There's a lot of buzz these days about the amount of traction Facebook has gained as an advertising platform. According to Hitwise, nearly one in four page views, excluding mobile-generated traffic, in the U.S. now occurs on Facebook.com, and comScore recently reported that 23.1 percent of all online display ad impressions in the month of September appeared on Facebook.
Perfect timing, then, for the folks at Wiley Publishing to release Facebook Advertising For Dummies. Like all books in the For Dummies series, real subject matter experts author this one. Co-author Paul Dunay is the global managing director of services and social marketing for Avaya, while fellow author Richard Krueger is founder and CEO of About Face Digital (a social media marketing agency specializing in Facebook promotions). Rounding out the team is Joel Elad, author of numerous For Dummies books and head of Real Method Consulting, a company dedicated to educating people, training seminars, books and other media.
If you're new to advertising on Facebook, there's a lot to like about this book. From getting started and launching and managing Facebook advertising campaigns, to calculating ROI and making sense of Facebook's Ad Manager interface, this book has it all. And it's written in a way that allows everyone -- regardless of your comfort level with Facebook and online advertising -- to get just the information you need and put it to immediate use.
I especially like that the authors address the common mistakes companies make when advertising on Facebook, and how to avoid them. Including an image in your ad may seem like a no-brainer, but as the authors point out, even the most experienced online ad managers -- especially those with Google AdWords know-how -- make the mistake of not including an image in their Facebook ads. Other common mistakes include not refreshing your ads often enough, not split-testing your ads to see if simple graphic or copy changes can make a noticeable difference in ROI, testing ads for too short or long periods of time and, as you might expect, not including a strong call to action in the ad itself.
Facebook allows your business or brand to target consumers in unprecedented ways, and while the site's ad rates tend to be cheaper than those of other sites, that doesn't mean you should blindly throw your advertising dollars into the platform. Even if you don't consider yourself a "dummy," and especially if you're assigning the management of your Facebook advertising efforts to newbie, do yourself a favor and get a hold of this book. As the authors are keen to point out, launching a Facebook advertising campaign is not something you just build, launch and walk away from. Like all sales and marketing, it's an "ongoing effort you need to nurture and tweak as it goes along," and Facebook Advertising For Dummies can help you at every step along the way.
Mikal E. Belicove is a market positioning, social media, and management consultant specializing in website usability and business blogging. His latest book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook, is now available at bookstores. For more information, visit MikalBelicove.com.