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Only an Idiot Would Use Facebook’s Shady Cryptocurrency

In its neverending conquest to take over the world, Facebook is building a network of online merchants and financial institutions to support its secretive new cryptocurrency. The Wall Street Journal reports that Mark Zuckerberg’s war machine is looking for $1 billion to fund the secretive stablecoin project, Project Libra, and is talking with heavyweights like Visa and Mastercard to get that cash.

FACEBOOK WANTS $1 BILLION TO FUND PROJECT LIBRA

The company started Project Libra over a year ago as a simple way to transfer money between WhatsApp users. But in true Facebook fashion, it’s grown far beyond that original scope.

The project has expanded to include e-commerce payments on Facebook and other websites as well as rewards for viewing ads, shopping online, and interacting with content.

Facebook cryptocurrency daily users potential

The upcoming Facebook cryptocurrency would reach the platform’s nearly 1.6 billion daily active users. | Source: Wall Street Journal

Facebook’s 2.38 billion monthly active users mean that, at launch, Project Libra would almost immediately compete with rivals Apple Pay (383M) and PayPal (267M). However, there are several reasons why you, and everyone else, should avoid Facebook’s upcoming cryptocurrency at all costs.

WHO TRUSTS FACEBOOK ANYMORE?

Let’s take a walk down memory lane to remember the times that Facebook proved it should be nowhere near your money.

CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA

There’s no better place to start than Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal – the mac daddy of screw-ups. In 2014, the social media company sold the personal data of  87 million users to Cambridge Analytica without the users’ consent. Doing so was in direct violation of the company’s privacy policies.

Adding your financial data to the massive pile of personal information that Facebook already has on you is asking for trouble.

PLAINTEXT PASSWORDS

If Facebook’s data breaches weren’t enough to scare you, let’s examine how the company handles passwords. Hint: Not well.

In March, Facebook revealed that it had been storing hundreds of millions of account passwords in a readable, plaintext format since 2012. Although there was no evidence that outside parties had access to the passwords, employees could grab them with ease.

Don’t forget about the company’s Amazon snafu that exposed data from 500 million accounts either.

By trusting any amount of money to a company that can’t even secure passwords, you’re effectively placing a sign on your back that says, “Please come and rob me!”

FACEBOOK CENSORSHIP

The beauty of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency assets is that they’re censorship-resistant. No single party can freeze your bitcoin wallet or block a transaction. Facebook can, and will, block your financial account whenever it pleases. The company’s already begun showing this overreach of power with its recent account bans.

This week, Facebook announced the bans of several individuals including Alex Jones, Louis Farrakhan, and Milo Yiannopoulos. Representatives from the company explainedthat those they banned violated the platform’s policy on hate speech and promoting violence.

While that reasoning may hold, it sets a dangerous precedent for future action. Where do you draw the line on censorship? The banning demonstrates that Facebook has the power to freeze your crypto assets if it doesn’t share your particular views and can block transactions to causes it may not support.

FACEBOOK CRYPTO SHOULD BE DEAD ON ARRIVAL

Facebook’s cryptocurrency comes with all of the downsides of the company behind it and none of the benefits of an actual cryptocurrency. Anyone hyping it up as a step toward mass adoption simply doesn’t understand what makes crypto great.

If you’re looking for a currency with poor security and oppressive censorship, give your money to Facebook. If not, stay far, far away.

Source: Only an Idiot Would Use Facebook’s Shady Cryptocurrency

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How Congress Could Rein In Google & Facebook – Makena Kelly

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In April, Mark Zuckerberg was called before the Senate Commerce and Judiciary committees to take responsibility for Cambridge Analytica. It was a brutal hearing, and lawmakers seemed ready for new regulation. “This should be a wake-up call for the tech community,” Sen. John Thune (R-SD), chairman of the influential Commerce Committee said at the hearing. The Democrats weren’t gentle either. “If Facebook and other online companies will not or cannot fix the privacy invasions,” Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), the committee’s ranking member said, “then we are going to have to. We the Congress………

Read more: https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/31/18041882/congress-data-privacy-google-facebook-gdpr-markey-klobuchar

 

 

 

 

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You Gave Facebook Your Number For Security. They Used It For Ads — peoples trust toronto

