Social media moves fast, really fast. In many ways, it’s the lightening fast real-time nature of social media that makes it such a compelling channel. Blink and you may miss something really important, innovative, funny, engaging, etc. Take this week as an example: Had you picked this week to go on vacation and unplug from Facebook and the Twittersphere, you’d be returning to a completely redesigned Facebook Ads structure, a new layout for your News Feed and a world where Ellen DeGeneres now owns the distinction of sending out the most retweeted tweet. Just in case you really were gone, we’ve highlighted some of this week’s biggest stories in social media below. Enjoy!
Real-Time Marketing & Ellen Breaks Twitter
If you watched The Oscars last Sunday, you’d be loath to disagree with AdWeek’s assessment that Twitter, despite experiencing some technical difficulties following Ellen’s star-studded selfie, basically “outshined the actual show.” Mentions of the recently IPOed micro-blogging social platform were everywhere -- from Cate Blanchett’s acceptance speech bombshell “hashtag suck it!” (a lighthearted ribbing of friend Julia Roberts) to host Ellen DeGeneres’ now famous most-retweeted-tweet.
There is no doubt that Twitter has become the go-to second screen media channel when it comes to live events and real-time marketing. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Superbowl or The Oscars, Twitter presents a new paradigm for brands in which brand managers must be “always-on” ready to strike with the timely and relevant wittiness displayed by the likes of Oreo and Arby’s.
Facebook Looks Different to Users & Marketers
More times than not when Facebook makes an announcement that involves changes to the News Feed and/or Facebook Ads, it generally leaves either Facebook users or Facebook marketers upset. This week, however, the company actually made announcements that affected both of these pillars, and (at least thus far) all parties involved seem to be satisfied. One of the announcements (the one affecting News Feed) is purely aesthetic and the other (the one affecting Facebook for Business) is a bit more structural and functional.
First, the aesthetic changes: Updates to the design of the News Feed will result in the desktop and mobile layouts looking the same. Larger images, bolder text and a more consistent Facebook experience across platforms is something that both users and marketers can be happy about. The desktop version of News Feed was beginning to look pretty cluttered and archaic -- especially the left side navigation bar -- so it’s no wonder it’s being updated to match its cleaner, more streamlined mobile counterpart.
Second, the self-serve Facebook Ads platform has undergone a structural change in which another layer of organization has been added. Previously, Facebook advertising was broken down into two levels: Campaigns and the Ads themselves. This could be likened to a simple Folder structure; ie: Each campaign was like a parent folder that contained any number of individual ads each with it’s own targeting, creative and objectives.
The new structure introduces a third layer in-between the Campaign and the Ads layers which Facebook is calling Ad Sets. This new three tiered structure resembles Google AdWords more closely which also uses three tiers: Campaigns, Ad Groups and Ads. The recent update to the Facebook for Business structure comes about 9 months after the company streamlined its ad platform by cutting the number of ad units available in half and reorganized the user flow into a more objective based one -- a move that has been received well by most Facebook marketers.