I’ve been recently testing out facebook ads for a personal site of mine. It’s a music site with some free songs to give away so I wanted to get the word out through Facebook. If you’re used to Myspace for promotion then Facebook throws up some problems. Myspace is geared so that anyone can with a lot of time and effort just start adding friends to their page to build up their list of fans. The problem they’ve had with that tactic is that non musician users of myspace are now so fed up with getting bands requests that they have left the site in droves.
Facebook have been smart enough to not just let their users have free reign and limit marketing activity. The marketer coming to facebook is left with no option other than to get their wallet out. It is possible to suggest your pages to your friends but to reach outside of your own circle Facebook have their paid ads system. I started out with my ad by setting a small budget of five pounds for the day with a maximum bid of thirty five pence and let it run for that day only. From that I got 43,000 impressions, 16 clicks and 2 new fans. So that’s £2.50 per fan. Not a great investment so far but now my page is in two other peoples’ networks and will be displayed to their friends. So even after the money is spent Facebook is still promoting the page by telling the new users circle of friends that the user they know is now a fan (through friends feeds on the right hand side and permanently on the page being advertised) . At the moment though, without seeing how many new fans I end up with it’s looking like a costly affair.
A positive for getting fans for your page through this method is that you’re getting someone who is actually interested. On Myspace you can rattle off hundreds of requests but I would prefer a couple of fans who chose to become a fan rather than a hundred who just say, Yeah why not. The potential for serving ads on Facebook could one day be as promising as Google but only if Facebook can do it while not disturbing their users experience too much (Im looking at you myspace with your huge roll over graphics). They seem to have the right idea so far.