Facebook No Longer Charging Advertisers for Accidental Clicks

Accidental Clicks

If there is one thing I am certain, it is that we have all accidentally clicked on a post, an account or an ad on Facebook at some point in our lives. What is the first thing we do when this happens? Immediately hit the back button without even looking at the site we accidentally clicked to. Up until now, an advertiser would have been charged even though that click was not significant for them. Facebook is cracking down on these accidental clicks with new terms.

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The Complete Guide To Facebook Ad Targeting

Facebook Ad Targeting
When it comes to advertising on Facebook, not targeting your ads correctly can make or break your ROI. You can target Facebook users by:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Connections
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Demographics
  • Custom audiences

 

And inside each one of these categories, are so many options it may make your head spin! Which is why we created this handy dandy (yet super long) Facebook Ad Targeting Guide. We’ve done the legwork for you and broke down each of the detailed targeting categories – interests, behaviors, demographics, custom audiences.

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Creating Better Facebook Video Ads: Tips to Optimize the Viewing Experience

In the past year, the number of Facebook videos posted in the U.S. increased by over 94%. Not to mention 50% of Americans who use Facebook every day also watch at least 1 video per day. So why aren’t you utilizing the Facebook Advertising platform? Moreover, if you are using Facebook video ads, why aren’t they performing well?

With several opportunities to create video ads for a few StrataBlue clients on Facebook, I have grown accustom to creating top-notch campaigns with high levels of engagement. Continue reading to check out my tips and tricks for creating better Facebook video ads for your social media campaigns!

Choose Your Call to Action Wisely

What is it that you’re trying to accomplish with this video ad on Facebook? Facebook offers the following call To action buttons to drive click-through and engagement with your video ad:

  • Shop Now
  • Book Now
  • Learn More
  • Sign Up
  • Download
  • Watch More

Selecting the CTA button you believe will generate the most clicks is key. Don’t trick people by taking them somewhere on the web they don’t want to go. If you want people to “Book Now” after viewing a video of your restaurant, take them to your website or another third party reservations page so they are able to book reservations. Selecting the correct CTA button is key to any social media ad.

Make the First Two Seconds Engaging

Initially you will only have 2-3 seconds of someone’s attention as they scroll through their feed. Use this short but crucial time to engage your audience. Don’t waste this time with (fluffy) nonsense. Grab attention in the best way possible with your video.

Ideal video length

Yes the first two seconds are important to ensure the viewer is engaged but the remaining time is also important. Video length largely depends on the content and message of the video. Data and statistics suggest the optimal length for an online video is between 30-60 seconds. Thenextweb.com also iterates that it does depend on content – but if you’re looking to optimize for total views, shorter is the way to go.

Use Footage that Works Well Without Sound

More often than not, people will view your video while at work, in class or some other place they can’t immediately click for sound. Be sure your video ad makes sense if someone is silently viewing. Think about how you personally use Facebook to give this more context. While “thumbing” through your newsfeed, videos will populate very frequently. What makes you click to actually hear the sound associated to the video? Has to be pretty awesome, right?

Mind Your Thumbnail

AVOID TITLE CARDS. Like YouTube, lead the video off with something engaging yet descriptive of what someone is about to watch. Again, don’t be misleading and don’t be boring.

Don’t Reuse TV Commercials

Facebook is not the same as TV (obviously) so don’t make your video ad the same commercial you’re broadcasting on television. It’s a weak strategy and doesn’t provide depth to your campaign. Instead, use your Facebook video ad as a “behind the scenes” feature of your commercial. Not only is this engaging, but it’s kind of like an invitation to be a part of your brand.

Now you’re ready to start producing fantastic Facebook video ads! Not sure you’re up to it? We can help! Click “play” below to set up a time to talk with us.

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Facebook Advertising: Clicks to Website vs. Page Post Engagement

Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes I find myself torn between choosing the Website Clicks or Post Engagement Facebook ad objectives. Even though Facebook clearly spells out which one you should use for different advertising situations, I think that there is a grey area not covered.

Which objective is right for your Facebook advertising campaign? Let’s do a little more digging to find out…

Post Engagement Facebook Ads

According to Facebook, Page Post Engagement objectives are meant to reach more people when you boost a post. Engagements on a post include Likes on your post or page, post clicks, comments, and shares. When determining overall engagement rate, you combine all points of engagement and divide by the total reach of the post. These ads can be in the form of photos, videos or text.

Facebook Advertising: Page Post Engagement
Post Engagement Ads using a Photo should be high quality and measure 1,200 x 900 pixels for a news feed image. Remember also; the graphic must be within the 20% text rule. Facebook provides this helpful grid tool to make sure your ads are within the guidelines.

