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SEO’s Guide to FaceBook Advertising | Part I: Facebook Flyers

[tag]Social Media[/tag] has for a long time been the a point of contention between marketers, some saying that the power of communities is awesome, some saying that it is a waste of time and will never take off or be any use to marketing. Whatever your opinion, (whether it works or not) social media is here to stay.

The success of sites like myspace, stumbleupon, youtube and [tag]facebook[/tag] proves that audiences like this interaction and engagement as they have engaged massively in using social networking sites. It could not be long before marketers followed. (At least the ones that believe in social media being a good thing).

In this first post in a series of 3, Apple Pie & Custard will be looking at the different advertising methods that are available on social networking sites, and assess their strength and potential in leveraging online audiences. This first post explains the Facebook Flyers: what they are, how they are targeted, how you pay for them, and why the Flyers Pro make so much more sense; contextually and economically.

So first, let’s quickly overview what a [tag]Facebook flyer[/tag] actually is before we get down to the details. Any viewable page on facebook has a left-hand side column whose content is regularly updated; this is because this column is advertising space that you can purchase. Facebook offers the ability to create your ad, complete with a picture, and have it tailored to display only to the networks you choose.

There are different kinds of flyers now on offer in Facebook that should be used for different goals: brand awareness, getting people to sign-up, e-commerce… The basic flyer format is surprisingly called ‘basic flyers’, and offers the ability to target your ad to networks. Facebook networks are usually regions, cities or places, but can also include large workplaces like Unilever or Prudential (This would be usefull if you were trying to brain drain a competitor by advertising jobs…). The pricing scheme works by how many times your ad was displayed, and advertisers usually pay for 1000 ‘impressions’ in advance. (CPM)

Facebook’s Basic Flyers offer a cheap way to increase brand awareness (which I believe is one of the aims of most marketing schemes charging by CPM) on the social networking website and compared to Google contextual advertising for example, offer much more targeted delivery of your ads.

Facebook has recently launched a new format for flyers, which I believe will be extremely popular amongst advertisers, and especially SEOs:

Facebook Flyers Pro operate in the same advertising space (left hand side column) but offer much more targeted delivery for two reasons:

Ad delivery is based on  keywords you have selected, which are relevant to user’s interests and hobbies (you know, that section you only took 3 seconds to fill in!). This means that if I am advertising my local CD store, I can choose to target anyone who likes music! Or if I want a much smaller section of that market, I can choose to target people who like Will Young…

Ad pricing is based on a model much loved by SEOs and PPC managers (or is it just me?), the Cost-Per-Click pricing model (CPC). Yes, Facebook offers CPC!

So not only will Facebook allow you to target your audience super-specifically, but it will also let you pay only when someone is interested in your ad! It’s still not as relevant as AdWords, where advertising is displayed as and when a users desires to find a product/information, but still offers a much more targeted and personal experience than advertising on the content network, where many sites are made for advertising (MFAs).

UPDATE: (7/11/2007) As you must have heard, Facebook changed slightly their advertising scheme, offering more functionality. Facebook flyers and flyers pro are still available under the ‘create a social ad’ tab. you can find this page here.

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18 Comments
  • Kevin Gibbons on November 5, 2007

    Nice post, although after just seeing a Man United ad appear I’m not sure if these are based on your personal interests anymore.

    This shouldn’t even pass the Google safe-search filter let alone appear as a Facebook flyer! :)

  • Kevin Gibbons on November 5, 2007

    Nice post, although after just seeing a Man United ad appear I’m not sure if these are based on your personal interests anymore.

    This shouldn’t even pass the Google safe-search filter let alone appear as a Facebook flyer! :)

  • Kelvin on November 6, 2007

    Yeah they do seem to be getting a bit more obtuse of late.

    Prob just sloppy keyword research from the advertiser though!

  • Kelvin on November 6, 2007

    Yeah they do seem to be getting a bit more obtuse of late.

    Prob just sloppy keyword research from the advertiser though!

  • Simon Dance on November 7, 2007

    Interesting post, however I must question whether users actually phase out the flyers? Particularly the “external advertising” ones (outside of events, groups and birthday notifications).

    With the rich content and applications I can see little reason why Facebook users would wish to click and visit a site outside of Facebook, particularly as many of the pages already have skyscapers and horizontal banners on them.

    But like you say, it might simply be brand building exercise, although I only agree with this, in preciple.

