Facebook Marketing is still a favorite for social media marketers, but is it worth it? Many have proclaimed the death of Facebook marketing, due to consistently poor or even negative returns on investment.
Though not all Facebook marketing campaigns are wasted – many businesses have built a strong upward growth curve exclusively from Facebook – it pays to look at Facebook as a marketing tool and compare it to other options. Don’t just use Facebook because “it’s the thing to do.”
Is Facebook Marketing Dead?
Here’s why Facebook is not dead.
1. Brand Awareness
But James, I thought you said Facebook’s organic reach is down & nobody’s seeing my posts?
That may be true, but the same thing goes for your competitors.
If you optimize your page with the latest Facebook best practices, you can still increase your brand awareness at a low, low price.
We’re talking about a platform that 75% of U.S. adults use every single day.
Just because it’s getting harder to reach them, doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel — just start throwing more punches.
With organic reach falling, here are some ways to make sure fans keep seeing your posts:
- Quotes: especially inspiring & humorous quotes can encourage lots of shares
- Milestones: posts that elicit a “congratulations” from your fans will show higher in the news feed than other content (due to that word triggering something in the Facebook algorithm)
- Memes: putting images & quotes together into memes works well for some business (though not all, so test this one)
2. Content Marketing
Content creators are actually finding more success on Facebook than ever before.
That’s probably because their content is better suited for Facebook’s new algorithm.
I’m primarily talking about eye-catching list articles & infographics – 2 types of content that often get the most shares & engagement.
Try these content marketing best practices for your next few Facebook posts:
- Use one blog title that’s optimized for SEO (long-tail format with a question & your keywords at the beginning) and another title (eye-catching & short) for social media
- Write long articles: posts with more than 2,000 words get shared more often than shorter ones
- List articles: “why” articles & infographics are the most shared content on social media
- Optimize the social share toolbar on your blog & make it easy to find — try limiting the social media choices to only Facebook, Twitter & Google+ (or the social platforms that work best for your business)
- Create a banner header image for your blog or infographic & another (thumbnail) image for social — consider Facebook ad best practices when creating eye-catching images
3. Facebook Ads
I view Facebook ads separately from page optimization, posting & communication with fans.
Facebook ads are about advertising, and the sooner social media marketers realize this — the happier they’ll be.
Facebook ads offer the cheapest way to reach 1,000 people. They cost 1/128th as much as newspaper ads (per impression) and 1/9th as much as Google ads.
Here’s a snapshot of how to use Facebook ads to boost page engagement:
- Run a special campaign or contest & drive traffic to a campaign-specific page on your website
- Promote the campaign with Facebook ads — targeting fans & friends of fans
- Like-Gate the campaign so participants have to Like your business page to enter
One of our campaigns generated 1,046 clicks for $461 — about 44 cents per click.
Reach is about 70,000 & frequency is 1.26 — all of which conforms to Facebook ad best practices.
Here are some other recommendations:
- Generate a Facebook custom audience by importing your company’s merchant list or blog subscriber list (provided it’s at least 7,500 strong)
- Create a “lookalike audience” with 5% similarity to your list — meaning your Facebook ad will target Facebook users incredibly similar to your existing lead list
- Create a valuable ebook related to your products (or use one you already have), email-gate it on your website
- Create a Facebook ad expounding on the value of your email-gated ebook, complete with an eye-catching image
- Target your Facebook ad at your new lookalike audience
Realistically, a lookalike audience of 10,000 will generate about 200 clicks with a 6-day, $500 budget.
If your web page converts that traffic at a rate of 35%, you’ll generate 70 leads for $500 — that’s about $7 per lead.
Do you know how much a lead is worth to your business? I’ll bet it’s more than $7.
Hopefully, I’ve given you some faith in the future of Facebook.
Facebook evolves every day (I didn’t even get into the future of mobile advertising — something announced at F8 a few weeks ago & that will change the way we advertise on the platform), and that is in no way a bad thing for your business.
You simply have to think about it a different way.
The Facebook of 2012 doesn’t exist for businesses anymore!
As you & your business mature, Facebook matures with you (How I Met Your Mother reference anybody?).