The Really Bad News about Facebook

Facebook feels like a waste of time - Coffs HarbourMany small business owners see Facebook as a “free” marketing vehicle. They might invest in a giveaway to boost page likes, but thereafter they rely on a few weekly or daily posts to “market” their brand.

I have bad news. If this sounds like you, then you are wasting your time.

In fact, many business owners have already cottoned on to the fact that they have been wasting their time. So they have just stopped posting on Facebook and written it off as a poor marketing investment.

Now I have really bad news. If this sounds like you, then you are missing out on one of the most powerful marketing opportunities available today.

Facebook is hands down the most targeted and cost effective media for small business (or any business for that matter). Yet too many small business owners continue to pour money into print, radio and even television, without even considering the potential of Facebook advertising.

If you are a small business owner who is ignoring the potential of Facebook, consider what you are missing.

Facebook may not be free, but it’s REALLY cheap

Let’s be honest, the days when Facebook looked like a free ride for business are completely over (if they ever really existed). If you want to genuinely get business value out of Facebook you must look at paid advertising.

So now that you’ve faced up to the fact it’s not free, be reassured that it is definitely the cheapest advertising vehicle on the block.

The graph below is based on US data, but the principle holds in Australia. It’s a fraction of the cost to reach 1000 people on Facebook, than to reach those same people in the local newspaper or on radio and TV.

graph-of-costs-per-advertising

The story gets better still when you consider that a Facebook ad can be set so you only pay when someone clicks your ad. That’s like not having to pay for all the people who aren’t paying attention when your radio ad comes on, or who rushed off to the loo in the TV ad break. Frankly, it’s amazing.

Facebook lets you target EXACTLY the people you want to talk to

Let’s say you own a high-end women’s fashion boutique. If you are advertising in the local paper, which is widely read in the community, then maybe only 10% of the readers are actually potential customers. So if you spend $100 on advertising, effectively only $10 is working for you.

Facebook allows you to pinpoint exactly who you want to see your advertising, so none of your advertising dollars are wasted.

When I say Facebook let’s you target your audience; I don’t just mean that you can target women, 35-45, within 20km of Tamworth. You can get much more specific than that. You could target women you have an interest in fashion, women who read specific fashion magazines or follow certain fashion bloggers, women who have visited your website in the last six months…

Facebook knows a frightening amount about each and every one of us (except those rare beasts who don’t have a Facebook account). As an individual it may be a bit spooky, but as a business owner it’s pure gold.

Facebook helps you to spur people to action

Possibly the most exciting thing about Facebook advertising is its power to make people act, and thereby engage with your brand.

Generally it’s impossible for customers to physically engage with a print, radio or television ad. Facebook on the other hand allows customers to engage immediately.

Let’s say our boutique owner wants to promote her “summer specials”. Print, radio or TV advertising can be very effective in building awareness for her summer sale, but all rely on customers acting hours or days after they’ve seen or heard the ad.

On Facebook, our boutique owner could advertise her summer specials and offer a voucher for “$10 Off Your First Purchase”, or a “Free Scarf to finish off your summer look”. The very act of clicking the link to get a voucher has started the customer engagement process. The chance that customer will ultimately come in to the boutique just got higher.

 

If you are a small business owner who has given up on Facebook I urge you to consider the potential value of advertising on Facebook. Start small, experiment with different target audiences and offers. Facebook is an extremely cost effective way to build your brand awareness and promote sales.

If you need a hand getting a Facebook campaign together give us a call. Movers and Shapers can help you to develop strong creative, program your ad campaign and assess your results.