Social 2.0 – Making the Case for Advertising on Facebook
One of the most frequent questions we get when talking to new and prospective clients these days inevitably goes something like this…. “We’ve spent tons of time and money building an audience and engaging them through Facebook but have been seeing numbers drop significantly on every single metric that matters to us. We know it’s big, we know it’s important, but we don’t know what to do next.” “Does Facebook still provide value to small and medium sized business?” “Should we continue to use it, or begin migrating our customers to another platform”.
“Does Facebook still provide value to small and medium sized business?”
First, let’s start with a 30,000 foot overview of Facebook’s position in the marketplace and how that effects your business. Though not the first of its kind, Facebook has been the first to prove its long term business strategy. Here’s what that means for you, as a social media marketer: 1. You know that building a customer base takes time and energy. Factor Facebook’s longevity in when choosing what sites fit your brand best. While other social sites are just beginning to understand how to get the best results for their customers, Facebook has a proven network.
2. “Wherever you go, there you are.” – Now that the social media giant has proven itself soluble, you can bet that other social platforms (using Facebook as the gold standard) will follow suit with monetization. Don’t be too sure that whatever platform you plan on moving to, is not an instance of jumping out of the proverbial frying pan and into the fire.
Now let’s dig into the nitty gritty. Here’s what we know to be true about the evolution of social media and monetization: The game has changed and the engagement that businesses (especially small ones) used to enjoy has been all but decimated by shrinking organic reach. Many companies have spent huge swaths of time building audiences they can no longer reach and it often feels like the music your business was humming along to just several years ago, has come to an abrupt and grinding halt. Adding insult to injury, Facebook has spent the last several years reducing the viral reach of unpaid posts as well – thereby making it relatively impossible to be seen for free, no matter how amazing your content is.
As marketers who grew up in the “Wild (and very cheap) West” of social media monetization, we can either get caught in the vortex of frustration surrounding these facts and quit, or adapt to our new roles as “advertisers” and begin to excel at using the platform in a way that our competitors have failed to. So, let’s take a look under the hood and compare what we’ve really gained and lost with these changes.
Facebook still owns more social media traffic than all of its competitors, combined – times five. Because of that, it maintains a density of content that creates gravity; that is, it’s very easy to use Facebook as an intranet, exploring new fashion trends, finding places to eat, investigating topics you care about – all without ever leaving Facebook. This means lots of exposure for its advertisers…..and it is a trend that’s not going to be ending anytime soon.
Like Google, the longer Facebook can keep users from escaping its internal web of products, the more placement opportunities it maintains, the more revenue it will generate. As an advertiser, why is this important to you? The answer is simple, it adds value in the form of data and volume. The more customers that use the network, the more we know about their buying habits. The longer they stay there, the further our marketing dollar goes.
While you now have to pay for access to the network, the value of your content has increased exponentially. Being able to target your message at a pinpoint level that includes neighborhood, income level, hobbies, cars, jobs, websites visited, age, musical tastes, dietary habits, or virtually any other piece of data by which someone identifies themselves, means that you’re not selling bird feed to someone in Arizona who’s a monster truck enthusiast in NYC. In fact, when Facebook switched to oCPM (optimized cost per impression) many advertisers reported reduced ad expenses of up to 75% on identical or similar campaigns.
It is easier now, that at any point in history to actually reach the customers who are most likely to buy from you, and Facebook has had a lot to do with that. If all of this doesn’t convince you that sticking with Facebook provides value, here are some other bullet points to consider: Dollar and cents, Facebook is still the least expensive way to reach the greatest number of customers, bar none. ‘
“Dollar and cents, Facebook is still the least expensive way to reach the greatest number of customers, bar none. ‘
The emphasis on paid advertising has knocked many low grade advertisements and unrelated marketing that tend to make people scan right past your products, out of the way. When people see lots of ads directed at the wrong products, they tend to throw your ad (the proverbial baby) out with all the others (the bathwater)
Facebook has one of the highest domain authorities on the internet. If someone Google’s your business, it is highly likely that Facebook (as well as sites like Pinterest, LinkedIN, Yelp, etc…) are going to place highly within the first page or two of your SERP, if not directly under your actual website
Will Facebook advertising cost you money? Yes it will. Will it cost a lot of money? No, it certainly doesn’t have to. You can advertise for as little as $5 a day and and with advanced targeting, you’re more likely to actually reach the people that matter to you, instead of throwing your money into the air and hoping for the best.
We suggest you go have fun with it. Get creative and see what people do and don’t respond to. Experiment with how to get conversions to your website, with getting people to sign up for your newsletter, promoting events, apps, or any other features of your site that generates business for you. If you’re in e-commerce, run multi-product ads and target your competitor’s web sites. These are just some of the tools and features available to you on the Facebook ad platform.
With all of this said, we will remind you of one thing the we are constantly picking on clients about. Your website, not Facebook (or any social) should be the center of your digital universe. While social is important, it’s simply a tool to get people engaged with your brand and drive them back home. For more information on how Vox Social can help your business, please contact us. We’d be happy to help.