Facebook's free-to-inexpensive polls, Pages, and social ads are great for small businesses and freelancers. But companies with a little more dough to throw around can choose from even more advertising options. The following sections explain 'em all.
Facebook's Beacon is a brand-spanking-new, still-being-hammered-out program that does for regular Web sites what social actions (Social Ads (Targeted Announcements)) do for Facebook Pages. Beacon lets you:
Track what people do on your own Web site. You can track actions like signing up for a service, adding a product to a wish list, and buying something.
Create Facebook stories (Customizing Your News Feed) about those actions. "Ralph just added 101 Dalmatians to his Christmas wish list on CD Zone" is an example of a Facebook story.
Combine those stories with an ad and send the whole shebang to all your customers' Facebook friends. Like the social ads you create all by themselves (Social Ads (Targeted Announcements)) or in conjunction with a Facebook Page (Facebook Pages: Profiles for Bands, Brands, and More), these customized ads appear both in peoples' news feeds and in the ad space that Facebook reserves on the lower-left side of every screen.
Say you run an online bookstore, and somebody logs in to your site and buys a copy of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle. Using Beacon, you can tell whether that somebody is a Facebook member, and if she is, you can send a personalized ad (see the example Creating and Running a ...