Facebook has 845 million active monthly users and 2.7 billion daily likes and comments. Facebook is completely unprecedented, and let’s face it, a marketer’s dream. This you probably already know, but despite the capabilities and power of Facebook – people still seem to focus on Fan Pages and neglect the incredible power of Facebook advertising.
If you aren’t familiar with Facebook advertising already – now’s the time to get on board. Mobile advertising is coming as early as March 2012, and with 50% of Facebook users accessing the site with a mobile phone, it’s already being estimated Facebook is going to make a staggering $1.2 billion in just 12 months through mobile advertising alone.
So if Facebook provides brand pages that are free, why bother with paid for advertising? Well, Facebook advertising doesn’t stand alone and should be just one element of an integrated campaign. It supports the classic Facebook brand page and shouldn’t be considered a substitute.
What can be achieved with Facebook advertising?
When creating a Facebook advert there are two options – drive traffic to a Facebook page or an external touch point. When using Facebook advertising it is about 40% cheaper drive traffic to a Facebook page than an external website and so absolutely the route I’d recommend. If people are taken out of Facebook the bounce rate is likely to be higher.
Now here’s the key – most people use Facebook advertising as a way to get more fans/likes. This is where the problem lies. It should be used to achieve a business objective so the ROI is apparent. For example – we used it to drive downloads of our mobile application Bleat and our clients are using it to generate leads.
How Facebook advertising works
There are a few options when creating an advert:
when a user likes a page or post, it creates an advert using that person’s name, the action and the Facebook page then shows it to all their friends. The theory being that users are more likely to take action if there’s familiarity. This only works well if a page or post already has quite a large number of likes.
Source - facebook.com
Drive traffic to a Facebook page:
the title of an advert will automatically be the name of a page. You can either:
- Promote a page: type in whatever text you like to support the advert, and pick an image if you don’t want to use your page’s profile picture.
- Promote a post: if you have a particularly engaging wall post then this could be for you.
Drive traffic externally:choose a picture, headline and body copy.
Picking a target audience is where Facebook is brilliant. You can pick specific age, gender, country, city, marital status, workplace, education and most importantly – their likes and interests. You can even target specific fans of other Facebook pages.
Once that’s done a bit like Google Adwords you select your budget (daily or lifetime) and then pay for either clicks or impressions. Always go with clicks – this way you’re guaranteed results. It will automatically suggest a maximum bid (for the advert to appear in place of other ads) based on your target audience e.g. 66p per click, but often you’ll pay less than the max bid. A big factor in price difference is the target country, the UK and US are generally pretty expensive as you can see from this list from Social Bakers of the average cost per click by country.
Does it work?
Yes – if you do the legwork. If you just drive people to a Facebook wall, you’re not going to get a lot of likes. The user will be confused. You need to set the user’s expectations in the journey they’re about to take. Firstly give the user a reason to click on your advert in the copy and take them to a customised Facebook landing page. It should be related to the advert and shows something the user is expecting to see, but make sure it’s engaging.
The trick here is also to include a ‘like gate’. Tell the user to like the page to access the page/content/something special. This way you guarantee yourself a social opt-in. What’s behind the like gate should be related to your objectives – so if you’re generating leads maybe have an embedded form which they fill in to receive an incentive.
Without going into too much detail we’re currently running a client campaign. They’ve gained well over 3,000 likes at an average cost of 16p. A good percentage of those likes have converted into leads, and the average number of interactions per fan hasn’t dropped either. In a separate campaign we received 13% more likes than clicks – this means 100% of people who clicked actually liked the page and people who saw the advert but didn’t click went and found the Facebook page within 24 hours.
And now mobile advertising is coming. Customisable Facebook landing pages don’t work on a mobile phone so best practice will differ, but first get on board and start using it and you’ll no doubt reap the benefits.
If you have any queries about social and integrated campaigns, contact us: email@example.com