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  Facebook Business Ads: Social Marketing Opportunities and ROAS

Article by Austin Social Marketing company Semantic Advantage, Inc. -- Copyright (c) 2011

Business Is Moving to Social Media Advertising

FacebookSocialMarketing-AdsCompanies of all sizes have embraced social media, and many are now allocating significant portions of their budgets to the development and management of their corporate presences on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.  According to the American Marketing Association and the Duke Fuqua School of Business, companies are currently spending 7.1% of marketing budgets on social media, and plan to increase social marketing expenditures to 10.1% of the budget within the next twelve months. If your business is not currently advertising on Facebook, you may be missing opportunities to create a new kind of business relationship with customers, prospects and business partners. Here are some Facebook advertising recommendations and ideas to consider when developing your business social marketing plans.

Facebook Advertising -- Business Opportunities

Facebook ads have several advantages over search ads and display advertising. First is the immense Facebook ad audience – 760 million subscribers at the time of this writing. But more importantly, Facebook advertising allows a business to precisely target consumers by a variety of demographic, geographic and interest factors. This enables your company to create online advertising that goes to the most suitable audience segments – increasing your conversion rate and your Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

Facebook ads appear in the right margin of Facebook pages, and are presented only to people who fit the profile you specify in creating the ad. Your ad includes a title (which serves as anchor text for a target landing page URL you specify), an image (photo or graphic) and up to 135 characters of copy.

Facebook ads enable you to specify your target audience based either ‘Broad Category Targeting’ or your specification of specific factors:
  • Geographic: Country/State/City/Zip Code (and geographic radius)
  • Demographic: Age, Men/Women/Both, Relationship Status, Languages
  • Interests: Select from thousands of categories (i.e., #SEO, #LadyGaga, #Movies, #Cars, #Food, etc.) Facebook users have named as their Interests. This is the single best way to align your Facebook ad with your target audience.
  • Education Level and Employer: In HS/In College/College Grad, business or organization names
  • Connection to your business: Fans/Non-Fans/All, friends of fans (or not)
These targeting options are much more broad and granular than those available on most display ad or search advertising platforms, and make Facebook advertising very appealing – especially for B2C marketing. Although the Interests and Employer specifications can be used for business-to-business advertising, we expect Facebook will offer more business-related targeting parameters in the future.

One drawback of the current Facebook advertising model is the lack of Day Parting – Facebook ads run continuously between the Start and End dates; you can not choose specific time intervals. This is severely limiting for advertising to a mobile audience, or prospects whose interest in your product or service is time-sensitive (e.g., restaurants and bars, car wash, hair salons, movie theaters, etc.) You can manually start and stop a Facebook ad to hit the desired time intervals, but this is a labor-intensive nuisance if you’re managing a large online advertising portfolio.

Facebook Advertising for Business -- Recommendations:

  1. Use your SEO keywords in the Facebook ad title and copy.
  2. Link your ad to a landing page that is optimized for those keywords.
  3. Max Bid specification: Based on the ad targeting you specify, Facebook will calculate a Suggested Bid. In our experience this figure is much higher than you need to have a successful campaign; so we recommend setting your Max Bid at half of the Suggested Bid to begin, then adjusting based on the number of clicks and conversions.
  4. CPC vs. CPM: Start with Cost Per Click (CPC) pricing and look at the Facebook advertising reports to see what the Cost Per Impression (CPM) price would have been.  If CPM would have cost less, switch to CPM.
  5. Pay attention to the relationship between target audience size, specific Interest categories (keywords) and the Suggested Bid. As you increase the size of the audience, the cost of your ad will increase – and the likelihood it’s displayed will decrease.  So, as in search advertising, it’s better to --
  6. Run multiple ads for different target market segments (keywords). You’ll get a better ROAS by splitting up your campaign into multiple ads, just like you do with Ad Groups in a paid search campaign. Combining all of your Facebook advertising audiences into the same ad dilutes the impact and wastes money. As with search advertising, it’s a good idea to run a short-tail campaign (using the most popular and expensive keywords – with a low daily budget) in parallel with a long-tail campaign (using lower-cost keywords that more precisely characterize your product or service – with a higher daily budget).
  7. Experiment with modifications to the ad titles, photos, copy and landing pages. Choose the ones which produce the best results and repeat.

Austin Social Media Marketing

Semantic Advantage is a Social Marketing company in Austin, Texas. We specialize in creating and managing business social media sites on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Visit the Semantic Advantage website Social Marketing page for more information on our social media marketing programs and business reputation management services.

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