Monday, February 27, 2012

Development of New Facebook Ad Format

Currently, Facebook is allowing existing small and large companies and brands to create advertisements and share them with their targeted audience to gain awareness and build relationships. Facebook allows companies to do this by creating a small section off to the right of their website for these advertisements and sponsors so that each time a person maneuvers around their website a new advertisement will pop up catering to each persons preferences. Companies realize this is one of the best strategies and formats to use to advertise and take advantage of this cost-efficient and productive way to advertise.

            A company that I am currently working for recently decided to take advantage of Facebook’s advertising media. Surprisingly, we came up with really great results. First we had to establish what it was about our company that we want to advertise. We decided that if after this experiment our “LIKES” went up by at least 5%, we would continue to use Facebook’s advertising platform and use it to publicize other parts of our company. For now, we just wanted to bring awareness about the general information about our company. So, while we were developing our ad, we had to come up with a statement for the body context.

FB has made it convenient by adding an example of the advertisement down below. Once an image is uploaded, Facebook shows the full version of the ad. After the design is complete, the next part of the creating the ad campaign is to determine the target audience. As you go through the categories to pick and choose from, the right panel to the side shows how many people the advertisement could potentially reach. Our ad could potentially reach 103, 794,060 users:
·      Who live in the United States
·      Age 18 and older
·      In one of the categories. Dancing, Education/Teaching, Health & Wellbeing, Hip Hop/Rap, Jazz/Blues, Children’s Music, Country, Dance/Electronic, Pop, R&B/Soul, Reggae, Rock or Mobile (All)

After selecting the specific population we wanted to reach, we had to determine the budget and also the scheduling of the advertisement. For our company, we decided to set a budget of $100 per day. And we would have to pay $0.82 per click. This meant that for each day that we ran our ad, we are paying for each person to click on our ad. Once the ad has been clicked for $100 worth, the ad stops running on Facebook and does not continue to run til the next day at 12:01am. Please note that we may not have to spend $100 per day if we do not get enough clicks. We could potentially only have $55 worth of clicks, which would equivalent to about 62 clicks. We agreed that because we are such a small company, and are a little hesitant about trying this advertising media, if we hit that budget a day then we will have a bigger budget for next time.

Once everything was established, we had to input our credit card information and an email was sent to the administrators of the fan page about how to manage our ads. Upon clicking on the link to managing our ad, these were the charts and diagrams that were given to our company as a way to track our clicks and how many people liked our page after they had clicked on our ad. 

For the next few hours we began to track our clicks and realized that a good portion of people, more than expected, did click on our ad. We were able to see how many people saw our ad; how many people clicked on our ad; how many people “LIKE” our company after being led to our page by the ad; how many people who saw that their friend liked our company; and also how much we’ve spent from our budget.

Honestly, we did not expect more than 100 people to click on our ad and we really did not expect more than 5 people to “LIKE” our page after click on our ad. The next day, we found that:
  • the campaign had reached 520, 417 people
  • we gained 19 “LIKES” after people being exposed to our ad
  • 193 people actually CLICKED on our ad 
  • and we had spent $149 total ($49 on the first day and $100 on the second day)  

Obviously, we were more than happy with the results and realize if we had a bigger budget and ran our ads for a lot longer, we could potentially bring more awareness to our fan page. Another thing worthy to note is that our sales from our actual website also went up. Not by much but we did get more orders than usual.

Just by one day’s worth, our company could tell that the strength of Facebook advertising as a platform is more than worth it. It clearly is a way to bring awareness to any small or large company and reaches a huge amount of demography. Because Facebook has access to so much of the consumer’s personal information, we have to take advantage of it. There is not anywhere else that allows businesses and brands the opportunity to advertise a short amount of information for such a small amount of money. Our budget in comparison to other companies and brands was a measly hundred dollars. Bigger companies who had the budget to spend thousands of dollars must get bigger and better results. Allowing companies to be in control of their own target audience, budget and scheduling is a huge strength on its own. Allowing companies to track their campaign with immediate results is another strength as well.

Facebook is continuing to perfect their advertising formats. They are very successful in creating ways for businesses to excel. After observations and research, it would be very interesting to see if Facebook could implement a new way to help companies advertise. Right now, they are helping companies reach people on Facebook to view companies Facebook page. What if Facebook takes it a step further and allow companies to pay a larger amount to advertise their actual websites? Currently, on Facebook, people can check into restaurants, venues, etc. What if through GRAPH API, people can start to check into websites? And when they check into a website, it shows on their friend’s page on the right hand panel under check-ins? And also companies can code in a button using Facebook’s GRAPH API on their webpage to allow users to check-in their websites and earn coupons. This would be a great way to create traffic directly to webpages instead of fan pages.

Using our company as example, we could have the option to create either a campaign ad for our fan page, or we could pay a little extra to advertise our website. We can schedule a time and even a budget. There would then be an area to enter our link to our page and upload a small image of our website, or even just a company logo. Once people click on the ad that links them to our actual website, they will see a “Check-in” button and their check-in’s will eventually add up. They can only check in once every 6 hours or so. There could be an incentive to visit often, like a coupon to save or special advertisements only users can see once they’ve reached a specific amount of check-in’s. Of course, Facebook only wants users to navigate throughout their website and want users to spend their time only on their site, so this idea is only hypothetical.