Find us on Facebook: A Marketer’s Guide to Success

By: Cassidy LeBert and Kayla Regan

Notifications, friend requests and likes are all words that have become second nature to social media users over the past ten years. These terms refer to some of the many activities that occur on the most widely used social media platform today: Facebook.

Facebook was created by a Harvard University psychology student, Mark Zuckerberg. At age 23, Zuckerberg had already created two social networking sites. The first was Coursematch which allowed its users to view and connect with other students that were in their major. The second was Facemash where users could rate other people’s attractiveness. But Zuckerberg’s third social networking idea was his greatest and most successful.

In 2004, Zuckerberg launched “The Facebook”. Within 24 hours, 1,200 Harvard undergraduate students had signed up. After one month, half of the undergraduate population had an account. From there, the platform extended to other Boston Universities and Ivy Leagues. Then, “The Facebook” became in 2005 when Zuckerberg purchased the website for $200,000. The platform has only took off from there.

Many different features exist on Facebook for it is a platform that offers users multiple ways to connect with the people in their lives. But there are ten top Facebook features that keep it alive and thriving. These include photos, the newsfeed, the like button, Facebook messenger, relationship statuses, turn off push notifications, embed in posts, social plug ins, the timeline and events. Each of these features offer a new and unique facet to connecting with others. Facebook photos are simply photos that users can post and that their friends can view, like, comment on and share. The newsfeed is where users’ posts are shared with one another. The like button allows users to click on a thumbs up icon to physically “like” their friends’ content. Facebook messenger is an instant messaging feature where users can talk to their friends instantly. Something to note is that Facebook Messenger has actually grown to become a social media platform in itself. Relationship statuses are posted on a user’s’ profile to show that they are single, in a relationship, married etc. At the time of this post, users can comment and/or like a friend’s relationship. Facebook offers push notifications, which are optional. Users have the choice to either receive push notifications or turn them off, which would mean that users receive their notifications when they are logged into their Facebook account. Embed-in-post is the ability to post an article, video or picture on Facebook with linked content directly in the post. Social plug ins are when users can comment on various websites just by being logged into their Facebook account. Facebook’s timeline is considered a user’s personal profile. Lastly, Facebook events is a tab where users can create events and invite their friends to them.

Because Facebook has so much connectivity to offer, there is a wide variety of users. Worldwide there are over 1.59 billion Facebook users. The most common age of these users is 24-35. This age group makes up 29.7% of its total users. When comparing Facebook users to all internet users, 77% of females use Facebook and 66% of males.

Aside from Facebook advertising, businesses can create Facebook pages for their company. If this is done strategically, these pages can create significant brand awareness which would ultimately lead to increased sales. With that being said, there are understandably some dos and don’ts of creating a Facebook business page. It is encouraged that businesses use a recognizable profile picture. Facebook users are not likely to click on a profile if they do not recognize their profile picture. It is also important for a business to coordinate their cover photo, posts and content to promote their marketing campaigns. Thirdly, it is recommended that businesses post at strategic times of the day. Studies show that posts between 1-4pm have the best click through rates. What Facebook business pages do not want to do is leave their “about” sections on their profile blank and be slow to answer consumers. Both of these aspects will immediately turn consumers away from their page.

Since Facebook is so widely and largely used, some statistics about this platform may be surprising to its users. For instance, every second, five new profiles are created. Also, the highest traffic occurs midweek between 1 and 3pm. On Thursdays and Fridays, Facebook traffic is increased 18%. Lastly, every sixty seconds, 510 comments, 293,000 statuses and 136,000 photos are shared. One statistic that may not be a surprise is the average Facebook visit is 20 minutes long.

If you’ve ever used Facebook it’s no surprise that the social media giant lands itself as number one on the list of advertisers using such communication forums. Although the everyday user may get annoyed with the constant sponsored posts popping up in their newsfeed with seemingly no control, businesses love the easy access to native advertisement. Yet as you’re scrolling through with utter annoyance or maybe you’re one of the few users actually interested, you can’t help but wonder why the ads seem to be so relevant to your life. The answer lies within Facebook’s Ad Targeting strategies

Facebook gives businesses the opportunity to target specific audiences before posting their ads. The social networking site provides marketers with the tools necessary to get however broad or specific they want with their target group. Marketers begin by selecting a geographic location that may get as detailed as zip code or as vague as a country. They are then prompted to specify specific age groups, gender, and even language spoken. Next, depending on the product or service businesses can explicitly choose to target audiences with certain interests or behaviors such as “organic foods”, “biking”, “cooking”, sports teams, etc. all of which Facebook can tell you how many people are interested in that topic.

