Have you taken a look at your Facebook business page lately – not just on your desktop computer or tablet but also via your smartphone?
Facebook now (Q1 2014) has more than a billion monthly active users who visit the site via mobile device, representing 79% of total Facebook active users, so if your Facebook page doesn’t look as smart as it should on mobile, you just could be discouraging three-quarters of your prospective customers/followers.
Facebook Cover Image Dimensions Have Changed
The most important visual element of your Facebook page is your Cover Image, which sits at the top of the page welcoming visitors. Below, you’ll see the real estate you have to play with (we’ve borrowed a template from these fine folks and added a few extra bits and pieces of our own).
Looks complicated doesn’t it? The key point that you need to note is that the true active area that you have to play with (the area that should be safe on both mobile and desktop) is just 563 pixels wide by 175 pixels deep.
Yes, it’s a relatively small proportion of that seemingly glorious cover space, 851 pixels by 315 pixels, but the rest of your image is at risk of being covered by your profile photo, the title or category of your page or the like, follow and message boxes (except of course for the left and right-hand sides of the image, which simply won’t be displayed on mobile).
You still need to surround that active area with other imagery that reflects your brand values – but understand that most of that real estate is likely to vanish. A mobile visitor will never see it, while a desktop traveller may see only some.
Facebook Cover Images: Before And After
Here (gulp!) is what our Netmarketing Courses Facebook page, optimised for Facebook’s 2013 design, looked like under these new design parameters. Note that our subtitle “online training courses for businesses” was partly obscured by the profile picture.
The mobile view was far worse:
So we gave our cover image an extreme makeover, shedding many of the design elements in favour of a centred logo, with the result below. It won’t win any awards but at least it communicates what we do (and we’re no longer losing any of the information featured in the image).
A quick look at the page on mobile shows that we’ve achieved our branding goals there as well.
It’s time for you to take another look at your Facebook page (start with your mobile device, ideally through the dedicated Facebook app) and see if you still scrub up as well as you should.
Time and again, we’ve seen that Social Media amplifies – sometimes for good, too often for bad or worse. Say something stupid in social media and there’s a better than even chance that the whole world will find out about it, far sooner than you think.
There’s really only one solution (and even that’s not guaranteed): learn what you should and shouldn’t say on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, LinkedIn and all those other social networks. Get some training before it’s too late.
So how do you know if you need social media training?
If your organisation exhibits any of these classic errors.
Social Media Warning Signs
Get yourself social media training fastif your business makes any of these mistakes:
1. Asking open-ended questions (and then ignoring the responses)
2. Getting into an argument and insulting your customers and followers
It was the customer service disaster heard around the Internet. An Arizona restaurateur, fed up after years of negative online reviews and an embarrassing appearance on a reality television show, posted a social media rant laced with salty language and angry, uppercase letters that quickly went viral, to the delight of people who love a good Internet meltdown.
3. Not replying to questions and comments on your social media platforms.
Too many brands simply ignore what’s being said to them, with entirely predictable results. This graph from SocialBakers shows which industries are the best (and worst) at responding:
4. All you talk about in social media is yourself
Only 10% of what you talk about in social media should be yourself and your own products or services. The rest of your discussions should be about things that matter to your followers. Don’t be like this Donut shop, constantly posting meaningless pictures of donuts and drinks to an audience that couldn’t care less (3416 followers but less than a dozen likes per image).
5. Nobody’s talking about you
As you may have heard, Facebook is dialing back its organic reach. What that means, in a nutshell, is that even if someone likes your Facebook brand page, it’s most unlikely that they will see your posts in their newsfeed. That means, to all intents and purposes, that you’re invisible to your followers — unless (a) you promote your posts to them; or (b) you write posts that are sufficiently interesting and engaging that they get shared by the few that do see them (and thus get out to a wider audience).
The Star Wars page on Facebook, for example, despite 11 million followers, was only averaging around 15,000 weekly talks — until May the Fourth (“be with you”), when interest surged and more than a quarter of a million people found Star Wars worth talking about again on Facebook.
