NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I've been a Facebook (FB - Get Report) bull since shortly after the IPO. The dust settled and, despite certifiably inane bear cases, such as Barrons' $15 call, FB continues to build a base that will take it higher.While there's no question Apple ( AAPL ) CEO Tim Cook has it worse, Mark Zuckerberg receives almost as raw of a deal.
I don't see why it's a problem that a) Facebook requires brands to pay more money to reach a larger audience (Cuban's beef and it is true; that's how FB advertising works) and b) Facebook allegedly, according to Bilton's experiment, prioritizes shared content with advertising dollars behind it over shared content posted without the financial push. (For the record, I actually believe Bilton here). Isn't this the type of thing we wanted to see from Zuckerberg? Wasn't this the main criticism of Facebook, that it wasn't doing enough to monetize its massive user base? Now, it's doing just that -- going for revenue at the same time as it attempts to realize its righteous social mission -- yet we're still on Zuck's case. The guy can't win. It's important to point out that there's likely a distinction between user-generated content (stuff you post from your personal Facebook page) and content brands such as TheStreet post. In other words, I would suspect Facebook treats a Nick Bilton post differently than a New York Times post and a Rocco Pendola post differently than a TheStreet post from an advertising placement standpoint considering the difference between paying $7 to promote a post as a single user and spending hundreds or thousands of dollars per month as a brand. In terms of results, again, I am not sure how a brand, in particular, could not see results. The ability to target specific audiences with tailored content and see immediate results makes it almost impossible to screw up a Facebook advertising campaign over the long term. As we have scaled into a somewhat considerable Facebook advertising push, TheStreet has seen the number of people who "Like" its page grow from about 30,000 at the end of 2012 to 45,038, as of this writing. That's an increase of roughly 50%. And the pace of this uptick continues to increase alongside our following with meaningful organic growth to boot. Engagement on our Facebook page is literally through the roof. Sharing, comments and post, as well as the above-mentioned page "Likes" are all up exponentially. Month-over-month (between January and February of this year), traffic from Facebook to TheStreet.com increased by 85%.These are real data. Take them for what they're worth. They sum up one person's experience at one company and, no doubt, we're doing a lot right at TheStreet that paves the way for Facebook to be effective. That said, I maintain that if you know how to utilize the platform and relay strong content to your users, you'll see results from Facebook advertising. At day's end, my experience seeing results is what it is, but it absolutely makes up a significant portion of my bull case on the stock. Follow @rocco_thestreet -- Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.