Application developers looking to take more advantage of Apple TV will be pleased to know that Facebook just announced the beta launch of a new SDK for tVOS, which it says will help them “build immersive social experiences” on the platform.
The SDK will enable developers to integrate Facebook Login, Share to Facebook, and Faceabook Analytics for Apps into their apps.
“In the same way that the Apple tvOS SDK inherits iOS frameworks, the Facebook SDK for tvOS inherits from the Facebook SDK for iOS,” Facebook says.
“You can also access the social graph in the same way as our SDK for iOS, see Using the Graph API, iOS. To do this you need an access token with the right permissions from the person using your app.”
You can find the development guide here. The actual SDK can be downloaded here.
Add J. Crew and American Girl to the list of retailers betting big with their holiday campaigns on ad units launched by Facebook and Instagram.
J.Crew bought Instagram ads that include a "Shop Now" button, making its gift guide digital. And for the past week, J.Crew's Instagram page has been promoting an iPhone case that doubles as a pocket square designed with Jimmy Fallon.
The retailer has also equipped its Facebook landing page with a Shop Now feature to help push sales after people see its ads on the popular social network. (Competitors such as Old Navy and H&M, on the other hand, are not employing the button on their Facebook pages.)
J.Crew has 1.3 million Instagram followers, 1.5 million Facebook fans and 366,00 followers on Twitter. In terms of the latter channel, the brand has run a pair of #jcrewholiday GIF-based ads that let consumers clickthrough to buy the products.
Toy marketer American Girl has been running holiday ads of its own on Facebook and Instagram. Called "Get a Friend. Give a Friend.," the effort involves American Girl donating a toy to a girl in need for each doll sold through Nov. 30.
To align its social push with the campaign's theme of thankfulness, American Girl timed the ads in early November to catch some of the Thanksgiving spirit in the air. Two more holiday campaigns will start running after Thanksgiving and continue through December.
"We are using Facebook and Instagram more aggressively this year mainly because our fans are increasingly interested in engaging with our content on our social channels—and this continues to be a strong growth area for the brand," said spokeswoman Julie Parks. "We are also placing greater emphasis on storytelling in all of our channels, but particularly in social."
The toys brand has 1.3 million Facebook fans and 146,000 Instagram followers—numbers which it hopes to build on with the holiday push.
Meanwhile, 2015 marks the first holiday season that many marketers will run ads from both platforms in a synchronized fashion. Instagram, owned by Facebook, limited the number of advertisers to a few dozen before Oct. 1, when it opened its ad-buying system to all brands. Sprinkle in the fact that Instagram is now powered by Facebook's huge collection of interest-level user data, and it's easy to understand why retailers are opening up their budgets.
Target is bringing out all the digital (jingle) bells and whistles this year for its holiday campaign, which plays out across Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and other apps. Social makes up 12 percent of its paid media spend, a 30 percent increase over last year.
"Holiday this year represents Target's most ambitious social spend for a single campaign," said Colleen McDuffe, senior director of social media at Target. "For the first time, Target will be leveraging Snapchat to engage our guests during the holidays."
This week, Target is rolling out a Thanksgiving-themed geofilter to all Snapchat users in the U.S. that lets people overlay a branded graphic on top of their photos—and that's just the beginning of Target's plans for geofilters. Starting Dec. 1, a new holiday-themed design will be released each day through Christmas.
The Minneapolis-based retailer is also using Facebook's Canvas e-commerce ads to push sales of a new product called Wonderpacks, craft-activity packs that help families make things like ugly sweaters and mistletoe. A corresponding ad campaign will employ Canvas' full-screen mobile ads to show people what the product looks like.
Additionally, Target is running Instagram takeover ads using the app's self-proclaimed high-impact ad unit Marquee that launched in September. App installs and carousel ads on Facebook are also part of the retailer's mobile ad buy.
"More and more, we know [shoppers] are looking to Facebook for purchase inspiration, especially on their mobile devices," McDuffe said.
In terms of marketing, the holidays are equivalent to the Super Bowl for Macy's. And with more advertising and shopping going digital, the department store has a slew of sophisticated tools up its sleeve this year, particularly on Facebook and Instagram.
Macy's is running promos all day Wednesday via Instagram's 3-month-old offering called Marquee, a takeover-style ad unit that lets brands utilize three clips and hit a large audience. Macy's declined to say how much the holiday campaign costs, but the ads are priced at a premium and can't be bought through Instagram's recently launched API software platform.
"You can tell a piece of the story and then target that customer who engaged with that first ad unit with another element of the story later in the day," said Serena Potter, gvp of digital media strategy at Macy's. "We're able to understand the customer and the audience that engages with our ads within Instagram and retarget them within Facebook."
Macy's is splitting up a three-minute holiday film into 30-second and 15-second videos. Follow-up ads on Facebook will then promote the full three-minute commercial targeted at users who saw the Instagram promos.
The retailer will also specifically target ads at people who are engaging with Black Friday and Cyber Monday content—a feature the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company unveiled last week.
Potter said this year's three-minute spot is longer than the typical videos Macy's creates, so short Instagram ads that tell a snippet of the story are meant to hook people and get them to watch the full piece later on Facebook.
"If they're a little confused and curious, that's great because it's driving them to the three-minute spot," she said.
Here is the Instagram creative and the full three-minute version:
Macy's is also testing Facebook's full-screen mobile ads, Canvas, for e-commerce.
The Canvas ad format is like a mini shopping hub Macy's will use to make its retargeted campaigns (also called dynamic ads) more interactive.
Tapping on an ad in the news feed pulls up a landing page with additional information and similar products. A second clickthrough takes users to Macys.com, where they can buy the item.
In addition to targeting the ads at people who have looked at specific items online, Canvas is a way for people to discover new products they may not know about.
"It gives you that full shopping funnel in one ad unit," Potter said. "Retargeting within Facebook is tremendous and resonates with the customer, but you also want to help the customer discover things that they didn't look at. It's a balance of discovering inspiration and intelligent, relevant, retargeting that will deliver the best results."
Facebook page organic like growth is slowing according to a new report from Locowise.
According to the findings, organic page like growth was 0.2% in October. That’s down from 0.24% in September. For pages with over a million likes, growth was just 0.04%.
Meanwhile, the average post reached just 7.25% of page likes, which is 8.34% less than the 7.91% reach in September. Those with over a million likes reached just 4.25% of page likes on average.
October saw the lowest reach in six months, according to Locowise, which also highlights an “engagement problem” on Facebook:
The engagement rate is at 5.87% of all people reached. This is a 4.55% decline compared to the 6.15% engagement we saw in September. Again here the largest pages had a lower engagement rate by engaging 5.6% of people reached.
October engagement rate is the lowest engagement rate we’ve seen since we started doing these studies. It’s a 11.2% decline since the month of May, which had the best engagement rate.
If you want to generate more viral reach with your Facebook posts, you’ll want to strive for shares over likes and comments, based on new research from Socialbakers, which we look at here.
Facebook has a new app for business chat called Work Chat, which is part of its Facebook at Work program.
You have to have a Facebook at Work account to use the app, and right now, those are only available to select companies.
If you do have one, however, you can use the app to send messages to co-workers or create group chats with multiple co-workers.
The app makes use of Facebook’s chat heads, so you can keep up with conversations as you use other apps. The app also provides a directory of other employees from which you can easily start new conversations.
The ability to turn off notifications is included.
One of the biggest criticisms of Facebook at Work when it first launched was a lack of features like this, so this is certainly a step in the right direction. It likely still has a long way to go to catch up to services like Slack when it comes to team communication, but Facebook turning Messenger into a platform should help a great deal with that as well.
While Facebook’s app is Android only for right now, TechCrunch reports that the iOS version is on the way.
That is the key finding from some recently released research by Socialbakers, which says it is now able to demonstrate that shares directly correlate with viral reach more than any other kind of interaction.
Here are a couple of graphs that do just that, looking at both media and brand posts:
Viral reach, by the way, refers to those who saw a story in their News Feed or Ticker only because of one or more of their friends interacted with it.
According to the findings, there’s a 72% chance that if a Facebook user sees a Media post referred from a Facebook friend interacting with it, the interaction was a comment, but if that person shared it, the percentage goes up to 99.8%. The numbers for brand pages are 28% for comments and 94% for shares.
“Another major finding from our research is that most unique Media impressions come from viral reach – and from their posts being shared,” says Socialbakers social media analyst Phillip Ross. “This fits the general pattern we see in our Promoted Post Detection tool (an exclusive component of our social media analytics tool), that almost all Media engagement is organic. Now, we know that this organic engagement almost certainly comes from content being shared. But for Brands, it’s not the same story. Shares only correlate 55% with unique impressions for Brand posts.”
“Strangely enough, Likes correlate most strongly with overall Brand post impressions,” he adds. “This phenomenon happens for a more obvious reason than it may seem: there are simply more Likes happening to the average Brand post than there are Shares. Keep in mind there’s still a very high correlation between Shares and unique viral impressions – but because viral impressions only make up 6% of all Brand impressions, most Brand post impressions that come from social referrals will come from Likes. The lesson here is clear: To get friends of your target audience to see your branded content – and to get the broadest reach possible on Facebook – your content must be shareable.”
Socialbakers also shared this video of its executive chairman talking about engagement data of publishers, which the firm says brands should be looking to for inspiration when it comes to shareable content.
The advice here essentially amounts to following BuzzFeed and Business Insider to see how to do content for social media.
A Facebook spokesperson was recently quoted as saying, “Over the past two years, we’ve seen referral traffic to publishers from Facebook grow significantly, nearly across the board. As the number of posts to Facebook has increased substantially over the past few months, there has been a corresponding increase in the amount of potential posts to show any one person, which impacts reach. In this newly competitive landscape, we’re seeing results vary by publisher: some are experiencing continued growth in referral traffic while others have seen declines. On the whole, referrals to the top 1,000 publishers are at the same level today as they were in January.”
Clearly, businesses need to be creating content that people want to share with others, and should be going out of their way to encourage people to do just that. Does your content only display Facebook’s like button and not the share button? That’s a good place to start.
We recently looked at some findings indicating that short and sweet Facebook posts tend to drive more traffic to websites. More on that here.
Do you focus on getting shares over likes? Do you post content that emulates that of the media? Discuss.