6. Everybody’s talking about you (but not in a good way)
Justine Sacco, head of public relations for UK media giant IAC, flew towards Africa in December 2013, blissfully unaware of the uproar caused by her final tweet before boarding her 12-hour flight.
Even though Ms Sacco had a mere 200 followers, the tweet went viral even while she was flying. Her tweet was universally condemned as racist, resulting in the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet trending worldwide. Unsurprisingly, Ms Sacco lost her job, her former employer apologised profusely and several AIDS charities received donations from appalled twitterati.
7. You post too often (or too seldom)
How often should you post to your social networks? That depends on (a) your networks; and (b) your followers.
If you’re posting to Twitter, for example, and reaching out to a business audience, then posting (variations on the same information) at three-hour intervals during the business day is acceptable — very few will see more than one post, given the transient nature of Twitter.
On the other hand, posting to a consumer audience via Facebook should be less frequent, because posts are likely to linger more there. Take a look at your Facebook page Insights data (via your Page Manager dashboard) and view “When Your Fans Are Online” (under “Posts”).
Post perhaps twice a day, at times that coincide with most of your fans being online.
Once you realise you need Social Media Training
We would be remiss if we didn’t point you to our range of social media courses: overview here.
If you want a comprehensive overview of Social Media Marketing, its principles and its practices, start here
If you want a rundown of the latest developments, check out our Advanced Social Media Marketing course here
If you want to market your business on Facebook but don’t know how, our Complete Facebook Marketing course is the place to start
If you’re already active on Facebook but think you could be doing it better, our Facebook Accelerator course could be the one for you
If you operate in the B2B space, we strongly recommend you learnHow To Use LinkedIn Effectively
If you plan to use social media but won’t be hands-on yourself, you should take a look at our course covering How To Prepare An Effective Social Media Brief
Another year, and by now you probably think you have a pretty good understanding of Social Media.
Perhaps so. Then you won’t mind if we put that to the test, will you?
Strap yourself in as we take you on a journey through 14 Social Media Facts, Frivolities, Forecasts, Fails and Fallacies you need to know as we plunge into 2014:
FACT: LinkedIn Kiwi visitor numbers grew by a very impressive 53% over the most recent 12 month period. The site grew from 520,000 in December 2012 to 798,000 in November 2013, according to comScore. Two thirds of Kiwi LinkedIn visitors are over the age of 35.
FALLACY: that teens are abandoning Facebook.Mashable has just weighed in on the topic: “Facebook may have a teen problem. Maybe. Facebook does, however, have a media problem around the now widely adopted perception that teens are abandoning the site, or using it less. Or something. Nobody seems quite sure.” Actually, if we compare (via Nielsen Online Ratings) the numbers of Kiwi Under 25s who visited Facebook in March 2013 (754,000) versus September 2013 (675,000), there’s clearly a decline but hardly a rout.
FAIL: the online world held its collective breath in December 2013 as Justine Sacco, head of public relations for UK media giant IAC, flew towards Africa blissfully unaware of the uproar caused by her final tweet before boarding her flight. The tweet (you can view it here) was universally condemned as racist, resulting in the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet trending worldwide. Unsurprisingly, Ms Sacco lost her job, her former employer apologised profusely and several AIDS charities received donations from appalled twitterati.
FRIVOLITY: YouTube’s Top 10 Trending Videos of 2013included Foxes, trucks, animals, babies — and the Chatroulette version of Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball.Caution, may be NSFAWAASOH [Not Suitable For Anyone Without An Adolescent Sense Of Humour]
FORECAST: Advertorial is back in fashion for 2014, but this time it goes by the trendy new label “native advertising”. Why is it back? Because consumers are more likely to trust content that looks like editorial. Why the new name? Umm — if we were cynical, we’d be inclined to suggest a little bit of smoke and mirrors might be involved. There’s a useful Pros & Cons of Native Advertising article here.
