Written by: leslieFMC Austin, Texas
In many functional ways, Facebook is like an internet nation with its own rules of governance and a self-sustaining body of loyal participants, interacting, promoting services and providing a constant stream of socially-endorsed news. There is an economy on Facebook, it started with a currency of “Likes,” but more recently, Facebook launched their Ad platform, Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads allows businesses to leverage its vast demographic information and target relevant members of the Facebook community, driving revenue-generating traffic to the advertiser’s website and/or Facebook page.
But, Facebook is NOT a Country
The number of Facebook users recently exceeded 800 million! It takes a little perspective to understand this metric: China, the most heavily-populated country in the world is home to 1.3 billion people, followed by India with its roughly 1.2 billion people. The United States has a population of 312 million people, less than half of Facebook’s population. In other words, Facebook is the third largest nation by population in the world—if the social media platform were a nation, that is.
As a business, the ability to harness the incredible reach of the Facebook nation means being able to target these 800+ million users with information about your company’s products/services. Facebook Ads allows your business to do just that.
Business Pages & Beyond
You may be thinking, “I have a Facebook page for my company, what more do I need?” As far as SEO goes, your business’s Facebook page is a useful tool for gaining valuable backlinks. In other words, it simply serves as a link back to your main website. Likes are important; because the more people that are subscribed to your news feed, the higher the chance will be that someone re-posts or shares your content, thus creating another backlink. Additionally, a slew of “Likes” on your page makes your company appear to be an expert on a particular topic. Take FindMyCompany for example, the more “Likes” we accrue, the more social recognition we get as an authority on internet marketing.
The difference between having a fully-optimized, frequently-updated Facebook page for your business and having a Facebook Ads campaign comes down to money, money, money. A Facebook Ad campaign can bring direct revenue for your company via new targeted traffic and although you may gain a new customer or two through your business page, it’s more likely to serve as a platform for interacting with people already aware of your brand. Facebook Ads on the other hand, are designed to target and match NEW, interested users with your products and services.
Similar to Google AdWords or other Pay-Per-Click Ad services, Facebook Ads uses the global reach of the Facebook nation to show potential customers Ads they are likely to be interested in.
I Already Have an AdWords Campaign, Same Difference, Right?
Not exactly—AdWords and Facebook Ads have some very important differences, most notably, the targeting methods each uses to determine who will see your Ad. AdWords displays ads based upon keywords chosen by the campaign owner. Facebook Ads, on the other hand, allows the campaign owner to utilize the Facebook database of information to segment the market demographically, psychographically and/or geographically.
Demographic Targeting – Segment users by gender, age range, relationship status, languages spoken and/or education level
Psychographic Targeting – Segment users by interests and/or social connections
Geographic Targeting – Segment users by state, city or zip code with the ability to target multiple locations with one Ad.
Perhaps the most useful tool that comes with combining Facebook’s database and multi-faceted market segmenting is the accurate prediction of your Ad’s potential reach.
Your Ad Campaign Has Landed
One of the biggest advantages of Facebook Ads is the ability to make any page (your website, your company’s Facebook business page, a Facebook sponsored story) the landing page for your Ads. AdWords requires all landing pages in a campaign be for the same domain; this is not the case with Facebook Ads. Within the same campaign, one Ad can route to your website and one to your Facebook page.
A sponsored story puts your message at the top of the Facebook news feed. Essentially your company pays to publicize any time a user completes an action, liking your page or sharing a link for example. When people see their friends interacting with your brand, they are more likely to do the same. Linking your Facebook Ads to sponsored story pages can stretch your marketing dollar even further.
The Dollars and Sense of it All
Similar to AdWords, Facebook Ads allows the campaign owner to choose between a cost-per-click (CPC) and a cost-per-impression (CPM) campaign strategy. This way, users can determine which is most efficient for their specific campaign and targeting strategy. Either way, across the board, Facebook Ads have a lower CPC than Google AdWords and provide more diverse and specific market segmenting metrics. Though results vary depending on Ad content and target market, Facebook Ads provide a specified reach, the number of people that fit your target specifications, and two spend options to stretch your marketing budget to its fullest potential.
Level of Entry – Adwords vs Facebook
The final difference worth noting is that Google’s and Facebook’s Ad platforms are at vastly different levels of maturity when it comes to being advertising mediums. Because businesses have been using Google’s platform for years, many competitive industries require a significant investment to gain the necessary visibility to convert new customers. Conversely, since Facebook uses demographics to set their click prices, the level of entry is consistent from industry to industry. Furthermore, since Facebook is a relatively new medium, advertisers get the benefit of entering at a low cost before widespread adoption inevitably drives up Facebook’s advertising prices in the future. Now is the time to do it.