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Thinking About Facebook Ads? Some Information to Know

While many are already using Google's pay per click product AdWords, Facebook.com also offers a way to reach out to current and potential fans in order to grow your brand and sell your products or services.  Facebook has grown in leaps and bounds over the years and today shows real promise in helping businesses and organizations reach vast amounts of online users.  Whether you are already using Facebook Ads or are interested in this powerful tool, here are some tips on how to maximize this endeavor.

Things to Know About Facebook Marketing

Marketing on Facebook is usually referred to as Social Media Marketing since it adds a social element.  For those that are thinking about marketing their business on Facebook, you will need to create a fan page (which is for businesses only).  Personal accounts which most people are familiar with are created specifically for personal connections and if Facebook finds out that you are using this personal account to market your business they can delete your account immediately without any recourse.  So if you are seriously considering marketing your products or services, a fan page is the way to go.

You should also understand that marketing and selling on Facebook is much different than using search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.  First off, Facebook is a destination site.  This means that people that use Facebook generally spend more time on the site (actually according to Nielson.com more time during the month than all the following sites combines: Google, Yahoo, Bing, MSN Live, YouTube and Windows Live).  However, and this is very important, because Facebook is a destination site, the people on Facebook are not necessarily in buying mode.  With Google's AdWords those that are usually clicking on text ads are actively researching products & services or ready to buy!

Facebook Ads Directed to Your Facebook Assets

A Facebook asset is any page, tab or account you have created on the Facebook platform.  Today, a wide range of Facebook ad purchasers use Facebook to market their website or other assets which are off the Facebook platform- not their fan page.  While this strategy usually does work and delivers results, many Facebook ad users see a better long term ROI in utilizing ads to point back to Facebook assets.  So instead of pointing your ads to your general website, look into building your Facebook assets, specifically pointing your ads to your Facebook business account or a specific tab.  The reason being is that first off
most Facebook users are not ready to buy, however you can still make an impression on them and build awareness of your brand.  In addition, even though they are not ready to buy, many advertisers are more than happy to make them a fan of their page and hopefully spread their word of mouth to their friends. 

Finally, many advertisers are directing ad viewers to their FB assets because these viewers can be broken up in groups such as already a fan, not a fan yet or friend of a fan.  These ads can send these distinct viewers to specific tabs on your FB account.  A tab is an actual tab on your main Facebook page, but it can also be a page specifically created for different types of viewers.  So you can have users that click on your ad that already are a friend –which can be sent to a tab (page) where you offer one type of coupon and you can have users that are not a friend yet click on your ad and land on a tab (page) where the main goal is to get the viewer to become a friend and click on the Like button.  This is obviously something you can't do with Google AdWords.

Building Awareness and Interest in Your Brand, Products & Services

Using Facebook Ads is usually much different than using Google's AdWords and related products.  We mentioned above that Facebook is a destination site and this means that while many go to Google for action (to research or buy a brand, product or service) those on Facebook generally are not in that action mode.  Instead many advertisers while wanting to make a sale are using FB ads to build awareness- this is usually through enticing viewers of your ad to click on the "Like"
button and become a fan.

General Tips on Creating Ads for Facebook

Here are some general tips and philosophy regarding creating Facebook ads.  First off, it is important to understand Facebook users.  While Google search and AdWords is generally used to research a brand or purchase a product or services, Facebook does not necessarily work this way.  Most people using Facebook are communicating with one another.  For instance, the search box at the top of Facebook is not used for keywords, it is instead used to input names, schools or organization.  So using the same mindset to create ads with Google will not necessarily work on Facebook.  Instead try to figure out what users in your product would genuinely be interested in.  Remember Facebook Ads is very good at serving up demographics.  You can easily serve ads to people that are already your friends, in a specific location (IP location), gender, age group and by specific interests.  In addition, you can also target ads to friends of connections (friends who are connected to a page, event, group or application).

It should also be noted that when creating ads on Facebook you can use images instead of just text.  This means that if you have a complex product that is difficult to explain through words, an image can convey your product or service efficiently and more effectively.  For instance it can be tough to convey a high quality jacket or home décor item through text on Google AdWords, where with Facebook Ads you can actually show the item.

Looking to Generate Leads

Besides making an immediate sale, many businesses always look to generate leads to sell complex products and services- with Facebook Ads, you can do so effectively.  For instance, while Pay Per Click is an excellent way to drive traffic to your site which then can lead to someone filling out a form, the downside is that many users don't necessarily want to spend time entering lots of information.  With Facebook you can make entering data into a form a much more efficient process.  Facebook offers "Connect with Facebook", this is a piece of code that you can either put on your external website or at your
Facebook fan page where a person that is a member of Facebook can click on "Connect with Facebook" and verify that they would like to send you their personal information  (effectively filling in your form instantaneously).  Generally speaking, there are people that don't mind filling out a form or sharing their personal information with you, they just don't want to spend the time entering it.  Since Facebook already collected personal information once, it can be passed along to you- of course with the users approval first.

Benefits of Facebook Ads Compared to Pay Per Click

While pay per click charges you every time a person clicks your ad, with Facebook, you only get charged once.  For instance, if a person clicks your ad and then becomes your fan, you can then build awareness over time, sending them coupons and other exciting offers- all built off of this one click.   Also as mentioned above, you can target users meeting your demographics more easily with Facebook and more importantly serve specific information depending on the demographic- using the above example of serving up a different tab to a new visitor or a fan of your page.  Finally, Facebook is a great way to build a loyal brand
over time.  Engaging your community is what helps Facebook stand apart from search engines and can lead to not only a direct viewer of your ad purchasing your product or service, but friends of that viewer that have learned virally of your brand.

Negatives of Facebook Ads

Once again, Facebook is a destination site that is geared to building
relationships and communicating with others.  For immediate action
including sales, pay per click is definitely the way to go.  However, if
you want to build a brand, you can do so effectively with Facebook ads
and later by engaging your community of fans.

About the author

Roger Janik is the President and Founder of ServerSideDesign.com – The Web Marketers.
He began working as a professional web designer and web marketer in 2001, holds a BA in Communications from UHCL and sits on the marketing committee of the Houston BBB. In addition Roger is a frequent guest on Houston FOX News and CBS Talk Radio discussing the current trends in website marketing and social media. He founded ServerSideDesign in 2004 and has established his company as a leading provider for Search Engine Marketing Services in Houston, TX. as well as on a global scale.


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