Digital Dash: Instagram post promotion (at last!) & more

1. At last! You’ll (soon) be able to boost organic Instagram posts from Ads Manager

Okay, social media marketers. Are you sitting down? We’ve got some major news for you – and you’re going to love it.

According to WeRSM, it’s only a matter of weeks before all advertisers can promote existing organic Instagram posts within Facebook’s Ads Manager.

Wait! I already know your next question. And the answer is yes – this means that total engagement stats (paid and organic) will be aggregated, and visible, on the original organic post. Just like on Facebook.

This is a really big deal. Because up until now, the only way you could use an organic Instagram post to advertise was to hit the Promote button. But the problem with this is… well, there’s a fairly long list of problems with this. Here are the top 3:

  • Results don’t get aggregated
  • Managing and analysing campaigns in Facebook Ads Manager becomes a complete nightmare
  • Very limited advertising options and no use of advanced audience targeting (including custom/lookalike audiences) or the full range of ad objectives

The best workaround up to now has been to create completely new ads individually, that mimic each Instagram post. Clearly this isn’t time efficient. Plus, it also only solves the lower two issues identified above. Results still don’t get aggregated.

Being able to locate an organic Insta post within Ads Manager and use it to create ads directly is a massive step forward.

There is one drawback though: it will no longer be easy to judge how well competitors are doing organically on Instagram! If results include paid scores, and you have no idea how much was spent, you’ll have no way of gauging performance against your page.

There are a couple of other caveats to mention too:

  • You’ll only be able to directly promote single videos or images in the new way (no Carousel, Stories, Branded Content or Instagram Shopping posts)
  • It will be available only for the brand awareness, post engagement, reach and video views objectives


2. The good news keeps on comin’ – Facebook upgrades Ads Manager with “creative reporting” feature & more

Facebook’s Ads Manager is one of those funny things. On the one hand, you are blown away by its sophistication and functionality. On the other, you regularly find yourself tearing your hair out when some glitch or other means your job just got 10x harder.

Most Ads Manager upgrades are a cause for celebration, mainly because they either mean a problem will get fixed or a cool new tool is on the way.

This week brings the latter: a new reporting feature called “creative reporting” that will help you identify your best performing ad creative.

Each line in the reporting table shown below represents one creative unit that includes the ad’s headline, text, call to action and image/video.

Photo: Social Media Today

If the creative unit has been used across multiple campaigns, ad sets or ads, it will now be much easier to compare results at a glance.

From what I can tell, the feature will essentially allow you to filter ad results across your entire account per creative unit, meaning you can quickly see where and when it was most successful.

Facebook also confirmed that there’s to look forward to with Ads Manager coming up, including a feature that will let you drag and drop metrics to customise a report and analyse specific parameters (age, gender, placement) in bulk.

There will also be a new structure to the side editing panel, where you can edit and view ad details in seconds – including at campaign level.

Photo: Social Media Today


3. Facebook Stories advertising gets green light after 150m DAUs milestone hit

Facebook Stories has been the focus of some ridicule for a while now (including occasionally here in Digital Dash). The company has pushed and pushed and pushed for the feature to take off – and yet those little circles at the top of News Feed have generally refused to come to life.

Or so we thought.

Turns out a hell of a lot of people are using Facebook Stories. 150 million of them daily, to be precise.

To quickly put that into context, the entire Snapchat app (not just the Stories element) has 190 million daily active users (DAUs).

Photo: TechCrunch

TechCrunch writer Josh Constine raised some really interesting questions about how exactly DAUs are being measured. Could this explain why the stats seem surprising? Maybe.

Are people automatically sharing stories from Instagram being counted? What about people just viewing stories as opposed to publishing them? This could make a big difference to the perception of how successful the feature actually is.

Anyway, lets move on to a far less shocking bit of news to accompany the stats above: advertising is coming to Facebook Stories. It was always just a matter of time before this happened.

You can now set up 5-15 second video ads to run within Facebook Stories, which are skippable. These can be created from existing Instagram Stories ads or News Feed ads (Facebook will adapt the format for Stories, as below). There’s no call to action or click-through element yet, but that will definitely come soon.

Photo: TechCrunch


4. Bet you can’t guess which other brand has been suckered in by Stories?

It all started with Snapchat. Then Instagram, Messenger, Facebook, WhatsApp, Google all followed (copied).

And now… Airbnb?

Yes, the holiday rentals giant is beta testing a new Stories feature that, similar to all the others, lets users stitch together short video clips.

Invitations to test the new feature were sent to users, and Tech Crunch were initially alerted by Airbnb blog writer Matteo Gamba.

Photo: Matteo Gamba via TechCrunch

Airbnb is being very noncommittal about the whole thing as of right now, which means details are a bit limited.

What we do know is this:

  • The feature is called Travel Stories
  • It’s only available in beta for the latest version of the iPhone app
  • Clips must be in a vertical format and 10 seconds or less in duration
  • Clips can be taken from Camera Roll and edited within the Airbnb app
  • Stories will link to the location and accommodation featured (see an example of a Story about Cuba here)

Personally, I think this type of creative is a perfect fit for Airbnb – which has built an appeal around a very personal, and personalised, approach.

The more positive user content relating to specific locations that’s available, the easier it will be to sell wanderlusters the dream.


5. Leaked news: Facebook working on “influencer search engine” for marketers

Last but not least, I’ll round up this Facebook-dominated Digital Dash with a really interesting bit of news for anyone whose strategy involves working with influencers.

Facebook is creating a search tool dedicated to connecting marketers to social media influencers, called The Branding Content Matching search engine.

The screenshots below were initially leaked in German by and later officially confirmed with Facebook by Tech Crunch.

Photo: TechCrunch

When I first heard this mentioned, I thought it sounded a bit gimmicky. It wasn’t until I realised how granular you can get with your search that the new feature really got my attention.

You’ll see in the screenshot above that you can narrow down your search by:

  • Country
  • Age range
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Relationship status
  • Interests
  • Life events
  • & more

Being able to get this specific with your influencer search means you can hone in on social media stars who precisely fit your requirements. I’m assuming the results list will only feature people popular on Facebook-owned platforms.

Facebook won’t take a cut of any collaborations born from the search engine’s findings, but I’m sure will be counting on a load of advertising off the back of the partnerships.