EVERYONE knows Facebook Ads are a waste of money, right?
I mean, Facebook is just for kids, like that Selfiegram thingy and that silly Snaptalk app with the yellow ghost.
And for people who want to tell everyone what they had for breakfast, let the world know they've been to the gym at least once this year or try and make everyone jealous with a few holiday snaps.
Surely it’s far better spending thousands on Google AdWords to get clicks to your website than hundreds on Facebook just to get a few ‘likes’.
(Especially when you can do so much more than just buy likes with Facebook Ads. Sooo much more, which I'll go into later)
In this article, I'm going to share with you 7 reasons why you really should be using Facebook Ads for your business.
When you think about it, pretty much everyone you know is on Facebook.
From your nieces and nephews to your aunts, uncles and John the Postman, it's actually harder to think of people you know that AREN'T on Facebook.
That probably explains why it has 2 BILLION average monthly users - a number that is still rising steadily - far more than ANY other social network.
Even #Selfiegram and Snaptalk.
Yep, even higher than the far-more-grown-up LinkedIn* that you maybe venture on once a week, have a nose around for ten minutes then forget about until the next time you get an email that someone you’ve never heard of wants to 'connect'.
LinkedIn have been sketchy about their active users in the last 9 months or so, but in late 2016 that number was around 200 million.
TEN TIMES less than Facebook.
Check the numbers below:
It's lucky for Google they own YouTube, otherwise the Big FB would have a serious monopoly on this market with over 4 billion users across Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram that it owns.
Here's more food for thought.
If Facebook Ads really were a load of rubbish, why would over 5 MILLION businesses use them and $9 BILLION be spent on them in the first half of 2017?
And, if I told you this number was up 47% and $3 BILLION on the same period in 2016, would that make you sit up and take notice?
If you aren't investing any money on them yet, well, it seems like everyone else is.
These numbers help explain why we see an ad every few posts now as we scroll down our news feed.
'Yeah…but people ignore most of them, right?'
‘MOST’ of them…because you’ve clicked at least one at some point, haven’t you?
There was a nice image that grabbed your attention, a catchy headline, or it sounded like a great offer...
That was because the advertiser did some smart marketing and specifically targeted people like you based on your demographics and interests, something you can do on Facebook to a level of detail unmatched by other online advertising platforms.
'Granular' is the popular buzzword used to describe the extent of this sort of detail amongst marketers and data-lovers at the moment.
Now, if you are still thinking 'all those stats are very well but there’s a lot of idiots in the world'...is there that many idiots that 5 million of them are wasting a total of $9 BILLION in only six months?
For those starting to wonder if you were wrong or if you are curious to know more about why you should give Facebook Ads some more consideration, read on.
*LinkedIn isn’t actually that bad, in fact you should probably be using it more often. I doubled my monthly traffic last month from it. Connect with me here and shoot me a message and I’ll tell you more.
So, I've already covered reasons one and two:
1. 2 BILLION PEOPLE USE FACEBOOK REGULARLY
See the graphic above and this report from Tech Crunch.
Plus, this number is rising daily.
79% - or four out of every five adults on the Internet - use Facebook (this is one of Adespresso's 22 Facebook Statistics Every Marketer Should Know)
Instagram and Snapchat may be all the rage amongst 18-25-year olds at the moment but you'll find most of those users are still on Facebook, too.
Don't let anyone kid you into thinking Mark Zuckerberg's Machine is going anywhere soon.
2. 5 MILLION BUSINESSES ADVERTISE ON THE PLATFORM
This figure is from a Business Insider report...and guess what, yep, this number is still rising too.
The total number of business pages currently sits at around 65 million, and is growing at a rate of around 10 million per year.
Until these numbers start to slow down (which there is no sign of, yet), Facebook remains THE place for businesses to promote themselves on social media.
3. PEOPLE SPEND AN AVERAGE OF 35 MINUTES A DAY ON FACEBOOK
According to Mediakix, about the only things most people spend more time doing every day are sleeping, working and watching TV.
With an ad being shown every 5/6 posts in the News Feed and the average person scrolling at a rate of 15 posts a minute…that’s around 100 Facebook Ads the average person sees every day.
If one of those isn’t yours, aren't you are missing out?
You can bet some of your competitors won't be.
In fact, you've probably seen some of their ads already, haven't you...
4. WITH FACEBOOK YOU CAN TARGET YOUR MOST LIKELY CUSTOMERS RATHER THAN WASTING MONEY ON A GENERAL AUDIENCE
Are you a Personal Trainer or gym in Belfast running one of those ‘Bikini Body’ Summer Campaigns?
You can specifically target women in your local area between the ages of 21 and 40, who are frequent travellers and have beach holidays and physical fitness among their interests.
Or, run a dental practice in Liverpool and are struggling to find higher-paying clients? For example, you can target married (or single) people aged 35-55 in your area who make over £40,000 per year and have an interest in dentistry and healthcare.
These are just a couple of examples of Facebook's multitude of targeting options available just on mobile as in the screenshots above, there's even more on the desktop version.
NEWSFLASH: boosting a few posts does NOT count as proper Facebook ads! This is one of the reasons people think they don't work and give up on them, because all you really get from boosting posts is a few likes and comments.
