Facebook seems like an online marketing dream. According to Facebook, there are more than 750 million active users who spend 700 billion minutes per month updating their profile picture and status, communicating with friends and using applications. These 700 billion Facebook minutes are precious moments for your business and brand to be seen by the masses.
Facebook’s prolific following has made their site a pioneer in online marketing and social media. It is the only social site that is big enough to be able to use cost-per-click (CPC) ads. Despite its massive online marketing potential, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Webtrends conducted a study that found that even though Facebook ads cost more than traditional banner ads, they still only performed half as well as their traditional banner competitors. How could this be? How does the social network lose this battle? Is Facebook’s reign coming to an end, like other worthy sites before it? If you want to know if Facebook is still a good long-term investment, consider the whole story.
Facebook Advertising is Nothing New
Facebook may be the biggest social network, but its advertising is one in the same. It can however, provide a good return for businesses. In 2010, 50 billion banner ads brought in billions of revenue for advertisers. As with any other good advert, an image is worth a thousand words, the killer copy that sells and constant strategic marketing are what makes a good advertising campaign. Your ads have to stand out and make people want to click them.
Facebook is Not Google Adwords
Facebook cannot compete with Google Adwords in function, concept, strategy or distribution. Google Adwords offers a host of advertising opportunities. Facebook is still catching on. Also, since Adwords is powered through Google, their distribution and reach can be local, national or international instantaneously.
Facebook is also up against the fact that users are not on there to search for anything, they are on there to catch up with the latest goings on. Simply put, Facebook users are not interested in ads the way they would be if they were researching a product or service. Sure, they may be susceptible, but their focus is elsewhere. Google Adwords is constantly bombarding their users with ads, while Facebook ads have to compete with appealing content generated by friends. If an ad wants to reign supreme on Facebook, it has to be thoroughly researched and implemented strategically. Knowing your target audience and finding them is invaluable.
Facebook’s Current Value
If you are looking to sell a product, then Google Adwords would probably be the most lucrative. If you want to build your brand and following more organically and are willing to wait for the long-term benefits, then use Facebook advertisements. Google Adwords is best in terms of return on investment, while Facebook ads help your brand’s social image and presence. Small to medium sized businesses are probably better to create a free Facebook page and build their following, saving their advertising budget for Google Adwords. But if you think your business has what it takes, try both forms of advertising and see for yourself.
Given time Facebook advertisements may be able to compete with Google Adwords. Facebook is certainly worth a try. The key is to figure out the core demographics of your target market and make your ad relevant to them.
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