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Facebook Interest Lists – What Kind of Foolishness?

Facebook have recently launched Interest Lists for users. These lists have been “apparently” created to help users manage their news feeds and weed out any irrelevant information that they do not want to see. These new Interest Lists allow users to subscribe to broad topics such as sport, entertainment, business etc. The user will then be supplied with relevant content in their news feed which will be related to the topics selected in their lists. This is really nice of Facebook to supply this innovation without an ulterior motive. By no means would Facebook be doing this to group more users to target them with Facebook adverts.

These Interest Lists are actually good news for advertisers as they will group people into broad categories which can be selected when setting up Facebook adverts. A lot of user interests are outdated and a lot of Facebook advertising budget is wasted. For instance five years ago someone may have been in the Parents (0-3) category and may still be seeing adverts related to baby milk. Moving forward I believe that Facebook should try and update user interests yearly or even every two years. By doing this more advertisers may be willing to invest more budget in Facebook advertising.

Having managed several Facebook advertising campaigns , I believe the results lie on two extremes. Half the visitors generated from Facebook will engage with the external site and the goal completion rate will be very good but on the other hand companies can see a high bounce rate from the social network. This is due to many reasons:

  • Users do not like to leave Facebook to go to an external site.
  • The message is wrong in the advert and misleads users.
  • The offer outlined in the ad text is not shown on the landing page

It is best practice when advertising on Facebook that the advert leads to a Facebook business page. Here Facebook can measure conversions which are called connections. It is a lot easier to Like, Want or Own something while still on Facebook rather than trawling around a website looking for products or information. From my experience when a user is transported to a Facebook brand page the engagement is greater and it is also a place where a company can supply exclusive discount codes which can be used on the site. By doing this you are enticing a user to visit the site with this unique code when they are done browsing Facebook. This takes the pressure and urgency away from the situation and gives the brand a cool appeal as if to say “Here you go, here’s a 20% off discount code, use it if you want, if not thanks for browsing our fan page”.

A real life example of the interaction levels can be seen below. Example 1 is an advertiser who led users to an external site and Example 2 is an advertiser who led users to their fan page.

Example 1

Visits Average Time On Site Bounce Rate
550 31 seconds 89%

Example 2

As you can see the interaction levels in Example 2 are much higher than Example 1 therefore looking at these results it is a must that advertisers have a Facebook page when advertising on Facebook. If you have any questions or comments please just post underneath.

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