By Daniel Cawrey
How well do you know your target market? If you have been in business for some time, you probably have a good idea. This can be derived from direct contact with your customers, from advanced analytics that consultants have provided or web intelligence organizations like Quantcast. Regardless of the source, this information is what separates using Facebook advertising to target customers, as opposed to using search ads like Google AdWords.
On Facebook, users who sign up to use the service fill out profile information that includes their location, date of birth and interests. This information is freely shared through their profiles to everyone that is allowed to see it. Users are not required to disclose everything about themselves but many people volunteer quite a bit of information on their profile.
Facebook’s advertising system is designed to capitalize on this information. Unlike other forms of internet advertising, Facebook can provide laser-like marketing campaigns. For instance, when you do search engine marketing, you are only able to target keywords as opposed to specific people that fit a particular demographic profile.
They key difference in Facebook advertising versus search engines, however, is that users are not actively looking for something keyword-based on Facebook. They’re more likely to be looking at friend statuses or pictures. For that reason, the best way to organize a marketing campaign on Facebook is to entice users to click on an ad because of some sort of incentive.
Do you have something of value to a potential customer you can offer for free? What about some sort of video that has viral qualities that they can watch? You need to brainstorm ways to get users to click on the advertising link, because their intention is not to look at Facebook’s right-hand column of ads unless something grabs their attention.
Many people who have spent marketing dollars on Facebook have talked about the challenge of actually converting this expenditure to paying customers. There’s no doubt that Facebook advertising is difficult, and that’s why those who are thinking about doing so should know their target market well, be familiar with user engagement, and already have a Facebook presence with a Fan Page.
Regardless of its challenges, getting involved with social network marketing by having a solid Facebook strategy is important. More than ever, websites are deriving a good portion of traffic from Facebook.
Since it has over 500 million users, you simply cannot ignore its importance in the market.