3 Things the Facebook Ad Platform is Missing

facebook ads

Yesterday Facebook released their earnings and surpassed Wall Street expectations, nearly tripling profit on a 72% increase in revenue in its first quarter. Revenue hit $2.5 billion, up from $1.46 billion in the same period last year. The Facebook ad platform has made some big improvements in the past year. However, Facebook is still missing some big opportunities by not having the following solutions for their ad platform. Here are three ideas they should implement to improve their system.

1. Removing Limits

Facebook ads will often not display for segments under 5,000 individuals. This is a huge mistake as it removes the long tail opportunities from Facebook advertisers. This long tail of advertisements has been known as a huge revenue segment for Google keyword searches. If I am selling a new book on the “Brazilian Treehopper” and there are only 250 people that like this subject on Facebook, I would be willing to pay a higher premium as those are exactly the customers I would need to reach. 

2. Keywords

Facebook gives advertisers the ability to target on key demographics and person interests, but has yet to introduce keywords. This misses a huge opportunity within conversations. Some might view this a bit creepy as Facebook is then interrupting conversations whereas the Google keyword system is based around actual needs and searches. However, I think this type of ad could actually prove helpful. My best example for this is “quickbooks training”.  A while ago, I was working on setting up Quickbooks and was extremely frustrated. I shot out a quick post about how I hate quickbooks and 20 minutes later, I had a private message from an individual that offered quickbooks training and said he could help me out. I was amazed and asked him how he found me. Turns out, Facebook used to offer a free keyword search tool and allow anyone to view the last 20 posts from all users on Facebook. They have since removed this feature, but I was amazed at how quickly my problem was solved through Facebook. Leveraging this same focus with their ad system could open new streams of revenue.

3. Negative Segments 

The big advantage Facebook has over other digital platforms is the amount of data they have on individuals. However, one area their ad system is still missing is the ability to add negative segments to its campaigns. For example, if I worked at Coke, I might want to target individuals that have liked the Pepsi fan page, but I would also want to exclude individuals that currently work for Pepsi or might live near their corporate headquarters. As an advertiser, this type of advanced segmentation would be extremely valuable and also only increase the Facebook bottom line.

Bonus: Report Totals

I’m going to add a little bonus suggestion as this drives me crazy. I have no idea why the Facebook ad team left this out but when monitoring and tracking campaigns, Facebook leaves out the totals for the numbers (clicks, impressions, cost, etc). This means when running several campaigns, you can see the totals for each of the individual campaigns, but not for all of them combined. So if you’re trying to find out how much spent yesterday on all your ads, you’ll need to export the data, then work in excel to total the fields. Bottom line: Facebook add totals to the pages.

The Complete Guide to Facebook Ad Targeting

Facebook Advertising Targeting Options
12 months ago the Facebook advertising platform was horrible… well… actually more like a joke. In comparison with platforms like Adwords, it lacked common features like conversion tracking and remarketing pixels. I had almost given up hope on Facebook… until they won me back.

Over the past few months, the Facebook Advertising team has slowly implemented the foundational changes needed for a powerhouse advertising system. Its the first time in almost 10 years that I’ve seen anything that comes remotely close to Adwords, in fact, in some instances, I think Facebook now has the advantage over Google.

One of the features that Facebook has over additional platforms like Adwords, is its ability to provide advanced user targeting for its ads. I’m often amazed at how most individuals and advertisers are not aware of the targeting options available to them through Facebook. Here is a quick overview of the targeting options currently available to you when advertising on Facebook. Enjoy.

  1. Remarketing – In advertising terms, Remarketing allows you to display ads to individuals that have visited your site or clicked on your ads gaining valuable branding with a targeted audience. This is done through a placement of remarketing pixel on the website, landing page or app. From a users perspective, they click your ad because they are interested and then as they browse the internet, see your ads all over the place, thus assuming that your company is everywhere.
  2. Custom Audiences – Facebook allows advertisers to create custom audiences. By uploading a list of emails, say of leads, Facebook will encrypt the emails and then run them against their database. Any email addresses that line up with profiles will be logged and Facebook will generate a similar audience based off all their data. This is a great way to allow big data to do the heavy lifting for you and find other individuals that match your target audience.
  3. User Targeting – User targeting is where Facebook has really improved over the past few months. They are continually allowing advertisers to fine tune their audience targeting and display their ads to exactly as needed. Here is the complete list of options available for User Targeting on Facebook.

