If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably heard a sales pitch (or twenty) about social media advertising from someone who knows nothing about your business. It sounds something like this…
“No matter what you do, you need to be on Facebook!”
“Social media advertising is the only way to target people.”
“If your business isn’t online, you’re losing!”
These bold statements would make any business owner raise an eyebrow. Is social media truly necessary for every business? Are Facebook ads really worth all the hype? Are these super-general stats relevant to your industry?
You might be surprised to read this here, but the answer is no. Facebook advertising is not a magic button anyone can press to generate leads. Heck, it might not even be worth your time at all. For some businesses, however, it’s a game-changer.
Here are a few things to consider before deciding if Facebook advertising is right for your business.
Are my prospective and current customers on Facebook?
Simply put, you should be advertising where your buyers are hanging out. Why would you create a presence on Facebook if your target audience isn’t even active on the platform?
Here’s a handy infographic to help you decide if your customer base is logged in:
People between the ages of 25 and 34 are still considered the most active demographic on Facebook, but it’s important to keep an eye on trends as you build your presence. The data is changing every day; for example, people under the age of 18 are gravitating to new platforms like Instagram, while the Facebook usage with older demographics is continually rising.
What this means for you: You should always consider who is on a social media platform before using it for business. This audience data can also be used to develop your strategy. For example, a younger audience might warrant a strong presence on multiple social media platforms, while an older audience might prefer light-hearted Facebook ads supplemented by traditional advertising.
Do I have content that would interest my target audience?
On social media, people often expect you to share, not sell.
Your audience needs to connect with your message before engaging with your offer. Why do you matter to them? What about your business is worth their attention? Without the answers to these questions, your online messaging could fall flat.
Whether you are advertising online or offline, it all comes down to putting the right message in front of the right people. There are lots of social media tools available to help you find the right audience and refine that message (hey, that’s what we do!), but you should have an idea of what value you can add to your target audience before jumping into any advertising space.
What this means for you: Start simple. Make sure you have a clean-looking profile with Facebook-friendly messaging. As you move forward, focus on adding value to your fans. The more relevant content you share, the better your presence will be.
Do I have the time to maintain my Facebook presence?
You may have heard that Facebook advertising is one of the best budget-friendly marketing options, but what about the time investment? Social media marketing can certainly be time-consuming, especially for someone new to the scene.
Just like a website, you’ll need both time and talent to properly set up your Facebook business page. This can take less than an hour if you already have optimized images, a company bio, and some social media experience. However, if you are starting from scratch, it might be worth carving out more time or asking for professional support.
How much time should you spend on Facebook once you’ve set up your page? According to a 2015 survey, the average business spends at least 1-10 hours per week managing social media. Perhaps most importantly, 35% of social media time is spent engaging with customers. That could mean anything from “liking” comments to making a sale through Facebook messenger (something I have done more times than I can count!). This engagement time can vary quite a bit from week to week and is a key component to converting your Facebook presence into sales.
What this means for you: Decide how much of your own time you can spend managing a Facebook page, and which tasks you can hand off to an employee or agency. If you don’t have the time to do everything manually (who does, really?), consider social media tools to automate the process of creating ads, targeting customers, and scheduling content.
Should I advertise on Facebook?
As an advertising platform, Facebook has a lot to offer. Its wide reach, affordability, and targeting options are hard to beat.
It’s promising technology, but business owners ultimately need to make the best decision for their unique situation. That means considering their audience, understanding their messaging, and ensuring they have the time and tools to create an effective strategy. By investigating these three questions, you will be able to decide if Facebook advertising is right for your business.