Every once in a while, we meet with a business owner or marketing director who tells us that “Facebook ads don’t work”. And a couple weeks ago, even General Motors agreed with this assessment when they pulled out of a multi-million dollar Facebook ad campaign.
But on this one, we have to agree to disagree with GM and some of those naysayers. Of course, with any medium, there are some brands and messages that just don’t work. Ever tried selling a new wedding dress style with a radio ad? Or the amazing musical talents of a local performer through a print ad? Without seeing the dress or hearing the music, it’s pretty tough to get people excited for your product.
The bottom line is, yes, sometimes your brand, company, or market just isn’t the right fit for advertising on Facebook. But when the right pieces are in line, this medium can be one of the most powerful, and least costly, ways of generating awareness and new leads.
Here are a few of the most important factors to consider in determining whether Facebook advertising is right for you:
- Is your target market on Facebook?
- While it certainly seems like everyone and their mother (and grandmother) is on Facebook; you should make sure that your target audience is there, and actively using the medium, before launching a Facebook campaign. How to know for sure? You can send out an email survey to your existing customers asking if they are on Facebook and how often they log on.
- Are they more likely mobile users or desktop users?
- As of the date of this post, Facebook advertising does not translate well for mobile users. They may see some sponsored post updates, but will miss out on the majority of targeted ads (the ads in the right sidebar of a page). So if your customers are active on Facebook, but only from their smartphones (as you’ve found out from your email survey results), this may not be the best place for you to advertise until Facebook finds a better way to work ads into mobile.
- Is your brand fun? Interesting? Resourceful or Informative? Do people want to hear from you in their free time?
- Ok, it’s time to be brutally honest. Do you really have something that people want to spend time connecting to in their spare time? Can you be fun, interesting, or unique in your messaging? If you’re selling complex components of high-tech machinery, this is probably not the best place to do so.
- Here is a list of some of the most successful types of brands we’ve developed Facebook campaigns for:
- Concert series – fun, targeted by personal interests, great to share with friends!
- Bakery – unique & local, easy to purchase from online, targeted by geography and friend networks!
- Health products – unique messaging, targeted by lifestyle/age/gender/interests & activities, linked to valuable printable coupons only accessible by Facebook fans!
- Upscale Hair Salon – fun, trendy, included great photos & videos, targeted by geography, age, demographics, personal interests & activities, shopping habits!
- Can you pinpoint your target market by their age, location, job title or industry, relationship status, interests, family status, activities, and/or relationships with others?
- Facebook succeeds where most other advertising mediums fall very short – their ads target prospects by their ACTUAL interests, demographics, psychographics, and geography. Where traditional ad mediums like TV and Newspapers can only ASSUME that their viewers/readers fall between a certain age or are likely to be interested in specific activities; on Facebook, you can target prospects based on who they ACTUALLY are and what they’re interested in.
- Do you represent a ski area? You can target people who listed ‘skiing’ as an activity, live within 50 miles of your resort, and are within an age range that matches your target audience for an upcoming event. Are you in the wedding industry? Well you’re one of the luckiest advertisers on Facebook, because you can target people who have already put themselves in the buying cycle for a wedding: people who are engaged. You can target them in a specific geography, or based on their age, other interests (Vera Wang, perhaps?), gender, and hundreds of other profile indicators.
- Is your organization open to unique messaging, testing different calls to action, monitoring results and making on-the-spot changes as needed to improve results?
- This is where it all comes down to developing a well-rounded and effective campaign. The person or agency responsible for managing your campaigns must be able to effectively monitor them, make changes where needed, and have the ability to make changes on the main Facebook page and/or your website’s landing pages.
- On day 1, you may have no idea what messages, images, or calls to action are going to work. That’s perfectly fine, and it’s the great thing about Facebook advertising, because you can make campaign changes to nearly every element with very short notice. The key to being successful is to keep testing, monitoring, making changes, and testing again; until you have found the perfect mix of image/message/target-market/landing-page-message and call-to-action that deliver the results you’ve been hoping for.
If you have all of the above pieces in place, it’s time to get out there and start building your campaign! But if this list confused you further, or you feel you don’t have all of the elements together, please contact us. We can review your strategy with you and develop one that will provide the results you’re looking for.