Market Segments

  • Ethnic Affinity (Hispanic)
  • Generation (Boomers)
  • Household Composition
  • Moms
  • Parents
  • Politics
  • Life Events

User Targeting

  • Interests / Likes
  • Location (Country, State, City)
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Demographics


  • Automotive
  • Charitable Donations
  • Digital Activities
  • Financial
  • Mobile Device User
  • Purchase Behavior

Residential Profiles

  • Likely to Move
  • Recent Homebuyer
  • Recent Mortgage Borrower
  • Recently Moved
  • Travel


  • Education Level
  • Field of Study
  • Schools
  • Undergrad Years


  • Employers
  • Job Titles
  • Industries
  • Office Type


  • Home Type
  • Home Ownership
  • Home Value


  • Income
  • Net Worth


  • Interested In
  • Relationship Status




Internet Advertising Hits $43 Billion, Now #1 Advertising Media Source

2013 top digital advertising formats


There is a new king in the advertising world. In a press release issued yesterday, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) stated that the U.S. interactive advertising revenues for 2013 hit an all-time high of $42.8 billion, exceeding broadcast television advertising revenues ($40.1 billion) for the first time ever. This momentous figure marks an increase of 17 percent from 2012’s landmark revenues of $36.6 billion.

Other highlights from the release include:

  • For the third year in a row, mobile achieved triple-digit growth year-over-year, rising to $7.1 billion during full year 2013, a 110 percent boost from the prior year total of $3.4 billion. Mobile accounted for 17 percent of 2013 revenues, whereas it was 9 percent of revenues in 2012.
  • Digital video, a component of display-related advertising, brought in $2.8 billion in full year 2013, up 19 percent over revenues of $2.3 billion in 2012. As a result, it also increased its share to become the fourth largest format, directly behind mobile.
  • Search revenues totaled $18.4 billion in 2013, up 9 percent from 2012, when search totaled $16.9 billion.
  • Display-related advertising revenues in 2013 totaled $12.8 billion or 30 percent of the year’s revenues, a rise of 7 percent over $12 billion in 2012.
  • Retail advertisers continue to represent the largest category of internet ad spending, responsible for 21 percent in 2013, followed by financial services and closely trailed by automotive which account for 13 and 12 percent of the year’s revenues respectively.

The full IAB report can be viewed online. While Internet advertising has surpassed the other channels, Steven Perlberg at the Wall Street Journal commented on the IAB report and stated, “That figure doesn’t factor in cable dollars. Total TV advertising including network, syndication, spot, and cable TV is still far ahead and amounted to $66 billion in 2013.”

When looking at what is driving this massive increase in digital advertising, VentureBeat stated that “Retail is the largest category, at 21 percent, of Internet and mobile ad spend, according to the IAB. That’s up a point from the previous year. Financial services made up 13 percent of revenues, automotive was 12 percent, and telecom accounted for nine percent of the total digital ad spend.”


digital advertising top markets

When looking at which digital ad formats are growing, search is still king with over 40% of all digital ads. But mobile ads are exploding and nearly doubled in volume from 2012 to 2013.


Digital Advertising 2013 Top Ad Formats


Digital advertisements will only increase in the future as they provide an abundance of targeting options that are simply not available to other sources. Plus, unlike traditional media sources like TV or radio, their financial barriers to entry are much lower, thus allowing smaller businesses to participate.

AdBirds Feature Adwords

Adwords Launches New AdBirds Targeting

Was checking my Adwords account this morning when I came across a pleasant surprise. Google Adwords now allows for the targeting of ads by birds.

The site describes the service as AdBirds: A new ad format that takes your campaign to new heights by placing ads on real birds. Select your bird and write your ad. Then, you’re ready for takeoff.

Your bird will fly in any existing targeted locations in your account. Migratory birds may only be available in certain regions depending on the time of year, or may completely fly out of your targeted region.

Your AdBirds options include:

Sparrow: Small, quick and efficient.
Owl: A great option for those with nocturnal business hours.
Duck: Available at most parks and community areas.
Eagle: Broad audience reach. Majestic birds may require a higher bid.
Pigeon: Best for large cities with crowds of people.
Penguin: Best for cold arctic regions. Limited to location, as they can’t fly.

What happens next?

Your AdBird will be reviewed by Google, and may not fly until that review is complete. Most AdBirds are reviewed within 1 business day. No birds will be harmed by using this ad format.

The team at Google made me smile today. Thanks for being so creative and providing a wonderful April Fools prank.