By Gennie Gebhart, Associate Director of Research, Electronic Frontier Foundation Add “a phone number I never gave Facebook for targeted advertising” to the list of deceptive and invasive ways Facebook makes money off your personal information. Contrary to user expectations and Facebook representatives’ own previous statements, the company has been using contact information that users […]

via You Gave Facebook Your Number For Security. They Used It For Ads — peoples trust toronto

 

 

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Facebook Is Committed To WhatsApp Encryption, But Could Bypass It Too – Parmy Olson

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In the last four years since Facebook bought WhatsApp for $22 billion, the app has remained ad free. But that’ll change in 2019, when WhatsApp starts showing targeted ads in its Status feature, and eventually rolls out marketing messages from business clients too. This was the primary reason WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton left WhatsApp in September 2017, according to his interview with Forbes published Wednesday, along with concerns about the way Facebook “probed” at the app’s end-to-end encryption……

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2018/09/27/facebook-is-committed-to-whatsapp-encryption-but-could-bypass-it-too/#189ed9c93efe

 

 

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Facebook Engagement Research: How 43 Million Posts Will Make You Rethink Your Strategy – Heidi Cohen

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As the third largest website globally behind Google and YouTube, Facebook commands audience eyeballs, time and engagement. Regardless of company size or marketing budget, you need Facebook for your marketing due to its sheer size as a media entity.

Let’s accept that Facebook’s recent negative press regarding sharing its users’ personal data is cause for public concern.

Despite this, its reach and targeting options are difficult to replace cost-effectively. So you need Facebook to distribute your content, engage with your audience, and build your community.

However, there’s a silver lining:

So let’s examine how to get the most out of your Facebook marketing.

BuzzSumo and Buffer’s analysis of 43 Million Facebook Posts of the Top 20,000 Facebook Pages provides insights to improve your Facebook engagement.

Facebook Engagement Research: 5 Key Marketing Insights

To figure out how Facebook Pages perform for businesses and marketers Buffer and BuzzSumo teamed up.

Why?

Because in addition to having one of the most robust sets of social media data on the planet BuzzSumo is known for its independent, deep dive analyses.

BuzzSumo revealed that organic reach of Facebook shares had declined 20% in the first 6 months of 2017.

Facebook Engagement

For the 2018 Facebook Engagement Research BuzzSumo analyzed 43 million posts from across 20,000 of the top Facebook Pages. To put this sample in perspective:

1. Top Facebook Pages increased their posting frequency

Top Facebook Pages increased posts per quarter 24% from 1Q2017 to 2Q2018.

These brands invested in people and resources to create these shares and to engage on Facebook everyday.

Further, these top brands add roughly 20,000 additional pieces of content per day on Facebook. And that’s doesn’t count the other Facebook Pages!

To put this in context, many bloggers have reduced their blog publishing frequency, notably Content Marketing Institute and Convince and Convert. They focus on serving better quality content without being overbearing.

Marketing Reality:

Increased competition for visibility in the Newsfeed.

2. Overall Facebook Page engagement continues declining

Since BuzzSumo’s August 2017 Facebook analysis found reduced engagement, this shouldn’t be a shocker. (Note: It’s based on a different dataset.)

3. Facebook engagement for all posts types declined but opportunities still exist

Your ability to improve Facebook engagement by changing your post format has vanished.

Based on this Facebook Engagement Research engagement declined by format as follows:

Facebook performance per post type

Facebook engagement down for video, images, and links via BuzzSumo [Chart- 2017]

At first glance, images look like your best bet.

Don’t let the chart fool you!

Instead look deeper and you’ll discover that Facebook engagement isn’t black and white.

While video engagement declined the least, significantly fewer brands use video.

To understand, let’s examine BuzzSumo’s August 2017 data.

Facebook

Facebook Post Engagement By Content Format Over Time via BuzzSumo [Chart- 2017]

Use of video is significantly lower than other post types. There’s an opportunity to stand out!

Even though marketers are improving their use of video, Contently Visual Content Research showed that content marketers shy away from video for cost reasons.

With more limited resources and less established brands, small businesses are more agile and willing to take risks with video especially livestreaming.

The good news for marketers:

Many Facebook users prefer livestreaming. No surprise it enhances the feeling of personal connectedness.

4. Marketers have increased Facebook Page posting frequency

Despite lower visibility marketers have upped their Facebook posting frequency.

Why?

While posting less than once a day delivers the highest engagement, overall engagement increases with additional posting.

Facebook Engagement Research-Daily Posting Chart

After 5 posts per day, Facebook engagement yields diminishing returns.