FACT: Google continues to integrate its social layer throughout the search giant’s operations. In December 2013, that integration included the trial of a whole new breed of social ads: as we noted a few weeks ago, Google is doing a thing that was probably inevitable with its social network Google+: It’s testing a new +Post ad system in the form of promoted posts that translates public Google+ content from their brand sites into a display ad that can run across Google’s Display Ad network. The big benefit: the new offering provides a way for those who see the ads to reshare content directly from the ad, leave a comment or question that will be answerable via its G+ account, or even start a Hangout instantly to chat with someone live.
FALLACY: That Likes are what matter on Facebook. There’s been a bit of press noise in recent months about major NZ marketers who have amassed plenty of likes on Facebook. Good for them, but we’re more interested in those marketers who are effectively engaging with their Facebook followers (the stat that Facebook calls “People Talking About This”. For example, we wrote (back in August) about Made4Baby, This Kiwi brand, which provides natural skincare for babies & children, at the time had only 2,457 Likes but was talked about by 14,300 in a single week, representing 584.2% Engagement — nearly six times as many people talking about the Facebook page as it has followers. Now that’s what we call social marketing!
FORECAST: 70% of small businesses plan to use the Facebook mobile app for business development and marketing in 2014, according to a MarketingProfs survey. That’s not surprising: 73% of Facebook’s monthly active users now connect to the social network through their mobile devices, according to Facebook reports. That has particular implications for Facebook advertising: standard Facebook ads (those that show up on the right hand side of the page on the Facebook website) don’t display on mobile.
FAIL: Nokia New Zealand tweeted a mysterious obscenity to its followers in November 2013. The offending tweet was promptly deleted and quickly followed by an apology and a promise to investigate. The company later said a hacker was the likely culprit. Are your social media passwords safe and mostly uncrackable?
FRIVOLITY: Those who do best on Twitter: celebrities. For proof, look no further than the most popular Twitter accounts. Right now, Katy Perry is on top of the world, with more than 49 million followers, followed closely by Justin Bieber on 48.6 million. Lady Gaga is next, with more than 41 million hanging on her every word. The most powerful man in the world, US President Barack Obama, could barely manage fourth place with his 40.9 million followers. Top New Zealand celebrity: teen sensation Lorde, with a mere 817,000 followers (still well ahead of what we would call the biggest New Zealand celebrity brand, the All Blacks (289,987 followers). Perhaps Tourism New Zealand (53,615 followers) could sponsor Lorde’s Twitter account?
FACT: Facebook is killing Sponsored Stories from April this year — but fret not, Facebook marketers, the social network will still leverage its knowledge of its users, just differently. The changes, according to ReadWrite, “were in large part due to a lawsuit against Facebook claiming sponsored stories violated user privacy. The crux of the $20 million lawsuit Facebook settled in August 2013 hinged on the social network using users’ likeness in advertising without asking or compensating them.” However “social context — stories about social actions your friends have taken, such as liking a page or checking in to a restaurant — is now eligible to appear next to all ads shown to friends on Facebook”.
FAIL: Twitter Vine users are filming a scary amount of video footage while driving.Mashablereports that “Whether to yell at crazy drivers or poke fun at unknowing passersby, Vine users are watching and filming their own Vine videos behind the wheel. ‘I speculate that video recording with Vine might cause more visual distraction than voice calling or speech-based conversation,’ says Jibo He, assistant professor of psychology at Wichita State University.” You think?
FALLACY: Establish a Presence Everywhere On. Every. Single. Social. Network. That ranks amongst one of the worst pieces of social media advice you will ever hear, according to Sharon Michaels. She makes the point that there are just too many social networks out there, and suggests instead that “The saner thing to do would be to take stock of your market, resources, and objectives, choose 3-4 social platforms that your audience is most active on, and use them dedicatedly. For instance, if your business deals with travel, interior designing, landscaping, or fashion, Pinterest would be a lot more useful as compared to LinkedIn. However, the latter makes for an invaluable resource if you are offering products and services for business professionals.”
FORECAST: Investment in Social Media in 2014 will become a necessity, not a luxury. Forbes Magazine argues that “Businesses are already coming to terms with the need to integrate their social media efforts with their content strategy, and are seeing the impact of social media in terms of lead generation, referral traffic, and revenue. As businesses see these very real and measurable benefits, I believe we’ll see a move away from assigning social media tasks to existing employees, and see even more companies hiring social media strategists or full-time social media managers.”
