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Dear Sales Prospect, I Facebooked your Mom!

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Paid Marketing

FB

Today on the Social Media Track at Search Engine Strategies San Jose, I attended “Facebook Ads: Reaching Prospects Earlier In The Decision Cycle” with Sarah Smith (Manager of Online Sales Operations for Facebook). She helped guide advertisers through successful implementation of their ad model. 

Facebook is generating not just 3 billion searches and boasting 250 million users, but  its’ own full length feature film entitled, “The Social Network” It’s not just how you find your high school classmates, it’s a community of users that self-defines themselves through joining groups, becoming fans and establishing friends.

Sharing socially in a safe environment where users interact only with their “friends” has created a surge of 30-something users and has positioned Facebook for great growth and advertisers for great opportunity.

How can advertisers combine the right message and creative to reach the right audience? Smith guided advertisers through targeting potential customers earlier in the buying cycle.

Marketing
Engaging with Facebook users has added a very viable and profitable tool to the online marketers social toolbox.  Caveats apply here for novice users just as they do on Google, ad accounts are easy to create but need the right creative, message and analysis to be effective.

  • Design ads that demand connection
  • Build a fan base to connect with customers
  • Be active with your fans, pay attention to the needs of your fan including frequency
  • Read Facebook blog for ideas

Design
Sarah cited this as one of the best opportunities for ad success.  Experimenting with design and content and creating clear calls to action and matching ad to landing page provides exceptional lift.

  • Match landing page creative with ad
  • Change creative often and refresh image and content
  • Adds decays within 1-2 weeks

Target
Though the limited targeting demographic-profiled users isn’t as rich as advertisers would like, Facebook continues to provide demographics that can compliment current campaigns and help improve reaching target markets across multiple channels.

  • Target by job titles
  • Target to specific audience, make ad product specific
  • Target by demographics

Test

  • Test ad creative
  • Experiment and mix targeting
  • Rotate creative, and landing pages with multiple ads
  • optimize with Facebook Ad Manager
  • Can’t control ad position

Analyze
A surprisingly low number of advertisers delve into Facebook reporting,  said  Though conversion tracking isn’t in place yet, advertisers can track campaigns through specific URL’s and promotional codes.

  • Use Facebook reporting
  • Responder profiles and use data for Facebook as well
  • Reporing guide
  • Tracking code in URL, no conversion tracking

Leveraging the Facebook Fan
What is a fan?  A fan doesn’t have to be a customer, it can also be an evangelist or a prospect.  Marketers can also use fans for CRM and feedback on new products.

Smith also recommends running promotions to drive user engagement, but cautions that they need to be run through 3rd party applications and also that advertisers can’t use becoming a fan as a part of the sweepstakes offer.  Best practices for managing this process include reading Facebook guidelines to create an exceptional user experience. Facebook.com/connect is a great resource for seeing successful case studies.

Though Facebook made some missteps in implementation that created a backlash from their guests, they grew  twice as fast as Twitter in July according today’s Washington Post article and their launch of improved site search and other user friendly functionality will likely further its’ meteoric rise to social media fame.

Smith noted that about 30% of Search Engine Strategy attendees are using Facebook ads and they hope to encourage participation by offering a $50 free ad for SES attendees by contacting advertise at facebook dot com or use promo code provided in SES conference packages.

Lisa Williams has been an online marketer for 12 years and search marketer for eight.  Williams is CEO of MEDIA forte marketing located in Hood River, oregon search engine optimization is their business focus. She serves on the SEMpdx Board of Directors as the Marketing/Membership chair.

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2 Comments

  1. Kye Swenson on August 13, 2009 at 12:46 am

    Very cool article. I agree with the importance of the design features of ads placed on Facebook. Facebook continually becoming more and more image heavy, with all sorts of images and icons in the sidebars and along the top as well. I also think it depends what industry you are in when deciding whether Facebook ads will be beneficial. I recently spoke with the V.P. of a business software consulting firm, and he told me that he is starting to see Facebook ads being tested in the industry, but none have received many clicks. Instead, more companies in this field are making Facebook groups to better target their audience instead of ads.

  2. Lisa Williams on August 13, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Thanks so much Kye, one of the take aways was to get marketing help for creating Facebook ads. This was a great session! Cheers, Lisa

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