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Home » Social Networks and Media

Why Facebook Advertising is not the Answer

Submitted by Chris on Friday, 08/24/076 Comments

I was having a discussion with a colleague today about Facebook when he mentioned another department was considering Facebook advertising. No doubt Facebook is the social network with all the juice today, and companies are absolutely right in considering a shift from traditional PR and marketing activities - in fact it is critical.

However, companies must change the way they think about social sites like Facebook and how they can get their message to those members. Social networks are not just big websites, and most current strategies wont work on these sites. The key is to engage!

I can point to several reports that seem to show traditional advertising models don’t seem to be working on Facebook - at least not in its current form. Facebook is working on a more focused system for advertisers, and those results remain to be seen. Perhaps more focused efforts will have better results.

Now, I am not a marketing or advertising expert. But I suggest the way to reach Facebook users is to engage and participate with the community using the tools that Facebook provides. Get in there! Some thoughts:

  • Find your customers
  • Participate in Groups
  • Create your own Group
  • Don’t sell - participate in the conversation
  • Add value to the conversation - don’t just shout your message
  • Build an application

What are your thoughts on Facebook as a marketing platform?

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  • Ellen Gerstein said:

    I agree, although I am starting to wonder about ROI. Conventional media, while stodgy, old and boring, allows you to reach more customers than social networking media do. Yes, we’re gaining customers and exposing them to our marketing message, but are we gaining enough to make an impact? What’s the tipping point here? It’s going to make for an interesting experiment!

  • Chris (author) said:

    Hi Ellen, thanks for joining the conversation.

    I think social applications require us to think differently about ROI. Just as new technologies like AJAX make measurements like pageviews obsolete, social applications require a new way of thinking about return.

    I also suspect our assumptions about what good results are in this space need to be adjusted as well. Just as online content is driving publishers to look at new business models, we are finding these new models cast off margins much lower than we are used to in the print world.

    As social applications become more mainstream these results will improve, but if we can establish ourselves here ahead of the tipping point we may be better positioned for the future.

    For most companies it’s still all experimental to be sure.

  • Now Is Gone » Facebook Marketing Primer said:

    [...] Webb wrote a pretty inclusive post on the weak power of Facebook advertising. No need to reinvent the wheel. To sum it up: I can point to several reports that seem to show [...]

  • Penny Stock said:

    Yeah I am agree with you, and I still think the best way of advertising on net is through google.

  • earn money online said:

    yup id go with google too
    it is the best way to show your product online

  • Christy Byrne said:

    I have advertised on Facebook now for about a month, and have had mediocre results.

    I like that you can quickly choose your target market:

    I can choose to only advertise to females, in a specific city ( google adwords you choose keywords and location), and choose all sorts of other criteria (education level, marital status, my daily budget, etc). This helps tremendously for my site.


    What I don’t like:
    It is very expensive (about .40/click, but you can choose what you want to pay)

    No real customer support (so if I have questions about my google analytics discrepancy with Facebook ads manager report, good luck with getting a response.

    I need a little more time to decide if it has been worth my money, but so far I am concluding is is very costly and the results fall short.
    Hope this helps!

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