How do Facebook Ads Work?

By October 5, 2015Facebook, FAQs
how do facebook ads work

For those of you who have been hiding under a rock for the last ohh…. 5 years, Facebook is a social media platform that is currently used by over a billion people all across the globe. It is estimated that roughly 170 million Americans use the site every month, along with 35 million from the UK, 22 million Canadians, and 13 million Australians. This means that if you are marketing in one of these countries, you are using a medium that gives you access to a large section of the population.

Facebook Usage By Language

Facebook Usage By Language

Facebook states that they have over 1 billion users worldwide, so even if you aren’t marketing to one of the English speaking countries I’ve listed above, you will most likely still be able to market to a large proportion of the population of your target market. For example, India has around 130 million, Brazil 95 million and Indonesia 65 million users.

Users visit the site to interact with their family, friends, and co-workers. They share pictures, let everyone know what they are up to, talk about current events, or keep in touch with one another. It is accessed on all devices, including desktop computers, tablets, and mobile phones, so Facebook is usually just a second away.

There are two main reasons why Facebook is so popular. The first is that it allows people from all across the world to interact and stay in touch with one another. The second reason is that it is free. There is no cost to use Facebook, no matter how many times you log in. In order to run, Facebook relies on generating income from their advertisements. These advertisements appear in the sidebars and in a person’s news feed (the main section where other people’s updates are displayed).

By becoming an advertiser through Facebook, you can display your ads in these locations and show yourself to the millions of people using Facebook each day.

There are many ways to market your business, but currently Facebook may be one of the better options for the right business. In today’s digital world, so much activity is being performed online, that you have to have a significant online presence if you want to succeed. This means not only having a well-made website, but also a social media presence, and in all likelihood, an online advertising campaign.

For many years the online advertising medium of choice was Google. Users could create an account on Google AdWords, and advertise to people based on their Google searches. While this is still a viable method, advertising through Facebook should not be overlooked like it once was. Facebook advertising offers several advantages over Google, which may make it a better choice for your business.

The first reason is that they are an interrupting medium. This means that rather than waiting for someone to search for something related to your product or business – like you would have to with Google Ads – now you are simply popping up in something that people are already looking at.

Using Facebook Ads is kind of like advertising in a newspaper or magazine. However, unlike a print ad, at which people only look at once or twice and then throw away, a Facebook ad will continuously interrupt people every time they look at Facebook – which is for some people, several times a day.

The second reason you should consider Facebook ads is because of it’s powerful demographic targeting. Facebook has made it so you can target a very specific set of people, so that only people potentially interested in your product or service will be shown an ad. This helps to increase conversions, and cut down on costs.

For example, if you are a real estate agent, you could target people within 50 miles of your business, who are over the age of 25, and are current home owners.

Most people put their personal information into Facebook – such as their relationship status, their current employment, where they are currently living, and more – and Facebook allows its advertisers to utilize this information. When you think about other websites – such as LinkedIn, Google, or Twitter – they simply don’t have the same wealth of information about its users that Facebook does, and this is a big advantage for advertisers.

In addition to the information that people put into their Facebook profiles, Facebook also has algorithms to track their activity on Facebook. This gives advertisers even more information about their potential customers, so that you can really pinpoint who you want to market to. An example of this would be someone who runs a daycare, and wants to market to new mothers. Facebook can see when people are posting pictures of new babies, getting messages that say things like “congratulations” or any other number of factors to determine that you recently had a baby. While these methods are not fool proof, they do work in a majority of cases, which in-turn allow you to show advertisements to people who are new parents.

Pretty cool for us marketers… perhaps a little spooky for the end user.

Facebook provides all of these details to you in their program called Facebook Insights. Through this program you can begin searching for potential marketing niches, and seeing where your ads will be most effective. Once you determine your core audience, you can use Facebook demographic targeting tools to show your ads to them. Facebook Insights is an excellent tool as you don’t need to be running ads in order to use it, you just need to have a Facebook Page for your business.

The last advantage to Facebook ads (as of writing), is that they can be cost-effective when compared to other online advertising networks such as AdWords. In 90% of cases, I’m seeing lower Cost Per Click for Facebook ads over AdWords.