Not so very long ago, Facebook was hailed as the tool marketers couldn’t afford to ignore. Facebook for business offered a tremendous opportunity, with free pages that allowed a company to share information, engage with and even offer discounts and promotions to its followers. And, a company’s posts spread just like the updates you post on your personal Facebook page.
Unsurprisingly, things changed. After all, everybody was making money on those free company Facebook pages except Facebook. The social network changed the way posts were pushed out to your followers, radically decreasing the number of Facebook users who saw each update, link or offer.
Suddenly, enthusiasm dropped off. Marketers who had invested time and resources into building up a following on Facebook were understandably upset by the wall that suddenly appeared between them and the users who had chosen to see their updates. But, the basic facts that drove marketers to Facebook in the first place haven’t changed: the social network has more than 1.3 billion users worldwide, and more than 500 million log in each day. In short, Facebook presents an excellent opportunity to reach your target audience, even if it’s no longer entirely free.
Facebook for Business Today – Your Company Page
When you post an update on your company’s page today, only a small fraction of those who have “liked” your page will see that update. Unless, of course, you pay to “boost” that post. Boosting the post puts it into more users’ feeds; you can choose whether to limit that exposure to people who already “like” your page or to expand your reach and target a wider audience.
Yes, you’re essentially paying for what used to happen for free–at least, if you’re only targeting your followers. But, there’s nothing to gain by comparing the current service with an option that doesn’t exist anymore. The question is, “Is boosting posts a cost-effective way of reaching your target audience?” While you’ll have to experiment a bit to find out whether or not it pays off for your company, the general answer is, “Yes, absolutely.” Just a few dollars can put your post in front of a narrowly-targeted audience.
Facebook for Business Today – Advertising
Facebook display ads also offer a cost-effective means of reaching your market with a controlled budget and the ability to turn campaigns on and off with a click. Pricing works like most display ads, on a pay-per-click or pay-per-impressions basis. The primary feature that sets Facebook ads apart is the ability to target very specifically. With just a few clicks, you can target your ads to particular geographic areas, age groups, one or both sexes and much more. You can make your ad visible only to married people, or to people who have “liked” travel or race cars or beaches.
And, as with boosting posts, the ease with which you can start and stop Facebook ads makes it nearly risk-free to test.
Don’t write off Facebook as a marketing channel simply because the rules have changed.