Businesses are beginning to exploit the target marketing capability of Facebook ads. Unlike a Google Adwords campaign, Facebook advertisements can be used to create a fan base and build relationships with customers and potential customers.
Pay Per Click Advertising
Google Adwords has been the big mover in online advertising for years. With Adwords, you buy certain keywords that may target your potential customer. People won’t see your ad unless they type those keywords into the Google search engine. Once the search is complete, the placement of your ad on the results page will depend on how much you bid for the keywords compared to your competition. The higher the bid, the higher the placement on the search results page. You will also see these ads as “sponsored links.” When a user clicks on your ad, they will end up on your web page and you will be charged for that click.
Facebook Pay Per Click Advertising
Facebook advertising is a form of advertising known as social media Pay Per Click (PPC). Unlike Google Adwords, you don’t have to bid on keywords to use in your advertisement. You can use an online form to create your ad and then designate the web page where users will go when they click on your ad. The page may be within Facebook or it could be anywhere you like. When you create your ad you will specify the target group that you want to see your ad. You can target your Facebook ads based on a number of factors:
The price of your Facebook ad will be determined by the size and the demographic group that you chose to target. What you ultimately pay for your ad is determined by you. You tell Facebook how much you are willing to spend per click. When defining your advertising budget you can choose:
- Pay Per Click (PPC): you’ll pay only if the user clicks on your ad
- Pay Per Thousand Impressions (CPM): you’ll pay based on the number of people who see your ad whether they click on it or not
If you’re on a budget, then PPC is the better choice.
Why Facebook Advertising?
What makes Facebook such a powerful advertising tool? The connections between Facebook users. If one of your friends “Likes” or recommends a particular product or brand, you’ll be more likely to pay attention and even buy that product. Jack Neff explained the power of Facebook in his May 2, 2011 article for Advertising Age titled, “Is Facebook charging for the wrong things in bid for dollars? Network is giving away its most powerful tools, even as marketers question paid ads.”
Neff said, “What’s more, appearances in Facebook news feeds aren’t just general, untargeted CPMs, but impressions among people who’ve already indicated an affinity for the brand by liking a page, and they appear as a sort of Facebook version of advertorial, amid posts from friends rather than in ordinary advertising display space.”
Advantages of Facebook Advertising
In addition to the benefits of PPC, Facebook advertising has the following advantages:
- Has the potential to reach the millions of Facebook users
- Allows you to target your ads to a specific demographic.
- Is generally less expensive than other online ad services.
- Is generally less competitive that other online ad services.
- Provides tools to help you test and track the success of your ad.
- If a user clicks the “Like” button on your page, you have the ability to send them regular messages.
Facebook for Business
In his January 20, 2011 post for Internet Geeks titled “Facebook Ads vs. Google Adwords: Which is Better?” Azad Shaikh explained several advantages that Facebook ads have over Google Adwords. Shaikh said, “A fan of your FB page is a long-term prospect. Getting one person to like your page also increases the potential of his or her friends becoming aware of your page, thereby increasing the networking impact. Google AdWords has no such impact. It will drive traffic your way when your ads are running, but it’s back to square one when your campaigns end.”
The Future of Advertising
In his September 3, 2011 post for Gigaom.com titled, “Is the future of social commerce on Facebook?” Michael Olsen offered good advice for those contemplating the move to social ads. Olsen said, “Targeted social ads are another effective traffic-driver to product pages and conversion points on your site. Because Facebook accounts for about 12 percent of all time spent online in the U.S., it is an incredibly potent channel for advertisers.”