Is advertising via Facebook as effective as Google Adwords?

In my experience the problem with the facebook advertising platform is that it doesn’t effectively allow for different types of advertisers to compete on an even playing field.

You could make the argument that since they allow for all different types of interest/demographic bidding, that there are many micro playing fields for different types of advertisers to compete on, but this analysis fails to capture the one most important vector that drives internet advertising, which is intent.

The beauty of Google’s adwords platform is that for any given keyword, a one-man custom boot making shop in Texas can profitably compete against internet retail giants such as Amazon because for certain keywords the intent of the searcher is more aligned with their product offering than Amazon’s.

In a generalized second-price auction such as Adwords, since advertisers are attempting to maximize their ROI on a per-keyword basis, they are not perversely incented to maximize their CTR at the expense of receiving lower CPC’s and an increase in less qualified traffic.

On the other hand, on the facebook advertising platform, different types of advertisers who will have wildly different costs for customer acquisition are competing for impressions and clicks head-to-head. This in turn causes two kinds of major distortions in the marketplace:

1) Advertisers with the highest customer acquisition value will eventually rise to the top, crowding out the smaller guys. e.g: you will see more ads for attorneys and real estate agents then you will for restaurants and dry cleaners.

2) Ad Copy / Images will trend towards becoming more and more attention grabbing in a never-ending arms race towards a higher CTR = lower CPC.

In the long run, neither of these two attributes is conducive to a robust and sustainable advertising platform for facebook.

My answer on Quora to: Is advertising via Facebook as effective as Google Ads? http://qr.ae/4GYA

How to Remove the Facebook Likebox Border

Facebook provides a nifty little likebox widget that can be customized to display your facebook pages current fans (or likers), but the widget comes with an ugly blue border that cannot be overridden with css because it is in a facebook iframe.

The Solution: Wrap the likebox in an extra div (with a border color set to your pages background color, and position the wrapper to overlap the likebox). Code below.

The HTML

{code type=html}

{/code}

The CSS

{code type=cssl}
#likebox-frame{
border:2px solid #F0F9F4;
width:894px;
z-index:10;
height: 156px;
overflow: hidden;
position:relative;
top:-1px;
left:-2px;
}

#likebox-frame iframe{
left:-5px;
overflow:hidden;
position:relative;
top:-1px;
}
{/code}

Testing Market Demand With Facebook Ads

Facebook ads can be used to gather some pretty useful data for measuring demand for a new product or service. You can target users by using all kinds of demographic and psychographic filters. For instance: you can target only female users who are between the ages of 22 to 25, are single, live in San Francisco are attending UCSF and listen to Jack Johnson (no, i’m not advertising for a date). That’s some pretty powerful control for a self-service ad platform.

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Setting Up Facebook Connect for WordPress

These steps are needed to prepare your wordpress blog for facebook connect integration using the WP-FBConnect Plugin. The plugin is documented here and you can download it here. The implementation is pretty simple, but there are some caveats as follows.

Step 1:

Add the language attributes wp function to your header(s). The plugin will add the following lanuage attribute for you “xmlns:fb=”http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml”.

{code type=php}

<html xmlns=”http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml&#8221;
<?php language_attributes(); ?>>

{/code}

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