Facebook Advertising from Soup to Nuts — ASE 2010 Live Blogging

This session was delivered by Jeremy “Shoemoney” Schoemaker. Everything that follows this italicized paragraph is based on Jeremy’s words and presentation, and are not my own thoughts.

Facebook’s core product, i.e. what they sell, is you and your data. So they’re all about keeping you active on Facebook, growing their user-base, obtain as much user data as possible, and hoard it. This is their incentive to maintain the user experience.

In 2007, they were very open to affiliates. In 2008, they marveled at how “affiliates really know how to scale.” In 2009, they re-interpreted that as “affiliates really know how to exploit.” Now, in 2010, they are very antagonistic toward affiliates — and feel they detract from the user-experience.

Basically, Facebook started out allowing for a lot of leeway. This attracted a mass of small advertisers, which increased its profile, and in turn, attracted larger advertisers. Once they had the larger advertisers, they would prohibit the tactics they used to attract the small/affiliate guys.

In fact, many of their changes to Facebook Ads TOS are aimed at affiliates. So many of the things they allowed to attract affiliates, are now prohibitted. For instance, they outlawed advertising free-stuff. This lead to affiliates advertising free events. This would allow affiliates to collect the data of event attendees, and Facebook has prohibited this, as well.

However, big brands are being allowed to collect user info in a way that Facebook prohibit. So there seems to be two-tiers of advertisers in Facebook’s eyes.

And when it comes to seeing an ad that you think offers a loophole around Facebook Ads rules, you should avoid copy-catting because by the time you mimic it, it will probably be prohibited.

Facebook Ad Creation

There are three elements to a Facebook Ad: (1) title, (2) body, and (3) image. Jeremy focuses 70% on the image, 20% on the body, and only 10% on the title. This is based on his own personal experience with Facebook Ads. So, he has found that the image impacts an ads performance much more so than the body or the title.

In fact, Jeremy did an experiment where he sent US traffic to ad pages where some of the ads featured a cleavage pic and some foreign text. The cleavage/foregin language pics got more clicks than the non-cleavage ads that had English copy.

When you develop a Facebook ad title, keep 4 things in mind:

  • have a strong Call to Action in the title
  • maintain the “association” — i.e. if the ad is for a brand, mention the brand somewhere in the title
  • keep it consistent with the Facebook look and feel
  • and Keep it Simple — i.e. the title should be self explanatory, and not dependent on the copy to explain it

When it comes to the body, there are 3 things you should pay attention to:

  • mention Results — i.e. what the product you’re advertising will do for the user
  • reinforce the Call to Action that’s in the title
  • leverage Scarcity — i.e. “act now” or “limited offer”

Facebook also offers a choice between CPC or CPM. However, they work off a CPM average on the back-end. So, if your CPC ad isn’t generating, on average, a 23 cent CPM, they’ll drop that ad.

That being said, you always want to start with CPC because it gives you more room for trial and error — i.e. an non-compelling ad won’t cost you anything to run.

Facebook Ninja Techniques

First, you should use Facebook Reporting. It will give you all the data you need to refine your campaigns and figure out who to target more/less.

Second, consider Responder Profile Reports. This will give you more insight into the interests of people who click on your ads — e.g. the stuff they like.

Third, when it comes to capping, Facebook does not cap how many times someone can view your ad. So to prevent having your ad shown to the same people over and over again, use what you know through Responder Profile Reports to refine your ads, and weed out the kind of user that (1) isn’t clicking, or (2) clicks through but doesn’t convert.

Fourth, Day Parting is also important because if you’re running ads at a time no one is clicking on them, it will drive down your CPM and get your ad dropped.

Update: Jeremy has published his full Facebook advertising presentation on his blog.