Does Facebook Advertising Work?

August 1, 2012

Facebook has had a couple of rough months. First, GM pulled its Facebook ads, claiming that they weren’t make them any money. Next, Facebook’s IPO didn’t exactly go as Zuck would have liked. Adding insult to injury, there has been speculation about bots on Facebook artificially inflating CTRs to make it appear like Facebook Ads are much more powerful than they really are. (And this is a rumor that surfaced on Hacker News, the social bookmarking site of Silicon Valley!

Due to all this negativity surround the Facebook brand, people are starting to wonder if the social network is merely the second coming of AOL. All the doubt revolves around the power of Facebook advertising, which many people claim lacks the immediacy of Google Adwords. Why? Because when you’re searching for a product on Google, you are going to see ads for the exact product for which you are searching. Thus, you are a qualified lead, a motivated buyer. Google can charge so much for ad space because users convert and still deliver positive ROI for advertisers.

Since Facebook ads are not targeted by your product search (instead, by your demographic, job, location and social engagement) many perceive Facebooks ads to be ineffective. So, do Facebook ads work?

According to Brendan Irvine-Broque, yes they do! In this blog post he explains how Facebook ads made him $10,000 in 1 day. Meanwhile, innovative online marketers such as Andrew Chen or Noah Kagan have long claimed that they’ve had an easier time optimizing for Facebook ads than for Google Adwords.

Anyway, we highly recommend you read Brendan’s post. It may not convince of the power and profit in Facebook ads, but it still at least stem the hysteria and all negativity.

Marketing Takeaways

Clients often ask us if they should be utilizing Facebook ads to drive revenue for their business. The truth is, there is no easy answer. It depends on your product, your market, and your overall online brand. Facebook ads can be extremely profitable if you sell a consumer web-based product; daily users on Facebook are extremely web savvy and are much more likely to buy an online consumer product than your average citizen. Facebook can be great if you truly know the profile of your target customer (gender, age, location, job, income, interests); you can filter ads to target customers based on highly specific metrics, and if you know these metrics you can truly find the perfect customers. Facebook ads can work if you have a strong Internet presence, as Facebook users are more likely to buy a product/service based on your online credibility and social profile.

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