Facebook Advertising Guidelines: Do They Really Help?

Facebook, with its millions of subscribers, seems to be the perfect place to attract customers and attention. Some even consider diverting money from their AdWords budget to Facebook advertising. You can find plenty of articles on the Internet offering Facebook advertising guidelines. If you go ahead sticking to those guidelines, you may (and most probably, “will”) end up losing your money.

That might sound a little odd but the truth is – the Facebook Ad Model needs a major upgrade. In this write-up, I intend to show you:

  • Why the Facebook ad model may not work for you as such
  • How to get for optimal results out of Facebook marketing/advertising model.


Is The Facebook Ad Model Good For You?

The question should be, is there any solid ad model in place! My observation says they do not use the resources at their disposal. They, other than Google, follow you all over the Internet to gather information about your likes and dislikes. But I don’t think they utilize that knowledge/data properly.

For many, investing in Facebook has been a waste of money owing to the below factors:

  1. Plenty of fake profiles
  2. Irregular users who use Facebook only as a conversation platform
  3. New users without much information in their profile – especially, in the “Likes” section

For those who do not know, the LIKE section contains what all pages (in other words, what companies, organizations, music and other services) the user opted in to receive updates for. There are many users, who go for more of friends than liking pages. This behavior makes the current Facebook ad model a fail as it seems undecided on what ads to place in the right bar.

Facebook Ad Model – Playing Blind

In my quest to research Facebook Ad Model, I asked several of my contacts on Facebook about the number of friends they have, the number of Likes they have and finally, if the ads in the right sidebar are interesting.

The end results were:

  1. For many, Facebook adverts are totally unrelated to their interests and don’t appeal. This is the group that has less than 20 “Likes”!
  2. People who have “liked” plenty of pages (above 20) say the ads in the right bar are good and they tend to click on the ads for discovering more information.

I deduce two points from the above:

  1. Facebook Ad Model depends highly on the number of “Likes” from the target users and without the “Likes”, it has no clue of users’ interests
  2. Facebook DOES NOT scan the regular “status updates” for keywords?!

The second point is unbelievable. Why would Facebook not scan for keywords to note down the interests of its users? Everyone, including tiny companies, does it and as such, Facebook is a whole universe of emotions flowing uninterrupted! Reflecting on that, I would rephrase the second point above: Facebook does not make [good] use of all the resources it has at its disposal!

In short, the Facebook ad model needs a major overhaul. It needs to make better use of resources at its disposal. Do not believe me. Go ahead and create a profile and see how they serve ads. Ads are totally irrelevant until you like a considerable number of pages so that it becomes visible that you are interested in certain types of business, music, celebrities and services etc.

Summary: Should You Invest In Facebook Adverts?

Before you go ahead and invest in Facebook, play around a little with small budgets and see which type of pages work for you. There is no solid template you can use. Instead, run a research on what are your prospects doing on Facebook and then, come up with a custom plan that incorporates a number of fallbacks. I mean, if plan does not work for a fixed duration (one to three months), change the course and keep on changing until you start getting proper ROI (Return on Investment) – either as results of your research or as a result of Facebook Ad Model upgrade!

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN