Let’s be frank here – auto liker is very, very popular. Facebook is the world’s largest social network – they currently have 1.3 billion users. In the U.S., 1 out of ever 6 minutes spent online was spent on Facebook. 1 out of every 5 minutes of mobile usage was spent on Facebook. Clearly the Facebook product managers have got their product development definition right and have a real winner on their hands.
However, Facebook is now attempting to make their product more appealing to advertisers. Facebook first started selling ads on its site 10 years ago. Facebook is competing with Google who delivers ads that match what people are currently looking for and TV which can reach a mass audience. Facebook product managers claim that they can both reach exactly the right audience and then measure what they do once they’ve gotten the message.
No, Facebook is not going to be replacing TV advertising. However, it is starting to look like there might be a role for it to help advertisers to achieve their goals. Not only is Facebook really, really big, but they also have the ability to achieve a very personal engagement with the people that the advertisers are trying to sell to.
How Are Facebook Ads Created?
The Facebook product managers understand that their advertiser’s customers, Facebook users, are being overwhelmed with ads already. In order for a Facebook ad to be effective, it’s going to have to be able to capture the attention of the end user when they see it. If the product managers can figure out how to do this correctly, then they’ll something else to add to their product manager resume.
This kind of product creation process is very hard to do. The Facebook product managers realize it and so they bring together a lot of people in what they call “publishing garages”. These are multi-day meetings in which ideas are kicked around and the goals for an advertising campaign are hashed out. The final outcome of one of these meetings will be the ads that will be run on Facebook.
In order to successfully create a product that will achieve the client’s results, the Facebook product managers create model customers in order to understand what they are looking for. Using Facebook’s immense collection of user data, they can then display the ads only for people who have shown an interest in products or topics that are similar to what is being sold. The final step is to agree with the customer on exactly what subset of Facebook’s users the new ad(s) should be matched with.
What Does All Of This Mean For You?
The product managers at Facebook have a real challenge on their hands. They are part of a very popular company; however, they now need to convince advertisers that spending money to advertise on Facebook is worth their time. I’m willing to bet that this was never a part of their product manager job description. As with all such new things, this can be a real challenge.
The one thing that Facebook can offer to advertisers that really seems to capture their attention is the ability to target their ads. TV is a great way to reach the masses, but Facebook allows advertisers to become a lot more selective. Facebook creates ads by having their product managers assemble “publishing garages” where all of the customer’s and Facebook’s players can come together to plan out how to create just the right advertisement.