In my last post, I argued that the growth of Facebook is such that marketers can no longer ignore it as a platform. However, I also mentioned that it is much less mature than search marketing, and as such best practice techniques aren’t as well developed.

So in this post I’m sharing my thoughts on how best to use this fast emerging channel most effectively, based on how we see agencies and advertisers using our platform to manage Facebook campaigns.

Cross-reference targeting options when reporting 

The ability to target groups of people on granular levels, such as age, location or even favourite bands naturally brings a wealth of opportunity to marketers. However, ensure you cross-reference these targeting options when reporting.

What we regularly see is that advertisers will find particular combinations of age group, gender, location or any other targeting options that are converting particularly well for them and others that are converting poorly.

When you identify these converting “sweet spots” concentrate your budgets and efforts there whilst removing budget from the poorly converting demographics. In much the same way you would with keywords in search marketing, which brings me on to my next point…

Use search marketers to run your campaign

We regularly see Facebook Advertising campaigns being run by the same people that run online display campaigns. While Facebook Advertising, in my eyes, is a hybrid of online display advertising and search, the skills needed to effectively run campaigns are mostly held by search marketers.

By their very nature, search marketers have the ability to be very granular and numbers focused, that is why you will never see a good search marketer with less than two screens in front of them full of data. They love to get down and dirty with the detail of data driven campaigns, and understand how different creative and targeting has an impact on conversion, which is exactly what Facebook Advertising needs.

Constantly rotate and test ad creative 

Users average over seven hours a month on Facebook, so ads are presented much more regularly than on other platforms. Because of this, it doesn’t take long for users to become “blind” to ad creative. Additionally, if your ad has low click-through rates Facebook may look to serve the ad less than newer ads without performance history.

Rotating creative is important to keep ads fresh and quality scores high. Facebook themselves suggest moving around images and copy every couple of days to encourage clicks. Serving a variety of ads to the same target group can also help you hone in on the messaging and images that make an impact on particular segments and lead to conversions.

Treat Facebook as an extension of your search marketing campaign

As we’ve already identified, Facebook campaigns should be run by search marketers. However, it shouldn’t just be the management; the reporting should also be rolled into the same reporting as search marketing.

Obviously all digital marketing should be considered across channels, but I believe this is particularly prevalent for search and Facebook advertising. I think that Facebook can give personality to search campaigns. It can help you understand who the people clicking on your search adverts are, and why they might be behaving the way they are.

As we’ve already discussed there are also many ways that search can inform your Facebook campaigns. However, one aspect of search I didn’t mention that can impact advertising on the site is Google’s content network, which can really help inform your targeting.

We’ve identified some of the early best practice techniques being adopted by agencies and advertisers when it comes to Facebook Advertising. But remember this is still an immature advertising platform and there is a long way to go in developing best practice.

So stay tuned as I hope to share a lot more over the next year as we start to learn more about how best to exploit the potential of Facebook’s advertising platform.