Everyone has been watching Facebook to see if it can monetize its enormous traffic to become a going business. And the focal point of that monetization effort is advertising, just like Google’s. And you’ve probably read about Facebook ads, or perhaps even tried them yourself. And maybe you’ve decided that they just don’t work. You might be right, but it could also be that you are trying to use Facebook ads the same way you use Google ads, when you ought to be doing something very different.
We like to think that advertising is all the same everywhere, but it’s not. The skills needed to optimize a Google paid search ad are far different than what’s required for a feel-good “our company is kind to animals” brand image TV spot. They have vastly different purposes and they have different metrics for success.
So it is with Google ads and Facebook ads.
Google ads are all about “Buy now!” People searching are often in the midst of a purchase decision, and a Google ad is successful for marketers because they know how to sell. They can immediately figure out the ROI the minute someone buys, too. Google ads are simple and they work.
Facebook ads are a lot tougher. People using Facebook are not usually trying to buy something, so the same “Buy now!” approach you use with Google doesn’t work. In fact, your ad probably should not be selling anything except a relationship.
Facebook ads are likely more effective by going after the very beginning of the buying cycle, where people are learning about your product and trying to decide whether they need one. Or even further back, when they are trying to solve a problem and don’t even know what kind of product or service will do that.
Facebook is all about relationships, so a Facebook ad should be about that, too. How can you relate to prospective customers? Do you have a consultant that has frequent status updates that your customers might want to friend? Do you have an upcoming event (online or offline) that your friends are invited to? What can you do for your friends that might help them understand their problem better and start seeing your company as having the expertise to solve that problem?
If you develop a relationship through Facebook, the sales are more likely to follow than if you try to make a sale first. With Google ads, the relationship usually starts after the sale. With Facebook ads, you might need the relationship before the sale.