Facebook Ads have been in the media focus these last few weeks. Let’s start with a video you might have seen or at least heard about…
Did you watch it? With 1.6 million views, there’s a good chance you’ve already seen it.
If you didn’t, I’ll save you the 9 minutes. Here’s a synopsis…
The video is an expose of sorts on the shortcomings of buying ‘LIKES’ on Facebook. In the video they point out that you could buy likes at a place like Fiverr or you could buy likes via Facebook’s Advertising. In the video they take the high road and go with Facebook but in a spine chilling plot twist it turns out that most of the likes they get are actually from useless ‘clickfarms’ as well! So it turns out that (just like you thought) Facebook advertising is rigged and a total waste of your money.
OR IS IT?
Veritasium does some magnificent work graphing out the quality of his ‘likes’ and he’s absolutely spot on. The problem is that so many of you interpret this as a failure of the Facebook Advertising system as a whole when in fact it’s a failure of just one aspect – buying likes.
Since the start of Facebook Advertising I have always contended that there are only three reasons to buy advertising. If you’ve seen me speak, chances are you probably heard them. If you hired me to run a Facebook Ad Campaign for you – you know the three, because I asked you directly.
For those that don’t know, don’t remember, or just want me to get to the point, here they are again.
In running a Facebook Advertising Campaign you have to have a goal. Here’s the three goals you get. Pick ONE and ONLY ONE of the three below. No, you don’t get to pick 2 of the three, and you certainly don’t get to have all three.
Reason #1 to run a Facebook Ad Campaign:
LIKES. Just like what they attempted in the video above. While they obviously met with pretty crappy success it’s still possible to run an ad campaign and get somewhat quality likes. How? Don’t do it like they did for starters. As far as I can tell they took the laziest option available.
You MUST do it with a highly targeted ad campaign that filters the masses down to a very very very small demographic. Yes, that was 3 verys – you can’t go small enough. While this might sound counter intuitive, the best LIKE campaigns I’ve run were to the smallest number of people.
There is also the promoted post variety. I’ll leave that out of the discussion for now but let me say it can draw traffic to the page but I really haven’t seen a tangible benefit.
That brings up an even bigger question. Why do you want more LIKES? Facebook’s algorithm (EDGERANK) has severely limited the reach of Facebook Pages. I still believe your business needs a Page, but I contend that it’s just a number. If you are a small business your money would be better spent hiring people to manage your page and encourage quality engagement rather than chasing a higher number of likes with dollars.
Reason #2 to run a Facebook Ad Campaign:
Brand Recognition. This probably isn’t for you, it’s mostly for the big guys. The more you see a brand the better the chance you’ll pick that same brand when it’s time.
I have run ad campaigns for Brand Recognition for little guys before. It was a real estate agent looking for listings in a neighborhood. The ad was basically his face on his ‘For Sale’ sign (in this case it was his brand). We ran the ad to a very small demo within a particular neighborhood. When clicked the ad took people to a page on his website detailing his unique selling proposition. Did it work? It’s hard to tell. We didn’t actually want people to click on the ad. We timed the ad to coincide with the days he was door knocking. He wore exactly the same suit and shirt and yes, more than once people said “Hey I just saw you on Facebook!”. In this case Brand Recognition was Face Recognition.
Reason #3 to run a Facebook Ad Campaign:
To SELL Something. Simple as it sounds. In this case, you run an ad to a small demographic (yeah that again) and when clicked it leads the clicker to a page on which they can purchase the enticing item they’ve always thought they wanted. That destination page could be on the website or it could be within Facebook on a Page App (that’s what I build).
Reason #4 to run a Facebook Ad Campaign:
To Promote a Contest. Who doesn’t want to win something? Contests on Facebook used to have very strict terms, yet most everybody ignored that part. You used to have to use a specific App or get advanced permission from Facebook before you could run a contest. That’s all out the window now. Today you can run a contest and give away most anything. You can do it with a post, you can do it with an App. You can run a contest in a photo album and award the winner by the greatest number of ‘likes’ a picture gets. You can run a contest in which to enter you just need to post a comment. Contests are wide open now.
Contests can lead to better engagement.
Better Engagement can lead to more LIKES.
You can run Ad Campaigns that leads to your contests.
Did you see what I just did there? If you’ve read a bunch on this blog you know I most always save the best for last. If you are lucky enough to have read down to here you now know to cross off Reason #1. It’s an empty and useless reason to run an ad. It’s a suckers bet. Don’t run Ads to increase likes.
Want more LIKES? Want more Engagement? Hold a contest and run ad campaigns to it.
Remember, a contest can be a simple weekly $5 Starbucks card.
Does that make sense? Did I just save you a ton of money? You are welcome. (I accept tips)
BONUS: There’s a new ad structure coming. You can read more about it HERE.