Video Post Engagement Ads (different from Video Views objective) engage your audience with a video spot for up to 40 minutes (which I don’t recommend using the full time). The objective allows for 90 characters of text (body) and 25 characters in the headline. Although Video Post Engagement and Video View objectives may seem similar, I would recommend using the Video View option to get the most for your money. It will be better at measuring views and it includes a call to action button.

Text Page Post Engagement is simply boosted text. Facebook gives a maximum of 500 characters. What’s recommended for running an ad like this is to keep it to 150 characters or less for a clear and concise message. An example of a Text Page Post Engagement could be an endearing thought from your brand or a thank you note. In other words, stick to this objective when you want your audience to focus on your words at not a photo.

Clicks to Website Facebook Ads

Next up are the Website Click Ads. This objective is meant to send people to certain pages on your website. This could be a sign-up sheet, restaurant menu or really anything lead generation specific. Facebook recommends an image size of 1,200 x 628 pixels with 90 characters of text (body), 25 character headline, and 30 character link description.

More importantly, Clicks to Website Facebook Ads are meant to evoke your audience to take an action. The call to action options within this objective include:

  • Shop Now
  • Book Now
  • Learn More
  • Sign Up
  • Download

Facebook Ads: Website Clicks Ad
Recently, Facebook ads also rolled out the Clicks To Website: Multi Product option which allows you to showcase 3-5 images and links within a single ad to direct your audience to specific pages on your website. This option works best for those working with an e-commerce website.

NOTE: Clicks To Website are Dark Posts that appear nowhere on your page; unlike Page Post Engagement Ads that are posted to your Facebook page.

So which one should you choose?

When it comes to choosing which objective you should use, my major piece of advice is to hone in on what action you really want people to take when viewing your ad.

Clicking To Your Website

We would like to expect that everyone seeing a Page Post Engagement Ad would click on the link within the text, but most of the time, that isn’t the case. If your number one goal is to have people click on a link within your ad, I would strongly suggest going the Website Clicks route. This objective ensures that any action taken on the ad will track back to the link you provide. More importantly, the call to action button is the make or break feature with this objective. Here are a few examples when this ad would be best:

  • Working with an e-commerce website and promoting products on your website
  • Promoting booking reservations for a restaurant or similar establishment
  • Increasing clicks to a blog post or similar content
  • Encourage email sign-up
  • Increase e-book downloads

Use the Google URL Builder for website click Facebook ads.

Encouraging Post Engagement

When it comes down to choosing between Website Clicks and Page Post Engagement, it’s best to choose the Post Engagement engagement when you want the maximum reach and amount of engagement on a post. These ads are also ideal for getting the most shares on a post. I think using this type of objective for advertising an event works the best. Here are a few more situations in which Post Engagement Ads are the way to go:

  • Advertising a sale or special discount
  • Announcing a grand opening
  • Political campaigns
  • Special brand announcements

Use the Facebook Ads Manager as opposed to simply boosting a post.

How can we help you manage your Facebook ads?

And there’s my side to the story and I help clients drive website clicks and post engagement on a daily basis! What advice do you have for choosing between Clicks to Website and Page Post Engagement ads?

If your interested in running Facebook Ads to increase your brand awareness, increase sales or generate leads, click on the button below to set up a free Facebook Ads consultation with our expert team of social media gurus.

Click here for a free Facebook ads consultation!

Local Facebook Awareness Ads:

There’s a new objective in town. In late October of last year, Facebook rolled out with a new campaign aimed at advertising to people near your business. Local Awareness Ads appear on the news feeds of people within a specified radius of your business. Learn how to set-up your own Local Awareness ad using my steps below.
Getting Started

To get started setting up a Local Awareness Ad, select the objective on the Facebook advertising page that reads “Reach people near your business.” From there, choose the Facebook page that you would like to advertise with. In this how-to I will be creating a Local Awareness Ad for StrataBlue. Once the page is selected, you will be sent to the page to set-up the ad.

local2

local1

Choose Your Audience

Who do you want to see your ads? Simply enter the address of your establishment and Facebook will prompt you will a map. Next, select the mile radius that you would like people within that area to see your ad. Think about details of your location. If your business is far from other businesses or residential areas, I recommend having a large radius of up to 15-20 miles. But if your business is in close proximity to other businesses I recommend using the 1-10 mile radius. Next select the age range of who you would like to see your ad. Then choose gender.

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Choose Your Budget

How much do you want to spend? If you are familiar with Facebook advertising you will notice that Local Awareness Ads only operate on a Lifetime Budget scale. A Lifetime budget is a set amount that Facebook will spend over the duration of your ad set. Facebook won’t spend over or under the amount you choose.

Select the time frame of when you would like to have your ad run. This is totally up to you and your client’s needs.

Tip: When selecting the dates to run your ad, keep in mind special events going on in your area where people will be traveling out of their town to yours. Local Awareness Ads are great for hooking out of towners to visit your business.

