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Using Google strategies for Facebook ads

Everyone has been watching Facebook to see if it can monetize its enormous traffic to become a going business. And the focal point of that monetization effort is advertising, just like Google’s. And you’ve probably read about Facebook ads, or perhaps even tried them yourself. And maybe you’ve decided that they just don’t work. You might be right, but it could also be that you are trying to use Facebook ads the same way you use Google ads, when you ought to be doing something very different.

We like to think that advertising is all the same everywhere, but it’s not. The skills needed to optimize a Google paid search ad are far different than what’s required for a feel-good “our company is kind to animals” brand image TV spot. They have vastly different purposes and they have different metrics for success.

So it is with Google ads and Facebook ads.

Google ads are all about “Buy now!” People searching are often in the midst of a purchase decision, and a Google ad is successful for marketers because they know how to sell. They can immediately figure out the ROI the minute someone buys, too. Google ads are simple and they work.

Facebook ads are a lot tougher. People using Facebook are not usually trying to buy something, so the same “Buy now!” approach you use with Google doesn’t work. In fact, your ad probably should not be selling anything except a relationship.

Facebook ads are likely more effective by going after the very beginning of the buying cycle, where people are learning about your product and trying to decide whether they need one. Or even further back, when they are trying to solve a problem and don’t even know what kind of product or service will do that.

Facebook is all about relationships, so a Facebook ad should be about that, too. How can you relate to prospective customers? Do you have a consultant that has frequent status updates that your customers might want to friend? Do you have an upcoming event (online or offline) that your friends are invited to? What can you do for your friends that might help them understand their problem better and start seeing your company as having the expertise to solve that problem?

If you develop a relationship through Facebook, the sales are more likely to follow than if you try to make a sale first. With Google ads, the relationship usually starts after the sale. With Facebook ads, you might need the relationship before the sale.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is a Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also served as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website,, most recently as the Manager of Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He was a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research and is now a Senior Fellow of The Conference Board. A Certified Speaking Professional, Mike regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide

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