We could go on, but we think that’s best left to our various courses:
If you’d like to know more about how to use social media effectively for your business (big or small), check out our Principles & Practice of Social Media course (next course starts Monday Jan 27, Early Bird $100 discount for bookings received by Monday Jan 20).
If you’d like specific details of what’s happening on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, LinkedIn, YouTube and much more, sign up for our Advanced Social Media Marketing course (next course starts Wednesday Jan 29, Early Bird $100 discount for bookings received by Wednesday Jan 22).
If you’d like to know about how social media and mobile marketing work together, take a look at our Principles & Practice of Mobile Marketing course (next course starts Wednesday Jan 29, Early Bird $100 discount for bookings received by Wednesday Jan 22).
If you don’t have a Facebook page for your business but think you really should, start with our Complete Facebook Marketing course (next course starts Wednesday Jan 22, Early Bird $100 discount for bookings received by Wednesday Jan 15).
On the other hand, if you already have a Facebook business page, we recommend our Facebook Acceleratorcourse to help you take your page to the next level (next course starts Wednesday Jan 22, Early Bird $100 discount for bookings received by Wednesday Jan 29).
If you haven’t already mastered Social Media Marketing, you’re missing out on a vital weapon in your marketing arsenal.
Not yet convinced? Check out these key statistics which show why you should be marketing in Social Media in 2014:
90% of Kiwis between 18 and 39 now use social media (Colmar Brunton research, July 2013)
Facebook alone reaches 75% of 35-54s in a typical month(Nielsen Online Ratings, September 2013)
Older audiences can be found there too. 70% of those in the 60-64 age group use social media, as do 66% of those aged 65-69 and 58% of those over 70(Colmar Brunton research, July 2013)
A word of warning:Social Media Marketing is not just a matter of tossing a few ads on Facebook. “Kiwi social media users are open to connecting with brands but brands must have a good reason to be using social media understand who they’re engaging with, and what they’re interested in. Overt advertising on social media is seen as intrusive – 78% of people don’t like advertisements on social media and that rises to 82% when it is on mobiles or tablets.” (Colmar Brunton Innovation and Business Development Director Vanessa Clark)
Social Media is not just for connecting with friends.40% of New Zealanders have been contacted about a potential job opportunity via a social media network and 17% of New Zealand respondents had successfully secured a new job opportunity in this way (Kelly Global Workforce Index, November 2013)
Kiwis use Social Media for purchase recommendations. 85% of buying decisions are made by researching the web for recommendations and information. 92% of Kiwis trust recommendations from their peers.(Localist, November 2013)
They’re very frequent visitors. 24% of Kiwis use their 4G smartphone or tablet to check social media apps at least 20 times a day(Vodafone 4G Network Report, November 2013)
Social media is now considered more important than traditional print advertising in [industries such as] the food and beverage industry (Grant Thornton International Food and Beverage report, October 2013)
“Social media has increased the speed of delivery of the message to market, enabling adaptability and a quick reaction time, but only if the organisation is geared up for it.An online presence can be a game changer for companies operating in a country like New Zealand, where retailer power is concentrated.” (Grant Thornton New Zealand Partner and National Leader, Food and Beverage, Simon Hunter)
Male business owners (in particular) need to lift their social media game. Over a quarter of women SME operators (27%) use a social media site to promote their business, compared to 21% of men. (MYOB Business Monitor, August 2013)
Mastering social media can lead to more effective business development too. 92% of business people say that networking is a key part of professional development and business success, but only 8% of respondents chose social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn as their preferred method of networking. (The Icehouse survey, August 2013)
Social Media drives Engagement with Consumers. “The X Factor NZ has become the most socialised television show in New Zealand listeners, the show’s Facebook community numbers 109,000 fans (and counting), with up to 70,000 people actively talking about the programme at any one time, and individual status updates having an organic reach of 300,000 users.” (TV3, July 2013)
Have we made our case about the strategic importance of Social Media Marketing? Then may we recommend that you take advantage of our special Summer School offer of a 25% discount on one or more of our online training courses.
