The Single Most Important Thing You Didn’t Know About Your Business Activity on Facebook
Hold on tight and give me a few moments to recap some of Facebook’s basic principles before I delve into one of the most important articles you’ll read this year, an article that reviews of one of the biggest changes Facebook is making today: the shift from online to offline.
Designing Facebook’s Browsing Experience
Nobody likes being in a place that makes them feel bad, denigrates their body attributes and mood or even presents them with content that contradicts their worldview and upsets them. What do you do when you find yourself in such a place? What do you do when you have a bad experience? You leave it in search of one that will make you feel at ease. This is true about the online world just as much as it is about the real world.
This is where Facebook derives its worldview and this is the basis on which its algorithms and advertising policy were built.
According to this advertising policy, we:
- Cannot refer to users’ personal attributes, since this lowers their confidence.
- Cannot display before and after pictures, since they relate to a problematic physical condition.
- Are limited in advertising weight loss programs or dating services, since these remind users they are overweight or alone.
- Cannot advertise medicine, since no one wants to hear they’re sick.
- Cannot advertise products that negatively affect health, such as tobacco products.
As for the News Feed, it is readily apparent that Facebook’s algorithms learn what subjects interest its users and what their political positions are. Consequently, it shows them content and posts that are close to their own worldview lest they spend all day cursing at their News Feed, thinking everything that it shows is simply nonsense. If that were to happen, what sort of effect do you think it would have on the credibility of ads on the same platform?
The Ramifications of a Negative Browsing Experience
Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t have to tell us “Senator, we run ads.” We know that Facebook sells advertising space to advertisers, and we know that prices go up as the demand for advertising space increases. For more on that subject, read our article Why Advertising on Facebook is Getting More Expensive as Organic Exposure is Dropping. The solution to this problem is enlarging advertising spaces by constantly adding possible locations and increasing the amount of time users stay on the platform. After all, the more they scroll, the more ads they see.
I cannot stress this enough: a discontented user spends less time on Facebook and therefore sees fewer ads.
The Efforts to Improve Facebook’s User Experience So Far
Facebook also lets its users block ads that deal with certain subjects ads from certain advertisers, and is currently transparent with the interests assigned to their profiles, giving them full control over them.
But that’s more. We all click on outgoing links, taking us to other websites, and our experience with them is taken as a part of a single picture. Therefore, Facebook has begun automatically and manually scanning and rating every website that is linked to by ads and posts on its platform! Nowadays, websites that deal with forbidden subjects, display an excessive number of popup ads, start downloads automatically or simply appear to be using shady or illegitimate business models are all blocked from being promoted.
In May 2017, Facebook even officially announced that they will reduce exposure while driving up costs for websites that provide a low-quality browsing experience.
Blocking and Limiting Advertising Accounts
Advertising accounts that violate Facebook’s advertising policies or link to problematic websites suffer from blocks, long and arduous ad reviews and high exposure costs. More extreme violations lead to permanent termination of the account. This is why advertisers in problematic fields find themselves constantly opening new accounts that are untainted by their negative rating. This is one subject that has been written about greatly, and I will therefore not expand further on it now.
Facebook’s Move from Online to Offline
A number of days ago, Facebook announced that its users have said they do not like misleading ads that display wrong delivery times or promote products whose quality is lower than expected. This is predictable in itself, but the real surprise was Facebook’s announcement that is was taking steps to remove such ads from its platform.
Why is it surprising? Because it relates to a purely offline experience! Facebook has no ostensible connection to advertisers’ offline activity, and its measurement is done directly with the users.
Facebook began contacting users who purchased after viewing ads and asked them to describe their purchase experience, specifically as it relates to three subjects:
- Delivery times
- Product quality
- Communication with the seller
Using the descriptions given by the respondents, Facebook creates a page satisfaction score that ranges from 1 to 5 points. Any pages that consistently gets a low score, i.e. 2 and under, will suffer from lower exposure and higher advertising costs!
Note that switching advertising accounts does not reset this score, since it is linked to the page itself and it describes the business rather than its account.
This is what its interface looks like:
View your page satisfaction score here.
So What Are the Recommended Steps that will Improve Your Page Satisfaction Score?
- Make Clear Offers
- Use real pictures that represent your product accurately.
- Give your product’s actual dimensions.
- Present your product’s actual quality.
- Give Accurate Delivery Times
- Give your actual delivery time rather than your order processing time.
- Use tracking numbers as much as possible.
- Manage Expectations
- Honor your return and exchange policy.
- If there is a time difference between you and your customers, explain how long it will take you to answer their questions so as to not create the appearance of ignoring them.
- Keep Up With Demand
- Make sure you do not exceed the number of orders you can fulfill at any given time, especially if you’re stepping up your advertising activity. Failure to fulfill orders on time creates a negative experience.
- Do not wait for complaints to come in! Actively update your customers regarding any problem that arises.
To summarize, we want to emphasize the fact that there is an important lesson in all this, which the business world has always known and cannot be ignored in our online activity even if we think we can cut corners. The lesson is simply be good. Be good to your customers, and be good to your fans and followers. Give them real value, give them reliable and high quality service, give them good products and live up to your advertising promises. It’s the surefire way to long-term success, both online and offline.
In light of the feedback we’ve received, it’s important to note that at the present time, this applies to non-Israeli pages only, and no one knows when and if it will apply to Israeli pages. The closest thing Israeli pages face is the review of negative feedback given to each campaign, which can be viewed using custom columns. This feedback may indicate customer experience problems that affect your campaigns and drive your costs up.