Facebook is Maturing for Users and for Advertisers
Several members of the Find and Convert team recently attended the Social Fresh EAST Conference here in Tampa. We all came away with a lot of food for thought but the key takeaway that is still ringing in my ears, something we heard from more than one speaker at Social Fresh, is that Facebook has matured. It’s true! Since the release of Graph Search in January, Facebook has released several powerful new tools that give marketers new and exciting ways to reach hyper-targeted audiences with relevant, effective content like never before.
Facebook’s Audience has Matured
According to SocialBakers, the age of the average Facebook user, 29.53 in 2010, is now 30.11. But anecdotally, we know that teenagers have moved on to channels like Instagram, Kik, and Vine while older adults are warming up to social media and discovering Facebook. So, in terms of audience, we can say Facebook has “matured” and there is clear evidence that older users may be more likely to click through to an ad.
Facebook has Matured
Many Facebook users feared changes that would come when the company went public. For a while, it seemed as though Facebook wasn’t entirely sure where it was going. For anyone paying attention recently, however, Facebook seems to have found some direction. There are still grumblings about changes to the user experience and new types of advertising but the still-active users don’t seem to be giving up on Facebook quite yet. They’re talking about the changes…but they’re staying on Facebook to do it!
Facebook Advertising has Matured
As Facebook itself has matured from the wild, young start up to a large corporate entity employing over 4,600 people and responsible to its shareholders, they’re almost tripping over themselves to improve the user experience for business users as well. While there is a real danger in relying too heavily on Facebook advertising, neglecting engagement and undervaluing the power of organic reach, the tremendous potential Facebook now presents for advertisers cannot be ignored.
There are really three ways to advertise on Facebook:
• On the page with promoted posts and offers;
• In the Ads Manager with ads, sponsored stories, and promoted page posts;
• In the Power Editor with mobile ads, advanced targeting, and testing options.
Crawling and Walking
On-page ad creation gives the page manager very few options. You can specify a budget to reach users who already like your page and their friends. Unless your target audience truly includes anyone in the world, I do not recommend promoting or “boosting” posts from your page.
With the Ads Manager tool, you can target your ads to people in certain geographic locations and those with precise interests aligned with your product. This can be a valuable tool to reach more people with your advertising.
Let’s Run With Power Editor!
To really take advantage of the powerful targeting opportunities Facebook offers to advertisers, you’ll want to get familiar with the Power Editor tool! The Power Editor is an app available only when you are using Facebook with Chrome as your internet browser.
Power Editor is not simple or overly user-friendly but, when you know what you can do with it, you might find it worth your time to hunt down a couple of good tutorials or even to solicit professional help to access these tools. It’s that exciting!
Mobile Ads for Mobile Users
The number of users accessing Facebook on a mobile device surpassed the number of users accessing Facebook from a desktop device for the first time in 2013. Using the Power Editor, you can target these mobile users with content that will appear in the newsfeed along with the other updates from their friends and pages. The impact of news feed ads is considerably greater than ads displayed in the right panel for desktop users. Many people have become increasingly conditioned to ignore the right side display advertising area.
Data Driven Marketing
To help your content compete with that of friends and family in the newsfeed, the Power Editor allows you to hyper-target your ads to be shown only to users who will likely find it very personally relevant. Facebook has partnered with leading data technology companies to give Facebook advertisers access to a treasure trove of data about the OFFLINE buying habits and interest of users.
In addition to targeting users in their local area, a small family owned pet store, for example, can target their ads just to people who live in their zip code AND own dogs! This is incredibly valuable for a small business or any business that would prefer not to show their ads to tens of thousands or millions of people who have no likely affinity to their product.
Only in the Power Editor can advertisers create Facebook posts without publishing them to their business page. This gives you the opportunity to create two similar ads with differing imaging or verbiage and test a small initial audience to see which ad has the best response rate. This assures the advertiser that when you publish the better performing post, and put advertising dollars behind it to reach a greater audience, you know that you are promoting content that your audience is more likely to perform well.
The opportunity for advertisers on this grown-up, mature Facebook is very exciting. The most relevant, targeted, cutting-edge advertising can never replace person-to-person engagement that takes place when a brand embraces being a social business. With the proper groundwork laid, Facebook advertising can be a powerful boost to your social media efforts. If you are going to spend advertising dollars on Facebook, let’s be sure you are taking advantage of the free tools available and to get the most for every ad dollar spent. Share your Facebook advertising experiences with us below.