Top Facebook Updates You Can’t Miss (May 2021 Edition)

We’re at the tail end of May, and we’re moving into beautiful summer weather. And it’s not only beach trips, family holidays, and backyard barbecues to look forward to; we’ve got information on Facebook news and updates, too.

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This month, we got news about how Facebook’s ad review process works, information about how safety features have impacted Facebook, new Instagram Insights tools, Live Shopping Fridays, and new API tools for Asian and Pacific Islander businesses.

There’s plenty to look at, so let’s get started.

Facebook Breaks Down its Ad Policy Review Process

We know that Facebook’s system looks at all ads you submit, reviewing them before they run. People have long been confused why ads that seemingly follow the rules are sometimes rejected while obvious scams somehow make it through.

To increase transparency, Facebook just recently broke down how their ad review process works, and it was extremely enlightening.

First, they reminded users that it’s not just the strict advertising policies that apply to Facebook Ads. You also need to check to ensure that each ad complies with branded content policies, commerce policies, event policies, and more (if applicable). You’ve got to be following all of Facebook’s rules in the ad platform.

Facebook Ad policy tree

Facebook Ad policy tree

They also explained that, as many of our users may have noticed, most ads are typically approved within 24 hours. I’ve had ads approved in as little as five minutes, as I’m sure many of our readers have, too.

When an ad is first submitted, they’ll use an automated review that uses machine learning and algorithms to flag potential issues. The approved ad can run, and may be subject to human review later. If the ad is rejected, you can appeal and submit it to human review. They remind users that if an ad is rejected, they can always edit it and resubmit.

Facebook also warns advertisers that in addition to reviewing individual ads, they look at an advertiser’s profile overall.

Have you made attempts to get around the ad review process in the past, or to find loopholes? Are a large number of ads being rejected, or reported by users? Facebook may take action against advertisers who consistently violate their policies, including suspension or banning.

Facebook Reports Efficacy of Platform Safety & Integrity Measures

Over the past few years, many users have  worried about Facebook’s use of their personal data, as well as issues with transparency, hate speech, and misinformation.

While all of these issues are still in play and impacting users, the good news is that Facebook’s updated platform safety and integrity rules are making a positive impact.

In the first quarter of 2021, we saw the following improvements:

  • Violent and graphic content decreased to .03%, down .05% from the…

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How to Increase Facebook Engagement (Free Calculator)

Performance-based marketers typically focus on high-intent interactions coming from Facebook content like clicks and purchases off-platform. It’s a mistake, however, to ignore standard Facebook engagement such as likes, comments, and shares.

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Traditional Facebook engagement may not be quite as high intent as other actions, but it’s still inherently valuable. When you increase engagement, several things happen:

    • You gain the power of social proof. All those likes, comments, and shares are visible to everyone else seeing the post or ad, and something like a great deal of Facebook engagement has higher social proof. People instinctively take note of this content. It’s trust-building and attention-grabbing.
    • Facebook’s algorithm pays attention. Facebook’s algorithm factors engagement performance into what content the algorithm prioritizes. People who engage with your content regularly will see it more often, and it can also help others see more of your content in their feed, too.
    • It allows you to gauge how users respond to your messaging. Are you getting love, laugh, or angry reactions? What are the sentiments of the comments? Are people asking questions, or proactively engaging? You can learn a lot from how users are engaging with your content and messaging, and even treat it as a free split testing opportunity.
    • Engagement opens the door for relationship nurturing. When people comment on your posts in particular, there’s a chance to start a conversation that can lead to more long-term relationship building and increased brand loyalty.
    • It can expand your reach. People can share your content, ensuring a decent share of their own friends or followers see it. And sometimes, even having someone comment on a post is enough to help, as some of their friends and followers can see that in their feeds, too.

These are a lot of good reasons why strong, engaged communities on Facebook are beneficial to brands on the platform whether you’re focusing your efforts on organic Page posts, group posts, Facebook Ads, or a mixture of the three.

Let’s take a look at what exactly counts as Facebook engagement and steps you can take to increase engagement on all types of Facebook content.

What does engagement mean on Facebook?

Facebook engagement is often defined as any interaction that users are making on your posts, which can include post clicks, mentions, and private mentions.

When talking about Facebook engagement as a metric, many are specifically talking about the public-facing actions that can act as social proof, such as likes, comments, and shares.

It depends on what you want to measure. Are you factoring social proof into consideration, or any actions that users have taken on your content to try to assess its relevance?

Both the post owner and post viewers can see public-facing engagement readily. They can see the number of likes, shares, and comments, even if some comments are hidden or the exact shares are private and won’t be…

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What Eye Tracking Can Teach Us About Form Optimization and Design

Eye tracking has long been used in the fields of UX and CRO to accurately map where a user’s focus is when navigating a website. There have been many practical conclusions that have come out of this research such as this article published by CXL last year.

However, as form specialists, we wanted to hone in on what eye tracking could tell us about web forms and how to improve their user experience. In this article, we’ll explore some of our biggest takeaways and how they can apply to your own form design. 

Methodology

Before we dive in, it’s first important to highlight how we came about our research. We partnered with Nudge Insights, a UK based behavioral science consultancy to conduct a study on how users interact with form flows and fields. Using state of the art eye-tracking technology, we got users to make their way through six UK financial forms:

While straight measurement of time spent completing each field is a valid measure (and one supported by most form analytics tools), we wanted to take advantage of the technology to track specific eye-based metrics, namely:

  • Fixations – A fixation is essentially when the eye settles and focuses on a particular part of the form (remaining stable for a minimum of 60 milliseconds), indicating attention.
  • Saccades – A Saccade is the rapid eye movement between two fixation points.

When pieced together fixations and saccades make up a scanpath.

