Upside-Down Thinking by Patric Fransko
by Patric Fransko
December 18th, 2019

Facebook Raises the Value of Making the First Sentence Count

At a time when people’s attention span seems to be at an all-time low, businesses advertising on Facebook have even more of a reason to get to the point. There have been some changes recently that you need to be aware of to get the most out of your advertising on the platform.

First, a couple of stats that might surprise you. Last year, Pew Research reported that 68% of Americans use Facebook. More startling, this report also showed that of those who use Facebook, 74% of them log in daily and half of those actually check Facebook several times a day. In addition, 96% of Facebook users access the platform at least partially via mobile devices. With statistics like that, we still need to be paying attention to changes happening on the platform and how they impact our advertising efforts, especially on mobile.

So, what is this recent change I have alluded to? Facebook reduced the amount of text that it will display in the copy part of a mobile ad from seven lines down to three. After the third line, an interested party would need to click the “continue reading” prompt to see the remainder of the text.

While it has always been important to grab a social user’s attention via engaging copy or images, this makes it even more critical on the text front. You only have three lines on a mobile device, which might only get you one sentence. That sentence better be a great one! See the pic to the right to see how the new ads will appear. (I have no affiliation with the company pictured)

So, how should you modify your marketing in light of these changes? Simply put, you need to make that first sentence count. Think of how to write that first sentence in a way that will make the person seeing the ad want to click “continue reading.” Assuming you have properly targeted the audience, the combination of the image you use and that first sentence are going to determine whether someone stops to check out your ad or keeps scrolling by.

As you think about text for an ad, make sure the first sentence stimulates interest. It cannot be a lead-in into the main point, it needs to be the main point. Otherwise, they may never click to see the other text and your message will not be delivered. Test your first sentence with co-workers, family members, and others to see if they would be interested in reading more. Treat that sentence as if it were the only one you had to communicate the message, because it just might be with these new changes.

Hope this article helps as you navigate the social media advertising jungle. If you have any questions, please ask them in the comments. Thanks!

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