The special Summer School editions of each course begin on Friday December 20.
How the Summer School works: on the first day of each course, we send you login and password details, at which point you are able to access all lessons. Then twice a week over the next several weeks we send you Course Notes for each Lesson.
Please note that you are able to access the course anytime 24/7, and can proceed at your own pace through the course — the course remains online for you to access when convenient.
Here are the course details (click through for more information):
The Principles & Practice of Social Media Marketing
This is a seven-part eCourse providing a comprehensive introduction to Social Media Marketing, from the Basics to detailed instructions on how to build and run a Social Media Marketing programme.
For more details of the Summer School special offer for our Social Media Marketing online course, please click here.
Advanced Social Media Marketing course
Because Social Media never stands still, we’ve developed a course that has as its focus the very latest developments in the medium. This course is designed for those who already have a solid understanding of Social Media Marketing and wish to keep themselves as up-to-date as possible. The course covers the latest happenings on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus, LinkedIn, YouTube and a great deal more.
For more details of the Summer School special offer for our Advanced Social Media Marketingprogramme, please click here.
Facebook Accelerator Programme
So you have a few hundred (or a few thousand) followers on Facebook but now you want to know how to get to the next level? Our Facebook Accelerator seven-part online course will lead you through the steps necessary to supercharge your Facebook presence and get Kiwi consumers engaging with you and your brands.
For more details of the Summer School special offer for ourFacebook Accelerator programme, please click here.
Our online course, “Mastering eCommerce”, tells you what you need to know about selling effectively online in a seven-week programme that steps you through the principles and practices of eCommerce in New Zealand.
For more details of the Summer School special offer for ourMastering eCommerce programme, please click here.
The Complete Facebook Marketing Course
For those who wish to master Facebook Marketing in its entirety, we’ve created a ten-week online training programme which will take you from absolute beginner on Facebook to highly effective Facebook communicator.
For more details of the Summer School special offer for ourComplete Facebook Marketing programme, please click here.
How to Use LinkedIn Effectively – For Your Business And Your Career
This is a seven-part online training eCourse providing a comprehensive introduction to LinkedIn, from the basics to detailed instructions on how to use LinkedIn to promote your organisation, build your personal reputation, find a job, recruit prospective employees and even make sales.
For more details of the Summer School special offer for ourHow to Use LinkedIn Effectively programme, please click here.
Don’t get left behind! Get your marketing knowledge up to speed for 2014 with one of our Summer School courses!
The existing News Feed displays a mash-up of posts from friends alongside Facebook pages you’ve liked . Those posts include check-ins, photos, videos, and status updates in some arcane order determined by an algorithm. The updated News Feed, by contrast, separates types of content, and lets users choose to view only photos, or only music, or only updates from businesses like yours—in other words, the pages they’ve liked.
One of the biggest changes to the design is the way it handles music. There’s a new feed to deal only with music-related stuff. You just choose the feed from a feeds drop-down list at the top right of the page.
The Spotify music your friends are listening to is now featured in the music feed. Facebook has moved your friends’ song listens out of the old ticker at the right hand side of the screen, and into the music feed.
And Facebook is doing a lot more with those Spotify listens. It looks for artists and songs that multiple friends are listening to and groups them together in an article in the news feed. The article contains a large picture of the artist, and at the left you can see all your friends who’ve listened to the artist lately. Mouse over any of the pictures and you can see what those people said about the artist.
The Following feed
Some of these themes are continued in other feeds. In the Following feed, Facebook now builds media rich articles using content from the pages of publications or public figures you like. For instance, if you follow the Onion’s page, you might see an article in your feed with the three most recent articles from the publication. Each article has its own image, and a 20-word summary. You might also find in-page videos of public figures you follow.