The findings and conclusions in this article are all based on the assumption that the smoother the scanpath (i.e. the lower the fixation count / duration), the better the form experience for the user. 

High fixation counts and durations at a particular point in a form indicates that the user had more difficulty in completing the field or section.

Example of high fixation points presented throughout this formExample of high fixation points presented throughout this formAn example heatmap output from the eye tracking study

Six Key Findings

As noted above, these conclusions are predicated on the assumption that guiding your user quickly and efficiently through the form is good. Distractions, delays and confusion are bad. Here are our takeaways. 

1. Use Text Fill rather than Dropdowns for Date of Birth

Previous research has shown that dropdown menus provide a poor user experience in forms. These studies have used time or click based methodology to demonstrate how dropdowns create greater friction than a text or radio based interface. Our research reinforced these conclusions based on eye tracking evidence.

As part of the study, Nudge Insights looked specifically at the date of birth field on each of the forms. It’s generally thought that formatting the DOB field should be relatively straightforward—it only requires the day, month and year to be input. Although there are various ways of structuring this field, most forms settle on text fill, drop down or some combination of these elements.

The below…

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Google Ads Attribution Models: Which Is Right For Your Campaign?

Currently, there are six different Google Ads attribution models to choose from.

For those unfamiliar with attribution modeling, this can be a headache, to say the least.

Attribution modeling can help you better understand how, when, and why people converted on your ads on Google.

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But choosing the wrong Google Ads Attribution Model can leave you with confusing, inaccurate data that can impact your future campaign success.

So, what kind of Google Ads attribution models are there? Which is best for a given goal? And… what are they in the first place? 🤔

That’s what we are here to answer.

Let’s dive into the Google Ads world of attribution modeling.

What are Google Ads Attribution Models? Why Does it Matter?

Attribution models in Google Ads aren’t unique to Google Ads alone.

In fact, Google Analytics has them too. Just about any analytics platform has different attribution modeling.

As a definition according to Google, attribution modeling is: “the rule, or set of rules, that determines how credit for sales and conversions is assigned to touchpoints in conversion paths.”

Simple enough right?

In even simpler terms: Attribution modeling is telling your analytics which channel or keyword to give credit for the sale/conversion.

So, why does any of this matter? Can’t we just say it was keyword X or channel Z that drove the sale?

Well, not really. It’s not that simple anymore, not in the era of inbound digital marketing.

It takes 7-13+ “touches,” otherwise known as engagements, with your business for a lead to convert.

This means that they could have visited your Instagram, your Twitter, your website, your landing page, your email, your remarketing ad, your RLSA, and more, all within the span of a month.

channels that influence a buyer before salechannels that influence a buyer before sale

Now, do you start to see the problem?

Simply saying “oh yeah it was the twitter post that converted them” is just flat out wrong. Was it really the twitter post, or was it a combination of multiple channels, or a few in particular?

Attribution modeling seeks to give clearer data on what channels played the most important roles in converting a given prospect.

Now that you understand attribution models, what they are, and why they are important, let’s take a look at the current six you can choose from and select the best one for your Google Ads campaign goals.

A word of caution before we get onto the attribution models – with the myriad of different modeling choices and the ever-changing tech requirements involved, getting started can be daunting.

As we continue the path through a privacy-forward future, getting the measurement basics down is essential for all savvy marketers. Luckily, our partners at Google are giving our readers the chance to learn the secrets of measurement and attribution straight from…

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Organic Shares or SEO Rankings: Which Should You Prioritize?

We’re told time and time again, producing high quality content is one of the highest value activities you can do for your business. Yet, the question remains, what does high quality content actually mean and how do you measure it?

With content marketing, it can be easy to get lost in the noise and miss what matters.  For this article, let’s consider just two metrics—an engagement metric—social shares and an SEO metric—keyword rank.

Shares are often considered a ‘vanity metric’ in the sense they don’t always directly help a business generate more revenue.

But shares are also significant in the fact that it shows that someone found your content valuable enough to share. Being mentioned by an industry thought leader can put your brand or business on the map for example.

On the other hand, optimizing your content for ranking takes time to start seeing results and can and it can be challenging to outrank your competition. 

In an ideal world, your content would rank well and get lots of social shares. But given marketers are often limited on time and resources, which should you prioritize if you have to choose? I asked 18 digital marketing experts and content creators to find out. 

But first the pros and cons of each approach.

Pros and cons of Shared Content Optimization (SCO)

Pros

  • A share is a leading indicator that your audience found the piece of content valuable enough to share. The more shares a piece of content gets, the higher the chance of it ‘going viral.
  • A share also suggests your reader agrees with or finds your content though-provoking. 45 percent of US adults shared an opinion piece they agreed with on social media.
  • Content that gets shared, also generally suggests the content was interesting, fun, or even just engaging. This can often signal you’re creating content that connects with your readers and target audience. 
  • Shared content is immediately public material and can lead to an immediate bump in traffic.
  • Oftentimes, shared content includes commentary or other additional insight you can use to gain audience insights and leverage user generated content (UGC).

Cons

  • Not all shares are created equal, and shares can often be misleading. It’s often difficult to measure the true ROI from social shares directly. 
  • 6 in 10 people only read headlines before sharing, this means that quantity of shares may not always reflect content value.
  • Organic reach for many social media platforms is declining, making it more difficult for content to get seen organically. 
  • Social media is subject to changes in algorithms, updates and features. These affect content visibility and are many times out businesses control. 
  • Social media posts are time-sensitive. For example, you have to post at a certain period to get maximum engagement. Generally posts have a short shelf life.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Pros

  • With well ranking content you’ll generally continue to see ROI for a long period of time.
  • When you rank for buyer intent or longer tail keywords, you attract people who potentially need the kind…

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