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B-to-b marketers increasingly follow their audiences to Facebook

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Phone: (650) 543-4800 URL: www.facebook.com Traffic: 901 million monthly active users Ad revenue: $3.2 billion Ad rate: Varies based on number of shares Why do b-to-b marketers advertise on Facebook? “It's not a hidden fact that businesspeople are using Facebook,” said Brandon Berger, chief digital officer, worldwide at Ogilvy & Mather. “They're on it, so it's necessary [for b-to-b marketers] to be on it.” Ciaran Norris, director of emerging media (global) at Mindshare, said not all b-to-b marketers need to rush to Facebook. “It depends on the business sector,” he said. “You have to see how your audience is participating on Facebook with companies and people in your industry.” Val Czamara, PPC Strategist at EMA Insight, said, “When we look at advertising on Facebook for b-to-b clients, we're generally looking to catch our audience at off times.” In some verticals, though, Facebook could become a primary buy. “If we have a target that's not at a desk due to the nature of their jobs, such as building contractors, we may look at Facebook as our main strategy,” Czamara said. As Facebook gears up to go public this month, the financial community is looking for the company to better monetize its 901 million monthly active users. One move in that direction was the launch of Facebook Premium on Feb. 29. Facebook Premium is not a product, explained a company spokeswoman. “It is a package of advertising options we offer to our best advertisers,” she said. One new option is Reach Generator, which allows marketers to pay to guarantee that 50% of their fans will be shown their sponsored story within a week versus the average of 16% that would be based on the algorithms Facebook uses to optimize the user's experience. These posts may appear in the right-hand rail or newsfeed in the Facebook desktop format or within the newsfeed on a mobile device—the first time Facebook has offered a mobile advertising option. Another new placement opportunity has been opened on the page a user sees after logging out. “I haven't tried the Premium [options] yet, but I spent time understanding them,” Ogilvy's Berger said. “Only about 10% of marketers are allowed to use them right now, but they address a real challenge marketers are facing. The news stream moves so fast that influencing and engaging users within the stream is hard. This boosts the marketer's chance to do that.” In all advertising, premium or otherwise, “we continue to evolve toward [amplifying] the social context,” said Sarah Smith, director-online operations at Facebook. “We see a future where people are telling stories about brands they care about and we are helping to share them.” —M.G.
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