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Advertising on Facebook – Worth a Try

We often receive questions from our clients about advertising on social media sites; they want to know if they should be doing it and if it would help them reach customers. As our previous blog posts suggest, we don’t necessarily feel that social media is the solution to every business problem. It is still a very new communication and marketing medium and businesses shouldn’t put too many eggs in the “social basket”. However, as most experienced marketers will tell you, you will never know until you test it. (We at Focus say test. And then test again.)

It’s no secret that a lot of businesses are spending their advertising dollars on social media ads. According to reports, advertisers will spend $4.8 billion dollars on ads on social media sites in 2012. This is up from about $840 million in 2011 – talk about a huge jump! (Even the presidential candidates are setting aside BIG money for social media ad campaigns this year.) So, should you do be doing it too?

Well, our recommendation is to give Facebook ads a try. (Again, do this only if your customers are active on Facebook.) Facebook offers a “do-it-yourself” approach that allows you to maintain control over your advertising efforts and the money you are spending. (Click here to check out Facebook’s guide for creating ads.)

First, create an ad that you want to use. Facebook makes this really easy – you really just need to fill out the form that they have available. Next, think about creating your perfect customer. Is your customer a woman? How old is she? What hobbies does she have? Where does she live? Once you have your customer (let’s call her Jane) outlined, set up your ad campaign so that your ad will appear in front of as may “Janes” as possible. The next step is to commit to a goal. Some companies want to increase their “likes”, some businesses are trying to get customers to download their apps and some just want people to click on their ad to be connected to their company’s website. Figure out your goal and stick to it!

Once you have set up your campaign, you can specify how much money you want to spend. You can either allocate a certain daily dollar amount or set the budget for your whole campaign. Basically you are charged for each time someone “sees” your ad on their Facebook page.

Since Facebook allows you to select so many different options for your ad campaigns, our recommendation is to test different approaches. (For example, create a few different ads and see which one sticks with your audience and then move forward with the best-performing version.)

Still unsure about advertising on Facebook? Well, think about it this way. Putting an ad on Google is like putting your business in the Yellow Pages. Putting an ad on Facebook is like putting up a billboard. Someone may take an interest in either one – is a worth a test.

Next week we turn our focus to email communications with a best practices guide.

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