    In my opinion, when thinking about getting involved in Facebook flyers, I would draw on an adaptation of the marketeer cliché from John Wanamaker:
    “I know half my advertising budget is wasted, And I now know which half…”

    Si

  • Simon Dance on November 7, 2007

    Interesting post, however I must question whether users actually phase out the flyers? Particularly the “external advertising” ones (outside of events, groups and birthday notifications).

    With the rich content and applications I can see little reason why Facebook users would wish to click and visit a site outside of Facebook, particularly as many of the pages already have skyscapers and horizontal banners on them.

    But like you say, it might simply be brand building exercise, although I only agree with this, in preciple.

    In my opinion, when thinking about getting involved in Facebook flyers, I would draw on an adaptation of the marketeer cliché from John Wanamaker:
    “I know half my advertising budget is wasted, And I now know which half…”

    Si

  • Eloi on November 7, 2007

    Hi simon, thanks for the comment!

    the thing is with Facebook flyers Pro, they are based on a CPC model. I completely understand and agree that users have somewhat become immune to banner advertising (which is why wee specialise in search!). and that’s exactly why I believe flyer pro to be a great idea:

    Since you don’t pay by the impression but by the click, you are not throwing money away, you are generating the usual leads if users click the ad, but you are also generating free brand awareness if they don’t click the ad!

    Furthermore, these flyers are not the type of advertising that appears in the news feed on the home page; they apepar in the left hanhd side column of facebook, and cannot be removed by facebook users.

    Are you a little dubious about social media marketing perhaps?

  • Eloi on November 7, 2007

    Hi simon, thanks for the comment!

    the thing is with Facebook flyers Pro, they are based on a CPC model. I completely understand and agree that users have somewhat become immune to banner advertising (which is why wee specialise in search!). and that’s exactly why I believe flyer pro to be a great idea:

    Since you don’t pay by the impression but by the click, you are not throwing money away, you are generating the usual leads if users click the ad, but you are also generating free brand awareness if they don’t click the ad!

    Furthermore, these flyers are not the type of advertising that appears in the news feed on the home page; they apepar in the left hanhd side column of facebook, and cannot be removed by facebook users.

    Are you a little dubious about social media marketing perhaps?

  • Simon Dance on November 7, 2007

    “Dubious about SMM?” ha ha, of course not.

    However with the budgets of our SME clients we focused our efforts on campaigns that bring sustainable custom as well as traffic.

    My problem with Facebook flyers, and I am speaking as an experienced ‘customer’ of both Basic and Pro flyers, is that revenues would be far better invested elsewhere. Whether this be getting involved in related forums, groups and blogs or by creating applications, widgets and compelling viral (games, articles, videos, podcasts)

    Whilst Facebook flyers might be a useful tool in ones arsenal, once again I would add, that in my opinion and my experience, their suitability is limited.

    Si

  • Simon Dance on November 7, 2007

    “Dubious about SMM?” ha ha, of course not.

    However with the budgets of our SME clients we focused our efforts on campaigns that bring sustainable custom as well as traffic.

    My problem with Facebook flyers, and I am speaking as an experienced ‘customer’ of both Basic and Pro flyers, is that revenues would be far better invested elsewhere. Whether this be getting involved in related forums, groups and blogs or by creating applications, widgets and compelling viral (games, articles, videos, podcasts)

    Whilst Facebook flyers might be a useful tool in ones arsenal, once again I would add, that in my opinion and my experience, their suitability is limited.

    Si

  • Kelvin on November 7, 2007

    You’re right Simon the trick of a good agency is not only knowing how harness technology for their client but accessing what is the best way of using their budget to create the most ROI.

    I’ll agree with you that the real opportunities for business in social media is not from advertising but marketing, but there are plenty of businesses who might benefit from experimenting with technology like Flyers Pro and wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to participating (though we’ll happily help them on that!)

    I think search advertisers might end up seeing it as akin to the content network – in some cicrumstances can perform well but it’s an addition to search PPC not an alternative.

  • Kelvin on November 7, 2007

    You’re right Simon the trick of a good agency is not only knowing how harness technology for their client but accessing what is the best way of using their budget to create the most ROI.

    I’ll agree with you that the real opportunities for business in social media is not from advertising but marketing, but there are plenty of businesses who might benefit from experimenting with technology like Flyers Pro and wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to participating (though we’ll happily help them on that!)

    I think search advertisers might end up seeing it as akin to the content network – in some cicrumstances can perform well but it’s an addition to search PPC not an alternative.

  • Simon Dance on November 7, 2007

    Thanks for your post Kelvin and as for your comparison to the content work – amen to that!

  • Simon Dance on November 7, 2007

    Thanks for your post Kelvin and as for your comparison to the content work – amen to that!

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