Facebook Ads Changes 2016

Guess what, guys? Facebook’s making some changes. I know. Try and contain your excitement. Don’t worry. I’m breaking down the three big things I want you to know about today on this episode of Hit the Mic with The Stacey Harris. These are changes that I think are going to actually be really amazing changes. The first one we’re going to talk about is all about ads. The second one we’re going to talk about is all about your page as a whole, and the third one we’re going to talk about are some new video metrics that are beginning to be coming out. Good, good stuff. You ready to jump in? Let’s do this.

First thing’s first, some ads changes are coming, and really mostly from a how users experience ads kind of place, how we interact with ads, with other people’s ads, but I want to talk about how it’s going to impact you as somebody who runs ads, okay? By the way, in the show notes for this episode over at thestaceyharris.com/episode290, you will find links to all three articles about these changes right from Facebook, if you want to check those out as well. I’m going to be giving you some of the information, and then we’re going to talk about how it impacts you as a business owner, but if you want to read the whole thing straight from Facebook, head over to the show notes. There are links to all three articles. Okay? Let’s jump in on this.

We’re talking about how we can control our ads. As somebody who uses Facebook, and has ads in the timeline and on the right-hand bar all the time, I get why a lot of people turn their ads off. However, Facebook has created a way to not have that happen, so now your ad blocking software that you’re using with Chrome or Firefox, maybe Ad Block Plus, or there’s another ad blocker. There’s a ton of them. They might not be working. You might see your Facebook ads popping back up, and as somebody who runs Facebook ads, I’m not entirely against that, because that’s going to mean my cost will go down, because there’s going to be more people who ads are being delivered to.

However, with doing this, Facebook is also giving users the ability to control the kind of ads they see. When we create Facebook ads, we often target interests. Those interests are created from our user side by based on what we’ve clicked on, or read, or watched, and sometimes those aren’t entirely accurate when it comes to what our actual interests are. It may be that you were Christmas shopping for your friend, a new, I don’t know barbecue set. I’m making things up now, and so now it’s attached to your profile that you have an interest in barbecuing. You may be a vegetarian who lives in a studio apartment, and has never once in your life touched a barbecue.

You can see how these interests might not be always accurate. Here’s the deal, though. Facebook now is going to let us go in and edit those interests, meaning we can stop getting the ads that are targeted based on gifts we’ve purchased in the past. Also, maybe you’ve had your profile for a really long time, and your interests aren’t the same as they were always before, and so there’s some stuff in there that’s older. That’s going to allow us to do that. Here’s the thing, though. I know what you’re thinking. At least one of you listening to this show is thinking, “Awesome. I will just go in there, and I will delete all of the interests, and then no ads will target me.”

Here’s why that’s a terrible idea. What’s going to happen is you’re still going to get ads. You’re just going to get really poorly targeted ones. It’s worth going in, and cleaning up this list, and making sure your ads are relevant for you, because I will be honest, I have purchased things based on ads because I have found out about something I didn’t know about. Most of the ads I’ve purchased from are probably retargeting ads, which is why I love re-targeting ads. God, that’s a whole other episodes. Go in and pay attention to these, and again, from the perspective of a business owner, this is allowing us to really make sure that our ads are getting in front of the right people.

This is why knowing your ideal clients, knowing your target market, knowing your target persona, whatever you want to call that person who is buying from you, or listening to your show, or consuming your blog content, or watching your videos, or whatever, is so important. Now we’re getting an even better way to target them, and an even more accurate way to get in front of the eyeballs we want to be in front of. This is really cool. From a user perspective, I would go in, and I would update these, because that’s going to be really, really cool to be getting more accurate ads in front of me, ads of things I actually care about.

Also, again, from a business perspective, we’re going to have that accuracy. Also, you may, may see your cost going down a little because ads are being delivered to more people, because those ad blockers are not working. I know Ad Blocker Plus has already tried to announce a workaround, and Facebook shut down that loophole a couple of days later, so I suspect this will sort of be a back and forth between them, volleying this ad blocker on, ad blocker off thing back and forth, for probably quite a while. As ad blockers have become more and more popular, we’re seeing more and more sites find ways to get around people using them, either by producing the ads anyways, or in some cases, just locking us out of the content altogether until we agree to either pay or turn the ad blocker off.

