Happy New Year to everyone. I thought I’d start the year with a quick post about the site that is sure to continue to dominate the internet news in 2008… Facebook.

Facebook has recently launched a new advertising platform to allow advertisers to write and manage adverts directly through their Facebook account. Facebook has always shown one banner advert underneath the left hand navigation area, however, this is a different proposition. These are the small static ‘social ads’ you may have seen in your account sometimes in the news feed.

More information can be found here http://www.facebook.com/ads/

1. Keep the ads targeted
Facebook allows you to be very specific about who will get to see your advert, providing the tools to target by categories such as:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Interests
  • Geography
  • Political views
  • Education status

It is tempting to keep them all open and target all 7 million+ users, but it is important you take advantage of these tools, especially if you choose to be billed on a CPM basis (per thousand views).

If you allow your advert to been see by one and all I can guarantee you will be wasting money on clicks or ad impressions from people who aren’t relevant and will never convert.

2. Keep your expectations realistic
Remember, these are still just banner ads, and just because its Facebook doesn’t mean they will be any more effective. Research has shown banner blindness is becoming more pronounced and banner click through rates (CTR%) is at an all time low of 0.18% (Source: www.adtech.de)

3. Its all about clicks and conversions
Your social ads will more than likely get tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of impressions, but that is not why you should use them. You want people to first click on the ad, and then second, take your desired action on the site. These are the two metrics you should use to determine the ads success. By signing up to Google Analytics and attaching a tracking string to the URL you can do this quickly and for free.

4. Write an eye catching title
Obviously don’t go too far with this e.g. “Read this or you will die!!!” but you get the idea. Unlike search engines where someone is already searching for your product or service, here you are trying to interrupt what they actually want to do so you need to spark that interest, and rise above all the “noise” you find on a Facebook user home page.

5. Always run more than one
Test, test and test again. Run at least two ad variations per campaign so you can identify what works and what doesn’t. Once you have an ad that is clearly in front, delete the poor performers and write a new one, and start the process again. As you go on, take the bits you think work and use them with new ideas and you will start to drill down to the super-ad.

6. Set targets
It is important you set clear objectives you want the ads to achieve so you know if they are working or not. One example would be how much you want to pay per conversion. E.g. If you make £5 profit per sale, and the cost per action (CPA) is £6, you are making a loss on each sale (although repeat sales will turn the customer in to a profitable one).

Has anyone already used the facebook advertising platform? If you have and you would like to add to these tips or discuss how they have performed so far, leave a comment below.

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One Response

  • Phil

    Good article on Facebook ads. Quick to the point and we will definitely be following suit with our ads.

    Good Job.

    March 13, 2009 at 4:00 am