I’m not completely bothered by the fact that after scrolling through sandals on Nordstrom’s website I immediately find that there is a native ad in my Facebook feed for sandals from Nordstrom. Why? Because it’s relevant to me (albeit a little bit stalker-ish).
But what about today, when I was scrolling through and came across a suggested post by NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) for a post about ending drunk driving? Or a suggested post by StraightFix for their gimmicky hair brush that straightens hair? These suggested posts show up in my feed because I fit their target market. My gender and age probably played the largest role, but other factors such as liked posts and pages, shopping habits and education all play a factor in what ads I see.
Is it worth it? Do these filters on Facebook do a good enough job to reach the right people? Are people even interacting with the ads?
I think the real question is should you still be advertising on Facebook? The answer is YES. But why?
First of all, Facebook is still relevant, with 1.71 billion monthly active users, 823 million of which are mobile only users, making it the most used social media network. Lots of brands have recognized this fact, and of all the brands on Facebook, 75% pay to promote posts. So, are you going to be a part of that 75%? I’m going to tell you that you should, and why you should. Facebook advertising allows for:
- Highly Targeted Ads
- Budget Control
- Real-time Analytics
Facebook Advertising is Highly Targeted
The power of a highly targeted campaign means that your brand can reach exactly the kind of customer you want to, limiting the impacts of advertising to a groups who don’t fit your target market.
Facebook allows advertisers to target their audience by:
- Likes & Interests
- Education & Work
- Shopping Habits
This narrow and highly targeted info is extremely useful. Not only is it useful, it is also right at your fingertips because of Facebook users’ profiles, which gives you access to all of the things you want to know. Since the information is user generated, it represents a fairly accurate representation of the person, and the validity of the information. When you fill out all of the relevant targeting information, Facebook gives you an estimated reach, meaning the estimated number of people you can advertise to.
As brands and products are increasingly becoming more niche, it becomes equally important to advertise to niche markets, and this means being specific and precise.
For example, did you know that there is a group on Facebook organized and dedicated for women who enjoy planning, decorating their agendas and talking about all things to do with planners? Well guess what, there isn’t just one, there are hundreds. If I were a specialty planner store I would target people in these groups, because they are my niche market for my niche product. Without Facebook it would be hard to narrow in on people who have a passion for planners, but this social network makes it so easy. Again, it is all about the ease of highly targeting that makes Facebook effective for advertising.
Another major benefit of using Facebook as an adverting medium is the ability to tightly control the budget. Facebook automatically chooses efficiency over speed when choosing how to deliver ads within your budget. This means that Facebook is showing your ad set to your target audience, which may not be as fast of a delivery as if it is not shown to your target market. If time is an issue, you can choose an accelerated delivery option, which shows your ads to people similar to your target market of even in your target market, but not as exactly as is possible with more time.
Having a preset budget with a specific target market is a major benefit, in addition to being able to choose how you prioritize your ad delivery.
As soon as you get your ad campaign rolling you can check your results instantly. There might not be any results to see, depending on the size of your ad campaign, but the ability to see results is there. Facebook has built in features to customize your results data, making it easy to access exactly what you want to know, when you want to know it. This feature is especially helpful for small businesses who may not have the extended resources to analyze their advertising campaigns.
Bonus Feature: A/B Testing
Another analytics tool that is useful is A/B testing on Facebook ads. This method of testing is useful for other things such as website landing pages and online promotional offers. A/B testing on Facebook pages allows you to show different versions of your ad copy, allowing you to see what works better with your target audience. Read more about Facebook A/B testing here.
Facebook isn’t a new social media medium by any means, but it is so widely used that it is still relevant. Companies should care about reaching their target market on Facebook. With many benefits of advertising on Facebook, it is easy for large and small companies to utilize the ad features. Have you used Facebook advertising? Leave me a comment below with your experiences, and any tips you have for advertising on Facebook. You can also Tweet me @akannakeefe with the hashtag #MyMktgStory.