Advertising on Facebook: Yay or Nay?

Social networking can be completely overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re doing…it can even be overwhelming for a seasoned vet, like myself, who’s straight out of Generation Y. Well, my name is Kim Raguza and I am the newly appointed communications intern here at BD-PRo. Just to give you a little info about myself, so you’re not wondering why the heck you should listen to me, I’m a senior Communications major at the University of Pittsburgh. I’ve taken marketing, writing, and public relations classes all of which aid me in working for BD-PRo. Not only that, but I spend unhealthy amounts of time using social networking websites (I probably shouldn’t admit to that either).

So, as a small business, where do you even begin? Advertising on social media seems like a good idea, but is it worth your time and money? Well that’s exactly what I plan to help you find out before you waste your valuable resources on something that may or not be beneficial to your company.

First off, which social media tool should you use? Since it is the fastest growing, and most well known (in my opinion at least) Facebook seems like an obvious choice. Our plan here at BD-PRo is to lie out our beliefs about advertising on Facebook; the pros and cons, and how effective it may be, and then we’re going to test those beliefs for you. Yes, we are your own personal guinea pigs. We’ll run an ad through Facebook, and update you on the results without sugar coating it. All this is in order to help you decide whether Facebook ads will work for your business.

So here’s what I think the Pros of running an ad on Facebook are:

 • Extremely targeted market: If you know who your consumers are, then Facebook is a great tool. You can be specific all the way down to the type of music that they listen to. This can eliminate the wasted money put into sending ads out to people who were never going to pay attention in the first place.

• Affordable: Pay what you want. Seriously, it’s as easy as that. If you want to spend $1 a day, you can (okay, so that may not be the most effective but you can still do it). • Results oriented: Statistics, performance metrics, charts, graphs, etc… Basically you get to find out right away what’s working and what’s not working. Which makes it easy for you to tweak an ad during the campaign in order to do better.

• Networking: you don’t necessarily have to use Facebook ads to directly increase your sales (although that is the ultimate goal). You can set an ad to direct people to your business’s Facebook page, which they can “Like.” You build a relationship with your customer on a more personal level, by getting to interact with their daily social life. Every time you update, it shows up on their newsfeed, meaning the amount of exposure you get from one simple ad could be endless.

While these pros are extraordinary, without managing your ad properly or thinking it through, could make any one of these pros become a con, for example you could spend too much money on the wrong market.  Its all about the effort that you put in. Here are a few more possible cons:

• Interruption: Well the fact is people go on Facebook to find out what their friends, family, and enemies are up to. The majority doesn’t go on there looking to buy something. People get in the zone while socializing and may not take the time to pay attention to an ad. Not only that, but some people feel the market targeting is an invasion of their privacy.

• Credibility: This concern comes along with any ad that you’ll put out on the Internet. You need to establish yourself as a real company rather than some spam.

• Follow-through: People may be interested in your ad, and clicking on it. But what if they aren’t buying your product? It’s hard to understand why this happens, since you can’t just ask people why. The problem is hard to diagnose.

So, here’s the real question: do these hypothetical Pros outweigh the cons? Check back and we’ll let you know the results of our BD-PRo Facebook ad campaign. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for said ad.

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