Let’s be honest, we all use this word. We’ve said it to our mothers, our kids, our colleagues — maybe even our priests. Now before you get all bent out of shape, the “F” word we’re talking about isn’t something that would get your mouth washed out with soap; it is something that can help you gain more clients for your security company: the word is Facebook.

We have to admit, in the past we’ve been a little harsh on Facebook, but with some new testing with video, paralleling ads and graphics to create brand awareness, Facebook has shown some interesting results, and at a fraction of the cost of radio and TV.

We recently tested two methods to generate leads for our clients. The first was Web commercials (basically a 30-second commercial meant for the Web) and the second was various ads that were segmented according to target audiences. The ads ran in conjunction with Google Adwords pay per click (PPC) ads.

First, let’s talk about the Web commercials and their results. Our goal was to grow our client’s Facebook page with meaningful potential customers, so we created multiple targeted videos that were geared toward families with newborns, families with teens and pet lovers.

We created two videos targeting pet lovers to see which would do better. One was a video Alarm.com provides their dealers on home automation, but we edited it slightly with our client’s logo, graphics and some other minor updates. For the second video we had our client simply take out his iPhone and talk about the benefits of home automation for pet owners. On both we talked about the system’s capability to unlock doors, allowing anyone to walk your pet when you’re not home, the user’s ability to check on and speak to pets via video cameras and the ability to place sensors in various locations to see what pets are getting into. So what were the results?

The first video that was a little bit more professionally edited targeted Facebook users who liked pet groups and were between the ages of 25 and 60 in a 25-mile radius from a ZIP code. It got 1,200 video views, 0 shares and 18 likes.

The second video that was done simply with our client’s iPhone and with a budget of $150 was geared toward Facebook users in a ZIP code radius that liked Facebook pet groups. This video generated 93 likes, 18 shares and 5,200 video views. Try doing that with traditional TV ads!

Overall the two videos were able to generate about eight leads, two sales (so far) and about 300 new Facebook page likes, which means a captive audience who will listen to future messages.

We also boosted around three graphical wall posts geared toward the same audience with messaging that was paralleled with our ads on a Google PPC campaign with great results. (Our client asked us not to give specifics.) As potential customers called in, around 63 percent mentioned that seeing the client’s pet-related videos, ads and Google PPC ads had convinced them to reach out.

Here at Security Dealer Marketing we are always continuing to learn; we tell all our clients we don’t know everything, but for the marketing questions needing answers, you can bet we’ll try to find out. And we’ve learned with these tests that companies who put efforts into branding their companies, Facebook is not only super affordable for any budget, but it can be laser targeted to your service area by ZIP code, age and interests, and it is a whole lot cheaper to run Web commercials that increase brand awareness and persuade potential customers to reach out to your security company over the competition. We suggest jumping on the Facebook video/brand advertising wagon right away; it will only continue to gain traction with your competitors and probably get more expensive as time goes on.

Remember, when it comes to Facebook advertising, laser target your audience, messaging and landing pages to generate leads. If you’re talking about home security for families with pets in your Web videos, take them to a landing page about pets and have a clear call to action; do not take them to your home-page. (Yes, that was us screaming at you.) Until next time.