Advertising on Facebook has been something of a contentious issue of late, with some reports suggesting that many of the 'likes' a page receives are bogus. However, it appears that the benefits of Facebook might not be as clear cut as the number of interactions a page receives.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) campaigns need to be well-balanced and varied, but they also require some close management. Throwing up a Facebook advert and forgetting about it won't bring in the best returns on your investment; keeping an eye on who is clicking on it and targeting it at your audience, however, is more likely to pay off.
With this in mind, it can be worth thinking more about the conversation your advert is generating online. More people in your target audience might well become aware of your website thanks to your advert, even if they don't actually 'like' it, perhaps due to the fact that they have seen their friends interact with your product.
But there is another advantage to Facebook adverts. According to Search Engine Watch, Facebook as improve branding to the extent that branded search results increase significantly. “Running ads targeted at very specific groups using the best practices for ensuring that they get noticed, customers who don't bite the first time got interested, and started looking for more information,” the site observed.
It adds: “The great part of this is that it allows a search strategy to be successful at a much lower rate. Knowing that the keyword that you generally have to throw the lowest bid price at is your branded search term, you can see already how generating interest through display on Facebook can not only increase the volume, but also lower the price of each acquisition.”
Even if you don't opt for advertising on Facebook, it is certainly worth establishing a social media presence on Facebook, Twitter or other relevant networks. This will provide a new means through which your audience can approach you and - if you get the balance of interaction right – could help to build up an online buzz about your business or product.