Give up thinking of Facebook as a free marketing channel. You need to invest in ads

My view of Facebook advertising has changed in 2014. I used to think of ads as a supplement to boost campaigns. Now, I’d describe advertising as an essential activity for any brand or business using Facebook for marketing. Without the investment, you will struggle to create any cut-through (so if you aren’t willing to cough up the cash, you might as well not bother)!

money

Why the change of heart?

Facebook’s ever-evolving algorithm, that’s why. It is reported that instead of reaching 16% of fans (2013), pages are now reaching a piddly 3% of their fans. Ouch! Organic reach is officially at an all-time low.

Some speculate that this is a sneaky move by Facebook to drive up ad revenue. Facebook say the tweaks to the algorithm ensure that newsworthy and high quality content is favoured in the newsfeed. Whatever the reason, it’s already happened, so you need to act fast to combat against the negative effects.

Make sure your beautiful content is seen by your fans

What’s the point in spending hours crafting posts and sourcing gorgeous visuals, if only 3% of your audience will ever see those posts? Putting budget behind your content to upgrade your reach needs to become standard practice. And make sure your post copy will encourage fan interaction and build up affinity. When you see content starting to snowball… spend, spend, spend to maximise its potential!

Reach the people that matter

You can’t wait for them to come to you. Go hunt them down! Facebook advertising offers sophisticated targeting options, so that you can create ads to drive brand awareness and build engagement with the people that matter to you. On the flip side, testing and monitoring how your Facebook ads perform, can be an effective strategy for better understanding who is interested in your product offering. For example, you might have expected the ads targeting Mums to perform well, when actually it’s the teenager focused ads that are really soaring…

Facebook is just one channel within the marketing mix, but it does need its own budget allocation to make the investment in time and resource worthwhile. You wouldn’t blink at PPC spend, so why is Facebook different? We need to step out of the freebie mindset and get serious about Facebook advertising.

If you need a helping hand, just let us know…

© Comugnero Silvana, Fotolia.

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