This post explores how it’s becoming a necessity for most businesses to use Facebook advertising as a regular part of their Facebook marketing strategy.
Long gone are the days of high organic reach (organic reach being how many of the people who like your page see your posts) of 70 or 80%. Latest research by Social@Ogilvy [link: http://adage.com/article/digital/reasons-brand-posts-fading-facebook/292043/ ] has shown it’s now down to less than 10% for a lot of business pages on Facebook – it’s not so bad for smaller businesses (more around the 20% level) but let’s face it, it’s not great and it’s only going to get worse.
WHY? Yes, there are just more profiles and pages out there than a few years ago so you’ve got more competition but that’s not the real reason. Ultimately, Facebook need to make money, lots of money, so organic reach is being squeezed to ensure most businesses start to use Facebook advertising [link: https://www.facebook.com/advertising]. We may not like it, but if you want to reach more than 20% of the people who already like your Facebook page, you need to start ‘boosting’ certain posts to get your visibility and engagement rate up.
There is now a lot of advice and help out there: a lot comes down to what your objective is – what are you trying to achieve from using Facebook Advertising?
Below is the list of ‘results’ you can achieve for your page through advertising:
You simply select which one is relevant (in this case I’ve selected ‘boosting’ a post on my page to increase visibility/engagement to my existing followers).
Facebook then walks you through your choice of who sees the ad, you can select which part or all of your audience sees the post. If you want to go beyond those that already follow you, you can use really good filters to narrow down who sees your post. For example if you sell handmade baby booties, you can boost a post to e.g. women, age 25 to 45, within 50 miles of Telford, who are college educated and married. It’s powerful stuff.
Just bear in mind that people don’t go to Facebook to be advertised to; they mainly go to keep up to date with friends and family so whatever you decide to advertise, it needs to be compelling, friendly, non-salesy, offer-driven (if possible) to fit into their newsfeed without creating noise.
And if you just don’t have any budget? Well, first things first, I’ve ran successful Facebook advertising campaigns for as little as £20 to £40, so we’re not talking big money. You set your budget and that will dictate how many people you reach.
If you really can’t allocate any money to Facebook advertising, then you have to plug away at boosting engagement and getting likes on your page organically. Ways you can do this include:
Ensuring new ‘likers’ to your page engage with your page shortly after liking it; this will help to keep future posts from you in their newsfeed. Think about an easy way to get likes or comments (start by asking easy questions!)
- Providing relevant, consistent (at least daily for most businesses), quality and engaging content. People trust these kinds of business pages more than those with sporadic posts.
- Convert Facebook likes to email addresses – e-newsletters will provide more conversions to sales than Facebook alone. Use an app such as splashpost.com [link: http://www.splashpost.com] to create easy email opt-ins in your posts (make sure you’re giving them something worthwhile so they want to give your email address)
- Ensure you are constantly, politely, pointing actual and potential customers to your Facebook page – page address on business cards/marketing materials, on confirmation email, on packing slip etc
- Calls to action – a marketing staple, ask a question within your post and people are more likely to engage, full stop. Just don’t fall into the trap of asking your followers to ‘like, comment and share’ every post you put up; it looks needy.
Above all, be human: people interact with people, not logos. Just pumping out your latest press release or industry news won’t cut it.
Whether you decide to incorporate Facebook advertising into your budget or not, I wish you luck with it, it’s an increasingly bumpy road on Facebook!