You Got Pants, Facebook Has People

People who wear pants

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[ Social Media]

Just because a social network is popular doesn’t mean it’s so easy to monetize, as News Corp. found out after its purchase of MySpace. Analysts have tried to extend MySpace’s trouble to other social networks while balking at Facebook’s $15 billion valuation. But after speaking with Facebook’s Kent Schoen about the social network’s fairly precise ad targeting, skeptics could be won over.

Schoen, who serves as Facebook’s product marketing manager, gave WebProNews a tour of the recently launched Facebook Ads program. The advantage of social media marketing over search marketing, Schoen tells us, is the advertiser’s ability to connect with consumers over a longer period of time and in a more meaningful, targeted way.

"We know we’re going to see a person the next day or the day after," said Schoen, which is a far cry from the one-hit-wonder world of search. Or, if you’re not looking for just anybody to click your ad—as is likely to happen in the broader search ad world—you can target Facebookers based upon their stated interests or associations. "We’ve targeted people who work at Oracle in the past," Schoen gives as an example.

Facebook Ads is an auction system similar to AdWords. Advertisers bid on keywords with a maximum daily budget, or they can bid on CPM basis as well for display ads. Ads, based on contextual relevancy, will appear in various places on the site: in member news feeds, along the side of pages on the site, on user photo pages, et cetera. 

But also, advertisers can select their target audience, down to the pants they wear. Bonobos, for example, a high-end men’s pant retailer, makes a $120 pair of royal blue slacks with a white belt any man with a discerning and caring significant other would prevent him from buying. But Bonobos isn’t targeting that guy, they’re targeting Cubs fans*.

You Got Pants

When Bonobos set up their account, they were able to select the target geographic location (Illinois), age group, gender, and education level. All this information, of course, is available via Facebook profiles. They then targeted specific keywords like Cubs, Chicago Cubs, and Baseball.

Target Audience

As you can see, this is a bit more specific than the large net one has to cast into the vast search ocean. This kind of targeting can be enhanced, of course, with widgets advertisers can create for Facebook. Schoen uses a coffee shop as an example of a business creating a calendar of events for their own page, upon which Facebook users can sign up as "fans" of the business, which also extends the brand.

The next step beyond this type of audience targeting for Facebook, then, seems fairly obvious: behavioral targeting. Schoen said that while there were no specific plans currently on the table regarding behavioral targeting, Facebook was still considering behavioral options as part of their long-term strategy. 

*No offense to Bonobos or Cubs fans. Just teasing. Please no angry comments. Had they been targeting Kentucky Wildcat fans, I would have, fairly, taken that shot, too. ;-)


You Got Pants, Facebook Has People
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  • http://blabrmouth.com Robert Barr

    I get the targeting….But the pants are God awful! These guys better cast a MUCH wider net if they want to sell any of those things!

  • http://www.idahowebsitedesign.com/web-page-rankings.html Idaho Web Design

    Would be nice to see Facebook take on a few of Stumbles features also. Good read on Facebook within your article. If only we could get a standalone Facebook toolbar that would allow you to search only your Facebook contact’s fav pages, the tool would be worth it in many ways.

  • David

    With all the spam you guys send out, all you can get are two lousy comments on this one??

  • http://www.yourmyrant.com Janeth

    I’ve got a client that has used facebook for advertising and the results were pretty bad.

  • Guest

    I personally do not know one person who uses Facebook that found anything useful from an ad. In fact, most responses I have heard have been slightly offended and weirded out by the relevance of the ads in conjunction with their profile – and that is just from the people who even noticed the ads, which is a very low percentage.

    I’ve tried a few campaigns and they didn’t perform at all. Sure, I got impressions but 0 people clicking on them.

    People don’t mind advertising. And people don’t mind relevant advertising. But there is a line that can be crossed over that turns people off – and they won’t be turned off by the advertiser. They’ll turn off Facebook.

  • http://www.theatregiftvouchers.net/ theo

    program is actually very clever. Its the pay per click platform for social media. Its a damn site more relevant than Adsense or media banner campaigns. It offers real targetting options to make ads as relevant as possible. Dont knock it i say.

  • http://www.coverbonanza.com/h441/Home.html Coverbonanza

    These mega-sites could become more cost-effective alternatives to the traditional SEM campaigns on the major engines, especially considering Yahoo and Google’s new agreement and what it could mean for the future.  While the volume will likely never approach search, one could see how the ability to be extra-relevant might compensate.

  • http://www.hophunt.com Free PPC Traffic

    Facebook advertising platform will be the new

    Big G will now face its furious ad competitor.

    Let the battle begin!

  • http://www.3neutrinos.com Guest

    FACEBOOK’s name should be FACELESS BOOK. You are impressed by 15 billion dollars. There’s an old saying "A DEAD ELEPHANT IS MORE EXPENSIVE THAN A LIVE ONE". [Dead elephants have removable tuskers] . Microsfy started calling itself LIVE (everthything) just to increase its value. G is removing tuskers from FACEBOOK and you’ll see how that joint disappears.



  • Guest

    I agree with Guest – Not One Person’s comment. I use FB all the time and find the ads annoying. The ads are also not targeted, so ugly pants get marketed to people who prefer khakis.

    However, when I use social networks related to business interests relevant to me, I am much more likely to click on the ads. At the end of the day, all types of ads have their place, but we are still in the process of refining these "new-ish technologies, so FB could be on to something. Let’s see how it goes!

  • http://www.zello.us/IN/Evansville Evansville Local Search

    There are lots of people who have tried any number of media outlets without success.

    Good relavent ads will perform with enough frequency no matter what the media.

    Anything that you can do to make your advertising more relavent to the audience is a good thing.

    How well FaceBook’s targeting model will work on the whole is yet to be seen, but I think that it may be a great way to target ads.

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