Facebook says makes progress targeting users

Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:16pm EST
 
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By Jennifer Saba

(Reuters) - Facebook highlighted on Wednesday two ad campaigns in an attempt to persuade advertisers that its massive membership base and ability to home in on specific audiences makes it a more effective advertising platform than broadcast TV.

The No. 1 social network revealed in a blog post some details about marketing campaigns from AARP and the American Legacy Foundation to show how Facebook can target specific age groups among its audience of more than 1 billion global users, which rivals the number of people watching TV.

Facebook is hoping to tap some of the billions of dollars that advertisers dedicate to television commercials to reach large groups of people.

"For an advertiser, in Facebook's view their users are more engaged than when they are watching TV," said Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at research firm eMarketer. "It's not just sitting on the couch and watching something go by."

Still TV gets the lion's share of ad dollars with more than $66 billion in 2013 in the U.S. alone, according to eMarketer. Facebook generated roughly $7 billion in global ad revenue during the same year.

The AARP, an association for older Americans, sought to target ads to Facebook members over 45 in order to build awareness that the organization is for more than just retired people, Facebook said in its blog post, while the American Legacy Foundation wanted to reach teenagers for its Truth campaign to curb smoking.

Both campaigns ran in Facebook's News Feed interspersed among a user's stream of news and other updates.

"One of the things we wanted to test is if there a better result when you air a TV ad spot and support it on social media," said Tammy Gordon, AARP vice president of social strategy.   Continued...

 
Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg smiles in the stage before delivering a keynote speech during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona February 24, 2014. REUTERS/Albert Gea