80%, 50%, 20% or less than 5%?
When I ask businesses about the typical percentage of their Facebook fans that will be reached with a Post form their Facebook Page – very few people will guess that the correct figure. There’s a widespread misconception that if you are promoting content via your Facebook Page, the majority of your fans will see your content in their Newsfeeds. But that’s not the case.
The average visibility for Facebook Page Posts is meagre – at an average of around 5%! That means that only a small percentage of a businesses’ Facebook fans will see a post from that Page in their news feeds.
The reality for most businesses is that the marketing impact of their Facebook activity is limited if they rely on organic promotion only.
Facebook Post Algorithm Changes 2018
So why is Facebook doing this? The reason is quite simple. Facebook is continually refining and improving its user experience and has, over the past 4 years, been placing much more emphasis on:
- Prioritising content to Facebook users that they are more likely to value and to engage with.
- Penalising poor organic content from Facebook Pages that users are unlikely to, or won’t engage with.
For Facebook users, this is beneficial as it results in Facebook News Feeds being more tailored to their own personal friends connections.
Implications for Businesses Using Facebook
The implications of the Facebook algorithm changes in 2018 are two-fold:
- Content from Facebook Pages takes a backseat to content from users friends and family
- Facebook is now ‘Pay to Play’ for many businesses –requiring them to promote good quality content via Facebook Advertising
But while many would see this development as a negative one, it hides the wider and very significant opportunity presented by Facebook Advertising.
What is Facebook Advertising and Why is it so Important?
Facebook for Business
Firstly, let’s look at the value of using Facebook to promote your business. Facebook is the world’s largest social media network with a staggering 1.8 million people using the site. It’s THE network for reaching the public – around 65% of people in UK & Ireland use it, with very high daily usage rates. If you are a B2C business or organisation that is public-facing, you’ll want to be using Facebook effectively.
Facebook ads are paid-for adverts used by business to promote their products and services to target audiences across the Facebook network. By using Facebook Ads, businesses can create campaigns designed to achieve a specific marketing goal including:
- Brand awareness
- Local awareness
- Drive traffic to your website
- Increase engagement with your audiences
We find Facebook marketing to be the biggest single marketing opportunity for B2C companies in Ireland. With the right products and promotion, Facebook is a genuinely powerful marketing tool that allows businesses to micro-target audiences quickly, effectively and in a way that stands out. It also offers the most cost-effective advertising on the market. What’s also great about quality Facebook advertising is that people are likely to like, comment on and share the advert and to promote to their friends on Facebook.
The other key reason why Facebook advertising is so important is a major decline in the visibility of Facebook Page posts. While there are lots of Facebook Pages that enjoy good reach rates (publishers, entertainment-related businesses with excellent customer relationships etc), the fact remains that most Facebook Pages suffer from low marketing reach that can only realistically be solved by incorporating Facebook advertising.
Facebook Advertising – The Seven Key Stages
The real power of Facebook advertising lies in the ability to show your ads to a highly targeted audience on Facebook. During the advertising set-up stage businesses can micro-target the location of their users, key demographic information including gender, age and even marital status, and by their interests across a huge range of topics.
There are seven key stages of Facebook advertising designed to align with your marketing campaign:
- Choose Your Objective
Facebook offer a number of advertising objectives including:
- Growing your Facebook likes
- Boosting the reach and engagement on your Posts
- Driving traffic to your website
- Ecommerce sales
2. Select your Audience
One of the fascinating aspects of Facebook advertising is the ability to micro-target your target audiences on Facebook. Facebook collect a huge volume of data on users – age, location, relationship status, interests etc, which in turn can be utilised by advertisers to create very targeted campaigns. In this example, I’ve selected an audience of parents, aged between 18 -42 based in County Cork.
One of the most valuable developments in recent years has been Facebook Custom Audiences. The facility allows advertisers to build an audience of people who have visited their client’s website and remarket to them via Facebook.
3. Decide where to run your advert
Facebook allows you to run adverts across its network – including on different devices and also on Instagram (which is owned by Facebook). Top tip: it’s easy to be led into running your campaign on all Facebook devices and sites, however it much better to manually review and select the platforms / sites that reflect your audiences. For instance you might not want to show your adverts to people using desktops or on Instagram, if it’s not right for your business.
4. Set the budget and schedule
A simple, straightforward facility to control the amount you wish to spend and the duration of your campaign.
5. Select an advert format
At this stage you select your advert creative including text and images. Facebook offer a number of great options to showcase your business / products – you can upload a single image, multiple images or even video if it’s relevant (Note that for Facebook Page Post adverts you can only select the post you wish to promote – you cannot edit the content)
The key elements of quality, successful Facebook adverts are:
- Image: A professional, quality image (or collage of images) that captures the promotion
- Headline: A short headline that grabs attention (Six words or less)
- Ad Text: Short overview that encourages people to find out more
- Website Link: Include your domain URL
6. Launch campaign
Simply review and launch your campaign. Top tip: take care to double-check you have selected the correct preference for daily or lifetime campaign spend – you don’t want to confuse them.
7. Measure and optimise
After your campaign has been launched you can check your advert performance and amend / optimise it to improve it.
Examples of Businesses Using Facebook Ads Successfully
If you want to check out real-life success stories from businesses advertising on Facebook – The Facebook for Business site is a really great resource. There’s hundreds of examples covering different types of business. Why not take a look through to two examples below:
The Irish Store: https://www.facebook.com/business/success/the-irish-store
Facebook Advertising Campaigns by Octave Digital
At Octave Digital we’ve helped many businesses and organisations across Ireland to:
Significantly improve their Facebook performance via Facebook advertising
Learn how to set-up and run their own Facebook Advertising campaigns – via training and support
Why not check out two of our case studies based on Facebook Advertising:
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council: Facebook Ads for Fan growth and Public engagement: http://www.octavedigital.co.uk/case-studies/dun-laoghaire-rathdown-county-council-social-media-growth-campaign-17/
The Chelsea Bistro Bar: http://www.octavedigital.co.uk/case-studies/the-chelsea-bar/
Want to find out how Facebook advertising can help your business?
Contact Paul McGarrity on 07974 689642 (or 00353 1 6855942 in Rep of Ireland) for a dedicated consultation.