Should you advertise on Facebook?

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    With over 900 million users, Facebook is the leading online platform for social media. But can these users easily be converted into consumers?

    Well, yes and no. Facebook was not originally created to be a company that engages consumers. “It was built to accomplish a social mission – to make the world more open and connected,” explains Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s co-founder. “Simply put: we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.”

    Zuckerberg’s altruistic intentions do not blend well with the consumer driven market. His apparent indifference towards using his platform for ad space reflects in Facebook’s slim offerings in terms of ad formats and targeting options – key factors for driving ad relevancy. Facebook banner ads also have comparatively low click-through rates, at less than 0.05%. That means only five out of every ten thousand users will click an ad service.

    Although banner ads are an ineffective form of advertising on Facebook; there is an alternative – a free alternative. All businesses – big or small – should maintain a Facebook page. Maintain a Facebook page; do not simply have one.

    Color the page with pictures, products, promotions and special offers. Give users an incentive to “Like” your company’s page. People will tell you what they like by voting with their clicks and shares, “Likes,” and Comments. You develop and foster a sense of community when maintaining a Facebook page for your business; the same sense of community that Zuckerberg intends to preserve by devaluing the importance and prevalence of banner and pay-per-click ads on his website.

    So the answer to the question as to whether you should advertise on Facebook is YES. But stay away from banner ads and focus on developing and maintaining your business’ Facebook page. Don’t feel that Facebook is too juvenile for your established or burgeoning business. Use Facebook to extend your demographic range and to excite those who view your page. Do not try to convert Facebook users into consumers, instead, in the words of Mark Zuckerberg, “build better services” starting with your business’ Facebook page.

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