Yesterday, dwinQ’s Mike Kelley reviewed Facebook’s new Home solution for Android. I don’t have Home but you may and the first question most people ask is “What’s is it?” In a word it is the News Feed always-on. It makes your lock screen and start screens all about your Facebook News Feed. It also makes it easier to connect and communicate with friends on your device without leaving Facebook. Let’s ee if this aligns with how people are using Facebook today:
commScore estimates that Facebook consumes 22% of all mobile minutes. App analytics firm Flurry estimates that 18% of all mobile time is spent on Facebook. SO it’s easy to say that 20% of your time on your smart phone is used by Facebook. That volume aslo has a lot of frequency – an IDC report indicates that smartphone users check Facebook 13.8 times per day. Not surprisingly, IDC also estimates that Facebook has pulled within 4% of Google for mobile display advertising revenue. (Does this make FB a good stock to buy? I think so I owns a lot of shares.). We know directly from Facebook that News Feed placement is eight times more effective in user conversion than its other ad products.
Now we have the “rest of the story.” Users spend their time in the News Feed. The News Feed is becoming a valuable advertising channel. Facebook is changing the News Feed and making it persistent on mobile in order to drive more ad revenue.
Are People Persuaded by Facebook Ad Impressions
“Sponsored messages in your feed are changing your behavior—they’re getting you and your friends to buy certain products instead of others, and that’s happening despite the fact that you’re not clicking, and even if you think you’re ignoring the ads. This isn’t conjecture. It’s science. It’s based on a remarkable set of in-depth studies that Facebook has conducted to show whether and how its users respond to ads on the site… the findings show that people react to ads on Facebook in the same way they respond to ads on television.”
I quoted this segment of a recent Slate article at length because it tells the story. When radio and television first emerged, it wasn’t clear how the new media of their day would make money. We now have decades of data that confirms how these passive advertising media influence audiences to take action. A similar data set is now emerging for Facebook. A recent study by Datalogix confirmed that 70 percent of 60 Facebook ad campaigns tracked had a 3x or better ROI and 50% rang up 5x.
Getting into the News Feed
The data shows that Facebook News Feed impressions drive consumer shopping behavior. The obvious question is: how can you get into the News Feed? Through Facebook you can now sponsor posts to your fans, sponsor posts to custom audiences and drive News Feed impressions. Beware that a recent Nielsen study showed that 33% of viewers held negative views of ads on Facebook so they have to be subtle. You must use this strategy judiciously and learn fro other industries like movies and TV where product placement has been uber-successful for companies like Apple.
Another approach is more natural and leverages friend-to-friend marketing. At sponsored events you can facilitate consumers creating story posts of their onsite experiences that carry a brand message with the photo, check-in, game score or other interaction. These posts go to their timeline and show up (with your brand embedded) in their friends’ News Feeds. This is an entirely new way to drive greater ROI on your event investment to influence consumer behavior beyond the attendees. How are you leveraging Facebook’s emerging ad model?