We sat down with Ambar Pansari, product manager for brand advertiser and agency products at Facebook, to talk about how his team approaches product development for advertisers. He recently launched Account Groups, a new, easier way for agencies to manage their ad strategies on Facebook.
As the product manager for large advertiser and agency products, what are you most excited about?
We’ve always believed that agencies and advertisers carry the mantel of innovation in marketing. Many of the unique means of reaching customers in the past hundred years were driven by brand advertisers and their agencies trying something bold.
I’m excited about Sponsored Stories and am most interested to see how marketers and agencies use Sponsored Stories as a way of connecting directly to customers. Because Sponsored Stories are organic content from your friends, they are a new way scaling word-of-mouth recommendations. Fundamentally, if our advertisers can set up, report, and optimize Sponsored Stories in a truly efficient way, I’m confident they will see great business results, and people on Facebook will see even more relevant content. Everyone wins.
How do you prioritize what products to build?
We always have 10x or 100x the number of product requests relative to what our team can accomplish. We tend to prioritize projects by asking if the project will benefit the user, help an advertiser achieve their business goals, and if the project will fully solve a problem quickly and correctly from the get-go.
Account Groups is a great example of a product that agencies asked for, that we built. Agencies needed a more effective way to manage multiple ads accounts. Before Account Groups, advertisers had to access/manage each ad account separately. Each account admin had to manually invite each user individually to each account. With this new solution, accounts can now easily be grouped together, and admins can invite multiple users to be full administrators of a group of accounts, or even assign other admin permission levels for those who can access the group. This will save agencies time, improve account security and simplify the process for managing their Facebook ads experience.
How do you see Facebook’s products for agencies evolving in the next couple of years?
There are a few areas where we will evolve from where we are today. First and foremost, our optimization tools are going to develop quickly. Setting up and optimizing ads at scale will be much easier than it is today. Secondly and fundamentally, we’re in the reports business – more timely information allows better decisions. You’ll see more metrics, and it will be easier to create the reports you and your clients need. There will also be more self-service tools so our agencies and advertisers can directly access the same tools that we use internally. It’s worth noting that most of our tools are now built on the same Ads API that we give external developers access to – so the API ecosystem will develop further, as well.
Ambar Pansari is a product manager for brand advertiser and agency products at Facebook.
Our new Comment Ad and Sponsored Story is a Premium product that enables you to spark conversations about your clients’ brands through an inline comment box.
When viewing a Comment Ad, people can comment on videos and images, or answer a question that a brand asks. These comments are posted to people’s News Feeds, which encourages further engagement and discovery by people’s friends. You then can increase the distribution of these authentic interactions through Sponsored Stories, which appear on the right-hand side of Facebook.
The new ad unit and sponsored story were developed with Leo Burnett Chicago as part our first-ever Ad Expo to explore ideas from agencies for new Facebook ad units. The participating agencies were challenged with developing ad unit concepts that would engage users, focus on elements unique to Facebook, and provide scalable solutions for advertisers. Leo Burnett Chicago’s idea was selected, and Facebook’s product team worked with them to develop the concept.
The new Premium ad unit and Sponsored Story type will be available later in 2011 all for managed accounts.
We've captured a few quick tips that will help your Page reach its full potential in our most recent video. We know you’re experts, but sometimes it’s good to review the basics.
Develop a voice
Find a voice that feels natural for your brand or your client. If you’re a local business or representing one, it should come across that way. If your main audience is punk-rock guitar enthusiasts, the tone of your posts can reflect that. Develop a voice that works for you.
When it comes to your posts, mix it up a little. Facebook gives you the ability to post photos, videos, polls and links. Be creative in how you use multimedia to add some variety to your Page.
Create a conversation calendar
Plan ahead for what you’re going to say, and when you say it. This will help you post consistently without overdoing it. While you want to regularly engage with your fans, you’ll want to avoid cluttering their News Feed.
Use photos and featured Likes
Add more personality to your Page with photos and featured Likes. Use photos to showcase your products, provide a behind-the-scenes look into your business, or even show off your fans. Featured Likes let you publicly display which other Pages your brand is connected with, such as sub-brands, parent companies, business partners, or just other brands you admire.
Post content that invites people to comment, share, and react. When people take the time to post on your Page, comment, or ask questions, reward their participation by responding and facilitating a two-way conversation.
You can align every part of your Page with your offline campaign. Use apps to give your Page even more customized design and functionality. And remember, your Page can be the hub for promotions, contests, and more. Post content that people will want to share with their friends.
