I presented at a conference recently and discovered that 75% of the audience had never run a Facebook ad. While this wasn’t that surprising, I did shed a private tear for all those dealerships who are missing out on an awesome opportunity to generate leads and sales on social media. Maybe you’re one of those? Let’s change that.
Do you spend so much time discounting social media that the medium has past you by? Some find it amusing to bash social. That’s fine. As long as you understand that others witness your disdain for social media and equate it to bragging that you can’t read. Seriously, have you taken a minute to discover what’s really out there for you?
In my workshops I spend about a third of my time covering Facebook ad management. I’ve always had a knack of explaining things in ways that include and unite, rather than alienate. One thing for sure is that my mention of ads in any context usually lights up faces and that’s because ads are familiar territory. But like so many other things, ads have changed. The people that view the ads have changed. You have to change.
Facebook ads are not like traditional ads
Some of the differences are subtle. Ultimately, knowing your customer inside and out solves any issue you may have with subtleties. How well do you know your customer?
With this opportunity comes responsibility. We used to write a check to the newspaper or cable rep and assumed that was why we had people in the showroom on the weekend. We write checks to SEO and Adwords providers now and although we’ve gotten better at tracking results, in many cases dealers still don’t know how well they’re doing. Nope, today you just can’t phone it in. Facebook ads bring you closer to those that are most likely to buy from you (today or in the future) but treating it as another “launch it and leave it” proposition will get you nowhere.
There are basic components of great ads which remain intact, no matter what ad medium your using:
- Engaging Ad copy
- Remarkable Image
- Optimization and Pricing
- Analyze and Tie Back to your Goals
Facebook ads require a clear strategy and design that includes each of these components. If you’re not sure about any of these, get some expert advice. Facebook ads take an additional level of expertise when compared to traditional ads. You must recognize the differences so your campaigns will be successful.
Here are 6 fundamentals that define the difference between Facebook ads and traditional ads:
1. Facebook Ads are Social. Native advertising, where ads are integrated into the social media stream, perform very well. But remember you’re competing for attention amongst users’ friends and family so your ads better be compelling. The old “Hey, check out this new model for only $____” just won’t cut it. In the future, all advertising on social media will be native in-stream ads. The right rail and banners will disappear altogether.
2. Facebook Ads Micro-Target. When was the last time you could micro-target a specific group of people with a newspaper, radio or cable ad with any real efficacy? Being able to laser-target prospects and/or customers at a deep level is huge! Until now, Google Adwords (Pay per Click) was the only real game in town. But Pay per Click only lets you target by location and keywords. Facebook ads allow you to target by location, keywords, interests, workplace, birthdate and/or age.
3. Facebook Ads are Cheaper. Whether you’re running ads to grow your audience or targeting for a specific campaign, compared to traditional advertising and Google adwords, Facebook ads are very reasonable. A few hundred dollars a month could get you to your goal (not including the manpower to create, set up, manage and monitor the ads).
4. Facebook Ads are More Effective. Broadcasting to the masses can be like taking a fist full of cash and tossing it into the wind. Once you’ve established your business as a trusted resource by delivering awesome content that your fans want to engage with, Facebook ads become bearable to the user. The numbers don’t lie: average Click-through-rates on Facebook ads are approximately 2.o% – much higher when compared to 0.07% for Google Adwords.
5. Facebook Ads Don’t Interrupt. When placed effectively and written well, your ads are much less interruptive than traditional. Many times an ad doesn’t look like an ad, it looks like a status update. I personally enjoy having pages and products suggested to me that are within my scope of interests. I don’t have to go searching for them. If I missed a post from one of my favorite pages, I may see that post promoted and welcome it.
6. Facebook Ads Give You the Power. There is no good reason to hand over your Facebook advertising to someone else. As a former dealership executive manager, I always preferred to know everything about what I was paying for. You may feel the same way. The information is at your fingertips. Training and consulting are available (just ask me). Time, skill and effort pays off.
But this power is not to be taken lightly. Hip-shooting will come back to bite you. Trying to push spammy ads on uninterested users and fans will cause irreparable damage to your brand and reputation. As Yoda said, “A Jedi’s strength flows from the Force, but beware of the dark side.”
Once you get some traction and positive results from your Facebook ads, it will be tempting to revert back to the old model of blasting ads. Resist this temptation. Keep your brand in the light. This is NEW media and Facebook ads are a new, more effective way to generate leads and sales. Use the Force for good – to build your page, your community and your business.