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Facebook has been making great strides in further monetizing their platform. With stock prices down and a few recent acquisitions under their belt, it’s becoming increasingly more necessary to build onto the already pre-established advertising capabilities.

With much focus being on ‘organic growth’ and ‘engagement’ stemming from their Sponsored Story Ad Units, it only makes sense to compliment the organic with Paid Search. Many users utilize Facebook Search to navigate to brand pages – Facebook is now making it easier to have a specific brand page bubble to the top for keywords, and also brand terms.

Re-targeting has been around for a number of years and millions of internet users fall victim to it on a daily basis, most without even realizing. Traditionally, re-targeting is the act of showing specific, highly targeted ad units, to users who have been to a website and have made it into the conversion funnel, but may have dropped out of it for a number of reasons.

If you bailed on your shopping cart after the cost of shipping was shown to you, you may see an ad for that specific product while surfing on the web, visiting a news site, etc.

Now, Facebook wants a piece of the action.

If a user visits a website and leaves, marketers now have an opportunity to re-target these users while they are on Facebook! Take a look at the deep dives below and feel free to share whether or not you find this type of targeting to be ethical from a marketer and end-user perspective.

RE-TARGETING

Re-Targeting capabilities appear to be coming to Facebook. Huge opportunity for brands to continue the conversation with users, long after they have left your website.

Here's how it would work: According to TechCrunch, Facebook user visits a third-party website, such as a travel site where they view prices for a hotel in Hawaii. That website drops a cookie on the user’s browser, and then hands a demand side platform (DSP) the complementary cookie. The DSP identifies the user to Facebook and tells it that it wants to advertise to them the next time they visit Facebook.

It’s worth noting that Facebook is not currently allowing re-targeting partners to layer its standard biographical ad targeting parameters on top of retargeting. That means a DSP can’t say it only wants to target users who’ve received a cookie and are 25 to 45 year old males. This might be because Facebook refuses to give personally identifiable data on its users to advertisers.

If it allowed the coupling of standard targeting and retargeting by admitting partners who do both, those ad platforms might be able to deduce characteristics of Facebook users and combine them with cookie-data to create stunningly accurate profiles of visitors to their site.

Facebook doesn’t want those DSPs to be able to turn around the Facebook bio data to improve their targeting of users outside of Facebook.com. But a different source says Facebook does want to let advertisers combine retargeting and bio data so they can serve more relevant ads on Facebook.com as long as it’s in a way that doesn’t jeopardize user privacy.

So far, App Nexus, Ad Roll and a dozen other DSPs are working to integrate Facebook retargeting into their framework. We will keep you updated with any and all developments.

PAID SEARCH

On August 22nd, Facebook officially launched its own version of PPC search ads, called Sponsored Results. While Facebook hasn't yet made any public mention of the launch, the social network did send announcements to some marketers officially mentioning the release of the new advertising feature. Advertisers taking advantage of Facebook's new search ads can target searchers who are looking for specific apps, Facebook pages, and places, and they have the ability to include a link in the search results that directs searchers to their own app, page, custom page tab, or page post.

These PPC search results are clearly marked as 'Sponsored' at the top of the ad. Before implementing this capability into the Facebook fabric, the search algorithm would have to be tweaked to become more precise. in addition, users aren’t using Facebook to necessarily perform searches – users are looking to locate a page with a specific destination in mind. Having listings come up that are not directly relevant could aggravate end users as noted by HubStop.

Will you be giving Paid Search or Re-Targeting a try once the features are rolled out? Why or why not?

Brian Reilly

Published 11 September, 2012 by Brian Reilly

Brian Reilly is an Account Manager and Social Media Lead for Revolution Digital, a full-service digital shop in NJ. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.

9 more posts from this author

Comments (7)

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Matt

Interesting way for a blog that wants to be a thought leader within digital marketing to describe re-marketing "...millions of internet users fall victim to it on a daily basis". Are people who see adverts in the Google SERPs victims?

about 4 years ago

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Rob Harrison

People who click on adverts they see on Google wont purposefully click one unless they are interested so I think it only makes sense now that Facebook have shareholders to answer to that they monetize as effectively as they can as long as they do not fundamentally change the Facebook experience and abandon their users.

about 4 years ago

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Rob Harrison

*see on facebook

about 4 years ago

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Ross Bradley

Will "Search targeting" be a 'next step' for Facebook?

With access to billions of daily search queries who is likely to provide FB an anonymous (almost click-fraud free), totally friction-less global marketplace to enable marketers with this new and exciting option?

Looking Confident

about 4 years ago

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Tommy Griffith

Social ads and paid search are great stand alone marketing tools but when used together they can be very powerful. I will wait for next action of Google I read some articles that Google ads lose some credibility.

about 4 years ago

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Matt Lovell, Head of Group Analytics & Digital Insight at Thomas Cook Group AirlinesEnterprise

One of the pluses I can see with the retargeting is at least you're getting your ads in view.

That said, given how ridiculously low CTRs are on Facebook ads anyway (users generally have a reason for being on facebook and have learnt to ignore the ads so until they start making an appearance as sponsored stories, I'm sceptical as to whether it will actually drive much growth in an already overused (and poorly overused) retargeting market.

With the Search side of things, I think relevance is going to become too key to make it a huge success - after all, if I search for something on Facebook and get a completely irrelevant sponsorsed story i'm only going to ignore it and be ever so slightly more annoyed by FB!

about 4 years ago

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Brittany

Hi Brian, thanks for the article. Just a note: your last link says, "as noted by HubStop," but the company is called HubSpot. A great update otherwise!

about 4 years ago

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