When you upload a photo or video, share a link, ask a question, or update the status on a Page, you only reach a subset of your client’s fans via the News Feed. Use Page Post Sponsored Stories to get more distribution for Page posts.
To extend the reach of Page posts beyond a client’s current fans, use Page Post Like Sponsored Stories. These will help you generate word-of-mouth marketing at scale by allowing the friends of fans to see when their friends have engaged with a Page post, even if they are not yet fans of your client’s Page.
Both Page Post and Page Post Like Sponsored Stories appear on the right-hand side of Facebook. Check out the Page Post Sponsored Stories guide
to learn more and get started.
Last week, we launched Account Groups, a new, easier way for agencies to manage their ad strategies on Facebook. Account Groups allows advertisers to group together and access multiple Facebook Ads accounts simultaneously. This product is available globally and is designed specifically for agencies that manage multiple self-service ad accounts.
Until now, agencies had to access and manage each ad account separately, either with their own user profile credentials or via a shared business account login. With this new solution, accounts can now easily be grouped together, and admins can invite multiple users to be full administrators of a group of accounts. They can also assign other admin permission levels for those who can access the group. This will save time, improve account security, and simplify the process for managing your Facebook Ads experience.
Account Groups allow you to:
- Create a new account group (including adding/removing accounts from a group)
- Grant/revoke user permissions for a group
- Select groups in the ads manager account list
- Access all accounts within one group from a single login
Start using Account Groups today by logging in to Ads Manager and clicking on the ‘Account Groups’ tab on your primary accounts page.
**We’re delighted to announce the winners of the Facebook Studio Live- New York hack challenge. Read on, and watch the video for the announcement of the winning teams.** During Facebook Studio Live- New York, 15 mixed-agency hack teams competed to find the best solution to a marketing challenge posed by the Ad Council and GLSEN: How can GLSEN use the power of Facebook to spread the message of its Think Before You Speak campaign to the hard-to-reach teenage male demographic? Following a short brief, the teams broke off into groups and put their creative and marketing skills to work.
What is a hackathon?
A hackathon is an intense—sometimes overnight—work session. The goal is to find a solution to a problem quickly through a focused effort, without letting a lack of resources or other constraints keep you from getting things done. Ultimately, the objective is to go from “it would be cool if we could…” to “check this out” by quickly creating a working prototype.
At Facebook Studio Live- New York, agency leaders hacked side by side with Facebook employees from the engineering, product, sales and marketing teams to deliver actionable marketing strategies to address GLSEN’s challenge. The result of the hack was 15 great ideas on how to help GLSEN achieve its mission of ending school bullying based on sexual orientation.
A judging panel including members of GLSEN, the One Show, the Ad Council and Facebook reviewed the submissions and we’re happy to announce the two winning teams below. Congratulations and thanks to all who participated. Keep hacking!
Facebook Studio Live- New York: Hack Challenge Winners
“Retrain your brain”
The “Retrain your brain” campaign centers on a Facebook app designed to challenge teenage boys to say something different. People can share the app with friends and challenge other high schools to join the movement. The school with the most participating students will have an NBA player teach their gym class. The proposed campaign leverages the social networks of high school students in GLSEN’s target demographic, and would be supported by locally targeted Facebook Ads, Sponsored Stories and offline community events.
Hussein Fazal, AdParlor
Sarah Lucas, GMMB
Michael Shirley, Euro RSCG
Rebecca Silver, Organic Spread Media
Jack Wellborn, Unicast
“Social cameo” seeks to leverage strong ties between close friends on Facebook. People can use a Facebook app to make a pledge to refrain from using phrases like “that’s so gay.” People who take the pledge will then share a video featuring an NBA player on their Facebook Wall, generating a News Feed story. In the video, the featured NBA player challenges friends to also take the pledge and pass along the message. This strategy relies on connections targeting and Sponsored Stories for applications to help the idea scale.
David Baldwin, Baldwin&
Seth Balliett, Pierce Promotions
Alec Beckett, NAIL
Gene Cornfield, Cameo Stars
Daniel Lammon, MIR
Pum Lefebure, Design Army
Susana Zialcita, Disney
Team video presenters are bolded.
