Facebook Page ‘centre’ of marketing activity

Facebook is moving “much further up the value chain for brands” as companies are seeing that using the site is having a positive affect on sales and brand preference, according to its EMEA vice president and managing director Joanna Shields.


Speaking at an event designed to promote the service to marketers, Shields claimed Facebook is now meeting with more CMOs and that their premium advertising products that help brands get their messages in front of the most relevant consumers via desktop and mobile.

Shields said: “The Facebook Page is now becoming the centre of marketing engagements for brands [on the site]…we’re moving away from connections and reaching a critical mass of fans to leveraging [Facebook’s recently launched premium ad formats] to guarantee how many of your fans your content can reach.”

The sentiment echoes that of ABInbev CMO Chris Burggraeve who said that social media is now “in the middle” of its marketing mix, declaring channels such as television are becoming a secondary marketing medium.

Facebook claims that on average, only 16% of a Page’s fans see any one post, but this number can increase to a guaranteed 75% of fans if brands pay a fixed fee to use its “Reach Generator” format. The company claims that a recent O2 Sponsored Story using Reach Generator was seen by about 78% of its fans, whilst Ben and Jerry reached more than 98% of its fans with a story over the course of a month.

David Fischer, Facebook’s vice president of business and marketing partnerships, said: “There’s no prizes for having the most fans, but there are now opportunities to reach out to more of them and build up your fanbase…what’s most effective is friends talking to friends [about your brand].”

He advised that photos tend to get engagement rates twice that of text posts, whilst asking questions on posts or writing “fill in the blank” statements can lead to 90% higher engagement levels.

Earlier this month Facebook unveiled new premium ad formats that increase the amount of fans that see posts made on Facebook pages and also allow brands to advertise across the news feed – both on desktop and in mobile – and display rich media on the site’s log-out page.

Facebook would not answer questions about future intentions for mobile-specific advertisements, such as building in couponing, location-based offers or click-to-call. The company is currently in its quiet period as it prepares for its forthcoming IPO.

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