Black Friday Mobile Conversions Finally Surpassed Desktop on Facebook

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Mobile commerce through Facebook continued its upward dominance of the 2016 holiday shopping season, beating out desktop conversions for the first time to account for 51 percent of all transactions.

According to research released this morning by Facebook, mobile transactions on Black Friday increased 55 percent year-over-year. For the entire holiday season, mobile accounted for 51 percent of all conversions through Facebook—a 10-point increase over 2015. (In fact, 38 percent of those surveyed said they wished they could do even more of their shopping on mobile.)

Much of that time spent shopping is when users are on the go. According to Facebook, mobile conversions rose by 21 percent between the commuting hours of 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., surpassing desktop conversions around 5 p.m. The results also seem to confirm Facebook research released in July, which predicted shoppers should be spending more time shopping on their phones than in previous years.

"I'm going shopping has been replaced by 'I'm always shopping,'" said Ann Mack, Facebook's head of content and activation.

According to Facebook-commissioned research conducted by Kantar, 30 percent of those surveyed reported using Facebook to discover a new product in the past month, while one in three said Facebook and Instagram were good places to find out about new products and services.

While that's obviously good for Facebook to hear, it's also good news for marketers spending money on those platforms to promote their products and services.

Facebook data points out that those in the U.S. now use their mobile phones for 4.5 hours a day. Global Apple iPhone data shows that time is often split into as many as 80 separate moments in time. Mobile conversions also are faster than desktop, shoppers take 1.08 fewer days to buy something than they do on desktop.

"The experience of shopping on mobile hasn't quite matched the expectation of the mobile consumer," said Katie Duffy, content manager for Facebook Global Consumer Insights. "People are hacking their own shopping journeys and creating micro-efficiencies."

While the holidays might fly by for many and go dreadfully slow for others, Facebook IQ uncovered another time-bending trend. Users felt like time spent on mobile elapsed more quickly than they realized—even faster than on desktop. To determine this, Facebook shows two videos to research participants—one with neutral subject matter and another with something more entertaining—on both a smartphone and a desktop. Results showed people viewing a video on a smartphone on average felt like the videos were 33 percent shorter than on desktop.

"What that tells us is regardless of content, whether it's informational or humorous, people's perception of time moves faster on their smartphone," Duffy said.

But it's apparently not just perception that's moving faster. People are moving through their feeds faster as well. According to Facebook, users scroll through their mobile feed at an average rate of 1.7 seconds per piece of content compared to 2.5 seconds on desktop. But while they're consuming it faster, they're also apparently retaining it faster as well. According to a Fors-Marsh test, people can recall mobile news feed content after just .25 seconds of exposure.

"It speaks to how marketers should approach mobile in a very different way," Mack said. "They should lead with the brand up front (and) really appeal to people who are moving at a much faster pace."

January 20th 2017 Facebook, Mobile, Technology

Timehop founder Jon Wegener replaced as CEO by design lead Matt Raoul

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timehop Some changes at the top of Timehop, the quirky app that shows you reminders of photos and other content that you’ve taken and posted on Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram and Flickr or from your camera roll. TechCrunch has learned and confirmed that Jon Wegener, who co-founded the company with Benny Wong, has stepped down as CEO. He has been replaced… Read More

January 15th 2017 Facebook

Weekly Roundup: Claims surface on Trump’s dealings with Russia, Yahoo splits into Altaba

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marissa mayer As part of the Verizon acquisition, Yahoo has split itself into an investment unit called Altaba and is now waiting for Verizon to undertake its remaining assets. Amazon announced a plan to create 100,000 U.S. jobs, and memos about Trump’s dealings with Russia surfaced this week. You can receive this post in your inbox by signing up here. Read More

January 14th 2017 Facebook, yahoo

The Facebook Audience Network Now Serves Ads to 1 Billion People Each Month

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While Facebook has had 1 billion users on its social network for quite some time, it now has more than 1 billion people viewing its advertising network.

