Are you looking for another way to advertise on Facebook? Social media platforms such as Facebook have rapidly evolved into a valuable marketing platform for companies to not only gain a social media following but also allow for social media marketing campaigns towards those followers or users. Many of the best Internet marketing companies and businesses active on Facebook have recently become interested in a new advertising platform within Facebook, which is commonly known as “Sponsored Search” or “Sponsored Results.” This new marketing platform was released last week with much anticipation, yet the capabilities of this new platform may not be inline with what most advertisers or businesses expected.
How Facebook Sponsored Results Work
The new advertising platform is similar to traditional Facebook advertising in some elements such as being able to leverage users’ interests, likes, connections, demographics, and location. The advertisements can only be purchased on a cost-per-click basis (CPC) rather than being purchased on an individual keyword level. These advertisements can be purchased through Facebook’s Power Editor, for those of you looking to take advantage of this new advertising tool. Upon typing a term into the search query, the sponsored advertisement show at the top of the drop down search results box; a similar placement to Google AdWords on the top of search results page of Google. These ads will not appear on the sidebar of a Facebook page unlike AdWords. The image below shows the placement of the Sponsored Results advertisements.
Facebook Sponsored Results Vs. Google AdWords
Although there has been speculation that AdWords and Sponsored Results may seem similar at first, there are some significant differences to note between the two advertising platforms. Aside from the differences in the placements of the ads, Sponsored Results advertisements cannot be targeted towards specific keywords and instead they would have to target the ad to show to those who like relevant Pages, Places or Apps. A Facebook representative explained this by saying the following:
“We have launched a feature that surfaces sponsored results along with the organic results when people are looking for things on Facebook. We try to show people apps and pages they’ll be most interested in.”
They also explained in further detail by saying the following:
“Advertisers can target specific search entities that they’d like to show up against, including Pages, Places, and Apps. In addition to entity targeting, advertisers can further filter their ads based on demographics, location, and connections (those who Like vs. don’t Like my page already).”
There are also other significant differences in how Sponsored Results differ from Google AdWords advertisements. The table below explains the difference.
How will this affect Facebook usability?
Sponsored Results are geared towards creating more internal advertising traffic to Facebook Pages, therefore keeping Facebook users on Facebook more than external sites. One stipulation of the new platform is that if a user types in a query and hits the “enter” button, Facebook will automatically direct the user to the page of the first Sponsored Result in the listing rather than directing them to a page or personal profile. While this may not be a significant issue with some queries it does leave room for error for queries geared towards finding a profile with generic terms.
This new advertising platform is still very new so it’s hard to say how fast and to what extent companies will adopt this platform. Because these advertisements are focused on internal advertising traffic on Facebook, it is possible that it may be adopted more for pushing pages, applications, and promotions of companies on Facebook when users search for a term relevant to a companies competitors or industry. Most likely this may be most beneficial for gaining traffic to your page when users search for a competitor, but the effects are still yet to be seen due to the infancy. How can you see this being utilized and how effective do you think Sponsored Results will be? Let us know you think.