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Facebook launches support for paid online events

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Businesses will now be able to monetize online events on Facebook, thanks to a new feature that the social network is launching in the United States and 19 other countries today.

In a call with reporters, Head of Facebook App Fidji Simo said that Facebook’s Events feature was designed for in-person events, but with the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting social distancing orders, the company “really quickly pivoted” to supporting online events.

In fact, Simo said that in June of this year, live broadcasts on Facebook Pages doubled compared to the same period in 2019.

Simo also outlined the new feature in a Facebook blog post. Businesses will be able to host larger events through Facebook Live, and the company is also testing the ability to host smaller, more interactive gatherings in Messenger Rooms. The goal is to give business owners the ability to create the event, set the price, promote the event, collect the payment and host the event itself all from one place.

Apparently some of the paid events that have already been organized during tests with early users include talks, trivia, podcast recordings, boxing matches, cooking classes, meet-and-greets and fitness classes.

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iOS purchase flow on left, Android purchase flow on right. Image Credits: Facebook

“With social distancing mandates still in place, many businesses and creators are bringing their events and services online to connect with existing customers and reach new ones,” Simo wrote. “People are also relying on live video and interactive experiences more when they can’t come together physically.”

Simo said Facebook will not be collecting any fees from paid online events for at least the next year. So on the web and on Android “in countries where we have rolled out Facebook Pay,” businesses should be able to keep 100% of their online events revenue. That won’t, however, be the case on iOS, and Simo’s blog post includes a surprisingly direct dig at Apple:

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We asked Apple to reduce its 30% App Store tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay so we could absorb all costs for businesses struggling during COVID-19. Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests and SMBs will only be paid 70% of their hard-earned revenue. Because this is complicated, as long as Facebook is waiving its fees, we will make all fees clear in our products.

To that end, the post also includes an iOS screenshot (“which we submitted to Apple today for approval”) showing that the purchase button will include a small text message saying “Apple takes 30% of this purchase” beneath the purchase button (vs. “Facebook doesn’t take a fee from this purchase” on Android).

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5 Effective Ways to Run Facebook Ads A/B Tests

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Facebook Ads A/B Tests or split tests help them try different versions of ads with various campaign elements. This process helps them arrive at the best version for the organization’s target. 

A/B Tests offer a vast pool of resources to try out various versions. You may get caught up and lose your way to arriving at the best version in a limited time. To better understand this topic you can read the Facebook ad testing guide. Here are five effective ways to run Facebook Ads A/B Tests-

1) Start with the minimal number of variables

This approach will help you analyze the impact of a variable much better. The lesser the variables, the better will be the relevant results and more conclusive. Once you have various versions, you will need to run them through the A/B Significance Test to determine if the test results are valid.

2) The second way is to select the correct structure. 

There are two structures in A/B tests. One is a single ad test, and the other is multiple single variation ad sets. All the variations will go under one ad set in the first structure. Each variation will be under a separate ad set in the second one. Out of the two, the second one works out to be better and gives better results.

3) Use of spreadsheets is important to stay organized. 

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These spreadsheets help collect and analyze data to get meaningful insights and arrive at data-backed decisions.

4) Do target advertising and set realistic time goals. 

One approach is to choose an entirely new set of audiences. Also, the data pool should be vast and not the same as some existing campaigns. The reason for choosing a different audience is that Facebook may mix up your ads and give contaminated output. 

Another approach to choosing the right audience is to pick geography. It works better, especially when you have business in a particular region.   

It’s also essential to set a realistic timeline for your testing. Facebook suggests one should run a test for at least four days, but you can choose to run the test for up to 30 days.   

5) Set an ideal budget. 

The concept of a perfect budget is subjective. But, you can fix it yourself, or Facebook can do that for you based on your testing data. A large part of the test budget is spent on avoiding audience duplication. If the same audience sees variations, it could affect the test results.

Besides these top five effective ideas, you will need to take a few more action points to make the testing process efficient. Make sure you put the website’s domain link and not the landing page link in the ad, as that doesn’t look good. Put appropriate Call To Action Button, such as ‘Learn More,’ ‘Buy Now,’ etc. It’s also important to see how your ad is coming across on various electronic gadgets- mobile, tablets, etc.

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Another strategy that works is trying to engage the customer. You may add social engagement buttons such as ‘Like’ or ‘Comment.’ Use high-resolution images as they work better with the customers. Low-quality, highly edited images are often not liked and trusted by the consumers.

You can learn more about the audience behavior patterns with A/B test results. Conducting these tests on Facebook streamlines the entire process and makes it smooth for you. With the test results, advertisers and marketers can work on the creatives they need to utilize.

To sum it up, you can run an effective A/B test campaign within the specified budget. You don’t need to spend massive amounts to get your advertisement right. You’ll make the correct assumptions about the performance of variations with a good understanding of business and consumers.

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