Friday, July 24, 2009

How to: Use Facebook Advertising to Raise Awareness

Earlier this month, we talked about using Facebook as a advocacy tool. Today we'll be looking at a a different way to use Facebook to raise awareness for your cause...

Most of us who are Facebook users realize the social networking site has become an integral part of our lives. Every now and then, usually during a late-night visit to the site, you may notice an advertisement that seems particularly relevant to you. How does Facebook know I’m working in Washington, DC and probably looking for a deal on dinner?!

Facebook advertising is one of the most targeted forms of advertising on the internet. With 250 million users worldwide, advertising on Facebook is a new way to communicate to new audiences. The social networking site is an ideal way for New Voices to increase visibility, raise awareness of their cause, and drive relevant traffic to their websites—all without breaking the bank. This post provides the low-down on creating awareness for your cause by advertising on Facebook.

Foremost concern—paying for your advertising
Facebook offers two different payment structures. Each payment structure allows advertisers to set a daily maximum budget that cannot be exceeded.

Pay for Clicks (CPC) advertising allows you to specify (through a bidding process) a certain amount that we are willing to pay each time a user actually clicks on your ad. The highest-bidding advertisers are awarded ad space and pay each time the ad is clicked. The bid price will vary depending on the target market. For example, you would need to bid a higher price to advertise to the entire New York City network that you would to advertise to the New York University network because NYC has more users than NYU. Facebook provides bid price statistics (avg. price, max., min., etc.) that are specific to each ad proposal and each targeted network.

Pay for Views (CPM) advertising allows you to specify how much you are willing to pay for 1,000 views (or impressions) of your ad. CPM also utilizes a bidding process to determine who is awarded ad space. According to Facebook, CPM advertising is usually more effective for advertisers who want to raise awareness or exposure of their cause (as opposed to generating hits).

Who do I want to see my ad? Targeting your audience.
Facebook ads can be targeted to a very broad or vary narrow audience using any combination of criteria including:
  • Age (Ex: 21-25)
  • Network/Location (Ex: New York City; University of Michigan)
  • Keywords (Ex: health, research, politics, chemistry, oceans, Collins, Obama)
  • Education (Ex: political science major, biology degree in 2002)
  • Workplace (Ex: University of Chicago, US House of Representatives, Pfizer)
As you identify your audience using these criteria, Facebook will display the approximate number of users your advertising encompasses.

Facebook ads are customizable and can be changed at any time.
Ads include a title up to 25 characters and up to 135 characters in the body. An image can also be included. All Facebook ad views can be tracked, and you can make changes to the ad at anytime to increase viewership.

Now that you know the basics, all you need to do is make the decision. Who do you want to target?? What do you want to say?? And how much do you want to pay??

Facebook can walk you through the rest.

This is Part 2 in our Facebook as an Advocacy Tool series.


  1. How Facebook Advertising can legally charge me blind. Please share.

    Craig Tommola
    Phone: 616 566 6971

  2. Thank you for such a fantastic blog. Where else could one get this kind of info written in such an incite full way? I have a presentation that I am just now working on, and I have been looking for such information.

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  3. Glad we could help Alicia. Good luck on your paper!