While you’ll get more likes and comments in total, after 5 posts, each piece performs at a lower rate on average. 

Facebook Engagement Research-BuzzSumo and Buffer -Engagement by posts per day

Facebook Engagement By Brands based on average posts per day. Optimal posts per day= 5. Chart by BuzzSumo and Buffer

5. Top Facebook Page categories lost over half of their engagement

Engagement on the Top Facebook Page categories fell 50+%.

Why?

If you’re in one of the biggest Facebook Page categories, you’ve got more competition by definition.

You’re up fighting content saturation.

Further, in the top categories, artists and movies have a financial stake in promoting their offerings.

Historically, they’ve use big advertising budgets to promote their products across different media.

Now, they’ve added Facebook to their media mix.

But compared to other options, Facebook is relatively inexpensive for these businesses. As a result, they can do more with organic and paid options.

Marketing Reality:

Therefore choose your Facebook Business Page category with care. Your options are to niche down further or pivot to find another way to reduce category competition.

Facebook Total drop in Engagement by Page Type

Facebook Engagement – Total drop in Engagement by Page Type. Chart by BuzzSumo and Buffer

Think Like Facebook

Put yourself in Mark Zuckerberg’s hoodie. (Don’t worry—I’m sure that it’s clean!)

Once the darling of Wall Street, Facebook lost over $100 billion of market value in late July. To put that in context, Facebook lost more than the total market value of McDonalds.

While most Facebook users didn’t delete their accounts, participant usage eroded along with user trust.

Further, Facebook failed to diversify their income beyond advertising. Until now, the fragility of this single revenue stream was hidden behind its continued size and usage expansion.

Bottom line:

Facebook Page Engagement Example: Social Media Examiner

To appreciate what this means on a smaller scale, my friends at BuzzSumo ran a Facebook Engagement search for me using their Facebook Analyzer tool.

We looked at Social Media Examiner’s Facebook Page because it’s the go-to social media reference. Additionally it hosts of Social Media Marketing World.  Further, Social Media Examiner has a team managing its social media participation.

Lastly and most importantly, Social Media Examiner has developed a vibrant community of engaged social media professionals.

The BuzzSumo 2018 Content Trends Report snapshot reveals lower Social Media Examiner publishing over time accompanied by a steeper decline in social shares.

Over the past two years, on its Facebook Page, Social Media Examiner posted an average of 3 posts per day. Each post yielded an average of 159 Facebook engagements.

Despite December-January boosts in 2017 and 2018, Social Media Examiner Facebook engagement declined from its 2016 levels. 

Your Facebook Page needs:

Before you write this off as a reason to stop using Facebook to achieve your marketing goals, put these results in perspective.

Due to content saturation, increased competition for audience attention isn’t limited to Facebook!

Based on this Facebook Engagement Research:

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What’s fueling Facebook’s growth – Doug Flynn

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Facebook’s growth has been amazing to say the least, as the Zuckerberg-led social media giant kept expanding its revenue and user base at a furious pace over the last several years, growing into a more mature advertising platform.

While Facebook’s long-term growth prospects look strong because of relatively low penetration in emerging markets, what about short- to medium-term growth? Is high penetration in developed markets going to end their growth streak soon, or can it sustain itself over the next few years until emerging markets can adequately support it? Growth in emerging markets doesn’t tell the whole story. It’s the company’s own back yard that we need to look at very carefully.

A closer look at Facebook’s past growth pattern reveals that there is one region playing a huge role. And it’s actually great news for the company because this region still offers plenty of room to improve Facebook’s numbers over the next several years – and that region, surprisingly, is North America.

During the second quarter of 2017, Facebook reported advertising revenues of $9,164 million, compared to $6,239 million the year before, or a 47% increase. Between the second quarter of this year and the prior period, Facebook’s monthly active user base expanded by 294 million. If we further break that number down, Rest of the World added 98 million users, Asia Pacific added 164 million, US and Canada added 22 million and Europe added 10 million.

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22 Facebook Marketing Tips for Small Businesses on a Budget – Lisa Smith

Image result for 22 Facebook Marketing Tips for Small Businesses on a Budget
Via: http://acceleratedgrowthmarketing.com

As Facebook seeks to deliver the content its users will enjoy most and find most relevant, organic reach has been on the decline. In fact, some say it is downright dead.