Today, the company announced that more than 1 billion people see an ad thorough its Facebook Audience Network every month. The company says the total—which is primarily a mobile audience—allows advertisers who opt into the network to reach 16 percent more than they can on Facebook's flagship project. FAN, as its called, lets advertisers reach consumers off of Facebook while still still using the same targeting data.

FAN has grown quickly over the past year. In January 2016, Facebook added in the mobile web to its audience network, and in the Q4 2015, it already was on track to have an annual advertising run rate of $1 billion.

"We talk about reaching a billion people every month, and these are real people," said Brian Boland, vp of publisher solutions at Facebook. "We're not talking about cookies or browsers or devices or ID, where one person can look like six things. We're talking about legitimately 1 billion people that can be reached on the audience network."

Facebook has also been adding more publishers along the way, announcing today the addition of publishers including Wenner Media and The Washington Post. Other newly added global publishers include Blackberry Messenger in Indonesia, the Daily Mirror in the United Kingdom, Univision in the U.S. and India Today Group in India.

Boland said advertisers are also seeing better results than they do on just Facebook itself. He mentioned a campaign by Visa that was aimed at promoting Visa Checkout for paying online. By advertising on FAN, he said Visa expanded reach by 15 percent, an in another activation, Visa's customer acquisition was more than 2.5 times as cost efficient. In a campaign for Universal Music, Facebook's audience network drove brand lift awareness by 10 percent.

While 83 percent of ads running through the audience network are native, Boland said video is quickly growing as well. He said video consumption at the end of 2016 was up more than 10 times what it was at the beginning of last year. While Facebook is touting its 1 billion mark, it's tough to tell how quickly FAN—which opened to marketers in October 2014—got to where it is today. Boland declined to provide any benchmarks for how many people viewed FAN ads prior to today.

Facebook has also been extending the measurement capabilities. In November, Facebook announced it was beginning to wind down its Atlas ad serving platform and would fold it into measurement offerings instead.

"Measurement is the most important thing for advertisers to get right in the next couple of years," Boland said.

January 13th 2017 Facebook, Mobile, Technology

Suddenly, Home Automation Is All the Rage Among Millennial Men on Facebook

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Maybe the era of the Internet of Things is upon us. Chatter about home automation has recently increased by more than eight times year over year on Facebook, mostly driven by the chatter of millennial men.

The terms "security" and "security alarm" are among the associated topics with home automation on Facebook. So brands like ADT and Frontpoint may want to take note in planning to target young dudes who own homes. Marketers for Amazon Echo and FitBit—both IoT subjects that are also trending—should consider these findings as well.

We learned these things from Facebook IQ's latest data chart called Topics to Watch, which is designed to help marketers know what subjects to look out for on the social network. The topics are based on trending data, and Adweek readers get an exclusive look at them each month.

The latest edition also includes interesting insights to the trending subjects of downtempo music and tunics/fashion accessories. 

Check out the full findings of this month's Topics to Watch below:


Facebook IQ's predictive tools analyze the long-term consistent growth of a topic on Facebook. Using data from hundreds of thousands of conversations, the social network said it's able to forecast what discussions will continue to escalate based on how other topics normally trend upward in volume, variance and rates of consistent growth. When predicting whether chatter around specific topics will increase, Facebook stated that early tests have been 80 percent accurate.

January 13th 2017 Facebook, Social Media, Technology

Facebook is censoring posts in Thailand that the government has deemed unsuitable

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., Thursday, April 4, 2013. Zuckerberg says the company is not building a phone or an operating system. Rather, Facebook is introducing  a new experience for Android phones. The idea behind the new Home service is to bring content right to you, rather than require people to check apps on the device.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) For millions of people, Facebook is the internet — but many of those who rely on the social network for news and views may not be aware that Facebook isn’t immune to internet censorship itself. Read More

January 12th 2017 Facebook

Small Business Owners: Use These Tips to Increase Website Traffic from Social Media

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For the past decade, many small business marketers have taken an “If you build it, they will come” approach to Facebook. They share engaging content, encourage conversation, and optimize their Facebook page to meet their goals. Unfortunately, too often the expected outcome doesn’t quite match the reality:

Facebook has an average of 1.71 billion active users a month—that’s an audience worth addressing. Yet business owners struggle to convert Facebook users into organic traffic to their websites.

