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Over 1.3 billion people use Facebook every single month – half of which log on at least once a day. Chances are, you are one of them and have undoubtedly seen advertisements. Some of ads are featured in your news-feed while others are on the right column, but just about everyone from nonprofits to car manufacturers are advertising on the platform. How do you know if this marketing option is it right for your business? Better yet, why can’t you just post your message to your company Facebook wall and be done with it?

Paying to Play
Sad news folks, but Facebook has shifted to a “pay-to-play” model for pages and it has become increasingly apparent to brands that the organic post reach is dwindling. If your company or organization has invested time and energy into Facebook, you’ve noticed the slip. Facebook has significantly ratcheted down the reach of each page post starting a little over 18 months ago. The Facebook company line is that they are merely responding to their users’ feedback – an individual might “like” over 100 pages on Facebook causing a serious traffic jam in a user’s news feed. Makes sense, but I tend to lean toward the IPO effect. The ratcheting down of views is the inevitable bi-product of Facebook going public. Investors want to see revenue and ads are a viable way for them to make that income.

The almighty algorithm
Facebook is now serving up users only a fraction of your “liked” page posts at any given time. As a page manager, you undoubtedly have noticed this phenomenon and probably thought it was something YOU had done. Pages have seen a?50% decrease in reach in just the past few months. The hit is seen more in pages with over 250,000 likes but even smaller pages have seen an average 28% reach rate dwindle to 10% and lower. This is more evidence that your company content might need a little boost.

I put my money where?
You don’t want to just spend money to spend money. You need to select the appropriate type of ads for your goals and the type of person you want to see them.

Example 1:? You are a nonprofit hosting an event in Washington DC and need to get 500 people signed up for your walk-a-thon. Put a portion of your allotted advertising funds behind ads optimized for conversions. Direct ads to fans of local running stores, individuals in the area that have a propensity to donate to charitable causes and the friends of your fans. Push the traffic to a landing page optimized for Facebook traffic that capture first name, last name and emails. Follow up with your leads!

Example 2:? You have a mattress store in a small suburban market. Your competition has a mega store 15 miles from your door. What do you do to set yourself apart? Create an ad featuring the store owners with content messaged to your tiny community. Create a Facebook special specific to the town residents and have the ads show only to those in your zip code. Make your company a member of the community and humanize your brand. This will set you apart from the mega store down the road.?

Example 3: You are releasing a new product and want people to view a video announcement showing how the product works, but TV ads are out of the budget. The new Facebook video ads feature is ridiculously cheap and costs a fraction of the price you would pay for tv or radio.? We are talking as low as 2-5 cents per view! Couple that with the aforementioned targeting options (age, gender, income level, household status, number of children, affinity for specific brands, etc,) and you will be head and shoulders above the competition.

Does it really work?
If you do it correctly, yes you will see results; however, Facebook is not going to cure all your business woes. For example – the mattresses. You are in a very saturated market already, then Facebook ads are not going to make your sales quadruple overnight. Use Facebook ads in conjunction with other traditional marketing efforts and you should see a return on investment. What we like most about Facebook ads is that they are a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising and targeting options are sophisticated. You can pause and tweak ads as you go making this a very flexible option for your company.

I don’t have time to optimize ads on Facebook – Im busy selling mattresses

Curious to see if your business or nonprofit can benefit from Facebook ads??Email or call us. We are here to help find the options that make the most sense for your company or nonprofit. Make the most out of your presence on social media and grow your business.