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BizReport : Social Marketing : August 22, 2008

Facebook tests 3 new social ad formats

Has Facebook cracked it? Will their new suite of “Engagement Ads” be the answer to social marketer’s prayers? Eight major advertisers, including Adidas, General Mills-owned Betty Crocker, and DreamWorks Pictures will be testing the first three new Facebook ad formats starting next month.

by Helen Leggatt

facebook%20logo.gifReports are out that Facebook has added a set of new social ad formats to further engage users and enable advertisers to tap into the social scene.

The "Engagement Ad" formats are based on three common features of social networking – commenting, becoming a fan and gifting virtual objects.

The comment-style ads allow Facebook members to leave comments on ads, much as they do wall posts. The ad then spreads to that user’s newsfeed and can show a maximum of 4 comments per ad.

Brands can now create virtual gifts that users can share with the gifts-style ad, an activity that is already extremely popular on the site.

Finally, fanatical fans will be able to tell all their friends about what they love by becoming a brand fan and triggering a notification to their entire network.

Jeremiah Owyang, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research, broke the news of Facebook’s new ad formats on his blog, having recently spoken to Tim Kendall, Director of Monetization at Facebook.

“To combat dismal click through rates of traditional advertisements, these features emulate widgets and encourage users to increase member adoption, viral growth, and brand interaction,” summarized Owyang. “Brands will only succeed with these “WidgetAds” if they create content that puts community first, lean on new interactions, integrate with other tools, plan for the long haul, and change how they measure success –traditional internet advertising tactics won’t apply.”

Tags: Facebook, social advertising, social networking

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