Chapter 11. Advertising on Facebook

In Facebook’s early days, “advertising” meant college students looking to sell their old textbooks or find new roommates. But now that the site is open to the public and has a few hundred million members, things have changed. Facebook’s ability to comb through gazillions of personal details at a practically unheard-of level of granularity (“Show me all the conservative male college students who live in Portland, have mobile phones, and enjoy watching vintage Bugs Bunny reruns”) and tap directly into each member’s circle of friends is an advertiser’s dream come true.

These days, big companies with big ad budgets are placing ads on Facebook. As the site has grown, marketing strategies have changed, too, from simple network-targeted banner ads to social ads, which mine members’ personal details and Friend Lists to hawk products. This chapter explores your options for advertising on Facebook, which range from free to affordable to don’t even think about it.


If you’ve been away from Facebook for a while and are wondering what happened to the polls you used to be able to conduct on the site, they’re gone—the built-in ones, anyway. Fortunately, if you’re dying to set up a poll, several third-party Facebook applications have your back. To find the latest polling applications: In the Search box at the top of any Facebook page, type poll, press Enter, and then click the Applications link on the left side of the screen to see a list of polling applications. ...

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