It’s now Easier to Administer Promotions on Facebook

In case you missed it yesterday. Facebook are making it easier to run promotions! Straight from the Facebook for business page
We’ve updated our Pages Terms in order to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to create and administer promotions on Facebook. Here’s what Page administrators need to know:
We’ve removed the requirement that promotions on Facebook only be administered through apps
Now, promotions may be administered on Page Timelines and in apps on Facebook. For example, businesses can now:
  • Collect entries by having users post on the Page or comment/like a Page post
  • Collect entries by having users message the Page
  • Utilize likes as a voting mechanism
As before, however, businesses cannot administer promotions on personal Timelines.
Accurate tagging is required in promotions
In order to maintain the accuracy of Page content, our Pages Terms now prohibit Pages from tagging or encouraging people to tag themselves in content that they are not actually depicted in. So, for instance:
  • It’s OK to ask people to submit names of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize
  • It’s not OK to ask people tag themselves in pictures of a new product in exchange for a chance to win a prize
We hope these updates will enable more businesses to use Facebook to launch their promotions. For more information regarding the changes to our promotions policies, check out our downloadable Promotion Guidelines, which include FAQs and best practices for running promotions through Facebook.

The New Facebook Insights

A video tutorial from John Haydon on the new Facebook Insights that you will see shortly, thought it would be handy to share. Thanks John for the content

Facebook introduces hashtags

FB#Facebook announced on Wednesday that it was going to introduce clickable hashtags for users. You will often see hashtags in peoples posts on Facebook, where they are posting the same thing to Facebook and Twitter, outside of that its become part of the vernacular, yes people actually use the word “hashtag” in their speech!

So Facebook are doing what Facebook do well and looking at what their users are doing and rolling out a feature, with users being able to click on the hashtagged words from the search bar and view a feed on that topic. Users will also be able to click on hashtags that originate on other services, such as Instagram and compose posts directly from the hashtag feed and search results.

Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst with eMarketer, told Mashable that “This is a layer on top of what Facebook is already offering. If marketers are already using hashtags as part of their marketing on other sites, they will be able to use those same hashtags within Facebook and drive engagement within the Facebook environment.”

It seems that Facebook is trying to steal back some of the second screen action that has been pretty much twitter territory. In a post on their Blog Greg Lindley, Facebook product manager said “. “During primetime television alone, there are between 88 and 100 million Americans engaged on Facebook — roughly a Super Bowl-sized audience every single night,”

The company said that hashtags were the first of several new features that will be introduced to highlight discussions about events on Facebook. The company is rolling out hashtags to roughly 20 per cent of its users, with a full global launch expected in the coming weeks.


What does it all mean for you?

Well the introduction of the hashtag on Facebook will change how people use the platform and engage with eachother, content and to a degree brands.

  • Brand Mentions – it seems likely that brand mentions will be easier to monitor now, similar to Twitter.  Which means you will have more access to data about your brand  which adds another layer of metrics and numbers to gauge success. You will also be able to engage in real time conversations, so think about needing to be even more always on.
  • Brand Pages – it seems unlikely that Facebook’s move to introduce #’s will threaten brand pages (where brands have spent lots of money)  and it seems more likely that it will enhance brand pages. This is a wait and see one I think.
  • User Generated content – If someone posts a picture of themselves wearing/using a new product and uses the brand hashtag, depending on your legal guidelines that could be a photo your page could use. Facebook and users love images so this will be a way to help generate more image content for brands.
  • Privacy – Facebook will maintain their privacy settings regarding hashtags, and won’t allow users to show up in click-throughs of the hashtag if their settings are set to be shared only with friends
  • Not for mobile – sadly, mobile will be a hashtag free zone as the app doesn’t support the phrase. Hashtags can be used, but there will be no click through to the hashtag feed.
  • Facebook hashtag ads – Facebook say they aren’t offering this yet, but they will.
  • Don’t Hashtag vomit – when brands were getting used to Facebook I coined the phrase Facebook Vomit  to describe how they just spewed on their walls. We have to hope brands don’t start hashtag vomiting now, so if you are a brand owner reading this – please don’t!

Engagement, I’m just not buying it.

Fantastic Deck by Nicolas Moerman, Engagement, I’m just not buying it. Bring business back into social, on why we have to stop focusing on engagement and instead look to bring (back) craftmanship onto Facebook. Social media is interesting to reach the 90% lurkers with great brand messaging. Use the other 10% to change your business.

My Free Breakfast


I got a great free breakfast this morning on Grafton Street thanks to Denny. All I had to do (after I realised they were actually there doing the free breakfast) was fill out a questionnaire while eating my breakfast. I was asked by the friendly staff to find the Facebook page on my phone (some free wi-fi would have been a great addition). I had to search for Dennyest1890 (yeh that was the name of the Facebook page). I couldnt find it, but when I searched for Denny the app that I needed popped up. The Facebook app was mobile friendly – so that was a relief – and really easy to use, and for those without facebook or smartphones they had paper and pen surveys to be filled out. I assume the results of the survey will form a press release in the coming weeks.