You can now use Broad Category targeting to more easily and comprehensively
reach your client’s desired audience with Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories through
pre-defined targeting categories. We’ve created clusters of commonly used
targeting parameters that are composed of people's Likes and Interests, apps they use,
Pages they like, and other profile content they’ve provided and are now
offering them as targetable categories. For example, you can now reach people
who like “Outdoor Fitness Activities” with a single category selection rather
than adding every outdoor sport and activity individually.
Other examples of Broad Categories include:
- Baby Boomers
- Birthday in <1 week
- Extreme Sports
- Food & Dining
- Luxury Goods
- Newly Wed
- Parents (child: 4-12 yrs)
- Personal Finance
- Soccer/European Football
You can activate this feature and explore all of the
categories by clicking “Switch to Broad Category Targeting” within Interests
targeting at http://www.facebook.com/ads/create/.
Note that “Likes & Interests” targeting has been renamed “Precise
Interests” targeting to more clearly distinguish between these targeting
options, but the functionality of Precise Interests is the same. (It’s not
possible to use both Precise Interests and Broad Categories for targeting the
same ad or Sponsored Story.) Currently, Broad Category Targeting is available
for all U.S. accounts.
On May 12, more than 200 agency creatives, account directors, strategists and executives attended the first ever Facebook Studio Live- New York, a hands-on educational experience designed to explore creativity and innovation in marketing with Facebook. Leaders from the product, marketing, sales, and engineering teams presented on the latest
Facebook products and strategies, and attendees had a chance to put their knowledge to work in the afternoon. True to the spirit of Facebook hackathons
, attendees worked in teams to address a marketing challenge presented by the Ad Council and GLSEN using Facebook products.
Here’s a recap of the day’s top takeaways:
Social: It’s like electricity. You can’t see it, but it powers everything.
In one of the day’s most talked-about presentations, product manager Paul Adams discussed how online behavior increasingly mirrors ingrained offline social patterns that have existed for thousands of years. For marketers, this means it’s more important than ever to tap into these social patterns by understanding what really influences people: the advice and opinions of a small number of people connected by strong ties.
Strategies that are social by design will win.
Social is an essential ingredient and must be built into client strategies from the beginning. The campaigns that make the biggest impact are the ones that people want to share and interact with. Marketers can then use Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories to amplify these interactions to drive further distribution of their messages. Check out the Best Practice Guide for some useful frameworks and examples by client objective.
Done is better than perfect.
The pace of change in the current media landscape means that there are no exact formulas. And for some of the most successful marketers on Facebook, their strategy is to get started and then adjust based on what’s working.
Hack participants: stay tuned, we’ll be announcing the winners of the challenge soon!
We recently announced that people now have the ability to tag Pages in their photos on Facebook in the same way they can tag their friends. Photo tagging for Pages offers a new way to bring your clients’ brands and products into people's lives through some of the most popular activities on Facebook, photo tagging and photo viewing.
Here are some details on how it works:
- A Page can be tagged anywhere that someone can view a photo in the photo viewer
- These photos will appear on the Photos tab on the Page, and not on the Wall
- A Page can be tagged by anyone on Facebook, not just people who have Liked your Page
- Page Admins can always choose to disable tagged photos from appearing on the Photos tab by going into Edit Page > Posting Options > and unchecking “Allow Users to Upload Photos”
To tag a single photo you are viewing:
- Click the photo you wish to tag and select "Tag This Photo" below the photo
- Type the name of the people or product Page you wish to tag
- Repeat this process for every Page in the photo that you would like to tag
- Click "Done Tagging" in the bottom left corner
Currently, only Pages within the “Brands & Products” or “People” categories can be tagged in photos. (The Page category is set by the Page Admin(s) under Basic Information in Edit Settings.) You can read more about photo tagging and other Pages features in the Help Center
The Creative Library lets you view and manage Facebook Ads and Sponsored Story creatives in one central location in your Ads Manager. This new functionality will help you create new ads and Sponsored Stories more efficiently, and help you easily reuse creatives across campaigns and accounts.
With Creative Library, you can:
- View all your creatives across campaigns in one central location
- Preview what a creative will look like on a Profile Page
- Use an existing creative to create a new ad or Sponsored Story, including creatives from one of your other accounts
- Upload a creative before you’re ready to build a campaign
For an ad, the creative includes the destination, the type of ad, the body copy, title and image. For a Sponsored Story, the creative includes the destination and the type of Sponsored Story. A creative does not include targeting, bids and campaign settings.
To access the Creative Library, click on the Creative Library tab on the left-hand side of your Ads Manager, or choose the “Select an existing creative” option at the top of the Ads Create flow.