I've been trying out Facebook ads to promote Beatles Burlesque (Monday, June 12) and the Coco de Mer show (Saturday, June 21).
It's high time I made the foray into social networking advertising since this is the career I've spent the last decade working in. I find that I actually DO notice the little ads on the right-hand side when I'm on Facebook (which is A LOT) whereas I've - and I think most people have as well - become numbed by Flash banner ads on major sites like CNN, iVillage, MSN, etc. Everyone I ask say they never pay attention to those banners whereas everyone I've asked about Facebook ads say they DO notice and click on them. Some of the FB ads are horrendous, made to be ultra simple with one image, one headline, and one short blurb. It's designed inside the FB environment which makes it reallly easy to create an ad yourself but that also means anyone Tom, Dick, and Sally can make one - such as the below atrocious example of letting the mass get creative (for more examples, click here):
I come from the world of rich media campaigns with fancy rollovers, expanding skyscraper units, mini-site-in-a-box, video embedded, eyeblasters, etc etc etc, so it is really refreshing to see ads that are simple with nothing running across the page or some art director's clever trompe l'oiele spicy chicken sandwich "burning a hole" in my browser page. An effective one-hitter.
So how effective have my two ads been? Well, its only been 3 days but it is really exciting to log on every few hours to see how many clicks they've gotten. The numbers keep climbing up! Creating the ad itself is really easy. Then you can select who you want to target via age, sex, relationship status, geographic location, etc. You can further target users who may already be connected to your fan page (if you have one) or users who are NOT connected to a specific fan page. You can select how long the campaign will last, and you can specify how much money you are willing to spend a day based on clicks and/or impressions. (Clicks are when a user actually clicks on your banner and impressions just mean when the ad is served up and appears on a user's page). I have also learned some do's and don'ts in my playing around. For instance, targeting too many groups based on "interests" will limit how often your ad is served up which means less people see it and less clicks and less effective. Unless you are VERY specific and selling something like "dwarf frog fans who like to cross-dress as devil clowns" then I would suggest skipping that "Interests" part completely. If you are selling an event, you definitely want to reach as many people as possible. Facebook is also very strict about not showing nudity so I had to crop my pictures a few times until the ads were approved. Be selective about the words you choose too. They don't allow any porn or dirty words like "cum". ha ha.
One last thing, as a Facebook abuser, I don't want to leave the page. It annoys me if I click on an ad and it replaces the page I was on. So make sure you create an event page first then create an ad that links to that event instead of an external link to another site. Here's someone's write-up about how he didn't like FB ads. He has some good points. I think it's still a good place to try out your target audience, especially if you are trying to build brand awareness. FB's impressions alone is worth it.
I'm so psyched about having the weekend off to work on my new piece for Coco de Mer. Monday night is Beatles Burlesque. And based on what I'm hearing, it's going to be really packed! There may be free delicious nibbles (not niPPles) passed out at this show. :)