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Facebook's Value To Advertisers

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I've not looked at Facebook much, so know little about it, but it seems that unlike MySpace, you can't go in and browse a certain amount of the site and profiles without being logged in.


Is that possibly part of it? People can casually browse MySpace if they really want, either without a profile, or without being logged in.


If on Facebook you have to be registered and logged in to do anything, does that suggest a bit more about why you're on there? You're logged in and visiting the site to do something, and so banner blindess is increased while you're 'on task' as it were.


Plus, as soon as you hit the myspace homepage, you're bombarded with advertising all over it. I go to the Facebook homepage, and see none, in fact it's a farily simple page. Much faster loading :)


As Nick says in the comments of the article, the audiences of myspace and facebook aren't THAT similar either.

Nick Wilson wrote about it recently and linked to a more in depth article giving a few comparisons of myspace and facebook.


That article does suggest myspace has an audience that is much more open to advertising than the facebook audience, and that there are distinct gorups wihtin the target age groups. You cannot talk about 'what 18-25 year olds like' as a whole.

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I know of Universities who advertise on specific pages of Facebook with great results.

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EGOL makes a great point here, something I was going to point too.


It wasn't so long ago that Facebook was a closed Social Network for mostly Schools and universities. Thus, this has a more concentrated base that is focused around the 18-25 year old market. Where myspace was completely opened, and contrary to what most believe - MySpace has a higher "age bracket" of members.


Also, I wonder what kind of advertisers they were. as EGOL points out - Universities/Schools/Trade Schools probably would have a higher success rate as members would pay attention to that more. I would think services like Ring Tones and Cell Phone services might do well too.


But home mortgages, loans, financial sercies like banks and so forth - likely wouldn't benefit from facebook at all. Even clothing retailers wouldn't likely see much benefit from advertising on face book, as this market is more likely to pop into the mall and shop at The Gap or American Eagle's stores, than buy it online.

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I would think services like Ring Tones and Cell Phone services might do well too.


I'm not so sure, the valleywag article suggests that even movie marketing performs badly, and they have a much broader appeal than ring tones IMHO.

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To me the most important point in that article is from the comments:

Nick Denton:

...but almost all spending by agencies is on standard banners, and text ads.

There is a problem of scale. Facebook currently delivers traffic that converts best on a more intimate 'friend-to-friend(s)' basis than the typical agency mass assault. For once the 'little guy' has an advantage.


Also both the ad and its product/service must fit the conversation or it will be filtered out. Personalisation is not just a Google beta project. The ad site must be fitted to the wants/needs of the persons targeted. I see it as the beginning of high value 'tailored' advertising that goes beyond mere mass branding.


So far I have not managed to automate much of my FB ad-attack so the ROI is marginal but the revenue is sufficient to keep trying labour saving ideas.


One DB to know them all, One DB to find them,

One DB to bring them all and in the index bind them

In Personalisation where the Profits lie.

brute holding sign


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Conventional methods may not work with Facebook. You can not do a blitz or a storm on Facebook. It is about networks, regions, groups, schools, clubs, etc. If you can tailor your advertising to those qualifications, you can actually find excellent conversion rates. People are on Facebook for so many hours of the day - it is almost a way of life for some students. Thus, the lack of advertising bombardment is a breath of fresh air for them. However, in the same breath they might tend to trust advertisers more on Facebook, because it is a closed network (no non-member access). They would be especially interested in advertisers who are relevant to their network, region, group, etc. as mentioned above. They will not be interested in typical advertisers, like merchandise, movies, or spammy stuff like smileys (I hate that ad!!)

Edited by kulpreet_singh

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I'm a pretty "heavy" Facebook user at times, and I will be the first to admit that I generally don't click on ads unless they appeal to me. Thinking along the lines of my behavior on Facebook versus other sites, yes, I have clicked on ads. However, it is exactly those "nonconventional" ads that I decided to click on.


The Facebook generation is a more technological savvy generation, without a doubt. Granted, the populations of Facebook and MySpace overlap, but I personally know people who prefer the former over the latter, and vice versa. I would say that Facebook is winning out among those tech savvy folks for the very reason that the site is ad-free.


What kinds of links did I click on? Discounted student trips, job opportunities ... these are the things that Facebook students primarily seek out. They are not looking for those ads, as Li said, that won't do them much good.


One thing I'd also add is that students use Facebook also as a change in scenery. They don't want to see the ads that are all over the Internet on the other sites they find. Facebook is not your MySpace, and students go there for something different. ValleyWag might be right, but advertisers are probably not selling the right products to the students in the right way.


Advertising on Facebook is a challenge, but if you have a product that you know appeals to the college market (and yes, regardless of it being open to all, it's still primarily a social site for the younger demographic), then you will do better and people will click on these links. It is all about "writing for your readers" -- or in this case, advertising with the right goals in mind with the right audience in mind and knowing exactly what they want.

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