Facebook Targets Engagement Bait

In Facebook’s latest news feed tweak, the company is devaluing posts that ask users to like, share and comment. This is part of a wide crackdown on people trying to game the news feed algorithm.

Facebook announced the change on Monday. Something they tried to stop earlier in the year by boosting pages and posts that weren’t using cohort tactics. It now appears that positive reinforcement wasn’t stamping out the practice as Facebook had hoped so now they are taking the opposite tack.

Rolling out to all users over the cause of this week the news feed algorithm will demote individual posts and if the page continues to offend this will apply to their page and all related content. Facebook is taking this a step further and even demoting paid adverts from repeat offenders.

“Publishers and other businesses that use engagement bait tactics in their posts should expect their reach on these posts to decrease. Meanwhile, Pages that repeatedly share engagement bait posts will see more significant drops in reach”

While this may sound counter-intuitive after all isn’t the point of sharing something on Facebook to share something other people want to see? Facebook argue yes, however, the share should be more substantial than sharing because you were asked to.

Facebook doesn’t want your news feed to be your email inbox full of spam and messages you don’t care about. They are trying to cut out the bad tactics of rouge marketers and keep Facebook a clean and healthy place you want to visit.

Google Analytics new functions to offer more user-centric insights

We work hard to meet a resounding customer demand for a personalised experience that is relevant and tailored to a users engagement with your brand. We are not alone in this with 90% of marketers now looking to develop better understandings of how users engage across channels and devices.

Today we have some good news. Google Analytics announced 4 new features to better understand and measure the customer journey.

User-focused reporting

This updated version of standard reporting will now include ‘USers’ as well as the traditional ‘Sessions’. This reframes the data for ongoing engagement, especially for those instances where users visit multiple times.

This is not a new metric and you could get this same data before however, you would have to build a custom report whereas now it is front and centre once you enable “Users in Reporting” in your Property settings.

User Explorer

This new tool from Google allows marketers to view the lifetime metrics and dimensions at the user level. Based on the life of their cookie. This opens up new details such as the number of transactions made or total time on the site.

The data on this report will go back to March 9, 2016, and only tracks the top 10,000 users.

Audience Reporting

This is something that has been screaming out for a change in a long time. Previous you could create and publish audiences from AdWords to Google Analytics however not the other way around. Well, Google has finally allowed the creation of audiences in Analytics, now you can create a custom audience, track them across channels and publish the data to reports.

Conversion Probability

Based on the same machine learning the powers Smart Goals and Smart List this calculation apply data from past transactions in order to give the probability that a user will cover in the future. As well as this the new Average Conversion Probably will be calculated relative to a dimension in the date range you specify.

There is a minimum amount of data required to see these new statistics which are currently set at  1,000 transactions per month. Once you are achieving this you see the new number running from 1 (least probably) to 100 (most probable).

Click-to-WhatsApp buttons are now rolling out in Facebook ads

WhatsApp has already said it has no plans to run ads within its application however that is not stopping Facebook making money on the platform. WhatsApp boasts an impressive 1.2 billion active users, that is unique users that open the app at least once a month.

Starting today, Facebook is launching a new ad unit that will run on Facebook’s main mobile app that will let business pages create a link between the two platforms. Advertisers can now include a button on their adverts so that people can call or message via WhatsApp with a simple tap.

The new ads live for businesses in North and South Americas, Australia and parts of Asia.

From what we understand the ads are not coming to Europe just yet as Facebook has some unanswered questions with the EU privacy regulator about how information will be shared between the 2 applications. Rest assured Facebook will want to bring this to our shores as soon as possible so keep your eyes peeled.

These new features are part of a bigger change in WhatsApp and an acknowledgement that a lot of businesses are already using the platform to communicate with customers. Hopefully, this is the start of more business-focused features to come in 2018.