This presents a particular challenge for small businesses: You don’t have the same budgets as bigger advertisers to pour into paid posts to compensate.

“The harsh reality of Facebook today is that only about 1 out of 50 people who are already fans of your page will see any single post you make on your Facebook business page,” said Sam Underwood, director of business strategy at digital agency Futurety. “Long gone are the days of posting and knowing that many, if not most, of your fans will see that content.”

But fear not small businesses—there is hope. Here are 22 tips for how to find the right audience and offer up content and experiences they’ll value, even with a limited budget.

1. Post with intent.

According to Christina Hager, head of social media strategy and distribution at media company Overflow Storytelling Lab, small businesses need to be more mindful of how they communicate with their audiences.

You can’t just throw things onto Facebook and hope someone sees them,” she said. “You need to post with intention and then decide what you are going to do with that post”—in other words, whether you are going to boost it with budget.

To do so, Vicki Anzmann, chief creative officer at marketing agency Creativation Marketing, said to use Facebook Insights to help determine a good posting rhythm and content mix.

2. Try to blend in.

“Find ways to convey your brand by being funny, out-of-the-box, informational or unique,” said Eric Johnson, SEO specialist and digital marketer at web design, SEO and marketing firm FeedbackWrench. “Do that, and you’ll be sure to reach a large crowd on Facebook.”

Look at grocery chain Meijer.

image: https://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/bad-facebook-ad-for-small-business-622×900.jpg

facebook ad for small businessPer Johnson, this post shows below average results because both the design element and the copy strongly suggest a promotional angle.

“When coupled with a link to buy the product, Facebook’s algorithm was likely able to easily determine the overtly promotional approach that this post took on,” he said. “Due to this, the post was, overall, a failed effort.”

Meijer’s other sunscreen post, however, had more than 15 times the interaction because it exists purely for the entertainment value of reminiscing.

image: https://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/facebook-ad-tips-for-small-businesses.jpg

native facebook ad“Since there was no overtly promotional angle here, the post reached a much larger audience and garnered tons of engagements that got the Meijer brand noticed a lot more effectively than a direct sales approach,” Johnson added.

3. Don’t post without a content calendar.

In order to plan effectively, implement a content calendar.

image: https://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/facebook-content-calendar-600×401.jpg

content calendar for facebook marketing

Via Falcon.io

“A content calendar is the most effective way to maximize your efforts while minimizing the time spent on Facebook marketing,” said Dan Towers, senior manager of digital marketing at marketing and advertising firm Arcane.

“You can plan out content at one time and by using a scheduling program, like Buffer or Sprout Social, you are able set it and forget it,” he added. “But don’t actually forget it—still monitor your posts and focus on community management. Your customers will appreciate it.”

4. Optimize your profile page.

Because tabs serve as the navigation bar for your Facebook business page, it is important to make sure they are well organized and improve the audience’s ability to find information. By optimizing tabs, restructuring their hierarchy and including or removing important tabs, you provide the user with a smoother experience, said Mackenzie Maher, social media account manager at digital marketing agency Power Digital Marketing.

“If you are a service-based business, make sure your review tab is turned on. If you add tabs that link to your other social pages, make sure these are all grouped together. If you’re promoting an event or hiring for a new position, make sure these tabs are also turned on and advertise your information here,” she said.

 

facebook business page tabs

Via HubSpot

“It is simple, yet seemingly obvious tweaks like these that are often overlooked but can make or break the user’s experience. They should never have to look that hard to find the information they need.”

5. Establish a community page.

Ben Taylor, founder of freelance advice portal HomeWorkingClub.com, said community pages tend to give more organic reach than commercial business pages on Facebook.

“If you make the page invitation-only it makes customers feel special and is a good place to maintain relationships with them, one on one,” he added.

Taylor said he got the idea from the NicheHacks private mastermind group, which discusses affiliate marketing, and then set up his own advice group for HomeWorkingClub.com, which gains about 25 to 40 new members per week.

image: https://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/facebook-community-for-small-business.jpg

how to start a facebook community“When people sign up to my email list, they’re invited to join the group,” he said.

6. Create a Facebook group.

Maria Mora, content director at digital marketing agency Big Sea, said to create a Facebook Group, not for promotional purposes, but to allow for an exchange of information related to a given business.

