Does Facebook advertising work?

Talk about the hype running away with itself. With Facebook executives saying that the site is on course to make $150 million this year you might assume that it is a brilliantly performing advertising platform. The reality it would seem is actually far from that. According to reports from Valleywag average response rates are at a shocking 0.04%. There are likely to be a number of reasons for this:

1) People are too busy interacting with eachother to click on adverts. They are creating and exploring social threads so don’t want to be distracted by corporate messages.

2) The ads are not relevant to them. As posted by Nathan previously, Why do I get dating services ads on my FB profile when I have listed my self as in a relationship?

So what can be done to overcome this? That is the question that any advertiser considering taking a presence on FB needs to consider carefully. I think there are two things (I am sure there are others, but these come to mind right now)

1) Create branded tools or areas that enable FB users to do more of what they are on FB for. In other words enable and align with existing behaviour instead of trying to force counter behaviour to what is happening on FB. Redbull’s Roshambull game is an excellent example of this. It allows users to challenge their friends to a game of “paper, scissors, rock”, provides profile status showing how much of a loser or winner you are. Even lets you “talk smack” eachother whilst playing. Hugely addictive and inherently community orientated.

2) Or alternatively, if you must advertise than define your audience and target them precisely using FB filters. Of course you are currently going to need a decent budget to do this with a minimum fee of $500,000.

Either way – the gauntlet is down to advertisers everywhere. The attraction of the growing user base projected to hit 100 million by early next year is irresistable. So, can you make Facebook work for you?

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