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10 Facebook Ad Units Explained

Most people know that Facebook is the world’s largest social network. What they may not know is that Facebook is expected to generate over $2 billion in revenue from display advertising in 2011 and is on track to pass Yahoo! as the top online display-ad selling company in the U.S., according to a new study by eMarketer. According to the research, Facebook’s U.S. display-ad revenue will grow this year by 80.9% to $2.19 billion, giving it a projected 17.7% share of the market. Yahoo! will drop to an estimated 13.1% of the display-ad market from a leading 14.4% share in 2010. With so much money being invested in Facebook ads, I thought it would be helpful to take a look at the 10 different types of Facebook ads available to marketers today. Facebook Ad Units 1. Page Ads are the most common ad type and are designed to drive fans to Facebook Pages. The ads are unique in that users can Like a page directly from the ad. When a user Likes the page, it’s listed beneath the ad for their friends to see. 2. Website Ads are similar to any other web advertisement. Clicking the ad takes you to the advertiser’s landing page or website. Website ads will look like Page ads without the Like button. 3. Event Ads are a great way to promote a sale, product promotion, trade show, webinar, or any event requiring a RSVP. Event ads are integrated with Facebook Events and include an “RSVP” call to action. When the RSVP is clicked, the event details are displayed, including the number of Facebook users and friends attending. Friends’ responses are visible beneath the ad after they have RSVP’d, and when a user says "yes" to attending, it will generate a newsfeed story within the user’s profile for all of their friends to see.   4. Sponsored Stories let marketers take social content and turn it into a marketing message. With sponsored stories an advertiser pays to have user interactions with their brand (Likes, Check-ins) show up on your friends’ pages while appearing in other paid promotions on the website. Sponsored stories are unique in that your content will never go to someone who is not your friend. 5. Video Ads allow advertisers to integrate video into an ad. The video and can be played inline, where people can share comments and Like the video. When someone likes the video or enters a comment, a newsfeed story will be generated for their friends to see. Video ads can only be purchased through Facebook’s internal sales team and are reserved for qualified advertisers with monthly budgets over $30,000 USD. 6. Application ads allow Facebook application developers to drive more engagement for their app by directing people to the app when they click on the ad. 7. Comment ads are Facebook’s newest ad unit and the first to be designed by an agency. Designed by Leo Burnett, the idea is that the ad looks like a conversation. With comments ads, the brand will make a statement or pose a question, and a comment box is available so the user can enter a response.When users respond to the question, the exchange shows up as a part of their newsfeed, thereby moving the conversation through the individuals’ social network. Comment ads can only be purchased by qualified advertisers through Facebook’s internal sales team. 8. Polling ads lets advertisers start conversations by conducting polls. People who respond can see how others voted and how each of their friends voted in the poll. The poll generates a story on the advertiser’s page, and can appear in newsfeed of the users who liked the brand. When a user engages with the ad, the poll story can appear on the user’s wall and in their friends’ newsfeeds. Polling ads are not available through Facebook’s self service tool. Polling ads can only be purchased by qualified advertisers through Facebook’s internal sales team. 9.Gift ads are used to drive visitors to pages within and outside of Facebook. It allows users to send a gift to a friend within Facebook, along with a custom message. Messages are public and can appear on the user’s page, as well as in their friends’ newsfeeds. Gift Ads can only by purchased by qualified advertisers through Facebook’s internal sales team. 10.Hybrid engagement ads combine different ad types, such as a video ad with a polling ad, or a video ad with an event ad. Hybrid ads can only by purchased by qualified advertisers through Facebook’s internal sales team. You may also see Facebook house ads, which are used by Facebook to backfill inventory with ads that promote Facebook features. The list of Facebook ad units will undoubtedly change over time as the platform evolves. Do you have an idea for a new Facebook ad unit? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.

