On Facebook, content is king

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On Facebook, content is king
On Facebook, content is king

When it comes to social marketing, “likes” are little more than empty calories. Real sustenance comes from content. This is why Facebook's news feed is the social network's most valuable advertising tool, David Fischer, Facebook's VP of business and marketing partnerships, said during his presentation at Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference in San Francisco.

Fischer pointed out that there are eight times more engagements per unit on its news feed ads than on any other Facebook advertising asset. “So we know that when you share this way, you have great opportunity to get more reach with better targeting,” he said.

One anecdotal proof point, delivered during the Marketing Cloud keynote at Dreamforce, comes from Scott Monty, head of social media at Ford. In 2010 Ford became the first auto manufacturer to reveal a car—the 2011 Ford Explorer—on Facebook.

“We set up a series of stories,” Monty recalled, “because content is the currency of social.” Ford's goal was to take over the news cycle, and with 100 million social impressions, the auto manufacturer came close—only to be thwarted because troubled actress Lindsay Lohan had another one of her news-monopolizing incidents.

During its Q2 earnings report in July, Facebook noted that the appearance of Sponsored Stories—by nature, content-heavy ads—accounted for notable boosts in revenue. Fischer reiterated statistics introduced during that call, including that 70% of campaigns resulted in ad spend ROI of three times or better, and 49% of campaigns showed five-fold or better ROI.

Most notably, Fischer stated that Cirque du Soleil, in an effort to drive more sales, saw month-over-month increases of 271% due to Facebook advertising, an 18-fold ROI.

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