The Photos feed
The Photos feed simply displays all the posts that include photographs. The photos appear larger in the feed, as well as the text around them. Even the text in the comments boxes below the photos appears to be a little bit bigger than before. At the top of the Photos feed page, you’ll find a small header image that incorporates one of the images from your feed. (Actually, all the new feeds pages have these header images.)
2. Larger Pictures for More Visual Impact
Images are to be given much more priority in the new-look News Feed, for which we can probably thank Pinterest and Instagram (and the fact that, as revealed by Mark Zuckerberg, 50 percent of the content in the Facebook News Feed already comprises photos and videos). Little wonder, then, that the News Feed is being given a visual makeover.
Here’s what you’ll see if you look at a typical Facebook News Feed now:
And how it will look once the revamp rolls out:
3. Facebook Albums Look Better Too
4. New Look For Shared Stories
Perhaps the most dramatic change is to the way that links are shared on Facebook. You’ll be familar with the current appearance:
The new Sharing layout resembles (and was probably inspired by) the table of contents of a magazine. The new look includes:
A much larger image
A more prominent title
And a longer summary that tells you what this article is about
Facebook is also starting to add the logos of the publishers in the corner, its own effort to add authority and credibility to the shared content.
5. Desktop Mobilised
This visual makeover will see Facebook adopt similar layouts across both desktop and mobile, taking advantage of recent mobile styling.
What About The Marketers?
Collectively, the changes add up to a bold new look to the Facebook News Feed, at least for consumers. But where are marketers in all this?
AdWeekreported on the reaction from the marketing industry:
Many marketers gleefully anticipated that the content-specific feeds that Facebook was reportedly prepping would improve their ability to target ads. But when Facebook announced the new feeds on Thursday, advertisers were all but shut out—many of them feeling none too happy about it. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company has yet to determine how it wants to handle ads in the four new feeds.
The ability to target, say, image-rich ads to the Photos feed, or promote a brand-related jingle to the Music Feed ads would be “definitely a great opportunity for advertisers. I don’t know why they’re not making that available right now,” said Performics global CEO Daina Middleton.
Facebook isn’t leaving Madison Avenue completely in the dark. After the announcement, the company emailed marketers with a follow-up overview of the new feeds and design “and said right now ad units aren’t going to change,” said iCrossing’s head of social media Amanda Peters, who received such an email.
Despite that outreach, “I was surprised that there wasn’t any mention of ad units [during Thursday’s announcement],” Peters said. “I think [the new feeds] do present an opportunity for new units and potentially more dynamic units, more targeted units for specific feeds. My guess is that would come very soon.”
But maybe marketers shouldn’t be surprised about a lack of initial ad talk, given past Facebook announcements regarding product changes, said MEC managing partner and social practice lead Kristine Segrist.
“I feel like historically whether it was Timeline or other big platform changes, they roll out the user experience first, get some learnings, test it in the wild, then roll out the accompanying ad products,” she said. However “the scary story for marketers is whether users have newfound controls and can choose to spend time where brands or businesses can’t be part of the conversation.”
“There will be a section of the new News Feed dedicated to pages that users have liked”, saysTony Bradley. However:
Borrowing the personalized newspaper analogy, that section will be the equivalent of the classifieds section.
It’s fair to assume that the users who have liked your Facebook page are at least peripherally interested in your products and services. However, people spend time on the social network to be, well, social.
Their first thought won’t be, “Hey, I wonder if that company I liked has anything new to say.” It probably won’t be their second or third thought, either.
Don’t wait for users to find you in the equivalent of the classifieds. To stay in the game and engage with your community, take your business to them. How do you do that? Use lots of photos and videos to help you business show up in the sections of the new Facebook News Feed, such as Photos, that will have the most traffic.
In other words, even in the new-look Facebook News Feeds, old-fashioned Engagement is as essential as ever.
Facebook Ads have just had a new restriction placed on them by the powers that be:
Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories in the News Feed may not include images comprised of more than 20% text.
Actually, the restriction is somewhat wider than the topline announcement might suggest: this policy applies to all Facebook ad units in the News Feed, including photo page post ads, link page post ads, video page post ads, offers, mobile app install ads and page like ads.
