One of the latest trends in online marketing today centers around one of the largest platforms on the Internet: Facebook. Billions of dollars are being spent advertising on Facebook alone with a predicted worldwide revenue exceeding $5 billion in 2012. It might seem like there’s a rosey forecast ahead, but eMarketer is predicting that over the next two years, growth rates will dip significantly, but yet, more money will still be floating into Facebook’s coffers and more than double the 2011 revenues to $8 billion. Just what could this mean for brands and businesses advertising on the social network? Could the increased revenue, but stagnant growth be an indication that businesses are spending more, but aren’t getting enough from their return? This could be a sign that brands could use some help to get more bang for their buck or least get a handle on how to be more effective with their Facebook advertising execution.
GraphScience, a full-service social data and Facebook advertising platform, is just the company that they’re looking for. Launching today, this platform for the top 100 brands and retailers, will enable companies to move beyond engagement and convert them into sales all through Facebook. All of this is done using GraphScience’s SocialEngine platform, which leverages Facebook ads API and will tap into the social graph using its “powerful algorithms” and social data to help brands create highly targeted campaigns for maximum branding and revenue generation. Simply translated: you put your trust into SocialEngine and it will spit out the data you need to make sure that your advertising is effective enough to make everyone happy.
But the problem isn’t necessarily that brands are timid about Facebook advertising or that the strategies are inefficient. No, the problem could potentially reside in the fact that Facebook isn’t keeping up with the demand that brands are asking for. The Examiner reported yesterday that the social network is facing considerable pressure from brands for more advertising on the site. Sure, the site initially sought to do advertising to raise some money while it was still private, but now that it’s going public, brands are demanding that their needs should be taken care of. As the Examiner puts it: As more people continue to surf the Internet from their laptops, desktop computers, tablets and mobile devices such as a smartphone or just a regular cell phone with Internet access, eventually it’s possible for online advertising to surpass television as roughly 425 million Facebook users currently access the site from a smartphone or tablet. So where’s the inventory? Greg Kahn, Executive Vice President and Business Development at Optimedia International, says that there’s no argument that for the past year, Facebook is a place to be (for marketers).
Isn’t it about time that brands who want to get marketing on Facebook had a chance to get more sensible targeting and had the ability to look at more social data to make educated and wise decisions on where they want to spend their money? That’s what GraphScience hopes to achieve using SocialEngine. By analyzing millions of targeting combinations across a wide array of demographics like age, gender, location, interests, and more, brands will be able to identify highly-targeted user segments in real-time and then make optimizations on their bids to increase the return on ad spends. How good is this system? In 2011, GraphScience delivered more than four billion connections to their customers and generated 4-8 times ROI based on click-based conversion for their customers across several industries. Not bad!
The point of using SocialEngine is because it’ll help drive more strategic marketing decisions for the brand’s customers. No more guessing on how your money is going to be spent–find out how exactly and maximize the return. Dave Harber, Senior Director of Marketing and Social Media at Ice (a fashion-focused shopping destination store) reinforces this belief: “GraphScience takes the guess work out of understanding how to find and reach the right consumers on Facebook, and has demonstrated that they not only can help us build a strong fan base on Facebook, but also do it at a cost significantly below industry average.” Isn’t that something that all brands are trying to achieve? Facebook advertising doesn’t have to simply be about placing an ad on the social network and forgetting about it. There’s an art form to getting your ad noticed with both creative and targeting and GraphScience can offer that to brands right now. The company predicts that social media advertising will overtake display and search as the dominant force within the next 3-5 years. If GraphScience can repeat the 4-8 times ROI that they’ve done before, it will be a good sign of things to come. More businesses will finally get to understand Facebook marketing and start to spend more because they’ll be more educated and aware of how to properly execute a strategy.
Raymond Rouf, CEO of GraphScience, told me earlier that their philosophy around customers was centered around what can they do to help a business grow value. They’re the first company to really show that Facebook is a viable marketing tool for businesses and have amassed a great deal of customers, from leading national department stores to home furnishing commerce sites to major high-end fashion brands. All are aimed at trying to get the maximum return on their investment. What they are finding is that paid search is still doing better than Facebook ads. In a USA Today article, Dave Beltramini, director of online strategy for G5, said that “the intent for consumers on Google is about shopping, On Facebook, people are more social, looking at photos of their friends’ kids.” It’s all about different behaviors. In fact, Chris Moore, a partner at Redpoint Ventures, says:
Facebook fares poorly in a key pricing metric used in the industry to measure the value of ad inventory in reaching an audience. Its CPM, or cost per thousand impressions, is 22 cents, less than half the industry average for the Web (50 cents) and minuscule compared with Google’s, which is north of several dollars…
Facebook ads are still the Wild Wild West of online advertising and brands will need a guide to help spend their money wisely without throwing it all away. GraphScience has come along at the right time to help shepherd the businesses away from the recreational advertisers and provide them with the full-detailed data that they need to become serious advertisers on Facebook.
You can check out more information about GraphScience and their capabilities by visiting their website.
Photo Credit: Facebook advertising via Bostinno.com