Want To Target Your Facebook Followers? You Can't.

Facebook has removed the ability to target page fans with ads. Now, only people who recently engaged with your page can be targeted through paid advertising. Paired with platform's algorithmic approach to organic reach distribution, this means that it is essentially no longer possible to reach your entire page following.

While that may sound disturbing, the change will positively affect how custom and lookalike audiences are generated. Instead of building an audience similar to your current connections, audiences will be made up of relevant, engaged users.

The move furthers Facebook's strategic message that marketers should focus on meaningful engagement as opposed to follower counts.

Facebook Implements a Problematic Content Plan: Remove, Reduce, Inform

Scammers, fake news creators, and suggestive content creators will have a range of new Facebook features to deal with in the coming weeks. With attempts to remove contentious content from the site, reduce the reach of those that aren’t taken down, and inform audiences when they’ve encountered such material all in the works, we’re breaking the action items below.

Holding Groups Accountable

As Facebook users and brands shift their conversations away from the news feed and into niche groups, the company is attempting to thwart the spread of offensive, divisive, and inaccurate content that may get shared – even privately. In a blog post, Facebook claims that an unnamed technology allows them to, “proactively detect many types of violating content posted in groups before anyone reports them and sometimes before few people, if any, even see them.”

What group administrators and moderators should know is that they will now be held accountable for posts that violate the platform’s Community Standards. When member posts contain violations, Facebook will look at who approved the content for Group visibility and could remove the entire group if they believe the admins have acted recklessly.

To help keep track of these violations, a new Group Quality feature for admins (similar to the Page Quality tab that was introduced earlier this year) will provide an overview of flagged content and false news found in the group. A group with multiple violations, or one that shares links to malicious or false news websites, will have their reach downgraded.

In addition to these new features, members will soon be able to remove all of their posts and comments from a group should they choose to leave it.

Penalizing Fringe Link Sharing

For years, fringe publishers have been using shocking, divisive, and partisan headlines to provoke engagement on Facebook. Now, articles from those sites will begin to see a decrease in reach as the platform stifles their influence on the news feed.

The new ranking signal, known as Click-Gap, “looks for domains with a disproportionate number of outbound Facebook clicks compared to their place in the web graph. This can be a sign that the domain is succeeding on news feed in a way that doesn’t reflect the authority they’ve built outside it and is producing low-quality content.” In short, the algorithm will now cross-check the performance of links both on and off Facebook in order to determine if its hosting website is reputable.

Moderating Risky Instagram Content

Even if your photo and video content doesn’t unequivocally violate Instagram’s Community Guidelines, that doesn’t mean it’s safe. Posts that the platform finds inappropriate (including sexually or violently suggestive content) will now be excluded from Explore and hashtag search pages.  

Bringing Verification to Messenger

As Messenger use increases, Facebook will begin displaying Verified Badges on conversations with brand pages that have earned the checkmark. The move hopes to help users avoid scammers that use fake accounts to pretend to be someone they are not.

Once those fake accounts are identified, users will be able to easily block them through an updated block option and list of settings that will help them control whether people “such as friends of your friends, people with your phone number or people who follow you on Instagram” can reach users via Messenger at all.

Facebook Removes Ad Relevance Scores

Since 2015, Facebook has provided advertisers with a metric meant to provide insight into how appropriate a given target audience finds the ads they’re being delivered. On April 30th, the Ad Relevance Score, calculated by measuring positive ad interactions compared with negative feedback like hiding or reporting an ad, is being replaced with three new measurements. 

Quality Ranking: How your ad’s perceived quality compared with ads competing for the same audience.

Engagement Rate Ranking: How your ad’s expected engagement rate compared with ads competing for the same audience.

Conversion Rate Ranking: How your ad’s expected conversion rate compared with ads that had the same optimization goal and competed for the same audience.

Unlike the Relevance Score (where higher scores resulted in lower delivery costs), the new metrics will not impact an ad’s delivery performance and are only meant to help marketers review and create ads.

More specific campaign metrics are also being swapped out over the coming months.  

Offers Saved and Cost Per Offers Saved will become Post Saves.

Messaging Replies and Cost Per Messaging Reply will become New Messaging Connections and Messaging Conversations Stated.

Mobile App Purchase Return on Ad Spend and Web Purchase Return on Ad Spend will be condensed into one Purchase Return on Ad Spend data point.

To discuss how these new metrics can improve your company’s ads and save those valuable marketing dollars, contact Deph Digital.

Engagement Baiting Crackdown

As part of Facebook’s on-going effort to curb spam and spark meaningful conversations, the platform has revised a policy that discourages certain posting tactics.

Posts that engagement bait (an activity Facebook defines as one that seeks to take advantage of the “News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach”) began receiving limited distribution in December of 2017. Since then, the company has outlined additional examples of prohibited behavior, the full list of which is below.

Reaction Baiting: Explicitly asking followers to like, love, or react to a page post. (Ex: LIKE this if you’re an Aries!) 

Vote Baiting: Using Facebook reactions to conduct a poll. (Ex: Vote for your favorite pet!)

Share Baiting: Telling users to a share a post for any reason. (Ex: Share with 5 friends for your chance to win!)

Tag Baiting: Explicitly directing people to tag their Facebook friends in post comments. (Ex: Tag a friend who would do this!)

Comment Baiting: Encouraging users to reply to a post with specific wording. (Ex: If you’re excited for the weekend, comment “TGIF”!)

Comments that Engagement Bait: Applying any of the practices listed above in a post comment, as opposed to within the post caption itself.

Videos that Audibly Engagement Bait: Asking users to partake in any of the above practices verbally with a video posted to Facebook.

LinkedIn Live Is On The Way

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Like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter before them, professional networking site LinkedIn is ready to join the livestreaming trend. In a conversation with TechCrunch, the Director of Product Management, Pete Davies, said live video has been the platform’s most requested featured. Now, that wish has been grated – at least for U.S. users.

Launching this week with invitation-only trials, LinkedIn Live will be available to those who request the feature via a contact form in the coming weeks. The functionality could be a huge benefit to brands covering press junkets, conferences or product announcements, but has the potential to create unwanted clutter from “entrepreneur gurus” and “leadership coaches” who often spam the site. Perhaps the approval process for acquiring the feature will set a precedent for video production standards.

The platform is reportedly working with simulcasting services like Wirecast, Socialive, and Wowza, among others, to develop API connectivity for professional broadcasts.

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