Where are the things that really matter to your business, like leads and SALES?
That's where you have to do a bit more work and Facebook Adverts Manager comes in, which not only gives you better targeting options but you also have more options full stop - like generating leads or conversions instead of just engagement.
Make sure you've stay updated here as I will talk about that more in an upcoming blog.
Back to targeting now, and where the real joy comes is when you are able to target 'warm' audiences, by uploading customer lists, retargeting people who have interacted with your page and much more.
You can even take advantage of Facebook's sophisticated algorithms to create 'lookalike' audiences based on your existing ones, finding hundreds of thousands of potential customers far easier than you would have been able to on your own.
Doesn’t advertising this way sound so much better than spending hundreds or even thousands of pounds on radio or magazine ads, where you don’t have a laser-targeted audience or a definite idea of what your money is getting you?
5. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETERS WORLDWIDE SAY FACEBOOK PROVIDES THE BEST ROI
Marketers are at the forefront of advertising; it's what we do on a daily basis.
Any good marketer has ROI as the core metric they judge the vast majority of campaigns on, and any who aren't providing value for money for their clients surely won't have that client for too long.
Understandably, then, we like getting the most bang for our buck.
And according to this eMarketer study below, 95.8% of marketers say Facebook is 'the one' for bringing home the bacon.
Given the above, unsurprisingly 61% said they planned on increasing their spending on Facebook Ads
6. ORGANIC REACH ON FACEBOOK IS ALMOST COMPLETELY DEAD
Many businesses are surprised when I tell them exactly how low their organic reach will be on average and explain the reasons why.
With over 65 million business pages on Facebook and the average person liking 20-30 pages as well as having hundreds of friends, something has to give.
And sadly, that’s your posts, because Facebook has decided that people would rather see the stuff their friends are putting up than your newest 10% discount offer.
Which makes sense really, doesn't it?
Although, this conveniently means businesses having to pay to get noticed on the platform, which means the Facebook Ad revenue coffers grow larger every day.
For these reasons, organic reach has now declined to somewhere between 0.5% and 5%.
Now you know why, even though your page has 2,000 likes, your posts regularly only get seen by 120 people and end up with a handful of likes if you're lucky.
This graph below from @jaybaer last year shows how much reach has declined…and now that businesses have to pay to get anywhere, how Facebook’s stock price has gone in the opposite direction.
7. YOU CAN ALWAYS SEE YOUR RESULTS – AND IF SOMETHING ISN’T WORKING YOU CAN CHANGE IT!
When I started off in marketing many years ago, one of my biggest frustrations was not being able to see exactly what I was getting from my campaigns and budget.
Facebook was barely even a thing, let alone Facebook Ads and the likes of Selfiegram, Chatsnap and WhatsUpp hadn’t even been invented.
My options were limited to newspaper, magazine and radio ads where we got a few sales…'I think’ I'd tell my boss but I never knew EXACTLY what the return for my outlay was.
For someone who values data and enjoys analytics as much as I do, that was a major problem.
Facebook Ads solve all that.
You can see down to the last penny/cent how much you have spent on each ad, along with numerous other metrics including online advertising favourites like CTR, CPC and CPM.
You can see for yourself LIVE how campaigns and individual ads are performing and adjust them in real-time to get the most out of your budget.
Can you do that once you’ve spent hundreds/thousands on a radio or magazine advert, sent and approved the copy and it’s gone to print or on air for that month?
Nope, once it’s gone, it’s gone.
There's no ringing the magazine up to say 'can we try a different image for a few days to see if it works any better?'
Or 'can we try running this to 25-35-year-old men in London who like football, Jeremy Corbyn and read The Metro next week?'
This targeting ability along with the huge potential audience and the amount of data available is why the internet is overtaking all other forms of advertising in terms of annual spend, worldwide.
So, now that you’ve seen the value of Facebook Ads, a warning.
A lot of companies are managing their Facebook Ads very poorly and without properly looking into their analytics. Or even looking at them at all.
According to this study from the same Jay Baer I mentioned earlier, 41% of businesses had no idea of the impact of social media!
This reduces the power of Facebook Ads to no better than spending your money on TV, radio or magazine ads; where as I mentioned above you have no real idea of the impact on your bottom line.
'Spraying and praying' your ad budget.
Half the point of advertising online (whether Facebook or AdWords) is that everything is measurable and you can always see the results from every campaign!
On some mobile phones you may need to click here instead :-)
So please, before you rush to start boldly sending Facebook campaigns off into the Interweb, make sure you have created your Facebook Tracking Pixel in your Advert Account and either installed it on your website yourself or sent it to whoever manages your website for them to do (it literally takes two minutes).
That way, you can see exactly what Facebook delivers to your website and your business.
It will also allow you to create those custom lookalike audiences I mentioned earlier which are one of the golden bullets of Facebook targeting…but more detail on those is for one of my next blogs, make sure you’ve subscribed so you don’t miss that one!
Gil is a Digital Marketing Consultant specialising in social media marketing and Facebook Ads. He has worked in sales, marketing and business management for over 12 years and has been on Facebook since 2006, when his sister made the whole family create accounts just to keep up with her when she travelled the world for a year. Otherwise, he might still be on Bebo. You can also find Gil on LinkedIn here