Pay attention to that, and see what’s happening. From a business perspective, this is not a bad thing, because it’s going to allow us to get into the newsfeed. That also highlights how important it is that your ads really be of a high quality. It’s really highlighting how valuable it is for your ads to be a seamless experience with the other content around it. Make sure your ads are something worth looking at. Make sure your video ads are worth watching. Make sure your link ads are worth clicking, because that’s going to do a lot, a lot of good, as far as people not being interrupted by your ad so much as happy to engage with it. Okay?

All right, so that wraps it up. Again, if you want to read the whole article from Facebook, you can do that. They had a posted it in their newsroom. I have a link to it over in the show notes page. All right? Next up, let’s talk about … All right, so let’s talk about your Facebook page. Some of you may actually already be seeing this. I know some of our members and Hit the Mic backstage have started seeing it, I want to say a couple of months ago. I finally got it, I want to say maybe a month ago now. It’s really, really great. They’re rolling this out a little strangely, though. They’re not rolling it out page by page. They’re rolling it out user by user.

Once you see this on your page, you will see it on all of the other pages. The best I can describe it is, it’s a big, big upgrade. We still have our cover image. That cover image is the same size, but now our profile image, instead of sitting over the cover image, will sit to the left of the cover image above sort of a menu of about, photos, whatever it is specific to your page that you have. If you have the shop section on your page, that’ll be there. If you have a services section, that will be in that menu. Right under the cover image, you’ll see the like. If you have your message button showing, you’ll see that, and then you’ll see the more button that has like as a page, and report your page, those kind of options.

You’ll see underneath the cover image, and all the way to the right, you’ll see a big, blue button, and that’s your call to action button. Whatever call to action you have, contact us, shop, learn more, sign up, whatever call to action button you have will be there, giving it major, major highlight. Right under that, you’ll see the page category, if there’s a review or ratings enabled on your page. You’ll see that star rating there. Then you see an option to search the posts of the page, which I think is really, really nice, and then you see the information like page likes, and check-ins, and hours, and stuff like that.

That’s center, so just underneath the cover image, but on the left column under the cover image, is where you’ll see the timeline, the newsfeed, the actual posts and content from the page. I think it’s a much cleaner experience. I think it’s a big, big upgrade. I really like it, but what I want you to realize with this is now you have an entire unobstructed cover image to take advantage of when it comes to sharing some sort of information, and tying that in with a very, very well-placed, eye-catching, easy to take action on call to action button. I want you to make sure that you are utilizing those two pieces of those page to really make sure you are driving people where you want them to go, whether that’s a website, or contacting you, or watching a video, or whatever it is.

I want you to make sure you’re using this real estate, because they are giving it to you in a big, big way now. This is rolling out slowly to everyone. I believe the official roll out in the US is still happening. I know that if you’re in the UK or Australia, I don’t think you’re getting this until a later in the year, but it’s coming. It’s coming soon, so yeah, you’re getting more prominent buttons, and that’s really, really what I want you to take away from it more than anything. The cover photo is still displaying on desktops at 828 by 315 pixels. The profile pictures are now 160 by 160, so make sure that you have updated or optimized your content to speak to those sizes.

Again, the cover image is staying the same, 828 by 315, and then your profile photo, which is now to the left of your cover image instead of sitting on top of your cover image. It sits to the left, is now 160 pixels by 160 pixels. The other thing to consider when you are creating your cover image is not just how it looks on a desktop, but how it’s going to look on mobile. Make sure when you’re doing things like pointing to the call to action button that it’s still going to work in how it’s going to look on mobile. Remember how many people are consuming this content on mobile. A lot, so make sure it’s optimized by both user experiences, okay?

All right. Let’s jump into the third thing I want to talk to you about today. This is actually the thing I’m most excited about, because I know a lot of you are getting more and more into Facebook video, and using Facebook video not only in Facebook live, but uploading, I should say, uploading produced, gorgeous video. Metrics is getting an upgrade. You’re now going to be able to understand the audience and the engagement of your videos a little bit better. Let’s break down what is getting added. First up, audience demographics. You’re actually going to be able to see who of your pages are actually watching your videos, and how long they’re lasting.

When you go into a video, and again, the link to the actual post from Facebook is in the show notes, and they’ve got great photos inside of that post of these different breakdowns. Check those out, but you’re actually going to be able to the age, the gender, and the geographic location of those top viewers, so you can really see who is actually paying attention. A lot of times, I talk about insights and the value of knowing who’s liking your page, but then also, the value of knowing who is actually seeing your page, and the demo information of who’s actually engaging in your page.

This is just that next step, because now it’s getting as specific as, who is watching your video, and to what point are they watching it? You may have your target audiences watching five, ten, 15 seconds of a video, but it’s actually a slightly different demographic that’s consistently watching all of your videos, all the way through. That’s an important piece of information to know when it comes to creating your videos, because it may adjust how often you post. It may adjust who you speak to. It may adjust how you speak to them through video. It may also adjust how long your videos are, so pay attention to these demographics.

Again, top audience demographics, but then also the engagement. You’re actually going to be able to see how engaged, and at what points they’re engaging. You can really be expanding what works, and removing what doesn’t. It’s really giving you all the information, if you’re just willing to dig into these metrics, because this is a lot of incredible value. By video engagement, what I’m talking is reactions, meaning likes, loves, wows, all the reactions we have now. Also comments and shares, so if you’re getting to a point where you’re just dropping some serious knowledge, people are loving it, and suddenly you see a massive increase in shares. Suddenly, everybody’s sharing the video.

You know that A, maybe you want to get to that point a little sooner, or you want to do more of that, because it’s really not only getting your audience fired up from a point where they’re still watching, but even better, they’re telling their friends that they’re watching, and they’re telling them to watch, too. That’s really, incredibly valuable for you. You can also see what the viewing habits are, and what kind of views you’re getting from shares and from cross-posting. That’s going to be really valuable if you’re cross-posting in any sort of joint venture or partnership, and you’re cross-posting to multiple pages, or maybe you’re somebody who is a blogger, or content creator, or a freelancer for a major brand, and you’re cross-posting on your own stuff and their stuff.

This is going to tell you what kind of information you’re getting from there as well. What I love is we’re also able to see from the video views who’s watching it with the sound on, and how many people are watching it with the sound off. You can really see the value of, do I need to invest in and get started with, on these recorded videos, having those captions? The answer may very well be yes. I know that’s something I’m working on for my own stuff, because it really is impactful. Pay attention to this information, because again, once again, analytics will give you a ton of information. We see a lot of questions come through for me that are about when to post, and what to post, and how long to post, and a lot of it is educated guesses based on who your ideal clients are.

Beyond that, looking at what you’re creating, and seeing how they’re engaged with it. All of the answers sit in knowing who your ideal clients are, and then testing things, and then reviewing the data. Reviewing the data is often skipped, so don’t just … Testing stuff doesn’t matter, if you don’t look at what happened as a result, okay? Pay attention to that stuff. All right. If you want to learn more about these changes, and how to make the most of Facebook, and how to really maximize your impact that your Facebook page is having maybe in the midst of some serious organic reach drops, then be sure to join us at Hit the Mic Backstage, over at hitthemicbackstage.com.

This really is the place to be to keep up with social media, to get your questions answered, to stay confident and clear in knowing that you are taking the right steps right now, not the right steps from five years ago. Okay? All right. I will see you on Friday.

Resources

Join us in Hit the Mic Backstage

A New Way to Control the Ads You See on Facebook, and an Update on Ad Blocking

Changes to the Look of your Page

New Video Metrics

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