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What are the Different Types of Facebook Advertising?

If you are using Facebook business pages as part of your social media marketing activity, there are a number of ways to run advertising on the Facebook platform. Over the past year Facebook has tried to make the process of setting up ads more useful for advertisers, as well as adding more options to give advertisers more flexibility, but also to create more revenue options for Facebook! So, what are the main options and how can they be used?

Advertisers on Facebook can either use ads to direct users to their Facebook content, or to take them directly to their website content. Internal ads – that keep users within Facebook – tend to work better in most cases and these are called ‘engagement ads’. Anyone clicking on the advert can take an action without leaving Facebook, which is where they probably want to stay and interact within this social networking site.

There are several different types of Facebook advertising which can be used by advertisers – these are the traditional Facebook ads down the right hand column, as well as the newer options of Sponsored Stories and Promoted Posts. Each can be used in different ways, such as to build up the number of Likes, or to encourage more engagement with your content, such as commenting or sharing posts.

The traditional Engagement Ads on Facebook are the ones used to promote your business page and these usually appear down the right hand column, against the news feed of a target user. Advertisers can use a range of targeting options to try to reach the most relevant target audience, based on location, age range, interests and other factors. The ads include a link to the Facebook page (or external website) and also include a Like button, so that a strong compelling ad can attract more Likes without necessarily getting users onto the business page first.

Another ad option is Sponsored Stories – this can be used to show an advert based on a post on your business page, or a new Like by a user, and it will be displayed to your followers and their network of friends, so this is good to use once you start building up a strong network of Likes. It’s a way of getting more visibility for a post or an action (see last month’s issue about EdgeRank) and these stories can capitalise off a friend’s interaction with a Facebook page to reach more people on a personal level.

It’s important to remember that with these ads, the advertiser is less able to control all the content that is being promoted, because Sponsored Stories promote the actions of Facebook friends with a specific business page or entity with the goal of enticing Facebook members to like the same page as their friend, or friends, have. If a member or visitor interacts with a Facebook business page, this action will be promoted to a larger audience, regardless of the post’s contents. Sponsored Stories therefore promote a friend’s relationship and interaction with a page, to target and encourage a Facebook member to interact with that business and so Sponsored Stories can be effective in improving a company’s image and through emphasising customer satisfaction.

Promoted Posts are a newer advertising option on Facebook and give advertisers many different options through promoting links, photos, texts and videos. Page Post ads contain different formats that are classified as sponsored or promoted to increase the advertisers reach. Page Post ads can be used in a link form to promote a website or in a photo form to promote something like an upcoming sale.

A Promoted Post text ad gives businesses the opportunity to go into more detail about a service or product being offered. Offers in a form of an electric coupon can be included in an ad, which is redeemable for a member who clicks upon the advertisement. This form of Facebook advertising is popular amongst larger companies, as the content of the advertisement is totally controlled by the advertiser, unlike Sponsored Stories.

Facebook has also introduced Sponsored Results, which gives advertisers the chance to appear in the Facebook search results for relevant search terms. This is a very similar concept to the Google AdWords model to target searchers, and is also linked in to Facebook’s Graph Search which was introduced over a year ago to improve the search functionality within the site. At this stage, these type of ads can only be set up using the Facebook Power Editor – a tool we will be covering in a future issue of this newsletter.

If you would like to know more about how Facebook advertising can benefit your business, contact us now for more details.