“For example, if you sell essential oils, you can create a Facebook group specifically about pet owners trying aromatherapy,” she said. “The key is to find a niche within your customers’ interests and give them a space to connect. As that group grows, you can sparingly share your content, such as relevant articles or whitepapers.”

She pointed to the Ethical Aromatherapy group, which is moderated by essential oil retailer Stillpoint Aromatics, and has more than 13,000 members. Mora said it was created as a resource for consumers to discuss where essential oils are sourced and how to use them safely and it grew organically through members inviting their friends.

However, she warned not to use the group to promote sales or calls to action. The Ethical Aromatherapy page, for example, allows discussion and recommendation of other essential oil importers.

7. Be strategic about your group name.

When creating a group, marketing consultant Ron Stefanski recommended naming it after something people will actually search for in Facebook to increase the odds users will find it. He used this tactic when creating a Facebook group for his website, BengalCatClub.com, which has since gained over 10,000 followers.

“I personally think this tactic could work for any business in any area/industry—Facebook groups do really well to further the awareness of the brand,” he said. “I feel like it’s a good idea that most people aren’t using.”

8. Keep adding to your Facebook story.

According to Bernie Clark, founder of digital marketing and advertising agency Majux Marketing, Facebook Stories make posting often to Facebook much more casual.

“Stories don’t even necessarily have to pertain to company-specific news, they could be anything from fun questions to interesting links, anything to keep your audience engaged and cause a higher likelihood for a click on your profile,” he said.

image: https://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/facebook-stories-tips-for-small-businesses-600×487.jpg

small business facebook stories marketingNedelina Payaneva, digital marketing specialist at translation services firm Asian Absolute agreed, adding Facebook Stories don’t require slick production value either.

“This type of content has a casual, on-the-go feel,” she said. “Users feel like they are behind the scenes and that works. Similarly, Live feeds are increasing in popularity. From makeup tutorials to studio tours, brands can go live and interact with fans. These can be saved and shared, and have value on the replay side, too.”

9. Don’t obsess over vanity metrics.

Per Tommy Baykov, marketing manager at WordPress hosting services WPX Hosting, small businesses tend to have more limited marketing budgets, which is why they should focus on the things that make a difference to their bottom lines—and not the ones that make them temporarily feel good, like likes.

image: https://cdn.business2community.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/facebook-ads-average-click-through-rate-graphic-600×520.png

“Depending on your business and strategy, CTR, 50% video views [and] messages received are just some of the much more meaningful and actionable metrics,” he added.

10. Use Facebook for customer service.

Rafi Bitchakdjian, head of social media at marketing firm Cue Marketing, said smaller brands can lean on Facebook to help them deal with any customer service issues that arise much as corporations use bots to communicate with clients online.

“Audiences expect replies within minutes and Facebook is the ideal on-the-go platform to use when wanting to solve an issue or even just thank a customer for their positive review,” he said.

11. Post with a (small) budget.

Underwood recommends adding a paid budget—even a small one—to ensure reach.

“Try experimenting with different types of content, messaging, imagery and times of day, and use Facebook’s built-in A/B testing system to see what can help stretch your ad dollars to the max,” he said. “Posting without a paid budget is now officially a waste of time—you’re much better off posting just occasionally with a small budget to ensure that content gets in front of your valuable customers and prospects.”

Underwood said one national restaurant chain client has a per-post reach of 1.06% of its total likes on Facebook over the past several weeks—and another Midwest-based food client has seen its per-post reach drop to less than 7% in the last several weeks.

“Both of these are representative of what we’re seeing across all of our client pages recently,” he added.

Keri Lindenmuth, marketing manager at web design and software development firm KDG, agreed Facebook ads are effective because they allow you to custom-tailor the audience by location, age and more.

Recommended for YouWebcast, August 9th: Improving B2B Paid Marketing Campaign Effectiveness Through Pipeline Measurement

“Sometimes it is best if these ads look and sound no different than a regular Facebook post,” she added. “We have found that promoted video and image posts work best.”

12. Narrow your audience.

George Schildge, CEO of digital marketing agency Matrix Marketing Group, said the objective is to narrow down audiences and test to see which will produce the most results for a given objective.

“Think about it as if we were running TV ads and testing in different cities,” he said.

So, for example, for small batch coffee roaster EspressoLuv.com, he narrowed down Facebook users to those who like roaster Blue Bottle Coffee. From there, he can research what else these demographics like.

facebook targeting strategies small business“I’ll do this until I have about 30 other pages to begin narrowing my target audience before I start testing my ad creative,” Schildge added.

