Seeing Stars: Facebook Experiments with Star Ratings for Local Business Ads

Taking a leaf out of Yelp and Netflix’s (and a ton of other websites’) playbook, Facebook has started employing review stars in business ads. It’s still a rather small-scale experiment, where the stars only pop up in a small percentage of select ads. The social media giant plans to run the test for two months, but advertisers are free to opt-out of it should they choose to.

 

The Ratings Game

Web marketer Phillip Barnhart received a letter from Facebook regarding the experiment, which he shared online. The letter informed Barnhart that his FB page was among numerous business ads chosen to participate in the beta test for business ratings. The test’s purpose was to determine whether displaying ratings increased conversions from ads.

Scheduled to run from April 24 to June 24, 2017, the rating display along with test reviews will appear below business names in ads across Facebook’s Newsfeed. “Star ratings will only appear when the average star rating is 4 stars or higher and when there are at least 5 reviews,” the letter stated.

The chosen participants can tweak “Star Rating Experiment” settings for the beta test, and it is only available on Facebook’s desktop site.

 

Wisdom (and Revenue) in Online Reviews

Advertisers (both paid and organic) have long known that star ratings dramatically improve clickthrough rate (CTR). The beta test Facebook is conducting comes as little surprise, especially considering the volume of ads it now displays on its Newsfeed.

Digital marketing blogs agree that this strategy is a logical step for social media sites reliant on ads. In a survey by software company ReviewTrackers, one of the key findings indicated 67% of consumers believed in the importance of online reviews when choosing local businesses.

Many FB users haven’t seen this change implemented widely so far, including targeted ads. Users do presume that the visibility of star ratings will increase as tests detect an increase in CTRs.

Preying on Easy Dupes: Protecting Your Organization from Cyber Criminals

Millions of cyber criminals and spammers are hard at work. They are testing the strength of your organization’s cyber security, looking for a chink in your armor where they can launch their attacks. Sometimes, they don’t even have to search for a weak spot in the system; they just create one, instead. To gain the information they need to bypass your cyber security system, they simply have to get employees to download a corrupted attachment or click a malicious link. Hackers also have other avenues where they can wreak havoc online, such as social networking sites, phone calls, and emails — all without raising any red flags.

In light of the ingenious ways cyber criminals can conduct attacks, companies should, therefore, make security a business-wide responsibility. What are some of the strategies attackers use to target employees, that companies should watch out for, then?

 

 

Social Networking

Social networks are at a high risk of cyber security threats. LinkedIn is one of the biggest sources of wealth for hackers because the platform allows users to expand their network while putting them at risk of connecting with people they don’t know. On a similar vein, Twitter also carries a great risk of social engineering since attackers can send direct messages to users in ways that seem legitimate even when they aren’t.

 

Impersonation and Identity Theft

With access to a few social networks, attackers can put together a full picture of a person’s life. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram can reveal almost everything about an individual including their family, interests, music, and favorite restaurants. This leaves any employee vulnerable to impersonation since a hacker can easily create an account and pretend to be someone they’re not.

 

Voice Phone Solicitation

Otherwise known as “vishing,” voice phone solicitation is a cheap, yet dangerous technique used by cyber attackers to target their victims. Through a simple phone call, attackers do what they can to learn more about a client and their internal systems to know where to spot red flags. Vishing poses a huge problem for companies since they’re often hard to detect. Attackers establish a rapport with their victim, making it sound like a normal conversation.

 

Awareness of the potential strategies hackers make use of to target employees is a must. At Bungemoe, our digital marketing blog covers a vast range of topics to keep readers up-to-date with the latest news in the industry and stay safe from potential cyber attacks.

Facebook, Still the King of Digital Marketing – Here’s Why

facebook

The concept of digital marketing is no longer just the future. Digital marketing, as we know it, is the advertising and promotional platform of today, of the technologically advanced present where we have more computers than we do trees. For the most part, it’s a good thing. Businesses take advantage of this reality, and rightfully so – marketing has never been so accessible to the common man.

For the people behind the marketing schemes, the choice for execution is tough. Choosing the perfect marketing channel to pour their resources into could be difficult. There are too many to choose from, and each one is completely different from others.

Manish Dudharejia, Co-Founder of E2M, makes that choice easier for all of us. He says that Facebook is still at the top of the ranks and that Facebook ads are set to surpass any other channel this year. Here’s why:

 

Personalized Ads

Mark Zuckerberg came up with the Facebook Custom Audience Tool, designed to build Facebook advertising campaigns around specific audiences. Brands target its market easily with the user information that Facebook provides. Entrepreneurs and businessmen who are new to the party will see maximum results in their growing network instantly.

 

Excellent Visibility

Facebook is reportedly third in the list of the most populated online platforms. With over 1.79 billion active monthly users, it would be a great loss for businesses to miss out on Facebook’s marketing opportunities. Facebook is also the world’s most downloaded mobile app, taking the bulk of the hours a consumer spends on their phones.

 

Brand Awareness

Similar to personalized ads, the Brand Awareness ad objective also makes use of real-time proxy metrics to boost a business but with no target market in mind. The goal of the objective is to get the attention of all users to maximize the number of people who are interested in the brand. This gives the business quality exposure, critical for gaining a bigger audience.

 

Live Feed

One of the most recent yet most used features of the website is Facebook Live, allowing users to share livestream videos straight from their mobile phones and onto their Timelines. Marketers use this to promote events and new store locations, have brand ambassadors speak about products, or to answer questions from viewers. According to a study, Facebook users are more likely to watch live videos than to read content – brands should include this on their marketing schemes.

 

Artificial Intelligence

Facebook Messenger is one way for brands to communicate privately with their customers. The more businesses engage on Facebook, the more hours spent on the platform will increase. Beneficial for both the brands and Facebook itself, the app has now launched a Chatbot feature which enables businesses to talk to customers without a human body behind the screen. Creating an A.I. is one tough job, but Facebook easily lets brands encode certain responses and structured messages for instantaneous transactions.

 

Instant Feedback

Because of Facebook, getting feedback has never been so easy. A simple status update or poll post would rack up quick responses from customers. Facebook is a great venue for hassle-free surveys and product reviews.

 

Customers as Brand Influencers

You might not see it now, but your customers’ opinions are just as important as a celebrity’s. In fact, they might even be more believable because of the stigma about the unreliability of celebrities when it comes to ads. On Facebook, a simple “Like” from one customer can send others scampering toward your page. Just like how we value our friends’ opinions, a customer’s recommendation is a trustworthy one.

 

Innovation

A lot of these features on Facebook did not exist three years ago, but look at where we are now. Facebook continues to improve, grow, and innovate – the future is too bright to ignore. Who knows what groundbreaking digital marketing tool the social media platform will create next?

There are probably only a handful of people whose mission in life is to avoid Facebook at all costs. Facebook will remain a social media essential for a while, and there’s no denying its versatility when it comes to boosting your business. Investing resources and time in curating a Facebook marketing strategy will land your brand the audience it deserves.