What are Facebook Ads and Why You Need Them

October 14, 2011 3 min read

Before we dive too deep into Facebook banner advertising, let’s back up and truly understand what Facebook ads are. Grasping their importance will help you understand why you need to start advertising with Facebook, and how to create and target your Facebook ads.

Facebook Ads

Facebook has a very detailed ad section for those looking to get into advertising with the site. In the Guide to Facebook Ads (https://www.facebook.com/adsmarketing/), it is explained that Facebook ads are shown to Facebook users based on their interests and relevant information. Facebook uses the interest section on a users profile as well as their “Likes” and pages they are fans of to determine what ads to show which users. For example, a mother who “Likes” several baby related pages would be very likely to be shown baby related ads. Additionally, if Facebook user has a friend who “Likes” something on the site, then a relevant ad may be paired with that information. For example, a freelance writer may be shown an ad for a freelance writing page that one of their friends “Likes” informing them that their friend is also a fan. As an advertiser, this sharing mechanism works to your advantage because when one person “Likes” your page or product your ad will show that to all of their friends getting you more visibility.

Types of Facebook Ads

There are several types of Facebook ads, all of which are set up through Facebook’s ad center. First, you can create advertisements to promote your website or other external site. This is set up so that when a viewer clicks on your ad it takes them to your external site. You can also use Facebook to advertise other Facebook items such as an event, page or app. These ad types will direct viewers clicking on the ad to the Facebook destination.

Where Facebook Ads Appear

Currently the only place Facebook ads can appear is the right-hand column on Facebook. That said, think about all the pages on Facebook. Your banner ad will have a chance to appear beside photos, apps, pages, groups and most importantly, next to viewers’ timelines.

How Facebook Ads are Different

Facebook banner design is different than any other platform you will advertise on. Each ad on Facebook is designed the same way through the ad center. There are no choosing banner ad sizes, you must work within Facebook’s one-size fits all frame. The ad itself must have a title, an image and text. The image is the only item you design in Facebook advertising and there you have limited room. The image size must be 110 pixels wide by 80 pixels tall and less than five megabytes. Take note – if your image is not sized correctly, Facebook will resize it for you. Additionally, while with many banner ads you can create animated or flash ads, Facebook does not allow this.

Why You Need Facebook Advertising

Although from a designer’s perspective Facebook limits creativity and design in banner ads, it’s still a platform you should advertise with. Facebook has over 500,000,000 active users and more joining every day. With literally everyone having a Facebook account, how can you afford not to use it to advertise? By advertising with Facebook you can reach multiple different targeted groups with your ads for affordable rates – and you have full control over your spending. As easy as it is to set up advertising and with as many people as it has the potential to reach, advertising with Facebook is definitely worth a try.

Information included in this article was obtained from the Guide to Facebook Ads (https://www.facebook.com/adsmarketing/).

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