Facebook Marketing: Good Outweigh the Bad?

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Facebook is a very hot topic among markets and consumers. It’s seems every other day they are in the trades for something. Whether it be a new ad type, platform, or reporting discrepancy – you just can’t seem to get away from Facebook. So here’s our take on the Facebook marketing platform.

THE GOOD

People are there

With the fragmentation of media, it’s becoming more difficult to find your audience and reach them effectively and efficiently. There are more than 1 billion people on Facebook each day spending an average of 35 minutes with the platform. So needless to say, your audience is there.

Facebook also has a lot of information about your audience – what they like, what they don’t like, what they share, comment on and engage with. These social actions tell us a lot about consumers and how to connect with them. The Facebook Audience Insights report can provide Demographics, Interests, Household make up, and In-Market status for your audiences (site visitors, custom audiences, followers).

Extensive Targeting

Outside of the digital space, with other traditional reach media, the targeting capabilities are very limited and come with a lot of wasted impressions. Because of the rich data and the quantity of user interactions, Facebook is able to hyper target your desired audience with accuracy and at scale.

A Native Experience

Similar to the success Google has seen with their ad product, Facebook has formatted their ad placements in a way that looks and feels at home with the platform. They are not disrupting the user experience to show them an ad. So ads on this platform are not blocked or looked at as an annoyance.

THE BAD

Tracking

Facebook is what some call a “walled garden”. They are very protective of their audiences and want to keep them within their own walls. So from a third-party tracking and reporting perspective, it’s really difficult to get a full picture of how your social campaigns are contributing to your overall marketing mix.

Reporting

Facebook’s reporting suite is very robust as you’re able to slice and dice the data in thousands of different ways. However, due to the lack of transparency into other marketing efforts, the number of conversions reported in the platform are not being deduped against everything else, and are thus inflating their direct impact on conversion.

As a general rule, we look to Facebook for reach and engagement metrics (impressions, unique reach, and ad engagement-shares, likes, comments, etc.) – their direct relationships with consumers gives them the most accurate source of data for this type of information. However, for performance metrics (website clicks, conversions, purchases), we recommend looking to a third-party data source, ad server or analytics, to evaluate a more direct attribution of conversions. Especially if you are running other digital campaigns, a third-party tracking partner will dedup conversions across all campaigns to ensure there is no double counting of actions.

Viewability

Viewability is another hot topic in the display space. The IAB has been working to develop standards across all digital media platforms, including desktop, mobile, and video. As it stands now, Facebook does not offer any viewability targeting or reporting within the dashboard. They have integrated with MOAT, Integral Ad Science, comScore, and Nielsen if you have interest in adding this third-party reporting to your campaigns. Unlike Google Adwords, who has added this type of reporting into their platform, this would come with an additional charge.

HOW LOCATION3 IS LOOKING AT FACEBOOK

In this case, the good definitely outweighs the bad, but it’s important to understand your goals for the campaigns. We look to Facebook to help us achieve our more upper-funnel goals of reach and engagement. Facebook allows us to get in front of new audiences, people who are just starting their research process, or audiences that are seeking out additional opinions or options, in a quick and affordable way. There are less barriers to entry with creative and minimum-required spend. And depending on your audience and targeting parameters, CPC/CPM may also be lower.

Overall, Facebook is a great platform to reach your audience – just make sure you have a second opinion in terms of performance data.

 

About Robin Arlen

A lover of all media and addict of the digital world, Robin leads our display team. When she's not strategizing the best media campaigns, she can be found on Colorado's many biking and running tails training for her next triathlon or half marathon.

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