3 Hard Truths About Facebook Marketing

I am a big fan of Facebook Pages. I have spent a lot of time reading, blogging, and educating myself about using Facebook Pages as a marketing tool; just look at my last few blog posts. I think Facebook Pages are a powerful way for businesses to connect with their customers. Even so, I am a realist. I know that given the media attention Facebook is getting these days, that there are a lot of misconceptions about Facebook Pages. While I encourage all marketers to embrace the use of Facebook Pages, those of us who have been through the learning curve have a responsibility to cut through the hype and inform those that are new to Facebook marketing about the realities of the medium.  With that said, below are three hard truths about Facebook marketing.   1. Facebook Pages won’t drive instant sales Marketers that build Facebook Pages looking for instant sales are going to be disappointed. Why? Because Facebook Pages are not intended to target the ready-to-buy consumer. While a very small percentage of users may be ready to buy while browsing Facebook, the vast majority won’t. So why have a business page? Because it gives you the opportunity to engage in relationship marketing and build and maintain a loyal customer following over time.  It lets you stay engaged with the not-ready-to buy market, which in most cases will be significantly larger than the “ready-to-buy” market.  It’s all about awareness and making sure that when your customers are ready to buy, your business is top of mind.   2. Cultivating Likes is hard work I have spoken to numerous marketers who build Facebook Pages. Many of them find themselves frustrated over the number of people that have Liked their page. With all the hype surrounding Facebook, many marketers have fallen prey to the “build it and they will come” mentality. The same thing happened with the dot com frenzy back in the early 90’s.  Building your Likes is not a one-time event, it is an on-going task that requires a significant amount of work.  It involves integrating Facebook into your entire marketing mix and promote your page from other channels; including every print ad, direct mail piece, collateral, press release, website, company newsletter, in-store signage, and so on. More important is the need to continually come up with interesting content that resonates with your audience and gets them engaged, which is sometimes easier said than done.   3. Few people will visit your Wall after they have Liked your Page This one hurts, especially after having spent so much time customizing your Page with carefully chosen graphics, apps, pictures, video and the like. The reality is most of your fans will see your updates in their Newsfeed, not your Wall. This does not mean that all of the work you put into building the perfect Page was for naught. First time visitors will surely explore your Page, and making a good first impression is key to turning visits into Likes on Facebook. It means that when writing updates, you need to write for the Newsfeed, not the Wall. You need to make it easy for people to interact with your brand. Avoid posts that say things like “click on our coupon app to get today’s special offer.” This is of little use to fans reading your newsfeed. It is fine if you want to reference another part of your page in your Wall posts, but remember to write for the Newsfeed and not the Wall. Include photos, videos, polls and questions to draw your audience in. Do you have any advice to share with someone new to Facebook marketing? Please share your thoughts below.

10 Point Facebook Checkup

If you manage a Facebook business page you most likely spend a most of your time managing your Wall content, reviewing your page analytics, or checking out the latest and greatest apps. But every now and then it makes sense to take pause and assess your Facebook health and well-being; to diagnose and treat the biggest small problems before they become big ones. With that in mind here is an 11 point checkup. 1. Review your permission settings to ensure maximum exposure (edit page/page settings)  Unlike a personal page where you want to limit exposure, the permission settings on your business page should be set in such a way as to maximize your exposure. 2. Make sure you have more than one page administrator (edit page/manage admins)  Having only one page administrator can be dangerous, as page administrators are the only people allowed to make changes to your page. Having multiple page administrators will provide flexibility and protection should the page administrator be on vacation, take a medical leave, or leave the company. 3. Set your email notifications (edit page/your settings)  Facebook gives you the option of receiving email notifications when people post or comment on your page. This allows you to easily monitor activity and respond to comments and posts in a timely manner.  4. Manage permissions (edit page/manage permissions)  Permission settings are very self-explanatory. However, if you have a Welcome Page, a special application created to greet new visitors to your page, you will want to set it to be the default landing page for people that have not Liked your page, meaning new visitors are automatically taken to the Welcome Page rather than your Wall.   5. Facebook plugins Facebook plugins such as the Like Box, Like Button, or Activity Feed on your website are a “must have” if you want to drive people to your page and increase your Likes. A complete list of plugins with instructions on how to generate the code can be found on the Facebook’s Social Plugins page. 6. Review your Wall and profile image Do they attract attention? Are they memorable and recognizable? Are they easy to read? Does the wall image use all the available space - 540 pixels high and 180 pixels wide? This blog post from Tina Cook has some great examples that may inspire you. 7. Review your More Info page Is the More Info page complete and easy to read? Is it up to date? Does it include phone numbers, websites, addresses and the like? 8. Manage your Featured Likes (edit page/featured)  Your Liked pages appear on the left hand side of your Wall. Up to five pages are shown at a time. Although the five featured Likes are presented in random order each time the page is refreshed, you can select which pages are included in the mix by designating them as a featured Like. This is a great way to highlight other pages you administer or pages from your clients or partners.  9. Review your photostrip The order of these images can’t be fixed and images are reordered each time the page loads. But administrators have the ability to hide photos appearing in the strip by clicking the hide this photo box when hovering over a picture. 10. Delete any dead apps It is important to keep the content on your apps up-to-date. Even the most famous brands sometimes have “dead” apps that are either empty or have old, stale content. An app with information that has not been updated in months can leave a poor impression of your brand, so make sure you delete any unused apps.  There you have it. Once you have addressed these 11 critical issues your Facebook page will get a clean bill of health.

