Facebook Ads – Reaching Prospects Early

SES San Jose 2009 Review:
Facebook Ads – Reaching Prospects Early in the Decision Making Process

My second session was presented by well-spoken Sarah Smith, Manager of Online Sales Operations at Facebook. The Stanford grad reviewed ways to increase CTR as well as some of the current features Facebook offers. She outlined how Facebook advertising is quite different than search engine advertising, citing it as “demand generation” (AKA the less sexy Interruption Marketing).

Sarah mentioned that the “thumbs down” action, when engaged on your ad, will end up costing you more as Facebook is trying to deter you from placing non-productive ads. In the future Facebook is also looking to report the thumbs up and thumbs down stats on your dashboard. She also recommended refreshing ad creative more frequently as stats are showing a high rate of decay for ads that don’t.

Here is what she suggests to increase CTR:

  • Ask questions in the ad text
  • Avoid over capitalization
  • Include a strong call to action
  • Mention offer or discount code (using third party applications such as Wildfire)
  • Don’t use “%” as stats are showing adverse reactions
  • Get creative with your targeting (ex. don’t target users listing “conservative” political views but people who are interested in Sarah Palin)
  • CTR .05%-.04% is reaching the poor performance

Increase Facebook CTR Slide

I did ask Sarah if Facebook had plans for a real-time search based on non-friends statuses–I said non-friends because I couldn’t remember if Facebook has a friends status search or not–I just tried to find out on Facebook and I don’t think it does, pending me figuring out the usability–she unfortunately said she wasn’t part of “that development” and had no information.

The main reason I asked is because about a month ago one of my “friends” status vaguely mentioned the passing of a childhood acquaintance of ours. Needless to say I didn’t want to just ask the person as the topic was quite touchy and the “friend” was someone who I hadn’t talked to in over 10 years. At the time I really wanted to search all my friends status’ to get more info but didn’t know how to.

I also think if Facebook had real-time search it would be great way to introduce networking and like minded people, similar to what Twitter has done.

Oh well at least I didn’t ask her if Facebook plans to comply with the Canadian Privacy Investigation by Aug 17th.