Good or not so great? That question has a many different answers depending upon who you talk to and what they hope to achieve from their advertising efforts. Blue Tent has recently started to offer Facebook ad management and through this new adventure we've learned that Facebook ads can be successful if done correctly and if thought of in the appropriate light.
One of the benefits of Facebook advertising is the usage of demographics. You can be far more refined in Facebook advertising than traditional PPC by narrowing down the demographics to reach certain states, cities, marital status, education levels, specific interests and in some cases you can actually target your campaigns to a competitor's fan base.
Another difference in PPC and Facebook ad campaigns is the management of the ads. Unlike traditional PPC campaigns, Facebook ads see the best conversions in the first few days the ad is live on the site. After a week of running an ad (or even sooner) you will see a sharp drop in clicks and connections. Because of this, Facebook ads need to be updated frequently and often require a lot of testing and analysis to assure you are reaching the right results.
When venturing into Facebook advertising it is also important to remember the click through rates are drastically lower than other forms of online advertising. A click though rate of .3% is great in the land of Facebook, but horrible for PPC.
Knowing what to advertise is also important. We've tested numerous campaigns and have found those that drive an increase in your fan base are the most successful. Ads that direct potential fans off of Facebook to purchase something often see a drop in conversions.
Perhaps the number one consideration of Facebook ads is being able to think of a portion of your fan base as leads. Sure, some of your fans are employees, friends, past customers or vendors. But some of them are individuals who have a genuine interest in you and your product. Most of the people who click on your Facebook ads will land in this category. For this reason, it is important to think of fans that have been acquired through Facebook advertising as leads. These are individuals who may purchase from you eventually but need to be lead down your sales funnel before initiating a sale. Before beginning your Facebook campaign, it is important to be comfortable with this concept, have a plan of how to convert a lead to a sale on Facebook and have a set amount that you would like to pay for each lead or fan. On average, Facebook ad campaigns generate a cost per fan or lead between $1.50 - $2.00.* One of our clients has been averaging around $.60 per lead, but has seen the cost per lead on certain campaigns closer to $2.00. For this reason it is important to closely manage your campaigns to keep your costs in-line with your goals.
Thought of in the right light and executed properly, Facebook campaigns can be successful. Over the last three months, one of our clients has increased their fan base by 39,000. This is a tremendous number of leads to nurture and convert to a sale. The important factor is having a strategy in place to do so.
For more information about Facebook advertising or how to best utilize Facebook for selling your product contact your SEM account manager.
* Carter, Brian. Pay Per Fan: What Big Brands Are Paying For Facebook Fans. Search Engine Journal.