Choose Your Images + Text

Now it’s time to great creative! Choose up to 6 images either uploaded from your computer or from Facebook’s Shutterstock stash.

Note: Because this is a Facebook paid advertising, the 20% text rule still applies. All Local Awareness Ads images with more than 20% text will not be approved.

As for the text of the ad, make sure it’s something engaging with a call to action. For example:

“Come get all your pet supplies for a great price at Bob’s Pet Store.”
“Come try one of our 105 flavors of ice cream and frozen yogurt.”
“Kip’s Market is the place for quality produce at unbeatable prices.”

Next you will need to create a Headline. As you can see, I just used the business name, StrataBlue to fill this spot. The headline text is meant to grab attention and tell what your ad is about.

Currently, the only call to action available is Get Directions or none. Facebook will automatically default to Get Directions call to action button. There is also additional space under “Show Advance Options” to include text if you wish.

All you have to do is click Place Order and your ad is ready to run!

Now imagine your potential customer’s scrolling through their Facebook News Feed as they are figuring out with to do for dinner tonight and all of a sudden your ad pops up. Or they’re walking around the mall and see an ad for your small boutique located outside of the major department store. Local Awareness Ads are the digital billboards of Facebook. They are excellent for small businesses to be seen and heard by their local clientele.

Interested in what Local Awareness Ads can do for your business? Contact us today.

Understanding Facebook Referral Traffic in Google Analytics – The Link Shim

We’re like white on rice with Google Analytics in our office. Our digital media account managers are consistently measuring our clients’ campaigns — analyzing website traffic and conversions, among other social media-driven KPI data. That’s why it struck us as odd when we began noticing “l.facebook” and “lm.facebook” popping up as traffic referrals to our clients’ websites. We did some research and hope this post helps better explain these two mysterious referrals from Zuckerberg’s empire.

Background on Facebook Link Shim

In 2012, Facebook Security shared a note to better explain the practice of Link Shimming to users. Here are two key takeaways:

  1. The Link Shim was implemented in 2008 to protect users from malicious URLs. For instance, if a malicious advertiser displayed a link on a post or ad and a user clicked it, Facebook would sometimes include a pop-up notification indicating that the page is suspicious.
  2. Another purpose of the Link Shim is to protect a user’s anonymity when visiting websites. Indulge Media explains that users often unknowingly display personal information in their vanity URLs on Facebook. The Link Shim creates anonymity for users visiting websites and allows Google Analytics to track the source of traffic from Facebook.

 

The Facebook Link Shim has played a significant role in Google Analytics and the ROI of social media with regard to where website traffic is coming from. Perhaps you’ve also noticed these same traffic referrals in Google Analytics and wondered what l.facebook.com, m.facebook.com and lm.facebook.com mean, and how they differ from straightforward facebook.com traffic:

Google Analytics

Our 3rd, 6th, 9th and 10th sources of traffic all came from Facebook.

After compiling some research, we’ve come to a few unofficial conclusions about how these different forms of Facebook traffic were actually generated:

  • l.facebook: This is website traffic from a desktop-accessed Facebook post (organic or paid) that was sent through a Link Shim. The “l” stands for “Link Shim.”
  • lm.facebook: The same rule applies as above,only this time users have accessed your website via a mobile device, hence the “m.”

Then why does facebook.com still appear sans “lm.” or “l.”? I make my educated guesses below:

  • m.facebook: The obvious: users have accessed a website through Facebook on a mobile device, most likely using the Facebook Mobile App. However, we are not sure why the “lm.facebook” wouldn’t apply. My guess: with the hundreds of thousands of posts a day on Facebook, maybe the Link Shim tool didn’t scan these posts. Or, maybe it is because the app has its own built-in browser.
  • facebook.com: I speculate that website traffic was directed from a desktop Facebook post or ad. But yet again, I have the same curiosity about Link Shim not scanning these posts. Some SEO experts suggest that this appears in Google Analytics from users browsing under “facebook.com” rather than the secure “https://facebook.com.” This is one mystery we may not know now, but hopefully will in the future. (Stay tuned!)

Your Website Probably Isn’t Malicious

After reading points 1 and 2 under the background of Facebook Link Shimming and learning the origins of l.facebook and lm.facebook, you may be nervous that you’re website page is being deemed “suspicious” by Facebook and deterring visitors from your website. Don’t panic, and keep reading.

The Proof is in the Analytics

Instead of Facebook traffic appearing as “none” or being funneled under “direct” traffic in Google Analytics, Google is now categorizing these traffic sources to help marketers better analyze their various campaigns. It does not mean that your website is “spam city” for visitors.

Interested in learning more on how StrataBlue can optimize social media campaigns to increase your website traffic or other goals? Tweet me at @whatupTUT