Facebook Ads Can Buy You Fans, But What Else?

Stadium of Fans

Fan generation is perhaps the most common goal for advertising on Facebook. In fact, Facebook itself recommends always-on fan-generation campaigns through its Marketplace ads, while using its Premium ads for other time-sensitive spot campaigns.

While Facebook advertising for fan generation is a foundational activity, what other goals should marketers embrace when it comes to Facebook Ads?

Here are some major ones:

1.  Identifying micro targets and interest groups. If you ever personally execute a Facebook Ads campaign, the first thing you’ll notice is how detailed and specific your audience targeting can be. This is true not only for demographics, but increasingly for self-declared interests, passive behaviors and social connections. The power of micro-targeting can also help you understand your own customers and prospects — sometimes even who they are in the first place.

2.  Expanding social targets and intelligence to entire marketing mix. As noted above, Facebook Ads empower you to understand your own customers and prospects at a much deeper level. And that is actionable intelligence. If you are a serious marketer, you should inject newfound social intelligence into the rest of your marketing — at the top, bottom and middle of your marketing funnel. Apply new segmentation to your customer databases and direct marketing, as well as to your above-the-line consumer-connection branding. For relatively low cost, you can even use Facebook Ads for message and image testing, to understand which niche content will resonate with different targets.

3.  Amplifying socially endorsed content. Social proof makes content more compelling, like-minded prospects are more likely to respond, and social connections have the potential to increase your net audience reach. According to Facebook, Premium ads and sponsored stories are up to 40% more engaging and 80% more likely to be remembered than other ads — and for every 500K fans, marketers have access to 40 million friends of fans. Sponsored stories are a huge opportunity for marketers, though the challenge has been — and will continue to be — one of departmental and agency workflow. Integrated marketing is tough, but “converged media” — that is, paid, owned and earned — is the future.

4.  Increasing post reach beyond 17%. When marketing in the Facebook social stream, the chance of a post connecting with an existing fan is a factor of timing and the EdgeRank algorithm. But what if you could boost your average reach from 17% to somewhere around 75%? You can if you advertise.

5.  Driving action to events and apps. Facebook is perhaps strongest in the middle of the marketing and purchase funnel, where heavy engagement takes place. As such, Facebook Ads work well to channel engagement to your own engaging events and apps, especially when they remain native within Facebook, as a majority of effective campaign do.

6.  Generating leads and conversions. While bottom-of-the-purchase-funnel leads and conversions are not the top-performing goals for Facebook Ads, there still are many brands for whom this makes sense. The key is to test and continue pushing the bar to connect the dots between strong engagements and subsequent conversion goals. We can expect Facebook and our social-marketing industry to accelerate understanding and attribution throughout the marketing funnel.

7.  Powering engagement with your customer database. As alluded to earlier, Facebook is a powerhouse when it comes to driving engagement. As we strengthen our understanding of existing customer databases and the crossover with Facebook, we can use the social network to drive engagements toward goals of deeper relationships and greater lifetime value. You can do this today, and capabilities will improve radically over time.
As many of our friends and partners in Facebook and elsewhere have underscored, we’re in the first inning of social marketing and social ads. We’ll continue to push the bar toward the holy grail known as “social performance management.” In that model, marketers gain a superior understanding of social ROI — not only full visibility into what has happened in the past, but what outcome will happen in the future.

How is your organization using Facebook advertising?

This article also appeared in MediaPost.

(Photo: Matthew Field)

Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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