Merry will be speaking about Facebook Advertising at the April SEMpdx event (April 12th @ 4:30). Tickets are available now.

1)       Please give me your background & tell us what you do for a living.

Born, raised & currently live in the frozen tundra that is Minnesota. I have a degree in Marketing from University of MN, Duluth where I first met Marty (Weintraub) who introduced me (and our Advertising Marketing Club, consisting of colleague Manny Rivas) to Online Marketing. At aimClear we are cross-trained to do just about everything in the Online Marketing realm but Facebook Marketing is where I really dug in my heals & found my niche. I’ve spoken at SMX Advanced, London, SMX East, the aimClear Facebook Marketing Intensive and have presented multiple webinars for Search Marketing Now on Facebook Advertising.

Recent blog posts:

SEW: http://searchenginewatch.com/3642087

aimClear:
http://www.aimclearblog.com/2011/02/14/why-new-facebook-a-handicap-marketers/
http://www.aimclearblog.com/2010/12/22/new-fb-profiles-means-better-targeting-for-marketers/
http://www.aimclearblog.com/2010/12/15/amplify-facebook-ad-targeting-with-social-synonyms/
http://www.aimclearblog.com/2010/09/10/facebook-marketing-to-the-lunatic-political-fringe/

2)       When people tell you that they don’t want to advertise in Facebook because the Facebook ecosystem doesn’t relate at all to their business, how do you respond to that?

Half of the United States is on Facebook and older people are joining in droves, it’s not just a platform for 20 year old college kids anymore. 

It really depends on your advertising goals & product or service. Your customers ARE there, yes, even in the B2B space. You may not get direct leads or direct sales if your product/service has a long buying cycle, but branding yourself in Facebook is dirt cheap (now) but will not last.

3)       What are some “Facebook Ad Best Practices” that people who might have only used AdWords / AdCenter might not intuitively know?

I see a lot of accounts that treat Facebook Campaigns like Campaigns which can get incredibly messy in Facebook’s interface. I treat Facebook Campaigns like AdGroups therefore that Campaign has many ads but target to only one “segment” or targeting grid.

Exhaust your “interests” when creating a segment. Facebook doesn’t act like Search PPC where if your broad match Keyword is “Justin Bieber” you’ll get everyone searching for Justin Bieber anything. In Facebook if you select “Justin Bieber” for an interest you’ll get JUST that & miss out on the young ladies (or gents) who are in the group: “Justin Bieber <3” or “Justin Bieber is Sexy:).” You’ll also miss the fans who typed in “Beiber.”

Facebook is NOT Search. Don’t expect the same results with a different animal. When mapping your Search PPC campaign to Social Ads in Facebook realize, for example, if you’re selling hearing aids not many people will be interesting in “hearing aids” but those who identify themselves as Grandparents, interested in hearing loss associations or are caregivers would be great segments to go after.

4)       Businesses advertising on Facebook can choose to send folks to either an Internal Facebook Page or an External URL.  Can you discuss the pros and cons of each?

Again, it depends on your objectives.

I’ve seen great case studies showing the growth of fans when advertising a Facebook Page because there’s that great social proof element saying “Shelly Walters(your pal)” Likes This with the ubiquitous thumbs up.

When advertising a Page you’re also keeping them in their ecosystem of being ON Facebook.

Con is (and it’s a big one): You can’t edit the headline! I bet(hope) Facebook will change this as any marketer knows if the headline isn’t solid chances are users won’t even read the copy let alone click.

Another Con: you’re essentially paying Facebook for traffic TO Facebook. Granted it’s your Facebook page, but use those clicks (and money) wisely and get them on your site.

5)       Can you discuss the factors involved in deciding whether your ad will or will not be shown?  Is it only “amount of bid” or do other factors come into play?

It’s difficult to shoot for the “#1 spot” in Facebook Advertising. Facebook essentially took away the #1 spot for advertisers (top right corner) with the new Sponsored Stories.

I do believe bidding higher will get you more premium spaces. We’ve experienced campaigns where we bid on the high end, received much better CTR and the actual CPCs were drastically lower than the bid.

Facebook will also spank you (read: charge you more) if users have expressed negative sentiment towards your ad.

There is a Facebook Quality Score, but good luck trying to find out what it actually is. J

6)       On the AimClear blog, there are a large number of posts that go exhaustively into Facebook Demographics for a particular subset of people.  Is there some overarching message you all are trying to impart to your readers with these posts?

Yes! For several reasons actually:

1.       It illustrates that yes, you can target a variety of things aside from what someone is merely interested in. For example you can target job titles in Facebook. Someone who is interested in “eMarketer” isn’t “interested” in actual emarketers as a people they ARE an “emarketer”.

2.       The concept of social synonyms is something advertisers, who go into Facebook, need to wrap their heads around. Say you’re advertising a product that uses recycled materials, target those who like “recycling” etc, but also go after Interest related to: Green Peace, Going Green, Conservation, Ecology, Eco-friendly, Alternative Energy, Save the Earth, people who read Rachel Carson Silent Spring or even people who are pissed off at BP for the oil spill.

3.       I believe in segmenting interest as you would with AdGroups. Those interested in “Going green” have a different level of passion and perhaps knowledge than someone who’s interested in “conservation.”

4.       It also illustrates that you need to exhaust segments as I mentioned before to capture the market.

Todd Mintz
Todd Mintz knows PPC...knows Social Media...knows SEO...knows Blogging...knows Domaining...and knows them all real well. He runs growth marketing for <a href="https://www.position2.com"Position2)and is also a Director & Founding Member of SEMpdx: Portland, Oregon's Search Engine Marketing Association, and he can be found here on Twitter and Facebook.
Todd Mintz

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