Advertising on Facebook: Scam or Legit?

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Facebook* has some impressive statistics and one would certainly think they could be leveraged in terms of advertising and converting users to sales. In fact, the Head of Growth, Kai Elmer Sotto says that “Facebook has more than 175 million users and each person has an average of 130 fans”. That is a large number of people who are your potential customers! But even more powerful, aside from “promoting” yourself on your Facebook page, the social networking site also offers a form of pay-per-click advertising.

We found that many internet marketers have mixed opinions on the use of Facebook’s paid advertising system. As a result, we decided to solicit examples of how Facebook helped or how it hindered their marketing efforts. Here are the results in the form of pros and cons of using FB. From these, you will need to decide whether advertising on Facebook is worth it for your business model.


    • System is very easy to use and quick, as it only takes about six hours to get an ad approved.


    • Can target by age, location, gender, religion, and even marital status.


    • Can target based on user-preferences. For example, if the user lists a favorite breed of dog, then you can target all users listing the same dog. If you sell products that are geared toward this breed, you may find some customers.


    • We saw several websites for dentists and chiropractors who are seeing reasonable success because they are targeting their residents in their own cities.


    • Very productive for craft-type projects and supplies. Can tap into users’ interests.


    • Free advertisement credits are all over the internet. These will enable you to launch an ad with no risks.


    • If you are just looking for sign-ups to a newsletter or to give away something free or to get people involved in a contest, Facebook advertising works well.


    • Can develop and foster relationships to aid in future purchases.


    • It is still new enough to find some cheaper costs-per-click.


  • If you can provide real value, Facebook users will propel your ad to success. It is another type of viral marketing.


    • Costs-per-click tend to be higher than other companies for popular niches.


    • Not as versatile as Google, for instance, with no suggestion of keywords.


    • You really need to know your market to make conversions. These users are not on Facebook to buy. There are there to socialize. On the other hand, when someone types in “size 8, Calvin Klein, white skinny body jeans” into a search engine, she wants to buy. Someone on Facebook talking about or interested in designer jeans is not necessarily interested in your ad to sell them jeans.


    • Facebook is more private in the sense that people keep to themselves, and trust their group or clique.


    • You have to bother people while they are doing something they enjoy, like looking at Grandma’s photos or exchanging recipes with girlfriends. This is called “interruption marketing” and is not always seen in a positive light.


    • FB is not a direct sales venue. You need to understand how a sales funnel works to build trust to get leads rather than sales on the spur of the moment.


    • Can consume resources and waste a lot of money. With Adwords, it is possible to test ads by showing two similar ads to everyone. This is apparently not effective on Facebook because you are not targeting whole countries. And many internet marketers say it is too costly to experiment.


  • Users complain that ads are not relevant to their interests so they have no reason to even go further.

* Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook, Inc.


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