We’re in the home stretch of 2017, but don’t rest yet. This week saw the introduction of some significant changes in social and one-to-one messaging. Take a look to find out what you should have on your radar.
What your brand needs to understand about Facebook’s advertising principles manifesto
After a few tumultuous months — which included some serious allegations of not being diligent enough in preserving the integrity of the democratic process — Facebook recently published “Our Advertising Principles,” a blog post that documents what the company claims to be its core, foundational beliefs regarding publishing ads on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram.
The blog post lays out seven principles that would be helpful for you to understand as you create your next advertising campaign:
• Facebook builds for people first: Facebook claims that its auction system that determines the ads that are shown to audiences gives more weight to delivering ads to the audiences who will engage with them rather than delivering ads to as many people as possible to increase ad revenue.
For a business, if your paid ads aren’t reaching as many people as you would like, perhaps you may need to consider creating more engaging content. During “The Modern Marketing Show,” host Adam Earhart offered the following counsel to create more engaging content:
“No one wants to finish an article with more questions than they arrived with,” Earhart said. “Again, people are consuming your content for a reason. Remember that with your headline, you’ve made a promise to answer their question, so you need to be sure your content provides the answers they were looking for.”
• Facebook doesn’t sell user data: To be clear, Facebook definitely uses your data to entice advertisers, but the company does not give email addresses, phone numbers or Facebook posts to advertisers. If you are running ads on Facebook, remember that running ads is more like renting user information from Facebook rather than buying that information.
• Users can control the ads they see: Users can adjust their ad preferences at any time, which can make it harder for you to reach users. Again, creating relevant and engaging content will make it less likely that your potential audience decides to change its settings after coming across one of your ads.
• Advertising should be transparent: Facebook announced in late October that it would soon be rolling out an ads transparency feature — one which will let anybody see all the ads a brand is running — regardless of who the ads are targeting. For a brand that has engaged in less-than-obvious ad targeting techniques in the past, this could have a large impact if people perceive that your targeting is unethical or otherwise objectionable. Of course, this transparency can also be good for your brand, according to Steve Wise on the “Spend $10K a Day” podcast.
“I don’t think advertisers should overly worry about this feature,” Wise said. “I think it brings transparency; I think it brings trust; and I think that it’s leveling the playing field for everyone. I think that Facebook’s goal for this feature is that no one has an unfair advantage over another person.”
• Advertising should be safe and civil; it should not divide or discriminate: Facebook has always had policies that make it more difficult for advertisers to reach people with content that doesn’t align with community standards. In light of the current divisive environment, the company is more diligently enforcing these guidelines than ever before.
• Advertising should empower businesses big and small: Facebook has been a boon for smaller and medium-sized businesses thanks to the fact that it gives them access to the same tools and data that it gives larger businesses. You still may need ad managers for your organization to help you understand how to best buy and place ads on Facebook, but the tools are available for anybody to use.
• Facebook will continue to improve its advertising: Facebook will continue to test new ad formats, experiences and locations. This helps the company better serve advertisers, which ultimately allows Facebook to make more money because advertisers are happy with results.
YouTube finally gets on the “story” bandwagon with “Reels.” Reels differs from the stories you might see on other channels. Unlike stories on other channels, the stories published as Reels will not expire in 24 hours, but instead will be able to remain up in perpetuity.
Instagram is testing a share button. The ability to regram has been part of third-party apps for a while, but there is evidence that Instagram is now beta-testing this functionality. There is no word yet on exactly how or where shared photos and videos would appear, but sharing could create a completely new dynamic for businesses on Instagram.
Google will staff 10,000 to step up policing of content. As part of a response to stop violent extremism, YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki recently relayed to Britain’s Daily Telegraph, “We will continue the growth of our teams, with the goal of bringing the total number of people across Google working to address content that might violate our policies to over 10,000 in 2018.”
Facebook is looking to boost ad revenue by adding pre-roll ads to videos. Though Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has balked at pre-roll ads before, these ads would be different in that they would appear only before videos in the “Watch” feed. For now, it appears only as if Facebook will start by testing these ads and then evaluate their long-term value.