A little bit of good news, however: text in product shots does NOT count towards the 20% limit for an image.
Snazzy New Technology To Scan Facebook Ads
How does Facebook intend to police its new restrictions? The company has created a new grid‐based text detection tool that is the standard for determining the percentage of text that appears in any image. This tool should ensure consistent and objective enforcement of the policy.
The tool is a 5×5 grid with a total of 25 boxes. To meet the 20% test, text may appear in a maximum of five boxes (5/25=20%).
If the image has text in six or more boxes, it is not eligible for an ad in News Feed.
Facebook Ads – The Good & The Bad
What sorts of Facebook Ads pass — and which fail? Here are some examples proffered by Facebook:
Facebook Ads: Example 1
Acceptable: the words on the can DO NOT count towards the 2o% limit because it is a product shot
Facebook Ads: Example 2
Acceptable: the words on the three cans DO NOT count towards the 2o% limit because they are product shots
Facebook Ads: Example 3
The words on the can don’t count, for reasons noted above. Pop Facebook’s Gridomatic over the image and you’ll see how it evaluates the image:
Acceptable, apparently, because the text component represents only 4/25ths of the total picture (we’d have called it 5/25ths, because the letter N occupies part of a fifth grid — clearly Facebook’s tools take into account the amount of coverage within a grid as well).
Facebook Ads: Example 4
Clearly this ad strays near forbidden territory. But does it cross over? Facebook applies the Gridinator:
Acceptable, apparently, with just 5 out of 25 grids marked (again, despite the text overlapping into both a sixth and seventh grid). Logos and text on clothing don’t count, we’re told.
Facebook Ads: Example 5
Hmm — will this be one of the Facebook Ads that fail the Gridulometry test? Let’s see:
Unacceptable:again, logos and text on clothing don’t count, but the caption, though clever, doesn’t cut it. 8 out of 25 grids occupied, for a 32% score and a big red rejection.
Facebook Ads: Example 6
Just three words — surely this will pass? Out with the Gridosconome and let’s put our perceptions to the test:
Nope: Unacceptable! The caption occupies 6 grids, which puts the ad over the limit — but the text in the logo (not being part of a product shot) is counted as well.
Looks like we’ll need to amend the old proverb: a picture can be worth a thousand words, so long as those words don’t occupy more than 20% of the image on Facebook Ads in News Feeds.
For the full details, download the Facebook Ads Text Policy here.
Stand Back for the Reaction From Advertisers
We doubt very much that advertisers will allow this new policy to go unchallenged — with Facebook Ads images being relatively small (in comparison, for example, to Full Page advertisements), many advertisers have opted to put relatively large text into their images, the better to attract consumer attention. Squeezing that particular genie back into no more than 20% of the box won’t be popular.
New Zealand has been a little obsessed with The Hobbit in the lead-up to the world premiere — well, the NZ media have, anyway, with more television coverage devoted to the meanderings of Middle Earthers than with anything since the Rugby World Cup.
But, we wondered, has all this media attention translated into word of mouth amongst the people? What do us ordinary folks think about all this palaver? Are we mere mortals talking about The Hobbit as much as we might?
We delved into our ongoing monitor of some 8000 NZ and NZ-related Facebook pages to find out.
If we look back to the beginning of 2012, we find that The Hobbit‘s Facebook page had 385,739 likes and 8,202 People Talking About the page on the 29th of January.
Fast-forward ten months to today, 1 December 2012 (with the movie’s release just under two weeks away), and those numbers read 830,164 likes and 120,395 People Talking. Massive gains, especially when it comes to the buzz.
There’s a bit more to Middle Earth than just The Hobbit, of course. There’s Air New Zealand and its Hobbit-themed marketing, another 68,633 chatting about the inhabitants of the Shire:
Add in another 30,167 supporting 100% Pure New Zealand as our tourism marketing kicks into full swing behind the movie:
And, of course, let’s not forget our very own Sir Peter Jackson, whose own Facebook page has been attracting the attention of another 92,935 wanting to be heard.
