Results. M arch 2012 360i Point of View on Facebook’s fMC 2012 Announcementsconnections recently engaged with the Page, that content will be featured on the Timeline as well.Timeline Stories: As is the case for Timeline for individual users, Pages can now feature largerphotos, video and link stories. Featured posts can span the entire width of the page, while defaultposts are contained within one of the two columns. How content appears in individual NewsFeed sshould not change, which is important as anywhere from 80 to 95 percent of fan interactions wit h aPage actually happen in a user’s NewsFeed and not on the Page itself.Pinned Posts: Page owners have the option to “lock” a post at the top of a Timeline for up to sevendays. This ensures that fans and non-fans coming to the Page see this story, link, photo, video orcampaign. Additional “pinnable” content includes Questions, Related Page, fan photo (or Fan of theWeek), tab promotion or contests.Admin Panel: Administrators who are logged in will see a dashboard of recent activity on the Page,a summary of Page data and links to edit settings, purchase ads and curate fan content. Admins canalso now directly respond to private messages.Timeline for Brands: Marketer ImplicationsThe Timeline feature will not be mandated for all Pages until March 30; however, the init ial betalaunch for a select few brands serves as advanced notice for everyone else to prepare creative anddevelop a strategy.Creative Development: Marketers should consider how to visually represent their brand via theCover Photo and Profile Picture. The large canvas at the top of the page should feature a visuallystimulat ing image. The Cover Photos should not include text or arrows as navigat ion cues to the Likebutton or other inside pages, as clicking the image itself will link only to that image and nowhereelse. Get creative as there is definitely the potential for integration between the larger Cover Photoand the Profile Picture.Timeline Backfill: If your brand has a rich history or a great story to tell over time, backfilling theTimeline might be a great strategy for driving engagement. Begin aggregating assets to upload andpost-date once Timeline is ready. Just be aware that uploading a lot of content at once may delugeyour fans’ NewsFeeds.Tab Strategy: While the new tab navigat ion will make it easier for fans to find links to featuredapplicat ions or content, the removal of the option to create a default landing tab for non-fans meansthat the Cover Image and global pinned post must serve that purpose now, as well. In short, allvisitors to your page will see the Timeline first unless you deep-link them elsewhere within yourPage. Facebook tabs are not going away, but they may now decrease in significance.Editorial Strategy: Thinking about content will now require asking yourself more than just “what”and “when.” With different options around new features like pinned posts, featured (full-width)content and the existing geo-targeting features, brands should exercise flexibility and adopt a “test-and-learn” philosophy. NEW YORK | ATLANTA | CHICAGO | DETROIT | SAN FRANCISCO | LONDON | info@360i.com | 888.360.9630 © 2012 360i LLC. All Rights Reserv ed
  4. 4. Integrated Solutions. Measurable Results. M arch 2012 360i Point of View on Facebook’s fMC 2012 Announcements Fan Content: Solicit ing and highlighting user-generated content will continue to be an important tactic for brands within the Timeline, but may require addit ional moderation. Depending on the size of the active fan base, brands should certainly curate fan content within the Timeline , but may need to be more selective. Open Graph and the Social Web: For marketers not already thinking about develop ing applicat ions that integrate the off-Facebook experience in a practical, creative way, now is the time. We are seeing more and more companies (Pinterest, Spotify and Nike to name a few) leverage verb/act ion items (i.e. “pinned,” “listened to” and “ran”) to bolster the brand experience on Facebook.Facebook Premium Ad Format ChangesIn tandem with the Timeline release, Facebook has unveiled a new suite of Premium Advertisingproducts designed to better connect a brand’s paid media efforts to its owned and earned efforts onthe platform.Key Takeaways: 1. Content-driven advertising products. New formats mirror page posts and include automatic social functionality. Along with social features, the new ads are designed to drive higher engagement compared with Facebook’s current ad offerings. With higher engagement, brands could see increased organic reach and fan growth. 2. Guaranteed reach for brand content. Paid media offers brands an opportunity to surface their best content to a larger audience – with the guarantee that it will be seen on desktop and mobile. Targeting tools allow for more precise targeting than currently available through page posts. Deep linking lets brands use paid media to drive deeper into their page or direct ly to applications. Premium Ad Products: Summary of Changes Facebook’s new premium advert ising formats and ad distribution system are called Reach Generator. This is in line with the direction the company has been heading since the release of its Sponsored Story product in early 2011. The most recent changes provide brands with better tools to surface social context and content through paid media placements. Below are the changes to Facebook’s advertising products and distribution opportunities. New Ad Formats: Facebook is offering six new Premium Ad Formats. - Photo Page Post: 90 characters of text and a photo - Video Page Post: 90 characters of text and a video thumbnail - Question Page Post: Question with four answers or three with a ”see more” link - Status Page Post: Up to 150 characters of text - Event Page Post: o Event details with up to 90 characters of text and an image or video o Ability to drive RSVPs - Link Page Post: Up to 90 characters of text and an image NEW YORK | ATLANTA | CHICAGO | DETROIT | SAN FRANCISCO | LONDON | info@360i.com | 888.360.9630 © 2012 360i LLC. All Rights Reserv ed
  5. 5. Integrated Solutions. Measurable Results. M arch 2012 360i Point of View on Facebook’s fMC 2012 AnnouncementsOffers: Facebook has not explicit ly introduced the Offers ad format, but the Offers story product forPages will allow brands to post offers to their fans. Fans can claim an offer from the Page and have itsent to their email or mobile phone. They can also share these offers easily with their Facebookfriends.Automatic social context: When friends of a brand’s fans see a Premium Ad, the ad willautomatically expand with enhanced social context about those fans. This is automatic and brandswill not be charged for the expanded content.Automatic engagement options: When fans of a brand see a Premium Ad, they will have theability to like or comment on the post directly from the ad. NEW YORK | ATLANTA | CHICAGO | DETROIT | SAN FRANCISCO | LONDON | info@360i.com | 888.360.9630 © 2012 360i LLC. All Rights Reserv ed
  6. 6. Integrated Solutions. Measurable Results. M arch 2012 360i Point of View on Facebook’s fMC 2012 AnnouncementsFeaturing content that has not run on the Page: Brands will have the ability to feature contentin Premium Ads that has not or will not run on the brand Page. These advertising-only posts andactivity from them will not appear on a brand’s wall or run in their NewsFeed.Discontinued Ad Formats: Brands will no longer be able to run Premium Like Ads (Photo + Video),Premium Event Ads (Photo + Video), Video Commenting Ads or Poll Ads (Photo + Video).Unaffected Ad Formats: Brands can still run Classic Premium Ads (Photo + Video) that drive off ofFacebook. As of this release, Premium Ads for Apps and Marketplace ads are not affected.In addit ion to the new Premium Ad formats, Facebook announced more ways to distribute ads.Packaged as “Premium on Facebook,” Premium Ads are now being offered within the NewsFeed ondesktop and mobile. In the past, Facebook has used the NewsFeed and ticker to distribute thefeatured story ads that run through the Marketplace. By opening this up to Premium Ads, Facebookhas blurred the lines between paid and earned content. With the new ad formats built to mirror Pagecontent, it will be difficult for Facebook users to differentiate between what is being shared by theirfriends versus what has been placed by an advertiser.This announcement also marks Facebook’s first foray into mobile advert ising. Integrating thepremium ads into the mobile NewsFeed makes sense as space is limited on the smaller screen. It isnot yet clear if marketers will be able to opt in for mobile only or target mobile separately. If thelatter is true, marketers should think about what type of content may resonate better with a mobileaudience. NEW YORK | ATLANTA | CHICAGO | DETROIT | SAN FRANCISCO | LONDON | info@360i.com | 888.360.9630 © 2012 360i LLC. All Rights Reserv ed
  7. 7. Integrated Solutions. Measurable Results. M arch 2012 360i Point of View on Facebook’s fMC 2012 Announcements Home page: Right Hand Side Home page: Newsfeed Mobile: NewsfeedFacebook also announced its first step into the traditional display world. Facebook is offering anadvertising opportunity on their Logout page, which will launch in April. Facebook reports that 35million US users see the Logout page each day with 110 million US users viewing it each month. Thisis on par with the reach offered from premium portals like Yahoo! and AOL, who sell similarplacements.The new Logout placement closely mirrors what many other large media properties are selling andmay be Facebook’s way of attracting marketers who are interested in large, concentrated reach. It isunclear whether marketers will have to feature and link back to Facebook content or if they will beable to use the space to drive off of Facebook. Regardless, this is a big bet for Facebook and goodfor marketers who want to take advantage of Facebook’s reach and audience with larger, morevisual creative. NEW YORK | ATLANTA | CHICAGO | DETROIT | SAN FRANCISCO | LONDON | info@360i.com | 888.360.9630 © 2012 360i LLC. All Rights Reserv ed
  8. 8. Integrated Solutions. Measurable Results. M arch 2012 360i Point of View on Facebook’s fMC 2012 AnnouncementsIt is not yet clear whether marketers will be able to opt in for NewsFeed targeting or buy desktopseparate from mobile. Marketers will most likely be able to buy the Logout placement separately.Premium Ad Products: Marketer ImplicationsFacebook’s new ad formats present a substantial change for marketers and have implications forthose investing heavily in their brand’s presence on Facebook.Paid Media factored into Facebook strategy: Facebook estimates that Page posts reach 16percent of a brand’s fans. As the NewsFeed gets more crowded and Facebook’s algorithm continuesto optimize NewsFeed content based on likelihood to engage, this number will, most likely, decrease.Brands wanting to guarantee that content will reach their fans will need to start including Paid Mediaas a continuous piece of their overall Facebook activation strategy. The new formats allow brands toextend their owned media and content strategy more seamlessly into paid placements.Insights inform Paid Media strategy: Facebook Insights measure which fans are engaging withPage content and what types of content drive higher engagement rates. Engagement is key to abrand’s success on the platform. The new ad formats allow for this content to be easily ported topaid placements. Marketers can make informed decisions on the content they should feature in theirpaid placements and target those placements to the audiences most likely to engage.Targeting: Currently, the only targeting available for Page posts is geo-targeting. Targetingavailable through Facebook’s ad platform is more precise and allows marketers to target by interestand category, as well as a wide variety of demographic points. The new ad formats enable marketersto do a much better job at getting the most relevant content in front of the right people. If webelieve that “birds of a feather flock together,“ automatic social context for friends of fans andengagement options for fans means that premium paid media placements could continue to spread NEW YORK | ATLANTA | CHICAGO | DETROIT | SAN FRANCISCO | LONDON | info@360i.com | 888.360.9630 © 2012 360i LLC. All Rights Reserv ed
  9. 9. Integrated Solutions. Measurable Results. M arch 2012 360i Point of View on Facebook’s fMC 2012 Announcements within an audience who continues to find the content relevant. Distribution/Placement of Ads: Marketers will also need to consider where their target audience will see their ads, as user behavior may differ within the NewsFeed or in their log out experience. Desktop and Mobile should also be approached separately. As Facebook continues to build out these placements, marketers will be granted greater control over where their ads will run and should tailor targeting and creative accordingly. Deep linking: With the introduction of Timeline, brands will no longer be able to drive visitors to a splash page or applicat ion by default. Deep linking to these destinations is still available through Paid Media placements. Brands can use Facebook’s precise targeting capabilities to drive specific audiences to the right destination, via the new Premium ad formats or the traditional marketplace ads. Content strategy: With the ability to amplify specific Page posts via paid or feature content that has never appeared on the Page, marketers will need to factor in paid media options when building out content strategy. Identifying which posts to feature in paid placements and which audience groups to target adds an additional layer of complexity to planning.Facebook’s new ad formats and distribution signify a commitment to driving a connection between abrand’s paid, earned and owned strategies on Facebook. Each will be necessary to realize the fullopportunity of the others and brands will need to take each into account when building out theirFacebook strategies.Please reach out to your 360i strategic advisor if you have additional questions. About 360i 360i is an award-winning digital marketing agency that drives results for Fortune 500 marketers through insights, ideas and technologies. 360i helps its clients think differently about their online presence and evolve their strategies to take advantage of the new world of marketing communications – one where brands and consumers engage in interactive and multi-directional conversations. Ad Age recently named 360i to its prestigious Agency A-List and named it one of the “Best Places to Work” in Marketing & Media. Current clients include Oreo, jcpenney, Coca -Cola, Bravo and Diageo, among others. For more information, please visit blog.360i.com or follow us on Twitter @360i. NEW YORK | ATLANTA | CHICAGO | DETROIT | SAN FRANCISCO | LONDON | info@360i.com | 888.360.9630 © 2012 360i LLC. All Rights Reserv ed