There are nearly 1,500 daily posts in an average Facebook user’s personal network of friends and Liked pages. Ever wonder how Facebook determines which posts appear in your news feed?
Because more people and businesses continue to join the booming social network, Facebook constantly tweaks its algorithm to offer users a smarter news feed of relevant content — in turn, making news feed real estate increasingly competitive for brands.
To reach the right audience effectively, business pages need a combination of engaging posts and advertising.
The good news? Facebook is using its vast pool of consumer data to focus on a quality experience for users and businesses alike.
Today, we’re going to explore four recent Facebook changes that can boost your page strategy, as well as share which retailers — despite the increasing competition — saw exceptional audience growth during Q1 2015. For more background on the charts below, read this introductory blog post.
CHANGES THAT AFFECT YOUR PAGE STRATEGY
Constantly evolving and forever adjusting to consumer trends, Facebook continually rolls out new features for its users, which can affect the way you manage your Facebook pages. Listed below are four updates from Q1 and how they’re set to affect retailers.
1. Page Like Decrease
Overview: Many business pages’ Like counts decreased throughout March.
Details: To make audience data more meaningful for businesses, Facebook updated the way page Likes are counted by removing deactivated and “memorialized” accounts.
Retailer Opportunities: You’ll now have up-to-date insights on the people who actively follow your page. For advertising purposes, it also makes it easier to find people similar to your followers through tools such as lookalike audiences.
What You Should Know: Facebook started cleaning up pages’ Like counts last year with the Like-Gate policy.
2. Product Ads
Overview: Facebook announced dynamic product ads, a new type of retargeting ad based on your product feed. You can use these ads to promote your products within Facebook users’ news feeds.
Details: These retargeting ads are dynamically optimized, meaning that the product ads users see will be customized based on their interests and web activity.
Retailer Opportunities: You can now serve retargeting ads on Facebook, a site where users, on average, spend 40 minutes of their day.
3. Expanded Tools for Measuring When Facebook Ads Lead to Online and Offline Sales
Overview: Offline data has been added to Facebook’s advertising platform. As a result, you can better measure the direct impact your Facebook ad had on a shopper’s decision to buy.
Details: Facebook looks at one group of users that saw the ad campaign, and another group that didn’t. Then it compares those groups with your conversion data, which can come from sources like the Custom Audience pixel or an in-store point-of-sale system.
Retailer Opportunities: Facebook is trying to help retailers spend their money more wisely on Facebook. This measurement tool allows retailers to look beyond last-click attribution and figure out what exactly is working and not working in their marketing campaigns.
What You Should Know: By focusing on that final click, it’s easy to misjudge your success and allocate resources improperly. Even if an ad doesn’t lead to an immediate sale, it can still contribute to a consumer’s decision-making process.
4. Messenger As a Platform
Overview: During the opening keynote at Facebook’s F8 developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg announced the use of Facebook Messenger to reinvent communication with businesses.
Details: The idea is that Messenger will make communication about a product order less clumsy. No more multiple email threads and long customer service waits. All communication (confirmation, delivery tracking, customer service, etc.) will be tied to a single chat thread.
Retailer Opportunities: Not only could Messenger streamline customer-to-business communication, but it could also give Facebook valuable insight into commerce. The more Facebook knows about what consumers buy and what businesses they interact with, the better its ad targeting will be.
What You Should Know: This communication channel for businesses and customers was pioneered years ago in Asia by Line and WeChat. The US is finally grasping the concept of using messaging as a commerce platform.
TOP 25 FACEBOOK PAGES
We’ve hand-curated a database of over 500 online retailers that have Facebook pages. We’ve been tracking their fan counts for the last two years, and based on that data, we realized that there’s an abundance of insights to be gained.
From our list of 500 retailers, below are the top 25 by total fan count at the end of Q1. Notice the decrease in page Likes, as discussed previously.
(We’ve color coded this so that blue show a move UP, orange DOWN and no color is flat.)
TOP 25 PAGES WITH THE MOST GROWTH
Online retailers that added the most absolute fans during Q1.
TOP 25 PAGES WITH THE MOST GROWTH BY PERCENTAGE
Finally, let’s take a look at fan percentage growth for online retailers with more than 2,000 fans during Q1.
Facebook has become a mandatory channel for many brands, but so many of those brand pages risk becoming obsolete because there isn’t a proper strategy in place.
A Facebook business page isn’t something that you can glance at every once in a while — it demands continuous attention, engaging content and the ability to adapt. A well-managed page can be an impressive platform for introducing, promoting and growing your brand.
As always, be on the lookout next quarter, when we’ll share the latest Facebook changes that you need to be aware of, as well as announce the top 25 retailers of Q2 2015 that have successfully grown their business page audience.
Blog post by Jordan Nowlin, social media and blog manager, ChannelAdvisor