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Facebook Advertising?

I have clients ask from time to time whether they should invest advertising dollars into Facebook ads. Two years ago, I would have said ‘absolutely, without a doubt, can’t go wrong’. Since that time, however, Facebook has been steadily changing for the worse when it comes to effectiveness as a marketing tool for small businesses.

The good thing about advertising with Facebook is … you can try it for a while, and cancel at any time. It’s a day-by-day venture, so there’s no way to get locked into something that isn’t working. And, you have complete control over who sees your ads, which helps optimize them for best possible exposure within your intended customer base.

The BAD thing about Facebook ads … ever since Facebook went public almost two years ago (May 18, 2012), everything they’ve done has been about making money for investors, rather than helping businesses promote themselves. It is no longer the valuable tool it once was. Not saying it won’t make you some money, but you have to be very careful.

When you set up a Facebook ad, you have two choices…you can try to acquire “LIKES” to your Facebook page, or hits to your website. Likes to your Facebook page are not as valuable as you would think, because Facebook throttles the number of people that see your posts.

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I have a Facebook page devoted to Florida Fringe Tourism that has nearly 1,800 likes … but when I make a post, only about 200-300 people actually see it. On average, a Facebook ad will get me 1 like for every 80 cents I pay …. but if only 14% of these likes can see my posts, I am actually paying about $5.70 for each set of eyes that will be seeing my marketing message.

In many cases, linking to your website may be a more effective way to use Facebook ads. This method will not garner likes on your Facebook page, where 14% of the people will see your on-going messages. Instead, 100% of potential customers that click your ad will be directed to your website where they will see your entire marketing message, including various ways to contact you if they need or want your products and services.

The nice thing about advertising on Facebook is that you can target very specifically who you want to see your ads. You can tell Facebook to show your ads to “homeowners between ages of 24 and 50 who live within 50 miles of your town who are interested in family and hunting” …. or whatever you criteria you feel would describe your preferred demographic. This way, only viable potential customers see your ad.

So in short, I believe Facebook advertising can provide valuable exposure to a specifically targeted demographic of potential customers. How effective this exposure turns out to be for your business can only be determined through experimentation … good old fashion “trial and error”. If you are interested in giving this method of marketing a try, contact us and we will be glad to help!