13. Consider boosted posts.

Per Greg Bullock, marketing manager at migraine relief company TheraSpecs, Facebook’s boost post feature allows users to expand the audience for their posts exponentially and target highly engaged and relevant prospects—with very little budget.

“Not only can it help you recoup lost organic reach from ongoing algorithmic changes, but it can increase visibility that ultimately generates traffic to your content and/or purchases for your product or service,” he said. “In fact, we have seen our most popular posts generate thousands of clicks for literally two or three pennies per click.”

And while Bullock noted there is tremendous value to setting up a larger campaign in Ads Manager, “sometimes you really only want a few clicks to get going. With boosted posts, you just set your target audience, your budget and you’re off and running.”

He pointed to this boosted post from TheraSpecs, which received nearly 1600 paid clicks at $0.02 per click.

facebook boosted postsTommy Burns, marketing specialist at digital agency Bluehouse Group, however, warned that small businesses have to be even more careful about how they spend their budgets and boosted posts have less targeting, bidding and pricing options.

“Ultimately, that means you’re getting less bang for your buck on each advertisement placement,” he said. “Small businesses use boosted posts because they’re quick and they’re busy. Unfortunately, they are giving up control over the advertisements their audience sees.”

14. Use boosted posts to optimize ads.

For his part, Kevin Namaky, founder of marketing education company Gurulocity, suggested using Facebook ads and boosted posts in sequence.

By creating two ads and giving both a small boost of around $50 to drive initial engagement, small businesses can see which ad generates the most engagement, such as likes, shares and comments. Then, Namaky said, advertisers can create a Facebook ad in Ads Manager with their conversion goal, but instead of recreating the ad, they can reuse the exact boosted post as their creative, complete with likes and shares already on the post.

“This will help your ad convert better than if you ran a new cold piece of creative with no likes or shares on it to begin with,” he added.

To run the exact same post with the social proof, go to your business page, scroll to find the boosted post and click on the date and time at the top of the post. The URL has a unique post number, which you can copy and paste when creating the ad by clicking on ‘use existing post’ and entering the ID under Creative,” Namaky added.

15. Learn how to use Facebook’s Power Editor tool.

If you’re serious about Facebook advertising, Burns suggested learning Facebook’s Power Editor tool to promote posts.

“It allows you to set up A/B test campaigns, create custom audiences based on conversion pixels and use advanced bidding models,” he said.

16. Use Facebook’s product catalog ads.

Kevin Simonson, CEO of performance marketing agency Metric Digital, called not using Facebook’s product catalog ads a “wasted opportunity.”

“This template is a surefire way to create a rich browsing experience for shoppers, encouraging greater product discovery and engagement,” he said. “It’s also the perfect tool for implementing dynamic retargeting. Not to mention, it allows you to connect an existing catalog from another platform, such as Google.”

One ecommerce client saw sales from Facebook remarketing increase by about 300% after implementing Facebook’s product catalog.

“Their ROAS went from 600 to 3000% and their CPA dropped from $45 to $9,” he added.

17. Structure your pixel strategically.

Scott Selenow, president of marketing agency Immerse Agency, said the Facebook pixel collects data about who is visiting your website and allows you to retarget those consumers later.

Facebook also has a lookalike feature, which allows you to target people who have similar online habits as your site visitors.

“The next ad campaign you set up can be all that more successful if you are able to specifically target folks you know have a propensity to interact with your campaign,” he said. “This pixel can help you maximize that intelligent targeting.”

However, if your Facebook pixel is poorly executed, you’ll lose because you’re not getting the data you need, Simonson added.

Facebook conversion tracking Time Spent on Site audience“Smart brands do everything it takes to make conversion tracking, optimization and remarketing easier. Pixel is the perfect tool for doing so,” he said. “It’s what helps you find new customers who are similar to your website visitors. And, shockingly, many of the companies we audit don’t have it set up.”

A small business client was able to turn Facebook into a channel that drove eight figures in spend, which is more than any of its other paid channels.

“Without having their pixel in order, that never would have happened,” Simonson added.

18. Use Facebook Custom Audiences to retarget users who have watched your videos.

Per Andrew Schutt, founder of internet marketing firm Elevated Web Marketing, one of the most consistently effective strategies is using video ads to retarget warm audiences.