4 Reasons Why Your Business Needs A Facebook Page

Just as the advent of the internet led companies to build websites, the popularity of Facebook is causing many marketers to want to build Facebook business pages.  With over 700 million users (larger than the population of the United States) Facebook has become the number one social networking site in the world.  Even so, many companies don’t have a Facebook business page. Why? The reasons vary. For some, they don’t understand the true value of having a Facebook business page. For others, it’s because they simply don’t have the time, resources, or knowledge needed to build an engaging page. Whatever the reason, they may want to reconsider after reviewing these four reasons why your business needs a Facebook page. 1. Increased consumer engagement Facebook helps businesses turn a transaction into an ongoing customer relationship by building and maintaining a loyal consumer following with consumers who are most likely to buy again and again. It is a great vehicle for businesses that offer products or services that may not be purchased on a regular basis, and are looking for ways to stay connected until the next need arises. It is also non-intrusive, as users opt-in by “Liking” a page.   2. Improved exposure and SEO rankings Facebook business pages are public, meaning they are indexed by search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Facebook business pages regularly appear on the first page of search results, providing businesses even greater exposure. Consumers don’t have to be a member of Facebook to view a fan page, anyone can click on a fan page and see the content.   3. True word of mouth marketing Marketers know that there is nothing more valuable for a brand than a personal recommendation from one friend to another. A study by ExactTarget found that 38% of online U.S. consumers “Like” a brand on the social networking site. And the average fan likes nine different brands, giving clients plenty of opportunity to find their way into potential customers’ news feeds.  This is what makes Facebook the ultimate word of mouth marketing platform. Whenever a consumer “Likes” a page or posts a comment on a page, that information is shared on the consumer’s wall and in their news feed for all of their friends to see, allowing likes and comments to go viral.   4. It’s expected Facebook has become such a big part of consumers’ lives that many expect their favorite brands to have a business page that they can “Like” and follow. Businesses run the risk of being perceived as non-relevant if they do not have a Facebook page.     What’s holding your company back from building a Facebook business page? Please share your comments.  

