Is Facebook Running Out of News Feed Real Estate?
Figuring out how to get your page posts to show up in a Facebook user's news feed has become an obsession for many digital marketers (present company included). We have all seen first hand that very few of our page likes ever go to our pages on a daily basis, so pushing our posts to them is critical to building page engagement and brand awareness.
Because of our constant need for people to see our business' posts, Facebook advertising has become a key component of just about every social strategy we develop. Where it once was something you did occasionally for a specific event or campaign, Facebook advertising has now become almost as critical to digital success as the page posts themselves.
Of course, when using Facebook ads to spark engagement and page likes, not all ad units should be treated equal. I am seeing a significant drop in click-through rates and actions taken on Facebook ads not placed in news feeds. Impressions don't seem to be falling off, so it can be assumed that Facebook users do not notice (or care about) these ads nearly as much as they once did.
By the same token, ads placed in news feeds, both sponsored and promoted, are performing excellently. The click-through rates for these ads can often be upwards of 50x that of ads not placed in a news feed. Of course, this can be a bit deceiving since only sponsored or promoted posts can be placed in news feeds and not traditional ads, so there is a social advantage to these ads.
The secret about news feeds ads is out. Digital marketers are quickly figuring out the advantages of claiming this important news feeds and Facebook users are seeing more and more posts in their feeds marked with the word "sponsored" these days.
So what happens when every brand begins placing their ads in news feeds? How will Facebook handle this? Users will certainly not react well to news feeds cluttered with sponsored ads. Obviously, placement will be based on bids, but Facebook is a company in need of revenue streams and if advertisers start complaining about a dip in impressions or a spike in cpm or cpc, what will Facebook do?
Facebook recently created a page feed to show the posts of the pages a user likes. One would think that they have grander plans for such a feature. Maybe they too envision a news feed real estate issue in the near future and this new page feed is part of a bigger plan to correct this.
It will be very interesting to see how Facebook handles news feed advertising in 2013...
Image Credit: Diana Parkhouse