Facebook’s advertising solutions haven’t reached their full potential in part because advertisers don’t understand them well enough to achieve peak results. The system is complicated, and the concept of social advertising is new, yet outside of some webinars and .PDFs, Facebook has done little educate advertisers on how to use its Ads products.
That’s about to change, as Facebook is establishing partnerships with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Federation of Independent Business, the Wall Street Journal reports. Facebook will send representatives to local and regional offices of the two business lobbies to educate members on how best to promote themselves on the social network through its marketing and advertising products.
This education could increase understanding and trust in Facebook Ads, leading more businesses to increase their Facebook marketing spend. Such adoption could help Facebook grow the advertising revenues that fuel the company.
Next month’s initiative with the Chamber of Commerce and NFIB will coincide with Facebook giving away $10 million in $50 ad credits to small business. When the ad credit promotion was revealed earlier month, we discussed how it could lure in small businesses to experiment with Facebook ads. However, we noted the promotion would only produce long-term advertisers if Facebook paired the ad credits with the education necessary for businesses to run successful advertising campaigns.
Facebook has recently released several new advertising options that can be especially helpful to small businesses, including Broad Category Interest targeting and zip code targeting. It will also soon make a wealth of new marketing opportunities available as advertisers will soon be able to target users based on their media consumption habits in addition to their listed interests thanks to new Open Graph app protocols launched at the f8 developer conference.
While veteran Facebook advertisers will appreciate these new tools, they may make Facebook’s marketing solutions even more complicated for those without experience. Facebook seems to have recognized this, and will now be augmenting its online resources with in-person education sessions.
Google has been offering free “Seminars for Success” and other in-person education events since at least 2008 to help marketers understand its AdWords and analytics products. Some see this outreach as an important component of Google’s rise to power in the advertising world.
Employing a similar strategy, Facebook could get advertisers more comfortable targeting by interest and behavior rather than just keywords. By choosing to run its education series through two powerful lobbies, Facebook can also advance its political interests.
The choice of partnering with the Chamber of Commerce and NFIB matches with the recent news that Facebook has started its own political action committee. Keeping regulators through the PAC and lobby relationships will help keep regulators at bay so Facebook can continue to monetize user data through ad targeting.