“One of the great things about the Facebook Ads Manager is the ability to create custom audiences for your ads based on how long people watch your videos,” he said. “For example, a dentist might run a video advertisement to a cold audience talking about how important teeth cleanings are. After the teeth cleaning video has been running for a few days, we could then set up a retargeting ad that offers a discounted teeth cleaning to new patients.”

But, Schutt said, that dentist can choose to show the ad only to people who have watched over 50% of the teeth cleaning video.

“That way, we know they’re interested in teeth cleanings already, so our ad is going to be much more relevant and effective,” he added. “Whereas if we were to just serve that discount teeth cleaning ad to a cold audience, the engagement rate on the offer would be much lower.”

Schutt said he’s used this strategy with a solar panel installation company and a chiropractor to help generate leads.

“What makes this strategy so effective is that we only show that free offer to people who watched over 75% of the first video. So we know they’re interested in the benefits of chiropractic—we’ve already prequalified them, to a degree,” he said. “In a single week, with minimal ad spend, we generated 18 leads for [a] free [chiropractic adjustment].”

19. Create saved audiences.

Unlike Custom Audiences, Saved Audiences are those you configure through the standard Facebook Ads targeting options. But instead of configuring your audience each time you create an ad or want to boost a post, you can create saved audiences that you can use each time you start an ad campaign, said Chris Smith, co-founder of digital marketing and sales coaching company Curaytor.

 

facebook saved audience

Via Udonis

“This is a great option to use if you plan on targeting similar audiences each time you create specific ads or boost posts from your page,” he said. “Especially when you start creating ads in mass quantity and boost posts regularly, it will save you a lot of time and money.”

20. Test different bidding strategies.

Stacy Caprio, founder of marketing firm Accelerated Growth Marketing, said her #1 tip is to test different bidding strategies, including amount of bid and type.

“You can create four or five different ad groups for an identical ad with different bid amounts and types, let it run for a week or two, then kill off the underperforming ad sets and let the best bid results continue to run,” she said.

In addition, Simonson said Metric Digital has audited more than 1000 small businesses since 2013 and has noticed some companies use conversion bidding, but don’t have enough events tracked to optimize.

“Facebook insists that an ad set needs to generate 15 to 25 conversions per week at minimum to provide enough data to be successful,” he said. “Now, this could be difficult to reach if your company has just started advertising and your budget is small. In our audits, we will often see conversion bidding used on ad sets that are getting far less than this number of conversions. Meaning, if your ad sets can’t hit 25 purchases per week, you can try setting your conversion event to add-to-carts, or another event closer to the top of the funnel.”

21. Don’t forget to test ad placements.

Try both the Newsfeed and right-hand-side ads to see what performs best. That’s according to Namrata Arya, head of digital marketing for domain portfolio registry Radix, who added, “The right-hand side ads, while cheaper than newsfeed ads, may not get you the desired amount of clicks or conversions.”

22. Capitalize on link retargeting.

If you’re using Facebook retargeting ads to boost conversions and attract visitors to your website, you should use link retargeting, too. That’s according to Louisa McGrath, content manager at link management tool Rebrandly, who said this allows you to build out your retargeting lists and reach audiences that haven’t visited your website before, but which have been influenced by your brand on social media.

“Basically link retargeting allows you to add Facebook retargeting pixels to your short link when sharing curated content. Anyone who clicks on this content can be retargeted with relevant ads,” she said. “So you can retarget people who’ve clicked on media coverage, reviews or industry news related to your business, even if the link led to a third-party website.”

 

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Facebook is no longer releasing temporary reaction buttons

June 1st marked the beginning of Pride month, and last year, users who liked Facebook’s LGBTQ@Facebook page could get a custom reaction of a rainbow pride flag for a limited time. This year, that option doesn’t appear, and Facebook tells Business Insider that won’t be releasing custom reactions anymore. Facebook rolled out its expanded like […]

via Facebook is no longer releasing temporary reaction buttons — Sound Books

Why Do We Stay On Facebook? It’s Complicated

As a researcher who focuses on online communities, I’m accustomed to this running meta-narrative about what it is I’m actually doing online — but usually, that narrative plays inside my head, not all the way down the feed I’m scrolling through. It’s like my research questions have sprung to life these days: What’s Facebook all about, anyway? Is this even fun? If it’s not fun … what is it, exactly?

This is an exciting time in the very short history of social media use.

