These days, if you take a long weekend, you’ve probably missed a Facebook release by the time you get back to your desk.

Facebook’s been releasing or repositioning ad types pretty constantly over the last few months; they are also updating the look and feel of ads without much notice, which is a good thing for advertisers because they usually look better after they’ve been updated.

In case you missed anything, here’s a refresher to get you up to speed on Facebook ad types. (We’ll skip FBX for now; there’s a ton of info out there devoted specifically  to FBX.)

We’ve got new Sponsored Story Likes

These are still great for acquiring fans, and they’re not a visual afterthought anymore.

Here’s what they used to look like:

old sponsored story like

Here’s what they look like now, first on mobile and then on desktop:

ssl mobile

Sponsored story like for mobile

ssl ad for desktop

Sponsored story like for desktop

Marketplace ads appear to be phasing out

Look at the right rail; you’ve seen (and probably ignored) these ads, which are meant for fan acquisition:

marketplace ads FB

Those marketplace ads are soon to have bigger, shinier counterparts now, right in the coveted newsfeed:

facebook ads in newsfeed

Much harder to ignore and more room for visual appeal, right? It makes me think marketplace ads might be on the way out.

Dark is the new black

…by which I mean that “dark” posts, which Facebook calls “unpublished page posts,” are one of the best new tools in a Facebook advertiser’s box.

Unpublished posts come from your brand page and are visible only on specifically targeted users’ pages; they allow for multiple variations of testing and audience segmentation with a great-looking ad unit.

So, to sum up: good engagement, good placement, and can be optimized for specific actions (hello, direct response) on your website.

They come in varieties, too:

Unpublished photo page posts (desktop and mobile):

desktop unpublished photo page post

mobile unpublished photo page posts

Unpublished link posts (desktop and mobile):

desktop unpublished link post

unpublished link post for desktop

mobile unpublished link post

unpublished link post for mobile

And, like I said, there’s the whole world of FBX to consider. (This is a good reminder on best FBX practices, and here’s a testament to the results a good FBX campaign can drive.)

One last thing: if you really want to get into the nitty-gritty of Facebook advertising, join me, Dennis Yu of BlitzMetrics, and Christina Park of Triggit for a free webinar on Next-Gen Facebook advertising, May 23 at 11 a.m. PT. Bring questions!

1 Comment

  1. Dennis Yu May 18th, 2013

    Andrew– love the examples!
    What performance are you seeing on unpublished link posts?

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Andrew Foxwell
Andrew Foxwell grew up on a farm in western Wisconsin, where his Macintosh Quadra 610 with its lightning fast 28.8K dial-up connection first sparked his interest in digital marketing. After graduating from St. Olaf College, Andrew went to work as a digital director for a U.S. Congressional campaign, which led him to Washington, DC to work as a press secretary/new media director for a U.S. Congressman. Recognizing an opportunity for improved digital communications between members of Congress and their constituents, Andrew founded and managed the social media marketing agency within iConstituent, the leading online communications firm working with Congress. Andrew worked with members and staffs from both sides of the aisle to deepen much needed Congressional dialogue, improve constituent services, and create a more effective 21st century democracy. Andrew then took his diverse skillset to Silicon Valley where he directed the social media division of 3Q Digital, a full-service online marketing firm. There he tripled the agency’s social media client base, managed a team of account managers and production professionals, and oversaw an average monthly revenue growth of more than 20% while working with companies like Square, Fitbit, Eventbrite, 23andMe, Citrus Lane and more. Andrew is the CEO and Co-Founder of Foxwell Digital, a digital creative agency that works with clients as diverse as small-town cafes to multi-million dollar start-ups. Find him @andrewfoxwell and