Facebook’s Offense Just Isn’t Strong Enough to Win Advertisers’ Faith

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros


Facebook is a pillar in social media, with an announced 900 million users. Being at the forefront of any market carries clout, and since Tuesday, June 6, Facebook has been using their global following as foundation in defending the effectiveness of Facebook advertising.

Criticism of Facebook’s efficiency in PPC marketing has lingered in the air for months now. Many believe Facebook just isn’t worth a dip into their online marketing budget.

Due to securities regulation, Facebook could not make statements defending their advertising services while undergoing the process of filing for initial public offering. Tuesday marked the end of Facebook’s time under regulation.

With the restriction lifted, Facebook jumped into an offensive public relations campaign to prove that they deliver returns on marketing budgets and deserve their position in advertising.

The byproduct of Facebook’s PR strategy to defeat the naysayers is a compilation of studies (conducted by Nielson and comScore) and white papers that tote too-good-to-be true percentages and create images of unrealistic ROIs.

One study even supports a promise of an average 65% increase in brand recall if marketers only improve the focal point, brand link and tone in their ads.

Big numbers. Huge possibilities…

Realistically, it’s all possibilities. Little probability. Yet, Facebook declares that marketers will see similar outcomes if they just apply the fundamentals of marketing.

Nice shot on Facebook’s end at passing the blame.

Marketing pioneer, John Wanamaker once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”

Similarly, an old adage:  Only 10% of advertising is effective, you just don’t know which 10%.

Alas, the problem with Facebook advertising .

As Facebook shares the big numbers in their studies, they fail to mention that their 900 million users won’t all be a part of your audience.

Of 900 million Facebook users, many have not returned to their profiles since creating it. Another load rarely ever logs in, making the purpose of Facebook advertising– to build brand preference and propensity– inapplicable. There’s more. Another percentage of users don’t spend enough time on Facebook during each log in to notice ads.

Now consider what the very basics of marketing teach us: as an advertiser, you can’t be all things to all people. Narrowing down an audience by age, sex, location, interests, etc., will leave you with a fraction.

It is just as the old adage tells us. A targeted audience gleaned from Facebook’s database of users will be a percentage of 900 million. Only that percentage will work for you.

In smaller, niched and local markets, advertisers may find cost per conversion too high, making Facebook advertising a waste of time.


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