Business app discovery platform GetApp recently surveyed 500 owners of small and medium-sized businesses. Less than 30% of respondents reported that Facebook was moderately to extremely effective at driving organic traffic to their sites. By contrast, 20.1% rated it slightly effective, and over 25% said it was not effective at all.

If you’re a small business owner and Facebook is the focus of your marketing efforts, it may be time to branch out. Here are a few ways to use a little strategy and a small budget to increase traffic to your website.

#1: Make Sure Your Shares Encourage Website Traffic

Some businesses do a great job creating a fun, relatable feed. They have memes. They use emoji in a cool, not cringe-worthy way. They even share valuable content from around the web.

All of that is great for building your audience on Facebook. But it’s not enough to build a hip Facebook page, put your URL in the sidebar, and watch the clicks roll in. Make sure to regularly share content hosted on your website, with an eye-catching visual and a summary that compels a click.

If you’re already doing that, keep reading for more tips. But if you haven’t been explicitly, actively, repeatedly encouraging your Facebook audience to visit your site, this is an easy win.

#2: Use a Little Strategic Paid Promotion

“Stellar work, Nite,” I hear you say. “So the way to generate more organic traffic is to pay for traffic?”

Hear me out, though. Organic traffic is free(ish), and that’s great. It’s wonderful when people opt to look at your content. But what’s better is traffic from a more relevant audience of your choosing. Facebook makes it easy to get results with a really small budget.

Take your top-performing organic content—the post that already has likes and shares, so you know people like it—and put $5 behind it. Target it to a specific audience that is valuable to you. Most importantly, use the “Create a Lookalike Audience” option to reach a new audience.

Keep a close eye on your $5 investment and use what you learn to optimize the next round. The small investment is worth it, if it pays off in more relevant traffic. As you attract a new audience, you can start to pull them from Facebook to your own site.

#3: Turn Facebook Followers into Subscribers

As Content Marketing Institute Founder Joe Pulizzi puts it, “Don’t build your house on rented land.” As long as your audience is exclusively on Facebook (or any other social media platform), the platform determines how and when you can reach them. If Facebook has a choice between allowing you organic reach or demanding a ransom—well, you can guess which way they’ll go.

So when you share links to your site’s content on Facebook, make sure there are prominent opportunities to subscribe. Whether it’s to your blog feed or a weekly newsletter, give your audience the option to opt in.

You can also add a Subscribe button to your Facebook Page. When you’re logged in as the page, you will see the “Add a Button” option right under your header image. Choose the “Sign Up” button and link it to a subscription landing page.

Make sure the page has a quick but compelling statement of benefit and very little else—just a quick form to fill out and a big shiny Subscribe button.

#4: Look to LinkedIn*

If your business is B2B, Facebook is likely not the best fit for a primary marketing focus. LinkedIn tends to be a better place for B2B business to build an audience and generate leads—according to research, 80% of B2B leads are sourced through the platform.

LinkedIn isn’t exclusively for B2B, however. You can create a Company Page and build an audience for your B2C company as well. You can also use long-form posts on LinkedIn to promote your personal thought leadership. Use the platform to build credibility and visibility that can transfer to your business. Great content leads to more profile views, and you can construct your profile to lead visitors to your business’ website.

Do You Believe in Life after Facebook?

Facebook can still be a good place to build an audience and boost your business’ brand awareness. But don’t rely on likes and follows to do any heavy lifting. Make sure what you share on your feed is strategically created to encourage action. Don’t be afraid to invest $5-10 every few weeks on targeted promotion, or to try other social media platforms better suited to your company’s offerings. Finally, the end goal should be to amass an audience on your own site, not someone else’s platform.

