Are Facebook Ads underutilized by brands?

I read this really interesting article yesterday about how although Facebook captures about 14% of our online attention, only 4% of online advertising dollars are spent there. Weird, right?

Reflecting upon my own Facebook ad buys, I’ve always found them to be very successful (and by “very successful” I really mean “hit or miss” but it’s a process; you try things, measure, learn, adjust, just like with any social media efforts).

ROI is of course measured differently depending on your goals and objectives but I think that if you are clear on what you want to do and create really solid, targetted ads, this is one of the best ways to reach new eyes and engage current customers/members online.

I posed the question of Facebook Ad effectiveness on Twitter today and not everyone agreed with me:

But some people marketing new emerging businesses said that they have found them extremely successful.

I’ve found that the more targeted the better. For example, I recently created a series of ads to promote a youth basketball social networking site. Here are some of the filters that I used:

  • ages 13-17
  • males and females
  • living in the United States
  • interested in: Basketball
  • interested in: Lebron James

We ran a series of different types of ads – some direct promotions, a few sponsored stories and promoted posts.

We paid approximately .35 per fan acquisition with this ad and had a nearly 50% conversion rate of site signups. So we spent about .70 per new site member, plus increased our user base of active Facebook fans.

*Note: that is a fairly high conversion rate but the ads were very clear and had strong calls to action.

**Secondary Note: you’ll need to use Google Analytics as well as Facebook Insights and Ad Stats to track this level of conversion but that’s a whole separate article.

In this particular example, our goals were to a. get signups to the site and b. get people to fan the page. The ad was created in reverse order though – linking them first to the fan page and then prompting them to the site from there. This allowed us to pay less $$ per acquisition (Facebook charges more when you send people away from the site) and achieve two desired actions from one ad.

Because the client valued each member at over 1.00, the .70 per acquisition also showed a significant return on investment.

That being said, while I don’t think Facebook Ads are right for EVERYONE, I do think it’s still a severely under tapped market based on the statistics.

TIP: No budget for Facebook Ads but want to beef up your fan count in a hurry? Add all of your employees and brand ambassadors as Admins and have them suggest the page to their friends who they think would be into your brand.