Following Facebook's Q4 earnings announcement this week, we know that (unsurprisingly) it's well on the way to developing a good mobile strategy for the business. Its strong mobile revenue is reflective of the fact that for the first time ever, the number of daily mobile users exceeded desktop users, which contributed to a 40% revenue rise in Q4 at $1.59 billion. And according to Zuckerberg, "there is no argument that Facebook is a mobile company."
This is great news for Facebook and its shareholders, but brands must now play catchup and get on board with the 'mobile' Facebook, which will require a change of strategy. Many campaign and app strategies are focused on being desktop-first, meaning you could potentially be missing out on a huge chunk of your audience who aren't accessing Facebook this way any longer. So what can you do to get in front of these growing smartphone users?
Mobile App Ads
The way that people are accessing Facebook may be changing, but this isn't changing our overall smartphone use, which is decidedly app heavy. The mobile app process on Facebook still needs to be worked out, but brands should certainly be using it as a way to promote their own mobile app. Last year, Facebook introduced mobile app ads. This allows you to get right in front of your target audience, but importantly bring them through to the platform that you own. Think of it like Google Adwords, but for apps.
Facebook's mobile app ads are currently in beta and you can request to be a launch partner here.
Sponsored Page Posts
Whether people are accessing on mobile or desktop, you still want them to find your page. With mobile, this need is even greater as you will rely heavily on the newsfeed to do this. You have a limited amount of real estate to play with so you will need to get people's attention fast. If you regularly use Facebook on mobile, you will have noticed the significant increase in sponsored page posts and pages your friends have liked.
Annoying as they may seem to users, if Facebook's increase in revenue is anything to go by, they are working. While we may claim that these ads get in the way of the experience we want (I put myself in this camp), the fact is we're clicking them (again, I put myself in this camp). Overall, page ads in the newsfeed are a much more effective way of reaching your audience, with the retail sector claiming a 14% higher ROI than standard ads in the sidebar.
Right now, the only way to run mobile page post ads is in Power Editor, which is available as a Chrome plugin. Here you can create your ad and specify which platforms you would like your ad to run on.
Integrate Your App With Facebook
If you're developing a mobile app, you'd be mad to not even consider integrating it with Facebook Connect. By allowing people to connect to your app with their Facebook credentials, you're increasing the likelihood of your app spreading through the site. You could also utilise data through Facebook Connect to offer a more relevant, personalised experience to the user.
A recent case study, released by Facebook, revealed that in the 'Are you smarter than a fifth grader?' app, 52% of users connected to the app through Facebook. More importantly, these users account for 70% of total revenue through the app. Of course, you will be relinquishing control of your data over to Facebook to a certain extent, but if the payoff is a more engaged and valuable user, then that should make it an easy decision.
Use Native Facebook Tabs
With the current iteration of Facebook mobile pages, users won't be able to see additional tabs you've created. Pages will, however, default to three native Facebook mobile tabs, including likes, photos, events and locations. You can see the importance of using native Facebook tabs in the example of Vita Coco. While the desktop version of its page is nicely designed with additional tabs.
While its Facebook page only shows two native tabs.
Coming Soon: Promote Page
Facebook is due to roll out a new option for page owners that will allow you to quickly promote your page both within the desktop and mobile version of the site. Page owners will see this option in the admin panel with the button 'Promote Page.' While some users are beginning to see this, there is no set date for the official rollout.