Life before Facebook Ads
In the early days of Facebook business pages (circa 2008 – 2010), you could reach a significant portion of your fans with every post. Many small businesses jumped on the bandwagon, using this free communication tool to grow their businesses.
But then a shift occurred. Almost overnight, post reach dropped by 75% or more. What happened? Facebook introduced Facebook Ads and changed their algorithm. Suddenly it was a pay-to-play game. If you wanted to reach the people who had already liked your page, you needed to pay for ads.
I will be honest, at first, I was angry. These were my fans, why did I need to pay to reach them? The unfortunate truth is that Facebook doesn’t charge me to host my page or connect with my community. From a business perspective, they have a right to generate revenue from their website so I eventually got over my anger and took a serious look at their advertising platform.
Should you invest in Facebook Ads?
Low Cost & High ROI – After resisting for awhile, I have come around. Facebook ads offer tremendous opportunities for small business owners to reach customers and qualified prospects as well as potential employees at a very reasonable price. They actually have the lowest cost structure with ad budgets starting at $1.00/day for impressions or $5.00/day for clicks. With the low daily spend and the broad reach, 95% of social media marketers (according to a study by eMarketer) think Facebook has the best return on investment of any social advertising platform.
Precise Targeting – Facebook knows a lot about their community. For the price of a small advertisement, you can tap into that information to target your ads. You can deliver messages to your existing fans, their friends or a broader custom audience.
There is also the option of building a clone of an existing audience. For example, if you have a list of several hundred or several thousand customers you can upload that list to Facebook, and they will find other people who look like your customers. This is extremely valuable for any type of local business. If Mary is your customer there is a good chance that the people who live in her neighborhood, who go to her church or share an interest in books and knitting might be ideal prospects for you as well.
Advertising Options – Not every business has the same objectives. That’s ok, Facebook allows you to construct an advertisement to meet your objectives. You can construct an ad to build your Facebook community, increase visibility of a specific piece of information, drive traffic to a landing page on your website, encourage people to schedule an appointment, sign up for your newsletter, or complete a survey or download a piece of content. And best of all you can track your results.
Instant Analytics – The ability to see results immediately is one of the most powerful parts of Facebook Ads. You can test several versions of the same ad for just a few dollars. After you compare the results, you can adjust and fine-tune your campaigns to make the most out of your advertising investment.
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