Socialize Conference: Facebook Advertising for Results and ROI

Today at Socialize Toronto, there was a great discussion discussing the role of Facebook ads in business, with a panel of experts on the subject.  The panel included Hussein Fazal, CEO of Facebook Ad platform AdParlor, Seth Lieberman, CEO of Pangea Media, Nikhil Sethi, the Co-founder of Adaptly, Veronica Stecker, the media manager for Gordmans, Mario Zelaya, the Managing Director for Majestic Media and it was moderated by Brian Carter, the CEO of FanReach.

The panel was valuable, and I’ve included some of the key questions and answers below.  Take a look and take some notes!

What makes Facebook Ads profitable?

Hussein mentioned that first, you need to set your goal up front, but it’s key to have a way of tracking conversions and heading towards that conversion goal.  Secondly, what is that conversion worth to you?  You should know by demographic how much each user is worth to you — how will it convert to sales?  Make sure you have the tracking set to watch the user all the way through the funnel and measure whether it works for you.

Veronica mentioned the personal connection — if you work with local, regional targeting or sponsored stories then you’re going to have a much better click through rate.  The key is to get engagement from existing fans.

Seth mentioned that the lead, the “like” is only the top of the funnel and you need a plan to turn that lead into money.  It’s all about how do you drive them to your ultimate goal — no matter what that goal is.

For big brands, Mario mentioned it’s more difficult to determine whether an Infiniti user is buying a car because of their Facebook like, but at least measure their activity within the campaign because that can help you understand the user better.  Nikhil pointed out that ROI depends on your business.  He also pointed out the big mistake was that a business would try to use a strategy for product sales on Facebook to sell a service.

Do you measure the impact FB Ads had on real engagement?

Veronica talks about her real life commerce channel, and talked about how they can measure ROI even though they don’t sell everything online — couponing and sign up for newsletters and making ROI estimates.

What’s the biggest mistake people make with Facebook Ads?

Veronica mentioned extreme couponing.  Mario mentioned misleading ads where people ask you to ‘win two ipads’ is misleading and they’ll fall on their face.  Mario saw Scotiabank using a girl in a bikini to get people to your landing page — that’s terrible for the brand.

Hussein talked about people using what works in search on Facebook — they’re not the same.  Something with deep engagement may work on search.  You don’t expect someone to fill out a twenty field form off a Facebook ad — that won’t work.  Make a multi-plan strategy, get the fans first and then retarget and go deeper.

Seth says people don’t plan the after-Like situation.  We’ve seen a lot of people fail when they use an ad to bring someone off of Facebook and then forgetting to keep the Facebook Connect integration available off of FB with FB logos or friend’s comments, etc.

Veronica said to not use your FB as just a blasting pad — you need to let your users act and comment.   Nikhil pointed out a situation where a bank client told him that they don’t do social because “people don’t like us,” but you have to be ready to address that and improve your image.

Hussein pointed out that you can’t use reach and frequency because you run various campaigns and they can overlap with each other, and therefore it’s difficult to measure.  He prefers cost per acquisition.

Do you combine FB with other channels.

FB advertising is just one channel, we’ve got direct email, Twitter and they’re all going to drive users to one of our landing pages.  The panellists are still trying to make sure we’re giving each customer the appropriate offer and determining which one works.

Mario says it has to be integrated with other mediums like a direct mailer that helps back up the Facebook app for Nissan Infiniti.  He talked about integrating the Facebook ad on the flyer so that they head over to FB and see a customized page for this specific flyer.  Look at TV, Radio, Direct mail and FB into one campaign.
What about those FB ads where people use images that they don’t use?

Hussein pointed out that Facebook is not being too diligent at this point, but if the image author made a claim Facebook will help them.  This will come soon likely, but it’s not there yet.

Seth said it might be better to “beg for forgiveness than ask for permission” with Facebook ads.

Can Facebook ads effectively work for B2B as opposed to B2C?

Nikhil says even if you’re the IT Director for Cisco and you’re browsing Facebook, you’re not looking for a solution for Cisco.  He mentioned LinkedIn might be the better place.

Hussein pointed out that there is a broad category for small and medium business owners, and that may help.  Search may be better for B2B.  Brian said you can actually put the job title into your ad targeting and search; he felt that could work, as long as it’s part of a cohesive effort.