I’m just going to say it. I hate paying for advertising on Facebook—hate, Hate, HATE it. As a small business owner, as well as a content marketer strategist for my clients, it’s probably one of my biggest frustrations. And let me just say this, it’s not because I don’t know how to make it work—I do. What irritates me the most is the fact that if you want to have a business page on Facebook, and have an actual audience—then it’s something you simply have to do—and you have to have a budget for it. I know, that stinks because it didn’t always used to be that way.
If you have any knowledge of how Facebook used to work from a business perspective, you are probably well aware of the fact that a recent algorithm update (in the last few months) completely changed the way business posts are organically shown in a user’s newsfeed. Namely, your audience exposure probably took a big hit. So if your company page has 3,000 followers, a status update might be shown to 15 or 20 of those users organically. Why? Because Mark Zuckerberg isn’t a dummy, and he wants his company to generate loads of advertising revenue. In achieving that goal, I commend him, even though my advertising budget has needed to be adjusted for each of the campaigns that I work on.
So ultimately, yes, there are plenty of organic strategies out there when it comes to generating traffic on Facebook—and my company uses the majority of them. However, when it comes to paid advertising, you need to know how to get the most “boost” for your buck. Follow these tips:
- Be REALLY specific when creating a targeted audience for your boosted post. It’s better to really focus on who you are trying to connect with instead of being overly broad and appealing to people who aren’t going to like or engage with your page for the long term. For instance, I recently ran a Facebook contest for a client who operates a small boutique men’s clothing store. Instead of sending the ad to every male Facebook user from the age of 18 to 80 in the United States, I made an ad targeted at the potential interests that a customer of this store might have, such as various hip-hop artists, sports figures, celebrities, clothing brands, and TV shows. I did this so the contest ad would show up in the newsfeed of users who would be a potential customer of this store. I also specifically targeted certain “habits” of the potential audience, including credit card users and online shoppers. To make a long story short, the contest worked exactly the way it was supposed to—we had a great turnout, didn’t use all of our intended budget because our initial response numbers were higher than we originally projected, and inspired many visitors to actually comment and share the post—earning them a promo code for their engagement. The number of page likes also went up at the same time, without paying for a promotion campaign to generate more “likes” simply because a new audience was made aware of this store through one boosted post. It was a great success all around.
- Test, test, and test again. You wouldn’t continue to spend money on an employee who isn’t doing their job, right? If you’re a smart business owner, the answer is of course no. So treat your Facebook advertising like a salesperson who needs to show results. This requires constant testing and tweaking in order to get it right. For instance, I was setting up an advertising campaign for a client who operates in the home improvement space. I first targeted an audience that I believed would be interested in this company’s services—home improvement, home and garden, as well as some television networks and home improvement personalities that may be “liked” in a Facebook user’s profile. I also targeted some behaviors: bought a new house in the past six months, recent mortgage borrower, credit card user, and the like. With this particular company too, there was a geographic consideration to make—so I targeted the area where they operated. The results? Let me just say, I wasn’t happy. After a day of watching user engagement—or lack thereof—I went back to the drawing board. I eliminated all “interests” related to the audience of that post (even while they may be applicable I had to face facts, my cost per engagement was too high) and kept the focus on consumer behaviors and location. A day later, I was happy to see that my results improved tremendously. The moral of the story here is don’t waste money on an underperforming ad. Test, modify, and change things up—it’s the only way you are going to see if you can get better results.
- Spend money on posts that matter. It’s true that it is important to be consistent on Facebook and post regular, high-quality content in order to stay in front of your audience, but not every status update is worthy of a boost. Reserve your advertising spending for high-impact images, important blog posts, special offers where you are looking to move inventory or drive traffic, as well as limited-time offers. Be choosy while being strategic and the boosted post will get results.
I’m sure I could go on as it relates to this topic—and I will in a later post. For the time being, employ these tips on your paid Facebook ad campaigns and be angry at the Gods over at Facebook just a little less.
For more help on setting up an effective Facebook strategy or devising a content marketing campaign that works for your company, contact Grammar Chic today by calling 803-831-7444.
Amanda E. Clark founded Grammar Chic in 2008. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She launched Grammar Chic after freelancing for several years while simultaneously leading marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies.