November 9, 2012
NEW YORK – An executive at the ad:tech New York 2012 conference said that 40 percent of Facebook users’ time is spent on their News Feed, according to comScore. Therefore, News Feed optimization is essential to draw users into the brand world.
During the “Facebook Friends with Benefits: Using Timeline, Ads and Apps” session, executives discussed how the key capabilities of Facebook can be leveraged to build online communities. The News Feed is where users spend most of their time and marketers should engage consumers there through optimizing posts and using the Facebook ad targeting platform.
“Everything eventually hooks back to the News Feed,” said Liam Doyle, senior director of product strategy at Salesforce Marketing Cloud, London. “It is the place where all of those brand stories get updated.
“Everything should be optimized for the News Feed to bring people into your brand,” he said.
Face to a name
Facebook has 1 billion active users, per Mr. Doyle.
There are other global social networks and other local networks worldwide. But, apart from Russia, Iran and China, Facebook is the most widely-used social network in the world.
In recent years, marketers are using Facebook to build communities and in turn, engage those communities on an ongoing basis.
Social media marketing is unique in that consumers will represent the brand even if it is not there.
Therefore, marketers should look to grow communities to maximize ROI.
A marketer's Facebook Timeline is essentially a command center for the brand.
“It is a place where your brand lives and everything else works off of that,” Mr. Doyle said.
“It is your chance to tell your story, your chance to be creative and your chance to build these communities,” he said. “It is also a place to show your history.
“The kind of brand identity and brand awareness on Facebook now is really unparalleled.”
All content on the Timeline can potentially be seen via the News Feed. Therefore, marketers should study how posts will look in the News Feed.
For instance, marketers should pay attention to how the profile image looks when its sitting in fans’ News Feed.
In relation to television, the Timeline is a brand’s channel, but the News Feed is the TV on which consumers view content, per Kevin Ryan, founder/CEO of Motivity Marketing, New York.
What marketers do on their channel is posted onto the News Feed where individual users can see it.
“You really need to get people to tune into your channel,” Mr. Ryan said.
Users are 25-times more likely to see information that appears in their News Feed.
Ultimately, brands should be looking to take Facebook users from their News Feed to the brand Timeline.
“When you are looking at content, look at what people are doing, what they are looking at, and use that to change your News Feed strategy,” Mr. Ryan said.
“You can address people in the way that they want to be addressed,” he said. “They are not coming to your brand page unless you give them a reason to, and they are getting that information from their News Feed.
Facebook advertising allows marketers to become part of the social experience, per Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s Mr. Doyle.
The Facebook ad platform leverages social metrics.
“Try to be unobtrusive by leveraging existing connects directly or through the connections of friends,” Mr. Doyle said.
Marketers should promote the interactions that they are having with their fans to their fans’ friends.
“Now we can tie advertising into News Feed,” Mr. Doyle said. “What makes it particularly powerful is the target.”
Owned media builds Facebook communities, per Lucy Jacobs, chief operating officer of Spruce Media, New York. It helps brands build pages, engage fans and encourage fans to share the message of the brand.
“The whole premise of Facebook is to share concepts of the brand that resonate with users, and that earned media is very powerful,” Ms. Jacobs said.
Market researcher Nielsen reported that when Facebook users share a brand message with friends, there is a 50 percent uplift from when a brand communicates with a fan directly.
News Feed is the place to begin owned media placement.
“The News Feed and the mobile News Feed have proven to be effective,” Ms. Jacobs said. “Here, there is the highest engagement on the Facebook platform.”
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York