It may be time for you to seriously consider advertising on Facebook. Now, I know many of you will say, “I don’t use Facebook,” or, “I don’t like Facebook.” You certainly have the right to feel that way. There are many things I don’t like about Facebook, but it is undeniable that many, many people do use and like it. Many of them are, or could be, your customers or prospects. According to CheckFacebook.com, as of April 16, 2011 there are 653,150,280 Facebook users globally. The number of users where it could impact most of our readers, here in the United States, is a healthy 154,869,960. Yes, you read it correctly. There are nearly 155 million Facebook users in the U.S. Now, not all of those users are active, but it is simply a market that should not be ignored.
Aside from the sheer number of people, what makes Facebook so attractive to advertisers? Facebook has a near plethora of statistics related to users, including demographics some marketers salivate over. They include age groups, birthdays, likes, interests, relationship, sex, education, occupation, connections (even friends of those connected with your page), and many more.
Ad targeting can be as simple or detailed as you want it. For example you could create an ad offering a 50% discount for anyone with a May birthday, and display that ad to any Facebook user that is female, between 18 – 35, and lives within 30 miles of your business. You may choose the days and times your ads display.
So, what does it cost? Well, that is entirely up to you. Facebook charges per click in a manner similar to Google AdWords and Microsoft adCenter. You may set a daily budget, and maximum cost per click. Our experience is that they noticeably try to get you to increase that budget, with increasingly higher suggested bids. Accordingly it takes some monitoring and tweaking to get the most clicks for your money. That seems to be especially true with small budgets. The bottom line on cost is that you can control it. You won’t spend more than you decide to budget.
I feel compelled to say, it is extremely important that you not only look at the reports Facebook Advertising provides, but you look closely at your website analytics. You will want to check the reports for “referring sites,” “bounce rate,” “navigation path,” and “time on site” results. If you are not seeing results there, or getting phone calls about your Facebook ad, you need to review why you are not reaching the goals you set for the ad campaign.
Creating the ads is relatively simple, but a bit challenging as you try to write an ad that conveys your message. You have some restrictions. The “Title” will be bold and blue, and can contain no more than 25 characters. Your ad must also include a working destination URL to a website (e.g.,www.examplewebsite.com) or a destination on Facebook like a Page or an Application. Your ad can have maximum size of 110 x 80 pixels. If you upload one larger, it will be automatically resized, but if it is not the same ratio as 110 x 80 it will be distorted. The body text may contain a maximum of 135 characters. You will find yourself rewriting several times to squeeze in what you want to convey. Facebook recommends you create multiple ads (that will not affect your cost) to find the one that works best.
So let’s recap to see if you should try Facebook Advertising.
- Do you want your advertising in front of large numbers of self-qualified, very targeted, visitors to a specific page on your website?
- Do you want to be able to control your monthly budget?
- Do you want to choose which days and hours your ads display?
- Do you want to quantify the amount you spend by seeing detailed reports?
My guess is the answer is yes to those questions.
The only caveat I’ll offer is that, as in all good things, it takes an investment of your time or that of a professional with experience. If you or your marketing professional, has experience, a proven track record using Google AdWords and other Pay-Per-Click platforms, and understand analytics, you will likely reach the goals you set for your Facebook advertising campaign. Of course, if you have time to learn, and put in the effort you may be successful as well.
Is Facebook Advertising a good fit for you?
Only you can make that decision. Of course, we are always happy to help. Call us! 1-800-281-9993