The cost of advertising on Facebook varies just as it would for Google. There are two ways to bid for ads on Facebook: (1) Cost Per Click (CPC) or (2) Cost Per 1,000 Ad Views (CPM).  Average click costs are generally $0.24 whereas CPM averages $0.64. Retail stores (like Target) typically have to pay a very high CPM or CPC. The average CPC cost was $0.31 cents and $1.39 for CPM. Food & Beverage companies (like Coca-Cola) paid an average CPC of $0.21 and CPM of $0.65. CPM tends to be better for companies trying to promote brand awareness whereas CPC is more successful for conversions. US advertisers on average will have to pay $24.00 to get 100 people to click on their advertisement or will have to pay $24.00 to get their ad shown 36,364 times. It’s important to note that advertising for local businesses may cost more because the target range is a lot smaller and there are more local companies bidding for the same ad space.

Before hitting that final create button, it’s important for marketers to make sure they’re honing in on the following best practices. First and foremost determine your objectives! Understand whether the aim of your campaign is to increase brand awareness, conversions, video views, etc. Next, be specific with your target audiences as discussed earlier. Finally, don’t forget to rotate your ads regularly! When people start to see your ad too many times, they stop clicking. When click through rates drop, Facebook penalizes you, driving up your cost per click (CPC). It is recommended to rotate your ads every 3 to 5 days.

Facebook features almost a dozen advertisement options for businesses to choose from. The first category of ads is best for marketers looking to gain traffic leads for their website. This includes Domain Ads which are the simplest, cheapest form offered by Facebook that only may be placed in the right column. A Domain Ad features a small picture, description, and URL. Similarly Page Post Links are the most common type of ad used on Facebook. The main difference is this ad appears on mobile apps and in users’ Newsfeeds as well. Multi Product (Carousel) and Dynamic Product Ads are best for sales leads. These ads have high click through rates and effective retargeting strategies especially with Carousel ads given the ability to promote 5 products or promotions at once. Page Likes, Posts, Videos, and Photo Ads are best for brand awareness and likes. Event and Offer Advertisements are self explanatory in driving consumer traffic to stores and events.

One of the most successful Facebook advertising campaigns came from Eggo Waffles in 2014. The company, which had fallen in the breakfast shadows in previous years was looking to make a comeback with their previously used L’Eggo my Eggo campaign. The goal was simple: stay relevant in a mobile world while targeting a younger audience. Eggo tried to put a twist on era where people share everything on Facebook, but still not their Eggos. The campaign featured Facebook videos of supermarket workers giving out free samples of Eggos but running away when customers actually put their hands out for the taking. The company also posted best practice photos of how to protect your Eggos whether it be a castle wall or decoy label.

You might have found it weird that one day you Google searched Eggos and then three days later the ad popped up in yours Newsfeed. The same can be said for that pair of shoes you couldn’t decide on, or maybe a restaurant you were thinking of trying out. As much as you might think it’s just a coincidence, Facebook is very strategic with their big brother ways. Facebook Exchange is a CRM tool created in 2012 in partnership with Kenshoo Social that allows advertisers to target users with highly relevant ads based on their browsing habits. This is made possible through a bidding ad exchange forum in which advertisers drop tracking cookies on users’ browsers as they surf the web.

— Now that you know the facts, would you use Facebook for more than just friends?


21 thoughts on “Find us on Facebook: A Marketer’s Guide to Success

  1. latikakarnani April 17, 2016 / 9:23 pm

    Facebook has tremendous power for marketing . You can use combinations of behaviors, demographics, and geolocation data to reduce your advertisement audience. you can even target audience based on their life event. For example if a couple got engaged, wedding planners could reach out to these specific people.


  2. CJ Enos April 17, 2016 / 11:18 pm

    When I’m on Facebook I have to remind myself to not click on Ad if I don’t want to continuously see them in other areas I click on. I now only click on the ads that I am very interested in. I learned of this tactic when I was searching for Vegas deals on Google and then the next day I saw an ad for Vegas on the right side of a search page I was on. This is very powerful for marketing but can be a little unnerving for consumers.


