There’s so much hype about Facebook and their advertising – and equally as much discussion, some love it while others hate it.
Are you confused? Is it important to get the most bang for your buck? Not sure whether it’s worth it or if you should rather focus on Google?
Let’s dive in. Today I’ll discuss the good and bad things about using Facebook for business purposes. That means both your free and paid options and how you can leverage them to build your startup.
It all comes down your business goals as every business is unique, there’s no one size fits all answer but I’ll give you the understanding necessary to decide whether Facebook may be a good idea or not.
From a small business point of view, there’s a couple of bad things about Facebook for business.
First of all, the organic reach is decreasing which means that setting up a fan-page and sharing your content for free won’t give you as much juice as it used to.
It appears to be a general trend among social networks that as they grow bigger they implement or improve their an algorithm to give the users a better experience (see what they are likely to like the most). Facebook did it. Instagram did it. And Twitter did it.
That appears to generally cut down on organic reach which means that you likely would get more benefit from using smaller social networks if you are looking to gain followers by post a lot. Of course posting good content regularly also requires time and resources but I’m sure you are all aware of that.
That means fan-pages on Facebook are mostly useful if you already have a large following as they can share your material with their friends. The newsfeed algorithm shows you content you are more likely to be interested in depending on your previous behavior and interests.
That’ll end up feeding most of your content to your hardcore fans which isn’t so useful if you are a small startup with either a small amount of fans or none at all.
There are also good things about Facebook for business, once of which is that you’ll have access to lots of users – which means that if you have a nice following you can potentially reach A LOT of prospects compared to other platforms.
Another great thing is groups that can be used as closed membership-groups. They seem to become increasingly popular as the organic reach is going down for fan-pages. However, a group isn’t worth much unless you spend time with and lead the way regarding contribution and quality. It can quickly become a mess if you aren’t careful.
Facebook is particularly strong when it comes to paid advertising as they give you the option to do extremely specific targeting and programmatically search for new people similar to your current fans. I’ll tell you why that’s amazing and how you can leverage it in a really cool way in a minute.
First we need to talk about the three different types of advertising available to you.
First there’s the standard type of campaign where you research your audience and target them by their interests, demographics, behavior or similar.
Then there’s another one called look-a-like audiences which lets you import your current audience and programmatically find similar people.
And last but not least there’s the retargeting option that lets you import your current customers and show them ads on Facebook.
As you may have noticed Facebook is particularly a strong tool if you want to scale your current userbase. It’s especially good if you have sold some products before you start using it as you’ll know that your product sells and you’ll have a clear idea about the various audiences that could be interested.
Facebook has a pretty aggressive strategy for acquiring new users which you can take advantage of.
It can be a great tool to get new customers but in many cases there would probably be better options out there in the early stages. In my experience many small business owners get a bad experience with Facebook ads if they don’t prepare themselves properly.
While it’s easy and cheap to get started (you can start with as little as $5), it takes a while and a bit of money to figure out how to acquire leads at a cost that is profitable to you and during that time it will most likely feel expensive which is why it’s so important to have a clear strategy in place.
As there are often a lot of uncertainty in the early stages of a business you can probably spend your limited budget better elsewhere as there are plenty of free growth-hacks out there.
If you feel confident and ready to get into Facebook advertising, there’s an amazing opportunity, as I mentioned earlier, which is the extremely targeted audiences.
You can really personalize your message as you have all kinds of information about your audience from your targeting and based on that you should be able to get a pretty good idea of who they are and what mindset they have when they are browsing on Facebook.
That can be turned into what feels like a personalized message to the them but to you it’s something that can be scaled up easily – the power of a personal message at scale.
You will be able to do this by researching your audience’s interests and target them through fan-pages for example.
If you do it right, you’ll see amazing results and learn a lot about your customers that you can use in other aspects of your business.
I have prepared two free gifts for you! A step-by-step guide to setting up your first Facebook ad and 5 tips to boost your ad ROI. Click here to claim yours!
Aske Christiansen helps solopreneurs scale their business with Facebook ads. He loves helping out and are happy to answer questions about Facebook advertising. Head over to his blog if you want to have a chat!