Facebook is said to have 1 billion worldwide users. There are 7 billion of us on this planet, why not place your content, products, ideas, where 1/7th of the world goes when they are online?
Being in the business of: IT Support, Web Design, Social Media, and Marketing I recently ran tests with several local businesses using Facebook Ads.
Before I get to the results, I want to impress upon you that I am not trying to solicit your business. Don't get me wrong, I would love your business but the the basis of this post is to share my results with you. Hopefully it will help guide you or your web marketing team to making the best choices.
I have been marketing various businesses with Google Adwords for a few years now. The results have been pretty good, mainly getting a higher page rank, especially in industries that are heavily saturated with keyword competition.
I have read and listened to many "experts" on using Facebook Advertising. I found about 50% of the articles support advertising on Facebook and the other 50% thought it was a waste of funds. The results that I had are only a small slice of all the results from various businesses that have marketed with Facebook.
In short, Facebook advertising has been by far the most successful advertising platform for my clients in 2012.
I ran advertising campaigns for two different industries: Real Estate and a Rental Shop. The results for both industries were almost identical in strength and growth.
Marketing their Business Facebook page (fan page), the first Realtor had only 8 users that liked the page. The page had been established for over a year and as much as we tried to capture new fans by soliciting from her personal friends (over 800) we just couldn't get the likes. I created an ad campaign with a maximum daily budget of $5.00 per day using the Cost Per Impression method. The ad was specificed to target a certain geographical location, age range, and educational level. The ad directed the potential fan to the business page, not to one of the many websites that the Realtor has independently of Facebook. The reason I choice this method was to capture an audience that was specifc to using Facebook. The theory behind this was that if we can get them to like your business page, we can post updates on the "Status" tab with hyperlinks to other websites, such as specific properties, articles, etc. The Realtor and I had to determine the cons and pros of sending a user to a fan page instead of directly to one the Realtor's sites that contained all of the properties for sale. It was a hard decision to make because on the one hand the Realtor was interested in selling inventory but on the other hand by having the potential fan like the Business page, we would be able to share additional updates with the user again and again, not just a one time hit.
The results: Eight existing users and within 15 days we were able to capture over 300 fans which resulted in creating new contacts all over the US. One of the most important leads came from another Realtor in the South West of the US. The referal to and from other Realtors in non competiting markets has provided both the Realtor and the fan (Realtor) a wider range of referals and it benefits both of them and their clients.
The sucess of the advertising campaign doesn't end there either. Besides making new business contacts and referal sources, the Realtor was able to drive a lot more traffic to open houses they were holding. We were able to quantify the potential buyers buy simple asking where they heard about the open house and found that Facebook had played a major role in helping spread the word.
The ad campaign has stopped at this point and will most likely start backup later in the year. In the interm we are saturating the Status Updates with new properties, tips on how to sell your home, etc. This constant stream of Updates has proved to be invaluable and as important as the ad campaign itself. In short, the ad campaign increased the number of fans which allows for this Realtors content to be viewed by more people.
Realtors utilize the web more and more each day. While this is great it causes problems for small markets that have many (a lot) of Realtors competing for keywords and searches. I have found that Facebook is another tool in which you can successfully market your products, especially in heavily saturated markets.
The Second Industry: A Rental Shop. The business is well established with multiple locations and outstanding websites along with daily blogs. However, the goal was not only get new clients but to keep in touch with their clients. As new products became available or as conditions changed, weather, etc. we wanted to let their clients know.
The ad campaign again had a maximum of $5.00 per day and ran for 30 days. The fan base was established at 400 fans and within 12 days this had doubled to over 800 fans. Status updates are a key to this site. Daily, as many as five per day, status updates are sent to Facebook along with a photo. A photo is worth a 1,000 words and has helped created a viral sensation on many of the posts. The client was setup with an IPHONE which allows for direct posting to their business page. Take a picture, write a one line sentence, push send and you now have your new content on your business page.
My Conclusion: Facebook advertising works extremely well and has helped increased sales.