Facebook is well known as a free means of traffic generation and advertising—therefore the idea of advertising on Facebook may be confusing to you. The simple truth of it is that you have a choice when it comes to Facebook advertising: you can go “organic”, which means you have to pay close attention to the keywords you type and the groups/friends you have to add—or it could mean that you prefer the paid ad approach, which is essentially Pay-Per-Click advertising, only that it is Facebook’s own unique version of the service, slightly different from Google’s famous Adwords program.
Facebook’s Practical Ad Use
However, Facebook advertising does indeed produce a deal that’s hard to beat. Like Google, Facebook is an Internet staple and thus has to offer potentially thousands of views for properly worded keyword ads. How does the package work? Merchants pay Facebook to show their ads because the ads are targeted. Users are not simply being randomly selected to view certain ads, but see them when there is a targeted match. And Facebook delivers the ads regardless of who clicks on them.
Facebook advertising also has traditional ads as well as sponsored stories, which is a relatively new feature taking further advantage of localized matches. The Facebook system delivers targeted ads to people who are most likely to find it useful based on their past Facebook behavior, age, gender, including posts they typed out, stories clicked on, subjects shared, any subject matter “X-d out” and so on. Sponsored stories are different because they are stories already visible based on activity from your connected friends, or perhaps apps or other pages that connect you. It is the merchant’s job to tell Facebook who should see the ad, including viewers who are locally based and who share a common interest. In addition, Facebook advertising can also prevent the wrong type of customer from seeing the ad to avoid wasting impressions.
Advertising on Facebook vs. Google Adwords
This may cause you to wonder, what is the main difference between Facebook advertising and Google Adwords—another keyword search-based system? Well, Google Adwords is more immediately concerned with content, while Facebook advertising is more concerned with the community of friends you have built up—and how well your interests reflect theirs. Bear in mind that some marketers don’t even use Facebook advertising, solely because it’s not as easy to build brand awareness—it’s more of a leads-generating tool, since measuring brand awareness from Facebook visitors is a somewhat abstract study.
According to the latest statistics, Google Adwords averages a click-through rate of 2% which is slightly more than Facebook’s CTR. However, Facebook does introduce some impressive techniques that you can experiment with—like interests, education, connections and other “filters.” Facebook is also considered a more favorable choice than Google Adwords because of lower costs per CPC rate on ads.
What is the world of business saying about Facebook’s future in advertising? General Motors just recently ended their Facebook relationship, citing various problems, but then again Ford announced it is planning to commit to the social network again for the new year. Facebook, now a publicly owned company, has raised the expected price of the stock. Facebook is also the third largest IPO in the history of the U.S.
The social network’s display ads are formatted in a similar way to Google Adwords, as they are located in boxes that show up on the right side of the page. Of course, it’s important to understand that Facebook is a relatively new application and the entire social networking industry online is sometimes hard to grasp for the business world. Sponsored stories are highlighted as news feed stories, and may include either a story about the person’s friends or a recent story about posting.
Should I Start Advertising on Facebook?
With Facebook ads, it’s important to remember that there is an opposite dynamic occurring here than with Google Adwords—with the latter, people are actually looking for you, by requesting a keyword phrase that you have already written about. When you are using Facebook, and hence, when your ads are running, your primary objective is to distract users from the Facebook experience and actually click on the sponsored ad. Therefore, you have to invest a little more time in age groups, gender, geographic region, interests and other vital data.
The good news is that advertising on Facebook is still keyword search based (though not as focused on keywording as Google’s tool) and that, like Ad Words, you only pay for what you use. This makes it an excellent plan for budgeted Internet advertising. Remember that Facebook’s alternative to Ad Words is less “saturated” than the original PPC engine—and this is good news if you want to separate yourself from traditional click marketing and instead opt for a new approach to SEO and web presence. The best way to research this new tool is to research the people who are visiting your page and taking notes on the user’s behavior.
Last but not least, keep in mind that Facebook makes the advertising situation fun. Why, just consider that members can now leave comments on advertisements, while virtual items can be given online through apps and desktop applications.
More Tips for New Facebook Campaigns
- Choose standard ads over sponsored stories in the beginning so you can build up more momentum and followers;
- Make sure your creative keywords and headlines are clear, simple and that they communicate the most important message;
- Use images to grab more attention (110 x 80 typically); and
- Aim to get “Social Actions” active, as this can easily help you to go viral, as numerous friends and friends of friends began sharing your content all over the web.
The bottom line is that Facebook has over 400 million users and its advertising program, while new, still has great potential for targeted viewer exposure. Remember the formula for success: Explore your options; target your audience; attract and engage the community; budget finances accordingly, test your online tools and then analyze the results.
You might be surprised at how well advertising on Facebook does for your next project!