Facebook is more than a place to keep up with your family and share great cat memes or vacation photos, it’s a $314.8 billion business. Facebook has done this by positioning themselves in a favorable and lucrative spot by systematically dropping organic reach for business pages then charging businesses to grow their reach. They started by showing business page posts to just about everyone and then started slowly taking away that reach. The more Facebook restricted the organic (free) reach, the more the businesses missed the engagement. The organic reach that a post once had continues to drop in perfect accordance to Facebook’s stock price rising. What’s the correlation? Facebook began offering a new way for companies to get in front of their followers and, even better, new people that had not yet discovered them. So what does Facebook want in return for this audience? You guessed it, cold hard cash.Only 2 out of every 100 followers has a chance to see your post unless you are paying Facebook. Click To Tweet
Dropping to a staggering 2% organic reach is tough to overcome without supplementing with advertising budget. This means only 2 out of every 100 followers has a chance to see your post unless you are paying Facebook to grow that reach. Facebook offers a full suite of products including:
- Page Likes Ads
- Site Traffic Ads
- Post boosting (to increase the reach of a normal timeline post)
- Audience targeting
- Remarketing (targeting people that have visited your site or page previously through a cookie)
- Facebook Canvas
- Instant Articles
All this is to “help” businesses and people that run Facebook pages to increase the reach of their brand message. To be honest, it is a racket that is incredibly lucrative for Facebook but is beneficial to businesses as well. Not to mention, for the business these ads can be very cost effective. By running these ads you get to choose who you target, that means you only pay to show your content to the people that matter to you. With the amount of information Facebook captures about its users, the targeting is highly effective and precise.
Food for thought – Before jumping into doing any advertising, Facebook or otherwise, make sure that your audience is present on the platform you choose. For example, do not advertise to anyone over the age of 50 on Snapchat. They are not there, and you will be wasting your money. Put together a clear view of who your audience is, write it down, making sure your platforms, images, posts, and brand voice align with who you are speaking.
Pick Your Poison
Facebook has done a great job finding more and more ways to allow you to advertise on the platform. Let’s talk about a few of the more basic offerings from Facebook Ads.
Page Likes ad – These ads are used to drive people to “Like” your business’ Facebook page. The creative for this ad should be meant to capture the audience’s attention and convince them that if they don’t follow your page, they may miss out on great content. An average cost per “Like” is around $0.50, but I have seen as high as $7.00. This can fluctuate due to how granular your targeting is. The more refined your target audience, the more it costs. So while you want to target a certain persona, don’t be too laser focused unless you are willing to pay for it.
Site traffic ad – This ad links outside of Facebook to an external website, usually your business’ website. Use this type of ad to direct targeted traffic from Facebook to your website in hopes of converting new users. Most often this ad would feature a product or service. The ad creative should interest the audience to find out more about what is featured as well as the brand. These ads tend to cost a bit more, and understandably so, since you are directing traffic away from Facebook. They understand the value of this, but it still probably hurts their feelings. The average cost I have seen runs about $1.25. Again, this is closely tied to the precision of your targeting.
Boosted post – This is where I suggest people start when thinking about advertising on Facebook. With Boosted Posts you pay to increase the reach of a particular Facebook post. You can choose to reach more of your followers or target a new audience. By having the ability to pick a small budget for a set amount of days, this makes boosted posts is a good option for novice Facebook advertisers. Also, by paying for more reach to a post, you can increase the organic reach of that and other posts on your page. Sound contradictory? Well, it’s not. By paying for more people to see your post, more people will in turn will engage with your post and anyone that follows them will see it. So the paid increases organic. Win-win for you and a big win for Facebook too, of course.
While it’s true that Facebook is tightening its grasp on how many people see your posts, an active and interested audience can gain you some valuable ground; however, in my opinion, if it’s worth putting the time into a post, it’s worth a little bit of your advertising budget to ensure your posts are being seen. Just my two cents.