So I'm scrolling through the news this morning, and you know what I saw? News of another Facebook feature test! And this one's definitely an interesting one -- an ad ROI tracking tool.
They will begin rolling the tool out on Friday, and it will allow advertisers to track the actions of Facebook users post-click. Pretty groovy, eh? This tool will help advertisers track conversions to their external pages, and allow all businesses to track their success on Facebook.
Let's dive into some more detail on what the tool is, how it'll work, and why marketers might want to get excited about it.
Facebook's ROI Tracking Tool
Like we said, the tracking tool will allow marketers to see how their Facebook ads perform post-click, tracking the actions of users after they convert on the ad and go to the landing page to which your ad directs them. In order for this ROI tracking tool to work, all advertisers will need to do is place code on pages on their website that users access after making a conversion. These pages might include the check out page for an ecommerce business, or a thank-you page after filling out a form on a landing page. Once a Facebook user views this page, the Facebook ads platform is alerted that someone who viewed and clicked on a Facebook ad has converted off-site on the advertiser's page. Even better, advertisers will then have the option to target ads at the segments who have responded positively to certain ads in the past.
Birthday alerts – we see them all the time on Facebook. Well, kids, Facebook is in the game of "real-world", tangible gifting. We aren't talking about virtual goods here people. We are talking about stuffed animals, angry birds, coffee cups, gift sets, food and more.
While we don't know the full extent of the gifting choices, there will be plenty to choose from. What we do know is that Facebook is about to increase the size of their daily income. You can bet that Facebook is going to piece of the pie. Below is a preview image of how gifting opportunities will appear on desktop versions of facebook
While this new gifting feature is not available on desktop versions of Facebook, it is available on the latest version of the iOS Facebook application. If you haven't updated your Facebook application lately, you will need to get the latest version that was released just this past Monday.
They say you learn something new everyday...
And one of the things I recently learned was a new oxymoron: a social media budget.
Because in most companies, it simply doesn't exist. They expect Fans, Followers, Likes and Pins to fall from the sky.
But that's not the worst part...
No, the worst part is when you see how companies actually spend a social media budget if they have it.
Because most of the time it's wasted on vanity metrics and hot trends.
And the problem typically resides with the HIPPOs (highest paid person's opinion), because the highest paid person is also (usually) the least knowledgeable and furthest away from the front-lines.
Here are three of the worst ways that companies waste money in social media.
Money Waster #1: Squandering Your Offline Resources
We're hip deep into Q4 and retailers are scurrying to uncover every last bit of revenue. In the midst of this commercial revelry, the marketing world has been hit with a controversial bombshell, from the venerated Forrester Group. The punch to the gut is that the mother lode of new marketing – Social Media, is a bust. All you social media consultants move your collective feet back from the ledge because, I disagree—kinda.
In a controversial Forrester article that has eCommerce executives driving their 5 Series to a Thelma and Louise crescendo concludes that social media marketing efforts generate an anemic, less than one percent of new or repeat sales. Most executives I've talked to would have wagered their beloved 5 Series that the number is closer to 20%.
I won't bore you with the litany of statistics included in the article, but the long and short of it is new customers are like cloistered monks that prior to handing over the AmEx, do their independent research, busily typing URLs or staring blankly at a billboard during the daily hour long commute.
Additionally, repeat purchasing monks dutifully wait for their e-mail inbox to influence how they are to barter their honey mead.
I will not deny that there is no replacement for independent research prior to a purchase. But one cannot convince me that less than one percent of buyers are not influenced about what Dad says about a car, what Bob "the neighbor" says about his new 3D television or what your best friend says about the newest hand bag in whatever media they choose.
Brands are expected to have opinions on social media. After all, that's the whole point, right? To humanize your brand and show that it has its own personality?
That said, brands are not people, and they shouldn't behave like them. That means that some of the contentious things that people discuss with their networks on social media -- the topics that end up sparking the most heated conversations -- aren't the ones that brands should be adding their two cents on. And they certainly shouldn't be making clever little quips about serious matters.
Sometimes it's hard for a social media manager to resist capitalizing on the latest trending topic. But brands don't have to -- and frankly shouldn't -- weigh in on every big news item of the day. In many cases, they're just inviting a wave of unfriending and backlash when they tackle certain topics.
Here are the topics that social media managers should avoid if they want to avoid high blood pressure. You'd think some of these would be obvious. But apparently they're not.
This one is hard for a lot of social media managers to accept, especially during election seasons and when major political news breaks overseas. After all, everyone is talking about it on Facebook and Twitter. So the brands should too, right?
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