Regardless of what people are saying about their techniques, Facebook is going to continue building up their name in advertising. Again and again we see them releasing new features and marketing methods, trying to stay neck and neck with the leading names in advertising on the web. So, without much surprise to anyone, Facebook has released a few new advertising features on their network. One of these features, the bigger of the two, is not unlike something we’ve seen with Google for quite some time. The two newest advertising features that Facebook has announce are Sponsored Results, like those of Google, as well as customized page signs for posting on business Facebook pages.
Friday, Facebook announced on their Facebook Marketing page these new “Signs,” that businesses can post on their individual Facebook pages, in turn having them show up on News Feeds. They promote it by writing, “You have a community of customers who care about your business. Invite them to like your Page with signs you can customize with your Page’s web address.” These signs are meant for businesses to do with them what they will, allowing them control over when and where the signs are posted. They are really just a better way to grab attention with company posts on Facebook.
However, the signs aren’t the highlight of Facebook’s new advertising structure. An article on TechCrunch gives insight into a new feature that Facebook will be releasing called “Sponsored Results.” Just like we’ve seen with Google, it will allow for advertisers to display sponsored listings in the Facebook search tab. “It basically will let businesses divert traffic from each other.” Users will barely be able to tell the difference between organic and sponsored searches, aside from the tiny word “sponsored” in the corner of the listings. TechCrunch then goes on to say, “Sponsored Results are not keyword ads. Advertisers can’t target something broad like “beach”, “games”, or “cameras”. They have to target a specific entity on Facebook, similar to how brands can currently target users with sidebar and Sponsored Story ads based on a user’s interests.” Using these new “Sponsored Results” will still take research and effort, but they are a valuable tool, considering how many people use the search function on Facebook now.
The only place that these results will appear is within the typeahead that drops down while a user is typing in the search bar. Also, the only way they work is to target those users searching for specific things on Facebook, like items, apps, and brands. It’s a way for businesses to compete with one another directly. A business can target users searching for a competitor’s brand or product, and potentially earn that users business, taking it away from the competitor. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but it will definitely function much differently on Facebook than it has anywhere else. The search bar isn’t something that Facebook users or even businesses ever really paid much attention to, but we failed to recognize that Facebook has it’s own independent search platform that is used by millions. Ads were bound to end up there eventually.