And last, but by no means least, there’s the mothership itself, the Facebook page patrolled by nearly eleven million followers of The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy. 236,547 are Talking About that page — and you can be assured that a healthy number of those are focussed on The Hobbit round about now.
Add up all the chitchat (just on these official pages) and that translates to more than half a million Facebook mentions of The Precious, just by one simple measure alone. Not all Kiwis, of course, but clearly the Crowd is indeed Wise when it comes to the Third Age.
The Hobbit Likes: Trending Upwards
We took a look at the three primary Hobbit-related Facebook pages (The Hobbit, Peter Jackson and The Lord of The Rings Trilogy) over the last three months. Once we indexed the pages against their starting positions (i.e. the number of Likes for the first week shown), we saw steady growth, with people Liking The Hobbit up nearly a quarter in that time period:
Our conclusion from all this number-crunching: The Hobbit has indeed attracted solid word of mouth thus far, both locally and internationally, not just media hype. With two more movies still to go, we can expect the buzzing to continue for the next eighteen months, at least.
Companies in New Zealand and around the world are now starting to use social media for business purposes more effectively, tapping into tools such as Facebook and Twitter, to market their services and to communicate more effectively with their customers.
One In Five Companies Who Use Social Media For Business Do Virtually No Tracking
You’ll recall the old saying “Half of my advertising is wasted. I just don’t know which half.” That situation was almost acceptable in the context of mass marketing, where companies cast their advertising upon the vast watery expanse of print and broadcast media and the only way to figure out what was working was to count the number of sales you made (or, more likely, how often the Chairman was told “saw you on TV” by his golfing buddies) — but when you’re dealing with one-to-one methods such as social media, it’s simply poor business practice not to know what results you’re achieving.
So what should you track?
To answer this question, let’s just focus on Facebook for now. Through Facebook’s built-in Insights tools, you can track:
Likes. That, sadly, is where many marketers start and stop their tracking. In our view, that’s a lot like monitoring the number of people who come into your store — but not bothering to track whether or not they buy.
Talking About. Knowing this information is a big step up. Social Media, as the name suggests, is all about talking – engaging with your followers, and having them engage with you. Take a look at how many of your fans were actually “talking about” you last week, and calculate that as a percentage of your overall followers. The whole idea, when you use social media for business, is to engage — otherwise, you might as well devote your time and money to mass media advertising instead, you’ll reach far more people.
Reach. Facebook calculates how many people saw your posts, either directly or via your followers. This will be low at first, but don’t worry — one of the first lessons to learn when you set out to use social media for business is that size (of audience) doesn’t matter. Engagement is the key.
Sentiment. It’s good to have people talking about you, but if they’re not saying nice things, clearly something’s rotten in the state of Denmark (or Dargaville). Still, it’s better to know when bad things are being said (rather than remain in blissful ignorance) — it may be hurtful, but at least you can do something about it. So how do you measure sentiment (without poring over your own Facebook pages every other moment)? Start with a free Sentiment Analysis tool such as the Chrome plugin offered by Viral Heat, and consider other, more powerful paid options as budget allows.
What else can you track to use social media for business effectively?
As the graph above suggests, Revenue is an obvious measure (and one which will matter most to your CEO and CFO). “Why am I spending so much time on Facebook? Take a look at these sales!”
How can you track revenues and attribute them to your use of social media for business marketing?
If you sell online, use a unique web link to send people from Facebook (or whatever social media site you’re using) to your website
If you only sell offline, make an offer that’s unique to your social media efforts (eg “free giftwrap when you quote OFFER FB”)
Another metric that many of those who use social media for business choose to track: how much traffic was driven from their social media pages to their website. We don’t want to delve into the technical aspects here — suffice it to say that your webmaster (if you have one) will tell you what you need to know about setting up Google Analytics to monitor such efforts.
At Facebook’s September F8 Developer conference, CEO Mark Zuckerberg introduced a range of new features tied around the Open Graph protocol. What’s Open Graph? A clunky name for the software hooks that enable developers to link their website content back to Facebook, so that stuff people do on your website gets reported back to their friends.