On the heals of Tim’s big post about Google Plus I thought I’d highlight a small change in Facebook that might have huge implications. Facebook’s open graph allows interaction between your content or app by a user to be shared on that persons news feed and consequently exposed to all of their friends. Starting last week Facebook started allowing advertisers to pay for more exposure of these kind of interactions, turning them into powerful social ads, and changing the way Facebook marketing works.
Previously advertisers could only sponsor actions taken on their own pages or apps, excluding advertisers whose content was being interacted with through third party apps. With these new news feed ads you could now sponsor pretty much anything that mentions your name. So for example a band could now, not only sponsor likes to their own page, but listens to their songs on Spotify as well.
This new feature expands on Open Graph activity ad targeting and lets more advertisers reach users in a personal way, rather than sponsoring ads in the side bar. As opposed to letting advertisers inundate users with irrelevant ads, based on generic demographic data, Facebook is now allowing advertisements that show the actions of friends. This will be exponentially more relevant and effective than traditional ads and is a win win for everyone. Users will be advertised to as they always have been but now in a more relevant way that they might actually find helpful, Facebook gets more ad revenue, and advertisers see better conversion rates.
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