Changes to Facebook Pages, News Feed, Ads Affect Merchants
If there is one constant with Facebook, it’s change. Once again, the social network has made changes to Pages, News Feed, and ads that directly affect marketing efforts.
Just this week, Facebook changed the look of Pages on the desktop version to make them more streamlined and easier for people to find information they want. Page administrators will be able to access their most often used tools more easily, as well. The new layout is not yet available on all Pages, but will be in due course, according to Facebook.
There are four basic changes.
- Single column page posts. Page posts will now reside in a single right-hand column, which is an adjustment both Facebook users and Page admins will doubtless appreciate. The current two-column format, which requires users to segue back and forth across the page, is cumbersome and makes finding information more difficult, especially to follow status updates in chronological order.
- Left-hand column. The left column features information about the business, including a map, hours of operation, phone number, and website URL, as well as photos and videos.
- New admin toolbar. As a Page administrator, finding the tools you use most often is not as straightforward and simple as it should be. With the new version, no matter where an admin is on the Page, she can view information about ads that are running, new Page likes, as well unread notifications and messages.
Facebook also added a new navigation toolbar that will remain visible across the top of the Page, making it easier to access activity, Insights, and settings.
- Pages to Watch. Facebook previously experimented with a feature called “Pages to Watch,” which it’s now rolling out to all Pages, and which can be found in the Insights analytics section.
Pages to Watch allows admins to create a list of Pages similar to their own and compare the performance of their Page with those on the list.
Facebook News Feed
Facebook recently modified its News Feed to make the interface appear the same on desktop and mobile devices. The biggest change relates to image and photo sizes, which are now larger.
In describing the reason for the change, News Feed Product Manager Greg Marra said, “People love looking at photos on Facebook, and this was one of the parts of the design people told us they liked. Over time, more and more of News Feed is photos, so we want to show them as best we can.”
This has significance for ecommerce merchants in particular because it enables them to display larger product images than in the past.
On March 4, Facebook began rolling out a new advertising campaign structure that consists of three levels: campaigns, ad sets, and ads. This is similar to the way Google organizes AdWords.
- Campaigns. Campaigns correspond to advertising objectives, such as building brand awareness, driving web traffic, or increasing Likes. They are designed to help advertisers optimize and measure results for each objective across multiple ad sets and ads.
- Ad Sets. Campaigns can include multiple ad sets, each with its own budget and schedule. Ad sets can be organized to represent audience segments, such as demographics and interests.
- Ads. Advertisers will be able to run multiple ads inside each ad set that contain different images, links, video, or text. Creative, targeting, and bidding is still controlled at the ad level.
Merchants that run multiple ads and campaigns should benefit from this new structure. Including the new intermediary level (ad sets) will serve to better organize ad buys and make ad optimization, performance measurement, and ad-spend tracking easier.
Facebook said that the new structure will be reflected worldwide across all ad interfaces, including the Ads Create Tool, Ads Manager, and Power Editor.