New Facebook Audience Insights gives you a look into the lives of your customers

facebook audience insights“Know thy enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles, you will never be defeated.”

I’m sure Sun Tzu didn’t have social media marketing in mind when he said that but it sure is true . . . well, it’s true if you substitute the word “customer” for enemy.

Do you know your customer as well as you know yourself? Facebook has a new tool that can help you if you don’t and might surprise you if you think you do.

The new Audience Insights tool will show you what your target customer loves to do, watch, buy and how they spend their free time. It’s an intriguing look at not only your customer pool but how that pool stacks up against Facebook users as a whole.

Is Facebook gearing up to force businesses to pay for all promotional posts? (screenshots)

This is total speculation, but could Facebook be getting ready to force businesses to pay for any post that is blatantly promotional in nature?

While enjoying my normal morning browsing of dog photos, family updates, and tennis controversies, Facebook slipped in a small request for me to take a brief survey. Sure, why not?

Here’s what happened next:

Facebook Survey

And this:

Facebook Survey 2

Another one:

Facebook Survey 3

In total, Facebook asked me to look at 14 different posts–some from companies I didn’t follow, some from Pages I did, and others from friends. With each post, I was asked to rate whether I believed it was an ad or not. Interesting, huh?

Now, here’s my speculation on why Facebook is doing this:

Facebook expands video stats as long as you upload not link

Facebook video metricsFacebook wants to be your everything. They want your posts, your ads, your photos and now they want your video. Not a post with a link to your YouTube video. They want you to upload your video straight to Facebook. If you do that, they’ll reward you with better audience metrics so you can see what’s working and what isn’t.

It’s not a bad plan because we’d all be happy to use Facebook as our everything platform if we knew there was a benefit to doing so.

Facebook announced today that the new video metrics are coming soon and they include “video views, unique video views, the average duration of the video view and audience retention.”

Facebook ads, off Facebook: The mobile ad network is here

“This is really the first time we’re going to help you monetize on mobile,” says Zuckerberg and it’s big news.

Facebook is now officially in the mobile ad network biz. They call it Facebook’s Audience Network and it’s all about putting third party ads on mobile apps.

Facebook Audience Network

The Audience Network uses the same targeting as regular Facebook ads. Actually, it uses the same everything as regular Facebook ads, all you have to do to include the new mobile option is check another box.  You can create a banner ad, an interstitial, even a native ad if you want to blend in with the scenery.

Rather watch than read? Here’s a nifty video that shows you how it works:

Twitter breaks the character limit with promoted Website Cards

Twitter is rolling out a new ad unit that will allow you to pack more information into a small space. It’s called a Website Card and it looks. . . okay, you know what I’m going to say here. . . it looks like a Facebook post.

website-card-screenshots

Instead of just showing a link to your website post like a traditional Tweet, Website Cards show an “engaging photo” and additional information about your site.

The announcement post says you can use a Website Card to drive traffic to any page on your website – a blog post, a product page,  a special sale page. . . nice. Twitter says that in tests they saw higher engagement and lower CPC. Makes sense. Anytime you give a person a large preview they’re more likely to click. It’s why photos and videos do better than straight text, especially on a highly skimable newsfeed.

Facebook Plans to Pre-Screen New Video Ads for Watchability?

Whoa - mhBImMYImagine you’re driving down a highway and you see a sign that says “Coming Soon – But don’t worry.” You drive a little further and see a sign that says, “Coming Soon – But it’ll be quick.”

The next sign says “Coming Soon – But if you don’t like it we might remove it.” Finally, you reach a sign that says “It’s Here! Don’t Worry, It’s Safe.”

You’d be worried, wouldn’t you? All those cautious warnings. All those promises. It sounds suspicious so by the time you actually see the “thing” that was coming soon, you’re already predisposed to fear it.

That’s Facebook’s Premium Video Ad program.

Twitter Includes Promoted Accounts in Search

Twitter Promoted SearchWhile Gmail is working to make marketing messages less prominent, Twitter is going the opposite way. They’re now allowing Promoted Accounts to show up as a search result.

In this example, the Twitter user foolishly searches for examples of latte art. Don’t they know this is a job for Pinterest? Apparently not. So they search Twitter and the first thing on the list is a Promoted suggestion. Follow The Barista Bar because they’re the Picassos of latte art.

Note that this is completely different from Promoted Tweets. We’ve been seeing those in the search results for awhile. These are Promoted Accounts.

This past December, Twitter began inserting Promoted Account messages into the timeline. Insertions were based on user locations and interests. If a users clicked to follow the brand, the brand paid Twitter a bounty.