Facebook Advertising

It’s become one of those often used anecdotes — if Facebook were a country it would be the third largest in the world!

There’s no denying the power of social networking and Facebook in particular.  Beyond the benefits of the network are those achieved through advertising that’s available through their network. Facebook advertising, like any advertising, has it’s upside and downside.  In the case of Facebook it appears for some businesses there’s considerably more upside opportunities associated with this tool.

Specifically, the ability to target an audience can be remarkably accurate.

For example, if you want to target females between the ages of 25 and 40, who live in Beaverton, Oregon, went to Beaverton High School whose birthday is in May and are single — you can do that.  If you want to target a specific birth date in May…you can do that too.

Facebook allows you several target options including: gender, location, age, education, birth date, workplace, relationship status, education and keywords.

Powerful targeting in the right hands.

The key to making this work is running equally targeted advertising messages.  Because this is pay-to-play advertising where you’re charged either by the click or impressions, it’s critical you make your offer specific enough that it only attracts qualified, genuine prospects. You can control runaway spending by setting daily budgets and you always have the latitude to shut your campaign down if you need a breather or time to re-evaluate what you’re doing.

You can offer a free $5 birthday gift card to people within a five mile geographic area to a retail location, for instance, for those all those May prospects.  With your businesses logo at the top of the page, a short description of who you are and what you do and the offer — it should pull well if it’s sent to the right demographic audience.

By the way, research shows again and again that dollars/amounts pull better than percentages (i.e. 20% off).

Finally, and maybe most importantly, test your message.  Just like a direct mail piece, online ads require rigorous testing to evaluate which message is most effective.

Thankfully, Facebook provides useful metrics to assist in the evaluation of your campaign.  Like most online ad campaigns ample information is available to understand how your campaign is performing.  You can mine data that will let you know what age group, gender, location, etc. is most productive.  Certainly, you can evaluate click-through rates if your goal is to get them to a web page or the quality and content of the impressions you’re achieving in an awareness campaign.  The bottom line is Facebook, like so many others has made it easy to evaluate the efficacy of your efforts with data-rich campaign information.

Facebook provides a number of online tools to study in creating and launching your campaign.  They’ve made it paint-by-the-numbers easy where anyone can get in and get a campaign going quickly and easily.  The trick is to launch an effective campaign.  That takes some skill, ongoing effort and constant evaluation to clearly understand where the punctuation is best placed in targeting your market and developing the most effective message in stimulating some anticipated action.

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