Considering Facebook Advertising

At the end of my recent failed political campaign for Texas State Senate, I took out a few Facebook ads which I believe to have been moderately successful.

The first was early in the campaign after launching my campaign Facebook site. The ad was to all anyone in the United States who had listed “Libertarian” in their profile. Within four days I had gone from 150 friends of the site to over 600. The ad cost me $100 and while I do not think anyone who “liked” the page from this ad donated money, several become regular contributors the conversation on the site lending it higher credibility to subsequent visitors who did, in fact contribute.

The second ad was over the five day period before Election Day. In created an ad specifically targeted at the four major cities in the Senatorial District in which I was running and it excluded people who were already friends of the page. In all, I received 1,227,893 impressions over this critical five day period. I am certain that this helped my campaign with name recognition and increased my overall vote total.

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What I find so fascinating about this is the ad engine works 180 degrees differently that Google Adwords. With Adwords, you are trying figure out what a prospect might type into the search box, with Facebook, you are selecting the criteria of the intended target audience. It is very powerful.

imageAs an example, I created an ad for everyone over the age of 18 in the state of Texas who listed “Accounting” as a interest. As you can see this ad, if I ran it would target 8,440. Not a large number, but certainly a very targeted list.

I see this as assisting not only prospecting, but in the creation of candidate pools for jobs.

If any of you have additional experience with Facebook ads and care to share your results, I would love to hear about them.

3 thoughts on “Considering Facebook Advertising

  1. Hi Ed, I completely agree on the targeted power of FB ads. It is also a great basic research tool for any business that has clearly identified their target audience. Considering opening an Italian Restaurant in Austin and you wanna know how many people in Austin and Italian food enough to mention it – check FB. – Its a great reference point.

    My experience with FB ads is that they work best for free stuff – information, seminar registrations, giveaways. Things that are free but cost time, like surveys, work less well. Selling via a facebook ad is still not really cost effective for a small business unless it is a really high margin product.

    Glad you kept the candidates honest!

    Dan Kraus
    Leading Results, Inc

  2. Dan, excellent additions to the post, thank you! I especially think you are right about the idea of giving away something for free as part of this type of ad. I would not envision an ad that read, “Looking for mid-market ERP, click here.”

    Curiously, I designed my political ad to NOT get clicked. The ad included language about giving to the campaign, and I knew this would deter people from clicking. My strategy was to create a ton of impressions (which it did) to help with name recognition. I think it worked.

    I just got an email from the county board of elections. In early voting I pulled just under 15 percent of the vote. On Election Day, I pulled a little over 16 percent. The ad ran the four days preceding Election Day and did not run during early voting (hey, I did not have enough money, sound familiar). I think it is clear it had some impact.

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