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Facebook is rapidly approaching a scale and size as a media company unmatched by only a handful of Silicon Valley powerhouses - Google comes to mind immediately. In yesterday’s Web 2.0 Summit their CEO, Mark Zuckerburg, mentioned the company now has over 500 Million registered users and 250 Million of them access the site every day, with Mobile phone usage driving increased usage.
That’s a lot of eyeballs and marketers are starting to take note of Facebook’s ability to deliver a tremendous amount of potential traffic - this juggernaut is underscoring how powerful social media marketing and advertising is becoming. The proverbial fly in the ointment for marketers, digital ad agencies and others is their skepticism about Facebook’s ability to really deliver value for their advertising dollars.
Facebook Advertising is easy to set up and cheap, when contrasted with other sites and networks. The average cost for 1,000 impressions or views via Facebook is only around $2-8 per 1,000 - versus an industry average of about $15.
But, marketers are also having a difficult time gauging the actual value of a Facebook ad. In many campaigns they are asking for consumers/users on Facebook to become a Follower and this is difficult to gauge in terms of clear cut marketing ROI analysis. What’s a Follower worth on Facebook? That depends on the type of brand, market focus, lifetime value of the customer and much more.
Many advertisers are also concerned about being charged for Facebook ads via impressions (“number of times an ad is seen”), when contrasted with the visibility of their ads on the site and their concerns that consumers are not even seeing the actual ad.
Marketers are also concerned about Facebook’s limited capabilities for the actual size and placement of the ad. Many would like to have much more ad space than the small boxes that can include text, an image, video and/or small line of text on the border. Lots of aggressive marketers would prefer “takeover” style ads, much more “in your face” ads that have an aggressive component.
But, the offset to much of the complaints is Facebook’s superb ad targeting, lower rates than all of their major competitors and digital reach into millions of potential customers. Clearly, marketers are taking the plunge - according to Comscore, approximately 24% of all display ads sold in the US in September were via Facebook.
1) Facebooks’ Ad Rates are low, but the high user volumes can burn through your budget quickly - watch your campaign carefully.
2) You may want to test Facebook’s Impression or View versus Cost Per Click; the latter have a higher fee but may save you money in the long run.
3) Become familiar with and utilize Facebooks Reporting to leverage your advertising expenditures.
4) Leverage Facebooks targeting capabilities encompassing demographics, age, location and with keywords associated with the user’s interests to drive return on your advertising expenditures.
5) Focus on terms that your customer’s interest would reflect when reflecting likes and interests; don’t use terms that you think describe your products and services.
6) Utilize Facebooks powerful location based targeting to drive a better return - your ads may do better in a big city versus urban areas for example, if this fits your demographics.
7) Take advantage of the “connections on Facebook” option to get to people who have friends that could be connected to your business. When your ads are shown to these people they can see “likes” from their friends, which greatly enhances (social influence) your ad’s credibility.
8) Make sure you learn how to and use Facebook’s Report Tool which can be located easily within the main Facebook Ads Dashboard (also referred to as the Ads Manager). You typically want to pull an Advertising Performance Report and Responder Profiles and Demographics for analysis.
To summarize, Facebook’s Display Advertising can give your brand powerful reach into a vast potential target market. But, like any advertising platform, it has its inherent intricacies that you have to be well aware of. Please Contact us if you need help with your Facebook display advertising or social media marketing.