The whole experience was enjoyable and a nice way to start the 4 day week! As I sat there eating the fantastic Denny sausage, rasher and pudding (may as well give them some credit for decent grub!) – I just wondered about the scale of the whole thing. While I was there about 8 people were eating breakfast, four were tourists, nothing wrong with that, but where is the benefit to the brand & sales with that? It looks like the pop up  can hold about 30, so I worked out they are – at best – going to get 1,900 people through their doors this week. Is that really going to create a lift in sales for them – is that scale?

The costs of renting & kitting out the pop up shop, development of the app, creative and placement of advertising, prizes, PR etc… must be up around €70K (just a guesstimate) if not more. So if we take 70K the cost of each breakfast to Denny is €36. Im pretty sure you can buy a breakfast pack for about a fiver – so I would need to buy at least 7 breakfast packs before Denny see a return on their investment. With nothing encouraging me to purchase post experience, what are the chances I (or anyone else) will do that?

Social Capital

So you probably are thinking – right this isnt all about sales, there is brand building here and social capital will give the brand a lift? Thats a nice thought, but there was nothing encouraging me to share my experience. After I had filled out the Facebook survey there was nothing asking me to post to my wall that I had just had my free breakfast and was in with a chance to win a kitchen. There was no hashtag asking me to tweet a picture of me and my breakfast. I am happy with that kind of trade off and think most people are, so why wasnt it part of the flow of the experience. As it happened I did tweet about my breakfast and there has been no re-tweet (maybe they arent on twitter) and looking at Facebook there are no posts on their wall about the free breakfasts.

Im not saying this is a bad idea, I had a great time this morning, lovely breakfast, nice set up, nice people, easy to use app etc.. But I just wonder what the return for them will be in terms of sales lift or brand lift? Would be interested to hear.


An Intro to Facebook Home

So Facebook didnt really launch a phone yesterday.

“I’m finally going to talk about that Facebook phone, or more accurately turn your phone into a great simple social device. Or turn your Android phone into a great social phone.” Mark Zuckerberg said “We asked ourselves — if we’re already spending this much time on our phones, how can we make it easier? What if they were designed around people first, and you could also just happen to interact with apps?”

Is this a game changer?

Facebook News Feed Re-Design & You

ImageAnother Facebook redesign is no doubt going to frustrate people, have brands up in arms and probably throw up some privacy debate too. But Facebook has to iterate and if they didn’t recognise how things have changed, in terms of consumption of content, they risk the irrelevancy slide. They clearly do, as Robyn Morris product designer at Facebook says  “The design of News Feed hasn’t changed much since 2006, but the world has,”.

Mark Zuckerberg said at the launch that he wanted Facebook to be “the best personalized newspaper in the world.” And like a newspaper editor, he wants the “front page” of Facebook to be more engaging — in particular on the smaller screens of mobile devices. (NewYorkTimes)

So its on its way. But what does it all mean? Well trawling through a few articles (sources at the bottom of this post) here seem to be some of the highlights:

  1. Facebook Page Posts and Sponsored Stories that contain photo and video will appear 20% larger. This is obviously good for brands, they can leverage higher resolution assets and use more compelling captivating content. (the journal crunch)

  2. The new design also includes some photo page posts being overlaid with a caption or description rather than the text appearing below, suggesting that shorter text on photo updates will be more effective. (the journal crunch)

  3. The new look News Feed “celebrates content” in a way that the last iteration did not. One of the key thrusts of this change is the increased emphasis on the visual experience. “Photos are bigger and more visually compelling,” says global head of brand design Paul Adams. “They have always had higher than average levels of engagement so we know they’re more interesting to people.” (Marketing Week)

  4. For both organic and paid page ‘like’ stories, the image that will be displayed in News Feed will be the brand’s cover photo, giving this more prominence. It is therefore even more important that the photo is representative of the brand. (Marketing Week)

  5. The new Facebook design also means users will be met with the same look and feel on mobile, tablet and web. For example, the left-hand menu will be visible on any Facebook page, while users can quickly move to the top of News Feed when new stories arrive (Marketing Week)

  6. Links shared to the site from other places like Pinterest or Quora  will have bigger blurbs (techCrunch)

  7. News Feed’s introduction of filters or feeds, enabling users to drill down to specific content. For example, users can see news from ‘All Friends’, showing everything their friends are sharing, or ‘Photos’, featuring only photos from friends and the pages users ‘like’ or ‘follow’. (Marketing Week)

This last point seems to be something that could prove problematic of businesses. As TechCrunch point out

“ If users choose to frequent that, they could be free to Like Pages to show off their interests or personalize third-party apps, but not have to see their feed updates.”

There is also some interest to see if video will play a larger role, but it is interesting to hear Facebook’s view on this:
“… with videos, people have to press play so there is a higher level of effort required – it’s more effort than viewing a picture. The reward from watching a video needs to be greater.” Paul Adams says.

It seems that this move by Facebook will have some challenges for brands, but  seem to have welcomed the changes as it seems like it will increase dwell time on Facebook. Users, according to the New York Times, aren’t as happy, with suggestions that Flipboard, already offers a personalized newspaper in which users choose the topics and publications they are interested in.

Like it or not, Facebook is a giant and like all changes Facebook has made, we will all have to get our heads  around them pretty quickly and find ways to make it work!

I just hope it puts a stop to all the Like and Share to win rubbish I see on my news feed all the time!