Why Facebook Advertising Matters

While establishing and managing Facebook pages for our clients, we discovered the advertising side of this social media that allows us to present messages for our clients to a very targeted group of people. What separates most social media advertising from traditional online advertising (such as banners on newspaper websites) is that you pay per click versus per impression. Facebook is a pay per click.

Those of you with vocal CFOs know the value of having hard data to support your advertising decisions. This is one easy way. Each ad on Facebook can be targeted by age, marital status, hobbies, interests and location to name a few so your ad will be seen by mostly those who fit your target market. So if 2,000 people see your ad, it’s a good chance that many of them are in your market and that exposure is good for your brand. What’s even better is that you only pay for those who click on your ad and get driven to your site (preferably a landing page, but that will be a later post).

Think of this as if you have a retail store in a large mall. If you place an ad in the mall directory, you pay for it based on how many people will see it regardless of how many people are led to your store. But if your ad were on a Facebook page in the mall, you’d only pay for it if the viewer of the ad actually came into your store. Makes sense, huh? And to keep your budgets in line, you can establish daily or monthly advertising spending limits so you’re not caught off guard by a large response.

The key to this type of marketing is what you make the viewer do once they get to your site. If you’re like most advertisers, your site is like a retail store open 24/7 without any salespeople allowing any visitor to look around, compare, and do whatever they want anonymously. But since you’re paying money through Facebook to get those people to your site, you must put more emphasis on capturing some information from that visitor.

Nowadays, a basic “contact us” form means nothing. It’s likely that most people don’t want to contact you either because they found what they want or because they don’t want to be bothered. So instead, we like to add other links for the viewer to “subscribe” or “stay informed” or “receive valuable web only offers”. Those links go to a basic email signup form which, when completed by the viewer, allows us to communicate with him or her on various subjects via eblasts and blogs in order to build a relationship toward a future sale.

With the sales cycle in most industries getting longer, building relationships and maintaining communication with prospective clients is critical. So while we recommend Facebook advertising for all its positive attributes, we also stress that the results will be weak if your website doesn’t work hard to capture contact information from those who click through the ads to your site.


  1. August 21, 2008

    How can you target people over 50 years old in a certain geographic area like SE Michigan(Detroit metropolitan area)

  2. August 22, 2008

    Facebook gives you the ability to select your target market by age range, employment via keywords, geography (states or cities), education level, workplace, and even relationship (single, married, dating, engaged). I did a quick check, and on Facebook there are 1,640 people who are 50+ in Detroit. While the number is low, remember it is a cost per click basis so you don’t pay unless they go to your site.
    Google also can serve ads (including banners) to that demographic, but you can also specify even more, like interests, or advertise on certain sites. Visit Google AdWords
    Again, it’s a pay per click basis so be careful on your creative. You want to be as specific as possible so that only those people who are interested in what you are selling click the banner. Then they should go to a page that is designed to help you get their information for future communication.

  3. August 22, 2008

    Charles: We are more interested in southern, western and northwest Detroit suburbs. What would it cost us and do you do the ad? Thanks, Dick

  4. August 22, 2008

    Through Facebook, you can easily list the names of the towns (all of them if you want) where you want the ads to appear. If you send me an email with the list, I can figure out the quantity.
    As for the cost, that’s hard to predict. Since it’s pay per click, you owe nothing if no one clicks on your ad. If they do click on it, you owe money based on how high you set your budget for each click and how many other people have competed with your for that spot — like an auction. So when setting up your buy, you can specify a high and low price. If the bidding gets too high, your ad won’t run. If you have few competitors, your ad will run at the lower rate.
    As for creating the ad, yes we do that — every day. In fact, we even produce our own Facebook ads for my advertising agency and my web company. But if you work with any type of ad agency that works with web, they can also create it. The specs are on Facebook’s guideline page.
    I wouldn’t ever have a web company produce banner ads. While they are good at programming language, SEO, and general IT issues, my experience is that they don’t know the psychology behind advertising, thus their “ads” are more like descriptions about the product/service you’re selling. Give me a call at the number below or shoot me an email if you’d like to discuss what and how we can do this for you.

  5. October 8, 2008

    Interesting, you always learn something.