Facebook’s users are becoming critical of the systems into which they’ve been conscripted. This is an important moment: Will public opinion follow the same well-worn cycle of outrage and acceptance, or will it jump the tracks and begin engaging Facebook on new, more challenging terms?

Researchers have been asking tough questions about Facebook for the past decade, but even armed with the most prestigious credentials, they pose a much smaller threat than educated consumers. And without consumer outrage, government regulation seems unlikely to move forward.


Read more: Why not nationalize Facebook?


‘Sound and fury’

So far, at least in my own feed, the same old script is being followed to the letter. The soul-searching is punctuated by passionate cris-de-coeur from the feed’s more opinionated characters: Wake up, sheeple! If you’re not paying for the product, you are the product — remember? Quit Facebook! Encrypt your data! Smash your phone under the heel of your steel-toed boots!

Next, right on cue, the incisive social commentators swoop in to remind us that these calls are coming from inside the house. “Pretty ironic that you’re posting all this stuff on Facebook!” To which everyone silently rolls their eyes in resignation. Cue the gallows humor about how we’re all under constant surveillance, rinse and repeat. The human condition’s same old two-step. Sound and fury, signifying nothing.

That this discursive cycle was triggered by the revelations earlier this year that voter profiling company Cambridge Analytica obtained the Facebook data of 50 million American accounts is beside the point.

This is only the latest in a long series of such leaks about data mining. In 2017, approximately 200 million registered voters’ personal data stored by voter profiling company Deep Root Analytics was accidentally made public. The previous year, Russian hackers accessed a large cache of voter information owned by the Democratic National Committee.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies on Capitol Hill on April 11, 2018 about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

What this latest go-round is revealing is that these are industry practices that will carry on undisturbed, regardless of what Mark Zuckerberg says or does. This is not a Zuckerberg problem anymore; it’s a problem with an advertising model that is the industry standard.

Most of us Facebook users have been on the platform for about a decade, and perhaps our outrage is our growing pains.

We’ve gained some critical distance through time spent on the platform. We are less easily distracted by the ostensible fun the platform offers. And we appear to be compelled to ask questions about Facebook we’ve never asked before.


Read more: It’s time we demanded the protection of our personal data


Must ask different questions

Fenwick McKelvey, co-director of the Media History Research Centre at Concordia University’s Milieux Institute for Art, Culture and Technology, wishes that the media would start asking different questions about how data is being used by platforms like Facebook.

“The media narrative still assumes that the goal of these platforms (like Facebook) is to expose people to information,” McKelvey told me. “But it’s less and less about that — the goal is to manage and control people’s behaviour.”

Among the urgent questions media commentators should be asking, McKelvey believes, is how online advertisers are deploying user data to subtly nudge people. He provides the illustrative example of SnapChat — a company with relatively strong privacy settings in place — that leaks data to advertisers with dizzying granularity that reflects the industry standard.

Through SnapChat’s protocols, your phone informs advertisers how much time passes between the moment you’re served one of their ads and the moment you make a purchase at their business, either online or in person.

Every time you walk into a retailer with your phone’s location services on, you are leaking data about your consumption habits.

Perhaps we should be burrowing even deeper into Facebook’s business practices.

Facebook tends to rely on the fact that most of its data collection practices are laid bare in its terms of service. But according to Martin French, an assistant professor of sociology at Concordia, Facebook’s notion of “consent” is flimsy at best.

Most unaware of how their data is being used

“Facebook reportedly changed its policies after 2015 to stop app developers accessing information on app users’ network. But for me the question is: Are Facebook users, in the real world, actually aware of the changing ways their data is being used, and the policies that purportedly govern these uses?” wonders French.

French posits that based on research that has been done on who reads and understands social media privacy policies, most users are unaware of how their data is actually being used. The “consent” that Facebook is talking about when they refer to an agreement with their users is not really a kind of consent that conforms to any dictionary definition of that term.

The consensus among social scientists who study life online is that whatever dynamics play out online have offline analogs.

We’ve had a decade to incorporate Facebook into our lives, and like any learning process, our success with it has been uneven.

We’re at a critical moment as users of Facebook. It’s our responsibility to educate ourselves about the implications of our participation. Deactivating our accounts won’t change how our personal data is valued to advertisers.

But perhaps, as we become mature users of social media, we can begin to demand that limits be set on how and when our data is bought and sold.

Doctoral student , Concordia University

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