  3. cimminoc April 18, 2016 / 2:00 am

    Facebook provides a major competitive advantage for marketers. Marketers are able to integrate into communities. Facebook exchange let’s marketers know who to target and what exactly they are looking for on browsers. I think that Facebook could lead to the greatest exposure for a brand or a company. There is no wasted advertisements because the people seeing your ads on Facebook should be the same people searching your product on a browser. Facebook exchange offers a great competitive advantage for marketers and should be utilized to accomplish many different marketing objectives.


  4. Meg April 18, 2016 / 5:00 am

    Facebook is a great outlet for marketing purposes, and it reaches a large demographic as people of all ages are using the site. While there are many features that make Facebook a good marketing tool for businesses, there is also concern that the younger generation is moving away from the site. While I believe Facebook seems to be making enough changes to remain a prominent social media site, businesses need to be aware that the younger generation has become increasingly concerned with privacy.


  5. Meghan Gulbrandsen April 18, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    Instagram is a great platform for marketing. To me, I think that Facebook can get overwhelming at times with all the posts and ads and visuals on the screen. Instagram has this feed that displays one picture at a time with a caption talking about it, I like how the page isn’t so cluttered and a marketer can easily show the person looking at the screen what they are trying to market in a simple and easy way.


  6. Andie-Jane Phinney April 18, 2016 / 3:49 pm

    Facebook has become such a powerful platform for companies to market their businesses, services and products that we can’t go on Facebook anymore without seeing an ad. I think Facebook is a great way for companies to market because of the demographics and an easy way to find the target market they are looking for. As stated in the blog post, there are over a billion users using Facebook, and being able to get your company out to the public is going to increase your sales and also your brand awareness. Company Facebook’s are something that have become much more popular over the years with the increase in popularity of social media. Many businesses use company Facebook’s to provide information on the company, hours and locations and even promotions. This allows for viewers to get the information they need with such easy access as the internet. The CPM and the CPC come into play and take heavy thought of which to use to not spend money without making money. We learned much about the CPM and the CPC options in class with the presentation, and the Eggo campaign was also awesome! Again, marketing through Facebook I believe is such a great way to get your company to the public eye and gain sales and loyal customers along the way.


  7. Olivia Sullivan April 18, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    Facebook has died down a lot in the past couple of years. I think that it can still be a successful marketing site because it is still checked very often, meaning, I don’t use Facebook to post about anything anymore but I still go on it everyday. With the pages and groups that the businesses can make I think that they can still benefit from Facebook because their announcements can show up on the feed where everyone is scrolling. Also the groups on Facebook are simple making it easy to navigate and find pictures and information.


  8. Zac Lyons April 19, 2016 / 7:08 pm

    Its really interesting to learn about Facebook in a new way. We have all generally used Facebook as a way to connect with friends, and now there is a much larger group of people that companies are able to reach and learn about. It would be foolish for a company these days to not have a Facebook page. To answer the question I know that personally I wouldn’t use Facebook other than to connect with friends, but if I ever found myself in a situation where I needed to use Facebook to advertise I definitely would.


  9. Justin Flory April 20, 2016 / 1:14 am

    Today, it seems like pictures are the most common and most interesting thing posted on social media. Facebook is especially helpful for seeing photos, updates, and opinions. Because of this, I find it a little harder for companies to brand themselves successfully on Facebook, specifically if they are just starting out. Of course a company that’s been on Facebook for years will succeed, but new ones who are just getting into social media might have a struggle. Advertising can target specific audiences, but if people choose to like, comment, and share is the problem. A lot of people ignore posts on their newsfeeds and sometimes they don’t even get to see everything from a specific person they are friends with or a company they like. Facebook has made it easy for companies to advertise, but also kind of difficult at the same time.


  10. Ronald Zampanti April 20, 2016 / 2:28 pm

    I agree with what you said about Facebook business pages. Posting at strategic times and having a recognizable profile picture are very important in achieving any marketing objectives of a company. Leaving the “about” section blank on a Facebook page can definitely draw consumers away from interacting with the business’ Facebook page. Consumers feel more comfortable interacting with a Facebook page when there is information on the page and the profile is filled out.


  11. Sean April 21, 2016 / 6:16 pm

    Facebook has a tremendous value for marketers. The amount of information we provide them with without even knowing is astounding. Marketing on Facebook is so specific and narrow, that you know you will reach the exact people you are looking for, I feel as if consumers feel safe interacting with the brands they love on Facebook, especially because they are the ones “liking” a page. To have the consumers feel comfortable while interacting with a brand is incredibly valuable.


