Yep, it's the biggest. As at August 2008 it had 90 million users. Not only is it popular with the youngger, college going crowd, it also draws a lot of traffic from white collar workers and all across the world.
Facebook's knowledge of its users and database is supposedly to generate extremely useful and relevant advertisements. But while Facebook advertisements are focusing on the right audience, the audience seems to be very involved with the website interface and less interested in these advertisements.
This explains the lack of clicks on Facebook ads, and obviously has affected the expectations of advertisers. Its key application allowed the users of the website to disclose their shopped items lists, eBay product updates and status and other activity on about 40 websites, and have these come up on their profiles.
Facebook then bought out a new advertising interface called 'Engagement Advertisements', which aims to encourage interaction of the Facebook users with the advertisements through comments, gifts or expressions of interest etc. This is a strategy to counter the low click rates by the users. These ads encourage users to adopt them, popularize them through social media application and live interface with the brand. To be successful brands need to make sure that they create a group around themselves, which encourages and rewards participation and is able to align itself with other tools if need be.
Engagement Ads provide three unique experiences. Engagement Ads keep the members within the Facebook website, unlike the regular ads, which activated links to outside the website. These ads are of the following types:
1) Comment Based: These allow members to leave their comments on the ads, not unlike writing on the wall of a person. Brands, which are looking to package new products and programs, can use these kind of ads very effectively. These ads allow four comments, which would occur in the user's news feed – an effective way of ensuring recall and recognition, while subtly providing information on peer opinions.
2) Virtual Gifts Based: These allow the sharing and transfer of virtual items – a technique proven to be of user interest, owed to its distinctively unique statement. This best goes with products, movies and music options.
3) Fan Style Based: These allow users to express their admiration for a product – a fact, which can be broadcast on their network, effective viral marketing. This is an effective tool for brands, which already have a presence and loyal customers.
I still do not think this is the best way of using Facebook. Ultimately I think you need to build up a business network in the same way you build up your Facebook network of friends. You write about areas of business or products that will interest people and then people come and join you. If you're an expert on paint ball and you can offer secret hints, tips on paint ball or offer great resources on paint ball then I think that you could do pretty well on Facebook BUT only as part of your marketing
Until next time