With so many people in one place, Facebook presents a huge opportunity for businesses to reach out and connect with potential customers.
But unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy as it once was.
In January, Facebook changed their algorithm in a major way. The reach of organic content is decreasing. Facebook altered their service so that users would see more personal content in their news feeds and less public content such as posts from businesses, brands, and the media.
Organic content algorithms changed – and there is a direct impact to paid Facebook advertising.
The Facebook privacy scandal brought negative press and backlash and has already forced Facebook to change the way they handle and collect consumer information and data. This is greatly impacting their advertising platform.
Social media companies have felt pressure due to the GDPR, requiring companies to obtain explicit permission from users to utilize their data.
Here’s what you need to know:
Shrinking audience size data: Depending on the targeting options you want to select, you cannot see leading indicators.
- How this can affect your campaign — Impressions could decrease due to audience size shrinking.
- Our solution — Use real, data-driven personas. Look at search data. Look at your own first party CRM database contact lists, lookalikes, and dynamic audiences which are still available.
No more Partner Categories: This product enabled third-party data providers to offer their targeting directly on Facebook. Currently the data from partners like Experian is still available, but will be removed in coming months. Options like this will become a thing of the past: Automotive shoppers (likely to purchase a car), retail purchase behavior (likely to buy “x – product” in the next 180 days), company size, charitable donations, credit union member, corporate executives, likely to move, business travelers.
- How this could affect your campaign – As of September 30th, we are no longer be able to target users by their credit card data such as likely to purchase a product.
- Our solution – “Brands and their agencies must now work directly with third-party data providers as opposed to working through a Facebook partner manager to develop and import these Custom Audiences, and the brand, not the data provider or Facebook, is liable and responsible for the ethical capture and use of these audiences,” said Michael Price, social media director at digital and CRM agency Ansira. CMT will stop building campaigns based on partner data and start using audience personas. We will determine the demographics and interests of the followers and upload your customer email list to build a lookalike audience for ad targeting. Once we’ve collected data on what your audience is searching for and where those people hang out on social media, we will be equipped with the information needed to build personas that inform your content and ad strategies.
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are gone: Going forward, any app that’s using any API will require Facebook’s approval. So the Groups and Pages APIs must do things such as “benefit the group” as well as provide “useful services to our community.”
- What you should do — Don’t build apps as opt-in data harvesting tools. In the past, app developers like Zynga who built the Farmville game, used opt-in’s to get access to a big audience and valuable data about their users. The APIs are going to be in flux for a while, and you may find yourself recoding, or losing data altogether. Again, use data-driven personas and search data to drive targeting across networks.
What’s NOT changing:
Large Audience: According to Statista, as of January 2018, Facebook had 2.1 billion monthly active users — and it doesn’t look like that will slow down. Their closest competitor is YouTube, which has 1.5 billion users. After that comes WhatsApp (Facebook owned property) and Facebook messenger. And then there’s Instagram (Facebook owned as well) that comes in seventh with 800 million users.
Targeting: Facebook targeting can still reach your target audience through geography, demographics, industries, job titles, and interests.
What We Have Seen:
- Users continue to express their concern about privacy, but few appear to ave deleted their profiles
- Facebook’s many recent crises—data privacy, fake news, Russian meddling, unsafe content—are negatively impacting users’ perceptions of the platform.
- In light of the above, the growth forecast for time spent on Facebook among US adult users is estimated an average of 42 minutes per day on Facebook, up 1.8% from 2017.
- Facebook is making changes to its ad targeting products. On the user side, new features such as the ability to clear Facebook browsing history will impact some marketers’ ability to measure and analyze traffic to and from Facebook.
- The largest concern right now relates to ad targeting, including the value of first-party vs. third-party data, and the ways marketers will be able to source third-party data going forward.
- Advertisers are taking fresh looks at other social platforms, as well as non-social properties like Amazon. But at this point, there are few indications that significant spending will shift away from Facebook.
- Facebook holds a significant share of US adults’ social network time. In 2018, it will account for 47.8% of daily social time, while Instagram will account for an additional 17.8%. Combined, the sister companies will log nearly two-thirds of social time.