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Facebook rewards effective advertising by disclosing user-relevancy scoring system

Facebook?s decision to reveal how it judges the user relevancy of the ads it puts on its platform is the social networking site?s way of rewarding brands that take the time to create messaging that resonates with audiences, since the move could help marketers lower the cost of their ads.

Facebook scores an ad's relevance on a one to 10 scale, ranging from irrelevant to highly relevant to an ad?s target audience. The move is a play by Facebook to further balance advertising, monetization and user engagement.

?This is a great feedback loop for marketers to start factoring in user engagement and reaction to their ads and optimize their creative and messaging,? said Justin Choi, chief executive of Nativo. ?It?s a great signal that Facebook is providing to them.?

Target audience
Facebook determines ad user relevancy scores by gauging how positively or negatively the ad?s target audience might respond to it, based on reactions to similar ads and to the ad when it goes live.

As an ad receives positive indicators, ranging from video views to likes to comments on the ad, the ad?s score climbs. Negative factors include consumers? clicks to hide an ad or report it as spam.

Rewarding effective advertising.

Relevance is not the only factor Facebook?s ad delivery system considers. Bid matters too. For instance, if two ads are aimed at the same audience, there is no guarantee the ad with an excellent relevance score and low bid will beat the ad with a good relevance score and high bid.

Overall, having strong relevance scores will help advertisers see more efficient delivery through Facebook?s system.

It can help advertisers test ad creative options before running a campaign.

Advertisers can test different combinations of image and copy with different audiences, and learn which combinations offer the highest relevance scores.

It can help optimize campaigns already in progress. While ad campaigns are running, advertisers can monitor their relevance scores. If a score begins to dip, it may be an indicator that the ad?s creative or audience needs to be refreshed

The only drawback is that marketers need to avoid becoming obsessed with the scoring system.

?As with any metric, you can get too focused on optimizing for a single signal,? Mr. Choi said. ?But more transparency is usually an overall good thing.?

Facebook?s disclosure will help the user experience if Facebook can fill user feeds with ads that people find interesting, engaging, and relevant.

?Advertising is often a friction to the user experience and this is way to reduce that friction,? Mr. Choi said.

?Without user engagement, Facebook no longer exists so protecting the user experience is important. This is true for all platforms and publishers?not just Facebook.?

There?s a greater trend of moving advertising as a medium of interruption to a medium of engagement. In a world where consumers have more and more over the content they consume and the content they avoid, it is imperative that advertisers figure out how to be a part of the engagement and not the interruption.

Facebook?s growing advertising revenue is evidence of how it continues to execute well on mobile, excelling in diversifying its mobile ad offerings beyond the strong early success of its app install ads.

The site is poised to make deep cuts into Google?s territory as advertisers continue to shift advertising spending to digital from traditional outlets and Facebook?s user base continues to climb.

Facebook?s local awareness ad service, which allows geo-location targeting to be easily incorporated into advertising strategies and its relaunched Atlas tracking service helped power a 69 percent mobile ad revenue surge in the first quarter. 

The results underscored how Facebook is poised to grow as it makes more of its huge storehouse of data available to marketers for precision targeting.

Media savvy
?Facebook?s ad relevancy gives people an easy to understand metric that will be an extremely helpful tool for small businesses that may not be as media savvy,? said Ken Wisnefski, CEO of WebiMax. 

Helping marketers save money.

?With a simple grade between 1-10, marketers can see if their ads are working better or worse with their target audience. 

?Though it might scare some to think that ads with a poor grade will be served up less, Facebook is giving marketers the opportunity to edit the ads to score a higher grade and get it back on track,? he said.

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York