Facebook Ads: Are they Worth It?
Ugh. Ads. I think we all hate them. Especially when Facebook likes to use its users as fodder for getting more likes for their customers, people begin to really, really hate ads. I’ve been wondering lately if people’s hatred of ads on Facebook is enough to make it not worth it for businesses to buy ads.
From what I’ve read, the first thing you need to do as a potential ad-buyer is figure out your motivation. Do you want to sell a product or do you simply want to accumulate likes? Facebook seems to be more effective for the latter and could, in that case, be extremely useful for a band, organization, or university.
This article was extremely helpful in explaining the different kinds of Facebook ads that a business can look into buying:
- Like Ads – Like ads allow the people who view your ads to “Like” your brand through the advertisement, resulting in both a “Like” for your brand’s Facebook and a share in the viewer’s News Feed (which can lead to additional exposure and social proof).
- Poll Ads – Poll ads include a voting feature within the ad that enables viewers to share their thoughts and opinions on your ad content or brand. As with the like ads, the poll option that each viewer selects appears on his News Feed, increasing the eyeballs on your brand’s name.
- Event Ads – Event ads are typically used by major corporations to advertise things like band tours, movie releases and other big promotions. Viewers of these ads can “RSVP” to each event ad, with their selections – again – being shared in their News Feeds.
- Sampling Ads – Sampling ads offer viewers a very clear call to action by enabling companies to offer free samples of their product via Facebook ad.
- Video Comment Ads – Similar to the sampling ads, video comment ads automatically deploy a video for the viewer to watch when clicked. When the video is done, viewers can leave their comments or share the video with friends (both of which result in additional exposure).
- Standard Ads – Standard ads, as you might expect, are the simplified versions of these options. There’s no polling features and no pop-up videos – just the opportunity for users to click through to the brand’s Facebook page or to an external page.
These types of ads serve completely different purposes and likely have varying levels of effectiveness, but for university use I would say that the best possible ads would probably be “Like Ads” and “Event Ads.” One of my office’s biggest problems is outreach; we have a huge student body and very little ability to reach out to every single one of them. However, a huge number of people, especially college students, have a Facebook page. A simple Like Ad could alert people to the fact that yes, we do have a Facebook and yes, it is active.
Part of my job is also marketing for events. An “Event Ad” allows people to RSVP, which could be useful for us and useful for students who want to reach out and get more involved on campus.
Definitely something to think on. If we end up utilizing Facebook Ads I’ll write a follow-up.