A Social Hospital is a Healthy Hospital

Social media is the new frontier in healthcare communication. Patients are seeking answers before and after medical appointments. People that were once private about their medical conditions are now connecting with family, friends and complete strangers to get opinions on their conditions and possible treatments. And, today’s new “social patient” is venturing online to get ratings and reviews about hospitals and doctors in order to get more comfortable about their healthcare decisions. So, why all the caution and concern by hospitals about joining the new social revolution? Is it really that complicated and risky?  I believe most of the pressure and uncertainty can be eased by answering a few common questions for the hospital:   1.  How engaged should our hospital be in the social stratosphere? The social media environment is enormous; literally thousands of social networking sites and applications are available. The breadth of it all is simply overwhelming when you try to understand what’s available. So, don’t even try. The best approach to determining where—and to what degree—you should get engaged in social media is to look at it from an outward strategic perspective. Your organization needs to ask:   ·    Do we want to simply watch and be aware of conversations in our community? This is an activity that your healthcare organization should do at a minimum. The more you know about the topics and issues being discussed about your organization, its services and staff, the better you will be at shaping your organization for success. This activity is easy and can be done with little or no investment. You can simply use a browser and visit common social media sites.   ·    Do we want to go a step further by engaging our hospital in social conversations? The answer here can be more easily determined by deciding … “When a patient is expressing a complaint online, would we like the opportunity to respond and help solve the issue?” Or, “If a patient is posting a question about our services, would we like to offer answers for all to see, not just that patient?” If the answer is that you would like to engage in conversation, then you need to involve your IT department so that you can set up and manage your own social media accounts within your organization. I say this because many organizations block social media from company access. Begin by setting up accounts and responding to content on sites such as: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Ning, and Twibes.   ·    Do we want to go all the way into social media by becoming a thought leader and conversation starter?  Again, this depends upon your strategy as an organization. If you are the healthcare brand leader in your community, consumers expect you to take the lead in social conversations. They will watch what you post, how you position your organization, and what you say to patients and constituents in the community. Take the opportunity to do just that. Post your press releases on Twitter and Facebook. Announce job openings on those social networks — as well as on LinkedIn.  Get your physicians engaged on Facebook by posting their opinions on health topics and issues. Write articles for posting on WordPress and Blogger. The bottom line is, if you want to be a healthcare leader, you also need to be a leader on the social front by pushing content and creating discussions, rather than just reacting.   2.   How can we best use social media without the fear of violating HIPAA requirements? The position to take here is no different than what you do today. Your employees know they should never release information about specific patients and their medical information. You trust that they comply with HIPAA regulations in their personal time, why not trust that they would do the same in the work environment? Granted, incorporating social media into the workplace facilitates greater opportunities for employees to make mistakes, but it can also be viewed as a means for making employees more aware of privacy rules and methods. That said, a social media policy is a valuable document to help protect your organization from potential liability. The easiest way to begin drafting a policy is to look at how other organizations have already tackled the subject. One rule of thumb is to keep it simple. Danbury Hospital in Connecticut does a good job of this on their policy. They begin by differentiating between personal and professional online activities:   ·   Personal blogging is not a business-related activity and should be done during personal (non-work) time only.   ·   Company-sponsored blogging may only be done after express authorization of public relations/marketing.   ·   In the event that you participate in personal blogging, the following applies …   Other social media policies by hospitals include: Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Sentara/OptimaHealth, Sutter Health, and MD Anderson. Perhaps the safest overall position I have seen organizations use to protect themselves is to have employees that are engaged in social media add a disclaimer on their blogs and social media sites similar to: “The opinions and statements on this site are my own and are not approved, reviewed or endorsed by my employer or any other organization.” You can find a host of additional information about social media policies for healthcare organizations at 100 Best Health Care Policy Blogs hosted by RNCentral.com.    3.   Who in our healthcare organizations should be responsible for social media? This is a question that your management needs to answer. Typically, a simple social media presence can be managed by one person. This person should be familiar with your hospital’s positioning, branding and service offerings. Quite often, this person is in a marketing, PR or customer relations role. This person can watch conversations, report on the sentiment and subjects discussed, monitor your competitors, and manage a corporate Twitter and LinkedIn page. However, if your communications strategy requires more social engagement, then you may want to add responsibilities that include writing and responding to blogs, speaker forums and chat rooms. This may require the involvement of a physician or another subject matter expert who can respond intelligently to questions and comments. At the highest level of social engagement, for organizations that want to be a community leader, you should form a “social team” that includes members from IT, marketing, public relations, community relations, and possibly members of your outside agency. The more connected team members are to each other and the more ownership each has in the process, the more successful the social media program will be. You should also assign a person within your organization to perform tracking and measurement using social media tracking tools such as: Twitalyzer, Twinfluence Rank, HootSuite, Addictomatic, Social Stats and Google Analytics.   In summary, the way I like to address hesitations and uncertainties about social media is to quote Reed Smith, director of project management at the Texas Hospital Association, who said, “These conversations are going to happen anyway, so it's just a matter of whether or not you're going to participate in the conversation. If you're not involved, you don't really have any influence."   If you would like assistance in creating a “healthy” social media program for your hospital, please contact me at mark.williams@berrynetwork.com.  You can also join me on my social media sites below as well as on Twitter at @Just4Hospitals.