I've been advertising various projects with Google AdWords for a long time now.

Even though the interface is changing almost constantly, I consider it a pretty intuitive experience (except the display network, there must be a better way to show that).

I've had relatively less experience with Facebook Ads, and because the interface completely changed since then, my so-called experience meant very little, and I had to refresh my skills.

The one thing you notice right out of the box is the amount of power you have as a Facebook advertiser. It's almost intoxicating!
You can filter everything about a person, and I do mean EVERYTHING.
Single men between the age of 40-50 who like fishing? No problem.
Engaged women between 20-25 who love puppies? Show me the Labs!

That power alone makes Facebook potentially a lot more powerful than Google AdWords.
It's also a lot more powerful if you're aiming for casual things, like something more social based (I don't think your meetup will need much SEO).

Starting a simple campaign for "Page Likes", I was surprised to find out that the conversion rate was less than pleasing.
More surprising was the fact that I was paying for all those views!

Wait, paying for impressions (=views)? I thought we got rid of those in 2005!
Apparently the default ad method on Facebook for both page likes and post boost is to pay per impression, not per click!
This is crucial to know especially if you're just starting to use Facebook ads and are still not sure what makes the best conversion.


After going to Facebook's Advertising section -> Manage your Ads -> Create ad for Campaign -> choosing Page Likes (a pretty popular option), check out the bottom part of the page:


I’d definitely recommend clicking Switch to Advanced Pricing (includes CPC) and choosing CPC when beginning a campaign.
It lets you be more accurate with your spending. It's important to know that clicks don't necessarily mean likes! People may click on the ad and decide not to like the page, so you have to make sure that the page fits what the ads states.

The ideal point is when you eventually get a high enough conversion rate so that CPM will actually be cheaper, but that doesn't always happen (at least not until you get the hang of it), and you can definitely increase your chances for getting good conversion rates with properly testing different ads with CPC for a while.