Where do you stand- when it comes to Facebook Advertising?

Dr. Shampa Nandi, Faculty ISME

Do we need to post an ad online? – is not a question any more. Few years back businesses could easily survive without advertising online. However, for the younger generations: the millennials and the generation Z, if you are not online you are no more. It has become a common practice to search online before any offline or online purchase. With an impressive growth in social media penetration, companies whether small or big have no other choice but to advertise online. In online space, Facebook has maintained its dominant position. A recent report suggested that number of Facebook users in India is growing more than twice as fast as than in USA (Simon Kemp, 2017).

Source: (Simon Kemp, 2017).
With 241 million of active users and an increase of 27% in first half the year 2017, Facebook has been a viable option for advertising both for small and big companies in India. It is a recommended platform because of its worldwide presence and deep penetration in India.
However, Facebook advertising is not for everyone. A B2C company like a salon or restaurant may get wonderful result by Facebook ad but a B2B company like IT based service company may not. Companies should thoughtfully create an ad campaign for Facebook, which will generate more traffics. In this article, we will look what a marketer should consider before placing an ad campaign in Facebook.
Facebook ads are affordable but….
Company from any industry has an option to place a boost feature ad at Facebook starting with $5 for a post of 3 days and subsequently scale up to a full ad campaign. Like Google AdWords, FB ads are also inexpensive and works using similar pricing model of other Search Engine users. Costs of FB ads are calculated on CPM (Cost per impression), CPC (Cost per click) and CPA (Cost per action). Since the average advertising cost in FB is proportional to the number of audiences, a company should carefully target relevance audience. Actually, a company has to pay less on FB if the relevance score for its ad is high. Relevance score is the difference between the numbers of clicks minus the negative reaction. Again FB ad would be costly in holiday season, so a company should post an ad in a holiday season provided there is a good chance to get business in that season. In addition, FB promotes paid content more so a company should pay to get more viewers even after having quality content.
Setting up an ad for FB is easy but….
FB provides good guidance and a lot of information to help any company to create an effective ad campaign. It has an “Inspiration Hub” where success stories and good campaigns are shared. Small companies could be benefited from FB on how to design an ad for different purposes – Brand awareness campaign, Consideration campaign and Conversion campaign. FB has variety of advert units such as right side rail ads, newsfeed promoted posts, canvas ads, events ads, lead generation forms ad and many others just to suit the budget of any company. A company needs not to have its own website, the company can use its FB page to set up its own FB store, from which the company can directly sell to its customers. However, it is always better for any company to have its own website. Again, if the content posted by a company is interesting, it may go viral as more and more people would like to share to their known circle. That means company gets a wider publicity with no extra cost.
FB ads are easier to set up and run but it may not bring the expected result unless it is crafted effectively. Ads should be crafted keeping in mind the objectives, target market and it should be visually appealing and persuasive. Even if a company just boost a post on FB, the post should be chosen wisely so that it will bring not only likes but some result on conversion.
FB helps in Micro targeting and re-targeting but…..
The major advantage of FB is that it allows a company to target very specifically to any group of customers. With the psychographic data available on FB, the level of targeting is much more objective than it is possible in any traditional media. Along with gender, age, marital status, location, FB gives information about hobbies, interest, personality types even political affiliation, which brings to any company a complete profile of a customer and help to bring the ad message to the exact niche, the company is looking for. In addition, FB usually supplies a code to the advertising company by which any company can retarget previous visitor and bring him back to his website.
However, there is no guarantee that all the targeted customers will bring business to the company. As like any online message, it can be overlooked by the target customers easily. Unless the content is not a quality one, chances of both organic reach and viral reach will be reduced.
FB is a social network not a business platform
First of all, any ad posted by a company on FB will be viewed by those people who are logged in the site, not any internet user. A large number of dormant profile or fake profiles are available at FB, which reduces the conversion rate. Again, many fake ads are posted in FB, which reduces the credibility of genuine ads posted in FB. In addition, other social networks like Snapchat and Instagram have shifted the focus of many customers from FB. Recent controversies on data leakage also maligned the image of FB.
Conclusions
FB ads works excellently by allowing any business to tap huge potential customers and with its versatility and widespread use. It has become one of the most preferred social media to post ad, Twitter has only half of the user of FB. FB is growing continuously and improving on its advertising features and definitely more and more people are viewing the ads on FB. Companies targeting global consumers can use this media as FB as a very wide reach. A company can track the performance of the ad by the easy measurement parameters such as likes, comments, downloads, shares posts etc. FB ads also need constant monitoring to engage with the customers, answer their queries, and constantly post relevant quality content. A marketer should know details about the paid advertising on social media otherwise a FB ad can result unwanted consequences like the posts could be misconstrued, cost per click will increase and a company would lead to a financial gambles.
References
·         Simon Kemp (July 13, 2017), “India overtakes the USA to become Facebook’s #1 country “, Available at https://thenextweb.com/contributors/2017/07/13/india-overtakes-usa-become-facebooks-top-country/
·         https://thrivehive.com/how-much-cost-advertise-facebook/
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