Are Facebook Ads for All Businesses?

November 18th, 2010 by Search Influence Alumni

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Facebook Ads. Are You Doing it Right?

Recently a slew of articles have been popping up about the ineffectiveness of Facebook advertising. While we recently touched on this subject in a previous blog post, I thought I would explain why this statement has little credence when Facebook ads are done properly. If you’ve read any of our previous FB blog posts, you are aware that for Search Influence, Facebook yields a low cost per lead making it one of our most effective ways to drive leads to clients’ sites. With that being stated, I can proceed to explain (in a Clarissa-esque manner) why Facebook is effective and ineffective for some online marketers and industries.

Are You a Facebook Friendly Business?
I’ve mentioned this before but Facebook ads follow the same methodology that magazine and television ads follow.  While choosing images for your ads is important, determining whether your business is right for Facebook is the key to success. You would never hire a fertility specialist, carpal tunnel expert, or babysitter from a 30 second TV spot (well maybe you would. I would never trust my semen, wrist, or subsequent children in the hands of a stranger on TV, but I was raised right). I think that is the fundamental problem some advertisers have with Facebook. They’ve read a few cleverly written articles on online advertising on Facebook and they think they can create those successes for all their clients. However industries such as elective surgery, social causes, and the entertainment service industry fair considerably well for local businesses.

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Facebook Ad Demographic

Is the Facebook Demographic Right for You?
Why do these previous mentioned industries succeed? Before I address that let me just get this out of the way – Facebook is not for everybody. If your business is a retirement home and a certified social media specialist tells you he can increase you fan base and leads from Facebook by some unthinkable number, he’s lying. Certain demographics just do not exist on Facebook, blame social media and technological darwinism. The largest demographic using Facebook are between ages of 18 – 34. They are the beauty obsessed, socially aware, fun-loving Youth of America. This is the age group your business must pander to in order to be truly effective.  From an ROI perspective, the subgroup of the young professionals between the ages of 25 – 34 are where the disposable income is the ripest. By targeting this age group with the correct interests and properly crafted ads you can increase your leads stream significantly.

Are Facebook Ads Ineffective Because of Bad Advertising?
We have all seen these ads. The married man being shown dating site ads despite his status being “married”, the teenage boy being shown breast augmentation ads because he has “breast” as a interest.  And my personal favorite, the work from home search marketing ads (as seen in the image below). I see these ads and I am filled with laughter, sorrow, and disdain. Is it such a surprise that Facebook is deemed ineffective with such a large percentage of ads misspelled, using irrelevant images, and just down right offensive ads running? I mean, get high on Jesus? Really?

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Bad Facebook Ads are BAD

At the end of the day, the performance of Facebook advertising is directly tied to your business, the demographic you are targeting, and how well you compose your ads.  People assume this is an ad space issue marketers and industries have dealt with since commercialization of goods. So instead of questioning whether Facebook is effective, social media marketers should be questioning whether Facebook fits their clients business model.

Thanks to Salvo Vaccarella for the image.