If you run a Business or Organisation Facebook page, over the last year you will have noticed that the number people that actually see your Facebook posts has fallen dramatically. Also, referred to as Reach, Facebook chooses who will see your posts. It is not the case that everyone who Likes your page will see your post.
OK, I hear you say you resent having to pay to be seen on what used to be a free network. That’s fine, but you need to look at the potential that Facebook has to offer in terms of measurable, targeted and reasonably priced advertising.
We still see that people are reluctant to give Facebook advertising a whirl, so here are 5 reasons why we think you should.
1. Target potential customers like never before
When you put an advertisement in a newspaper or magazine, your targeting options are very limited. You can choose your publication based on a readership area or possible interest type, but largely you are paying to show your advert to a majority of people who are just not interested in your product or service.
With Facebook advertising, you can target people in many ways. You can choose the specific town and radius to that town, the gender, the age bracket and so much more. You can also choose on the basis of that persons interests. One example we have of this is when we were working with a company manufacturing luxury handmade chocolates. Now, to find people who were interested in these products we need to find people who appreciate a higher quality chocolate. In Facebook advertising we looked at possible targeting options. Facebook allows us to search for categories that people have expressed an interest in, in one way or another, whilst using Facebook. We found that in the UK there are 6,200,000 people who have expressed an interest in chocolate. Refining this further we find that of this number, 5,100,000 people were female.
However, this is a large number of people and not as targeted as we would like. Just because someone likes chocolate, it does not necessarily translate that they will like luxury handmade chocolates or be prepared to pay for them. So, we refined it further and searched for a few leading higher end chocolate manufacturers. We found that Hotel Chocolat brought up 61,000 and Green & Blacks, 170,000. There was some cross over between these people and so this gave us a total of 190,000 women to target with our advertising. There is no other way at the moment to target advertising online to people in such a direct and precise way.
From this we were able to set up a few different types of campaigns aimed at building the number of Likes on the Page and also driving direct sales on the Website.
There are many even more advanced ways to target people such as targeting existing customers by their phone numbers or email addresses and targeting people who have recently visited your Website but not made a purchase.
2. You don’t need a large budget. A little can go a long way
We are often asked by clients how much they should spend on advertising on Facebook. A lot of the advertising we undertake on Facebook has budgets of a couple of £ per day. The most we really spend is around £20 per day.
Here are a few examples of the budgets we have used recently:
Boosting a post: We often boost a post for two days after it has been published. Budgets range from £1 to £5 a day. We rarely boost a post for more than two days
Clicks to Website: When advertising for clicks to a client Website, we work on budgets of between £5 and £10 per day on average
Remarketing: This is when you show people adverts on Facebook who have already been to your Website. This form of Facebook advertising is very effective. Our normal budget is just £1 per day!
Like Campaign: This is a campaign just aimed at getting Likes. We normally spend £3 to £5 per day on this.
It isn’t actually a case of the more you spend, the more you get, in the same proportions. We tend to find that there is a threshold where it gets more expensive to get results. For example, if we spend £20 a day and get say 100 engagements (likes, clicks, comments etc.) with our post for that money it doesn’t mean that if we spend £40 we will get 200 engagements, it could be more like 150 engagements. Spotting this change and getting the best value for money comes with experience and close monitoring of your campaigns.
3. You can measure the results
Imagine placing an advert in a newspaper or magazine and then getting a report back from the publication of who saw the advert, how many people went to your Website after seeing the advert and even how many people bought from you after seeing it. It isn’t going to happen!
Used in conjunction with a good statistics package, such as Google Analytics Facebook advertising can be measured in such a way that it can even tell you whether Facebook advertising is leading to purchases or enquiries.
Even on a basic level, the level of reporting within Facebook itself will help you refine and improve your advertising. Let me give you an example of how we ran a short advertising campaign for a Holiday Cottage that was running a competition to win a free holiday. We ran the campaign for a few days and then refined it to reduce costs and improve results.
When looking at the results for a campaign in Facebook, you can a wealth of information about the campaign. We noticed with this particular campaign that women were three times more likely to enter the competition than men! Furthermore, we noticed that the most likely age range for entering the competition was 21 to 45. Digging even a little deeper, it became apparent that there were certain images that were more likely to get a positive result. We used this information to improve the targeting of our campaign even further which resulted in an improved engagement rate for actually less money!
Coming back to Google Analytics, with a basic level of understanding you can see how long those paid Facebook visits are spending on your site, how many pages they look at and essentially whether you are getting a return on your investment.
4. Use Facebook Advertising to build your Audience
One of the principles we use when undertaking a Facebook advertising campaign is as follows:
1. Build the audience by increasing Likes
2. Build a relationship with your audience (entertain and educate)
3. Pull the customers to your Website to do business with them
As I intimated earlier, the number of Likes that your page has is actually not the most important thing when running a Facebook page. The Reach, or number of people that see your posts is much more important and furthermore, how many of them actually convert into becoming customers.
However, building Likes is an important step along the road to success on Facebook. Once you have a good number of Likes, as well as the potential of those people seeing your posts organically (without paid advertising) you can for example choose to advertise just to the people who already Like your page.
This is an example of how we used Facebook advertising to build Likes to a page recently. Firstly, the client had a database of 2,000 email addresses on their mailing list. So, we imported these into Facebook so that Facebook could match these email addresses against people who used Facebook. This created a custom audience that we then used to run a Like campaign for. This gave the client a nice boost in Likes to get the ball rolling. At the end of the day, the people who are most likely to Like your page are those that are already aware of you.
Secondly, we ran a standard Like campaign that targeted friends of those who already Liked the page. In addition, we limited the audience for the adverts to those that had a specific interest in the service that the client offered, and were in a specific geographic region.
The result was that for just £60 the client’s Likes increased from 10 to 800 in the space of two weeks, giving a good starting point for future posts and advertising. Obviously the results vary and the more niche and targeted a campaign, the better the results.
5. Use Advertising to reach more people
Imagine that you were in a stadium with thousands of people who are all potential customers. You stand in one section of the stadium and start to tell an interesting story about your company. Many of the people that are in the stadium already know about you but they just can’t hear you. Even if they said previously that they Like your company, they still don’t get to hear what you have to say. Imagine now that you could place headphones over the ears of everyone who was of a certain age, gender and was interested in your service, and everyone who had already expressed an interest in your company, and then tell your story again. In the busy world of Facebook, this is exactly what Facebook advertising can do for you. It can put your story in front of the very people that matter.
In my work at InSynch, providing one to one consultancy with business clients, time and time again I see people who are posting on Facebook and Twitter a lot, spending hours per week, with very little return. You shouldn’t be undertaking social media activities for the sake of it, because everyone else is. You should be doing it because it brings results.
If no one is seeing what you are saying then why bother. If you are not getting enquiries or sales, then stop what you are doing and go and do something more effective instead.
Facebook advertising is a very effective way of targeting customers and sooner or later, if you want to get real business benefit out of Facebook, you will need to use Facebook advertising. Don’t be put off by the fact you have to pay, but rather see it as an effective method of reaching your potential customers in a more targeted way than ever before!
InSynch run comprehensive Facebook advertising campaigns for all types of companies, large and small.