*Disclosure: LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing Client.

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January 11th 2017 Facebook, Social Media

Facebook to Enable Mid-Roll Ads in User Posted Videos

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Facebook is finally bringing monetization to videos that are posted by its users, letting video makers include mid-roll ads, according to Recode. “Industry sources say the social network is going to start testing a new “mid-roll” ad format, which will give video publishers the chance to insert ads into their clips after people have watched them for at least 20 seconds.”

Facebook is careful to match the same ad payout to publishers (55%) as YouTube, which we suspect is to avoid an ad payment war with its video platform rival. Facebook will differentiate its videos by serving a mid-roll ad instead of the dreaded pre-roll that most videos include. However, on YouTube the pre-roll ads can be discontinued by clicking “skip ad” after 5 seconds. It will be interesting to see if Facebook offers a similar way to end the ad interruption.

Facebook has been focused on video for the last few years, and at one point a Facebook executive said that “Facebook will be all video within 5 years.”

“Over the past six months we have been particularly focused on Live video. Live represents a new way to share what’s happening in more immediate and creative ways,” Zuckerberg said earlier this year. “This quarter Candace Payne’s Chewbacca mask video was viewed almost 160 million times.”

Not everybody is happy about Facebook’s video advertising plans:

The post Facebook to Enable Mid-Roll Ads in User Posted Videos appeared first on WebProNews.

January 10th 2017 Facebook, video

Mark Zuckerberg’s 2017 Challenge Is Visiting and Meeting People In All 50 States

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Mark Zuckerberg has posted his 2017 personal challenge, and it’s pretty easy compared to his previous challenges such as running 365 miles, building an system AI for his home or learning Mandarin. This year he’s committed to visiting the 30 states he hasn’t been to yet and meeting people that are working and living in those states.

“My personal challenge for 2017 is to have visited and met people in every state in the US by the end of the year,” writes Zuckerberg. “I’ve spent significant time in many states already, so I’ll need to travel to about 30 states this year to complete this challenge. After a tumultuous last year, my hope for this challenge is to get out and talk to more people about how they’re living, working and thinking about the future.”

He said that he and his wife Priscilla have visited many cities throughout the world in 2016 and now are “excited to explore more of our country and meet more people here” in the US. He seems to be reacting to the election somewhat when he writes about a “greater sense of divsion.”

“Going into this challenge, it seems we are at a turning point in history. For decades, technology and globalization have made us more productive and connected. This has created many benefits, but for a lot of people it has also made life more challenging. This has contributed to a greater sense of division than I have felt in my lifetime. We need to find a way to change the game so it works for everyone.”

“My work is about connecting the world and giving everyone a voice,” said Zuckerberg. “I want to personally hear more of those voices this year. It will help me lead the work at Facebook and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative so we can make the most positive impact as the world enters an important new period.”

“My trips this year will take different forms — road trips with Priscilla, stops in small towns and universities, visits to our offices across the country, meetings with teachers and scientists, and trips to fun places you recommend along the way.”

“I’ve enjoyed doing these challenges with our community and I’ll post tomorrow about how everyone around the world can join in. I’m looking forward to this challenge and I hope to see you out there!”

The post Mark Zuckerberg’s 2017 Challenge Is Visiting and Meeting People In All 50 States appeared first on WebProNews.

January 4th 2017 Facebook, Social Media

2016 Africa roundup: drone delivery, VC, unicorns, exits and Zuck

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zuck-juliana-rotich-gearbox-paygo-1 Twenty-sixteen was a pivotal year for African tech. The continent’s IT scene attracted major investment, produced its first $1 billion startup, launched a national drone delivery program, and drew one of Silicon Valley’s biggest icons to tour its innovation hubs. Read More

December 30th 2016 Facebook