Breakfast with Facebook’s Paul Borrud

Posted on: June 10th, 2010

“We’re in the business of advertising”

Somewhere along the way I forgot this fact about Facebook but Paul Borrud, Facebook’s Australasia boss man, reminded me last week at a breakfast conference.  And it’s a lucrative business, one that will make Facebook $605 million this year according to a report by eMarketer, as described by Brian Solis.

During Paul’s one hour presentation he covered off some current user stats and reiterated their mission (…give people the power to share and make the world a more open and connected place) but it was more interesting to hear about the direction of interactive advertising on the platform.

Facebook has always advocated ads that blend into the overall content experience and are not disruptive. Aside from the basic template ‘self service’ ads that you can create in a matter of minutes, Paul showed some very cool, interactive examples of how to connect with consumers in really targeted, relevant ways.

Through their work with brands, Facebook found that there was a ten fold increase in the success of an ad when it included interactive or viral extensions.  Also, when the names of friends appear in an ad, engagement with that ad increases almost 70 per cent.  So, do anything that’s more than just ‘a click’ and you’re guaranteed much greater success.

Paul also described ‘sampling ads’, which I think are pretty exciting.  Example 1: you’re a young female and you’re engaged – let’s call you Hayley.  Hayley logs onto Facebook and sees an ad from wedding venue Doltone House in Pyrmont.  She notices that her friends, Melinda and Gabby, also ‘Like’ Doltone House so she clicks on the ad.  A larger pop up ad appears telling her that Doltone House can post a detailed brochure with venue and catering guides if she enters her address.  She does and the brochure arrives a week later.  Job done.

Example 2:  You run a local Tea House near a university.  You decide to use Facebook ads to target 18-24 year old female tea drinkers who are at univeristy because you know that tea and hitting the books go hand-in-hand.  You offer a two cup sampling pack to people who click on your ad and type in their address. This creates opportunities for both trial and long term relationship building.

In a perfect world all brands would do this because it’s efficient and clever, but I believe there is a heafty minimum spend for Facebook’s advanced interactive advertising which could price smaller players out of the game.

I’m on the look out for interactive ad examples; if you’ve seen any great ones let me know.

Posted by Renee Creer

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