It’s Time to Buy Mobile Advertising on Facebook – 7 Quick Social Mobile Ad Tips
We have been seeing great results with Facebook mobile ads in the FB News Feed created via the new Optimal 3.0 platform (accessing the Facebook Ads API as a Preferred Marketing Developer). Here are some key things to keep in mind:
- More mobile-only users. Mobile is growing rapidly overall and even faster on social media. Facebook saw 102 million mobile-only users in June 2012, up 23% from 83 million mobile-only users in March 2012. That’s a lot of growth in a short period of time! If you’re not including mobile, you’re going to be missing out on an increasing portion of the audience. And you can’t just translate what you’re doing on the desktop to what works on mobile on Facebook.
- Volume vs. response. Ads on mobile are perforce more interruptive since they show up in the newsfeed and mobile screen estate is small. Over time users will tolerate fewer paid media opportunities than other locations. Facebook CFO David Ebersman said on Facebook’s first quarterly earnings call that “We’re being very careful about the volume of sponsored stories in the news feed because it’s so core to the user experience.” Here’s what a page like story on an iPhone looks like, for Southwest Airlines:
- Use Page Posts for mobile ads wherever possible. You get more real estate and messaging for page posts – though make sure you understand how many characters will actually show up on the device as this may change from time to time based on Facebook testing things out. Check this example out for University of Phoenix that takes up more than the entire screen:
- Get mobile-specific. Plan for quick consumption of updates versus longer content: Shorter user sessions and more casual usage (on the desktop a user is likely to spend a longer contiguous period of time on Facebook or Twitter versus from the handset) are the reasons for this.
- Take advantage of better targeting. Relative to other mobile ad opportunities, the demand for mobile impressions on Facebook will be higher, since it is the only mobile source where you can get fairly accurate age, gender and location and other affinity targeting at scale. Note that mobile also means you need to devote more energy to getting the right fans for your Facebook fan page, or the right kinds of people to install your Facebook apps, since they are now the base of all your mobile targeting!
- Budget to learn. Set aside large-enough test budgets and plan to be flexible. There’s likely to be more scale in mobile than you may think, and with high response rates (CTRs ranging from 0.7% to over 3% in some of our recent tests) the effective CPMs to Facebook will be high.
- Get some help. Work with API partners like Optimal who can allow you to quickly test and optimize for mobile, and can help you navigate the likely-to-change-a-lot Facebook ads landscape. One of the areas we can also help with is taking existing page posts that perform well and adapting them for mobile. You cannot always run the same post you would expect to show to users on the desktop successfully in mobile.
Screenshot from Optim.al 3.0 interface (click to expand view):