  12. Sharon Masucci April 21, 2016 / 6:31 pm

    I think facebook is a good marketing tool. It can reach a lot of different target markets. Although I think facebook has find of shifted from younger people to older people. I still think it is a great place to post ads and get peoples attention. I don’t think the ads on the side are the useful. What is more useful is creating a facebook page for your business and posting updates and deals for your business. This keeps your customers up to date and you can easily interact with them.


  13. sandybrownsite April 21, 2016 / 11:32 pm

    I worked for a small company as a social media marketer, and Facebook was one of the social media sites we would use to promote our service and product. However, Facebook is difficult for a Business to Business company to gain actual consumers or business because it is such a personal profile site. Whereas, LinkedIn provides a more business related atmosphere, so Business can reach out to decision makers about a meeting or product features and it is more acceptable.


  14. Aishwarya Gunti April 23, 2016 / 2:40 pm

    I completely agree about strategic creation of Facebook page for businesses. My cousin created a page for his own start up business, but people started posting and tagging business account for family occasions. Traffic from potential customers drastically fell. Even some customers asked him to remove the page because it was creating ambiguity with family interference.


  15. Colleen Flynn April 24, 2016 / 1:15 am

    I thought this blog post was very well written and kept me very engaged about a topic I thought I basically knew everything about. On the contrary however, I learned a lot! I was unaware that Facebook was the third social media platform that Mark Zuckerberg created. In addition, I thought it was very interesting that the most common Facebook user is between the ages of 24-35. I feel as if Facebook is the social media platform for all ages now and is not known for having a primarily young audience. Also, I learned about advertising on Facebook. I had no idea about any of the costs for placing an ad on Facebook, the types of ads, and about the number of clicks. Finally, it is so crazy how something you searched days ago on google will then appear on your newsfeed. Marketing and technology advances have become so amazing and Facebook is certainly taking full advantage of all these features!


  16. Joseph Sanfilippo May 3, 2016 / 6:17 pm

    I think Facebook is one of the most effective online marketing strategies since it has become relevant in our lives. Many times I have seen advertisements about products that got me intrigued about that certain product, and I am someone who usually doesn’t like ads at all. To be able to create a page as a business and to put up pictures and videos of your products seems like a very successful idea, and many companies have benefited a lot since Facebook started.


  17. Derek Lawton May 7, 2016 / 12:29 am

    Facebook provides such a competitive advantage for marketers. I have been known to click on the ads on the side when on Facebook countless times. This is exactly what marketers want you to do. Facebook is going to continue to be one of the most popular social media platforms as long as they keep coming up with new and innovative ideas.


  18. cbernard7778 May 7, 2016 / 2:27 am

    One thing I really love about the marketing aspect of Facebook is how it directly correlates to your recent shopping searches. So many times I have been online shopping on urban outfitters or nordstrom, and decided not to buy something. Hours later, I’ll be checking my Facebook and that exact dress will be advertised on my timeline. It really makes me second guess the purchase, and more often than not I return to the store’s website and follow through with the sale. This type of marketing is what I think is the most successful considering how personable it allows Facebook. I think it will continue to be the most successful social media platform for advertising.


  19. Jing Wang May 8, 2016 / 10:35 pm

    I think Facebook provides marterker a good place where can dircetly touch to customers, sepcially when people log on Facebook for killing time, so they do not mind click the AD link which made them really interested, Also, it is wried about AD in the Youtube, I think people usually like to skip the ad when they watch the video in Youtube, but people do not igornes the ad in the Facebook. I think it is also an very interesting quesiotn for Marktering.


  20. Hechuan Lou May 12, 2016 / 8:34 pm

    I agree that Facebook provide marketers a good place to promote their products and also have direction connection with customers. Marketers don’t need to reply on the traditional market or sellers.The other advantage of using Facebook is low cost, which will leave more profit for the marketers.


  21. Xinran Zuo May 13, 2016 / 3:57 pm

    You can easily heared the term ” Find us on Facebook”. This simple words works. Customers like me will definitely follow the brand or product on Twitter which can give me a deep view and detailed information that I need to know, and there are reviews and comments, making it the most convience place for marketing. But how to manage the facebook sites is tricky and risky for marketers as well.


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