Advertising on Facebook: worth it?

What happened to Facebook ads?

A while back I did a Facebook advertising campaign for a client.  The user interface had changed considerably since using Facebook ads over the summer.

Facebook Ad Interface
Facebook Ad Interface

I read Perry Marshall's Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising over the summer while practicing ad campaigns for my clients and seemingly mastered some tools and tricks of the trade.

However, in my most recent campaign I noticed that costs were much higher for the same results and rate slashing techniques I previously had used weren't working.

What happened?

Apparently, Perry Marshall himself agrees Facebook advertising is not up to par.  In a recent email he wrote, "The bad news: Facebook has done a very irresponsible disservice to both its advertisers and shareholders by building a crappy ad interface with lousy tools. I do not believe that Facebook itself even understands direct response marketing."

Ouch.

Furthermore, I read this recent Business Insider article bashing Facebook for fabricating likes and for charging advertisers for fake likes.

While we tend to think of Facebook as the Holy Grail of social media platforms, I'm not so sure that's the case.  I think people are hesitant to see that.

That being said, I still believe that it is essential for your business to have a Facebook page where you regularly post updates.

While I'm not totally convinced you should write Facebook advertising off your budget like Business Insider cites General Motors doing, I'm convinced there may be energy and dollars better spent elsewhere.

For each business it's going to be different. The important thing to remember when testing any social media marketing strategy is to constantly analyze. Set a goal. Determine if you're reaching it. Why or why not?

Instead of putting all your budget and efforts into Facebook ads, I would create a few solid ads that preform well, put a minimum amount of money into the campaign and focus on the following organic tactics:

  1. Make sure your Facebook page has a purpose and a tone. Continue posting content that is original and in line with that purpose and tone.
  2. Heavily push your Facebook page on your brand's other marketing materials. Is your Facebook link in your email signature? On your website? At the end of your blog posts? On your business card? Great. Put it as many places necessary.
  3. Furthermore, go above and beyond with that Facebook link and offer people incentive to like your page. "For more information follow us on Facebook." "For a chance to win free tickets...." You get the idea. Make your Facebook page have value.
  4. Tell your employees to tell their friends and family to like your page. Have them share company content on their pages.
  5. Don't underestimate the importance of cross promotions. Testimonials posted on Facebook with a live link to your page is a great way to organically drive some positive traffic to your page.

These are just a a few solutions to enhance your Facebook strategy. Don't dismiss Facebook ads, but, like any advertising efforts, be cautious.

Remember, despite the current state of Facebook advertising, it is still important to be on Facebook.  The ultimate best way to have a successful Facebook page? Make it a truly fun, helpful and friendly environment for people to "hang out" at.