Facebook Ad Campaigns – Pay Per Click – pay to play in the social media sandbox.

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Back on December 8th, 2009 I wrote a blog post that discussed all the basic ways an employer could create and target a Pay Per Click ad campaign on Facebook and I featured a local employer, Christiana Care Health System, with an example Facebook Ad.

Since my December blog post, Christiana Care Health System’s Fan Page (ahem, ‘Facebook Page’) has increased its fan base from the low 70s to 723 Fans (or Likers – whatever—you get the point). The PPC campaign evolved over time with a conservative budget. The primary goals were to increase the number of fans within specific targeted skill set groups (Nursing, OT, PT, etc.). And, depending upon the specialty and the ‘demand’ level of the open positions, the campaigns were focused locally or nationally.

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The PPC launched with rave reviews from the client and continues to this day with weekly modifications according as dictated by the specific for hiring needs (which can change priority daily or weekly).

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Local competitors (and their employees!) were targeted, geographic reach was expanded, members of specific associations were located, social groups uncovered and many other ongoing modifications all within the Facebook ecosystem.

Within the past few weeks, Facebook has made major announcements regarding their Open Graph platform and the transition away from the term “fan” to the nuevo term “Like.” (What’s really driving these changes is an increased capability to more precisely target your advertising dollars…and in turn, give Facebook larger amounts of cash. But, that’s another one of my posts. Taking into account these new changes and the fact that launched a number of PPC campaigns for a variety of recruiting and marketing goals, I thought I’d share with you some of my experiences, frustrations and take aways (without giving away any ‘trade/employer secrets’):

  • People will click on your Ad but might not become a “Fan” or “Liker” – don’t get too frustrated, it takes time and tweaking.
  • I like Facebook’s geography targeting capabilities. The ad system offers a variety of methods to target finite groups (within 10, 20 or 50 miles to a specific zip code or city) or entire states for that matter.
  • However, Facebook’s ‘Likes and Interests’…I like ‘not so much.’ (The problem I’ve encountered lies within Facebook’s key word suggestions that depends on what keystrokes you type – or mistype.) Facebook states, “Likes & Interests targeting is based on information users list in their Facebook profiles like favorite movies and music, groups and Pages they have connected to and other information they have shared on the site. It also includes religion, political views and occupation/job title.” I find that as the ad system loads its’ suggestions, I’m at the mercy of what pops up vs. selecting actual key words or Boolean phrases. If I chose ’30 Rock’ (which I’m a big fan, err ‘liker’ of btw) for some reason the system suggests “artist.” Go figure.
  • One element I do ‘love’ on Facebook’s targeting capabilities is the “Friends of Connections.” Let’s take a look at an example provided by Facebook: “Annie is a fan of the Etsy Page. When Etsy wants to promote their Facebook Page, they can choose to target an ad to Annie’s friends by selecting the “Friends of connection” filter. Annie’s friends will receive the Etsy ad with the following sentence: “Annie Ta is a fan of this Page.” Annie’s friends are naturally more interested because Annie’s interaction with Etsy is showcased directly in the ad.” It is a sort of a paid advertisement with a pre-existing endorsement that you don’t need to solicit. Good stuff.
  • You can also opt to drive traffic to your Facebook Page or to a specific web URL. The Fan Page ads tend to yield better click thru results in my experiences. People like to stay within the Facebook community (which is why everyone is rolling out the “Like Boxes” all over the place.
  • You can also modify your ads to include a variety of graphics or logos. A nice way to test out which images provide the better results and the lowest costs per click.
  • One area that I’m still convinced is in ‘beta’ are the “Actions” that are tracked (whether a person who clicks on your Ad actually becomes a Fan/Liker) and the Conversions Tracker (which tracks whether or not a person who clicks on your Ad xenical uk buy also performed another task on your Facebook Page – ie. Filled out an online form, supplied their email address, etc.). I find that Google Analytics performs better and gives more data in these type of ROI areas. But, I’m sure as Facebook continues to dominate the world, these type of advertisement tracking capabilities will only increase in functionality.

I welcome anyone’s comments or experiences with advertising campaigns on Facebook for both recruitment and non-recruitment related goals – submit a comment and let me know how things worked out for you!


About Jennifer Hitchens

Jennifer Hitchens, Consultant, Interactive Services, seems to have coffee, not mortal blood, running through her veins. Juggling her bags (laptop, spinning stuff, cool purse, projector) and array of web-based duties with professionalism, composure and a random assortment of funny faces, Jen, has been with Alstin for more than 13 years, lives and breathes the 'net.