Digital Insights

Just How Effective Are Facebook Ads?

Published: March 30, 2015

There is precious little middle ground when it comes to advertiser’s opinions about advertising on Facebook. Many marketers swear by the business-building advertising opportunities offered by the world’s largest social media network, while an equal number are inclined to simply swear at the mere mention of Facebook.

The truth of the matter is that Facebook advertising is no different than any other advertising platform. There’s a right way to do it and a wrong way. With the right approach, Facebook advertising can be a positive driving force for your company. With the wrong approach, you’re not likely to see the kind of results you were hoping for.

Why Facebook Ads?
Facebook’s organic reach has declined dramatically, primarily due to the glut of posts competing for limited real estate in the News Feed. The typical News Feed has the capacity to display only 300 out of an estimated 1,500 posts eligible for display at any given time. Because of the sheer volume of posts competing for the available space, Facebook has chosen to show only those stories that are deemed most relevant for each individual user.

According to a recent study by Agorapulse Barometer, the current average organic reach based on audience size is:

  • 25.1 percent for fewer than 1,000 fans
  • 13.8 percent for 1,000 to 10,000 fans
  • 10.0 percent for 10,000 to 50,000 fans
  • 9.8 percent for 50,000 to 100,000 fans
  • 7.7 percent for over 100,000 fans

Faced with a shrinking audience base, many marketers have turned to Facebook ads as a more reliable means of staying in touch with their fan base.

How Well Your Facebook Ads Perform Depends on the Goals You Establish
From the consumer’s point of view, social media is all about socializing online with friends and family. That doesn’t mean that you can’t encourage someone to engage with your company as long as you emphasize social interaction as opposed to hard-core selling.

The best type of goals to pursue with Facebook advertising include building an email list by offering a free high-value premium, sending traffic to your company website, or increasing engagement with your current Facebook audience.

The More Specifically You Target Your Ads, the Better Results You’ll See
Facebook’s targeting options are based on matching the exact profile of your ideal customer, and include such characteristics as location, age, gender, interests, education, relationship status, and languages spoken.

5 Tips for Boosting Results from Your Facebook Ads
1. Start out with a definite goal for your Facebook ad campaign. Whether you want more website visits or more fan engagement, your choice of goal will be used to guide you to the appropriate Facebook ad product.

2. If you’re just starting out with Facebook advertising, consider the Page Likes ad objective. You’ll build an audience quickly – and the more likes you accumulate, the more popular you’ll appear and the more other Facebook users will be encouraged to like you in turn.

3. Focus on visuals. Facebook ads and posts with high quality, relevant images generate significantly more engagement than those without. If you’re using image-based Facebook ads, make sure that your text takes up no more than 20 percent of the image space.

4. Attract attention with a Facebook Offer. Get creative – you could give away a freebie in exchange for an email opt-in or drive foot traffic with an offer redeemable at your brick and mortar store.

5. Customize ad headlines. When promoting your page, the default setting generates a headline that is identical to your page’s title. Create your own custom headline that draws more readers to your ad.


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