The topic of Facebook ads cost is a popular one. Nearly every business, small and large, is turning to Facebook ads… and why not? Even if you think your audience isn’t on Facebook and they’re on Instagram instead, guess what? Facebook owns Instagram! Not to mention the low budgets you can set, specific targeting, etc. It’s the only advertising I do.
Facebook Ads Cost
Yes, you can set low budgets! So many people ask, “How much do Facebook ads cost?” The answer is as much as you want them to! Yes, Facebook ads pricing is completely up to you.
There is just one catch. You need to commit to one dollar a day. Just $1.00!
When Facebook changed its algorithm and started making you pay for your content to show up in newsfeeds, I started boosting posts.
It seemed easy enough. The “boost post” button was right there and choosing who you wanted to boost it to was pretty easy – just pick your target location, your audience’s interest, and your budget. It’s easy enough, but it’s not the most effective Facebook ads choice… and you have a lot of choices.Instead of booting a post, you should create an ad, but what kind? There are so many – promote your page, increase brand awareness, get video views, collect leads, increase conversions, promote a product, etc.So how do you know what’s right? Well, first you need to ask yourself what the purpose of the ad is. What do you want people to do when they see it on Facebook?Is it to get more likes? Get more traffic to your website? Collect email subscribers? Use a pixel to retarget later? (Don’t know what a pixel is? It’s your money maker. This is why.)Decide what you want. That’s step one.
Types of Facebook Ads
From there, you will select the best objective based on your goal. Because there are so many options, you may need to dig deep here. Do you want more likes on your Facebook page? Why? To get more leads? Then, you want more leads, not more likes.
For me, I want to convert people. I want you to go from a Facebook viewer to a Facebook action taker. For this reason, I almost always choose to increase conversions on my website. I want people to go from Facebook, to my website, and take a certain action.I like to see what’s working and what’s not working, so I need to see numbers.
You’re able to see a cost per engagement. The term “engagement” is pretty broad. It could mean a like, share, comment, click, etc.
Successful Facebook Ads
If you want more specifics, you want to know the cost per conversion. The “increase conversions on your website” option really breaks down how much you’re spending to get that email address, webinar sign-up, or whatever your objective is.Based on that information, you can see what’s working and what’s not. Maybe you need to tweak your audience, your wording, your image, your video, etc. Facebook ads are like a science. It kills me when people say they hire their nephew on spring break to manage their Facebook account for this reason. Just understanding how to create an ad, then test it to get those most of it takes a lot of learning and understand.
Bloggers are tricky. I recently got a lot of heat for a blog post I wrote about bloggers and why I don’t pitch them. To be clear, I do pitch bloggers and/or influencers, but I am very selective.This is the deal with bloggers, nine times out of 10 you will need a budget to pay them. That’s not earning coverage. That’s paying for it. There is a difference between editorial and advertorial. Most public relations firms or publicists are hired to earn coverage and not pay for it. On one hand, journalists cannot accept payment for their work. That is unethical. However many journalists blog. I am a journalist, and I also accept payment for blogs. (Not here. On Mascara Maven.) The difference is noting a conflict of interest and/or disclosing when the coverage is paid for. If a blogger accepts a payment of any kind, it must be disclosed on the blog. This is a federal law… and it’s pretty new because of the way the blogosphere and social media influencing has blown up in the last few years. Some bloggers will throw you a bone and post something free of charge. This doesn’t happen a lot, but if the blogger and/or influencer is a friend or truly loves your brand, it could happen.
If a client has an extra budget for advertising, then the vetting process begins… and this gets even trickier. (Why vet? Because there are millions of bloggers and influencers online looking to make money because they are in a lucrative business.)
Usually, a blogger will respond to your pitch with a media kit that includes information about their reach on their site and on their social media channels as well at rates, etc. This is where I, as a blogger, get frustrated. Not with the rates, but with the reach. Growing an organic following of people who truly like your brand takes time – months, if not years. Too many bloggers fake their following, for lack of a better word. When I say fake, I mean a couple of things. Here’s one: Their following is paid for. Yes, there are quite a few places that offer the service of buying visits to your website, likes on your Facebook page, comments on Instagram, followers on Twitter, etc.
Look at this site. It’s slogan is Fastlane to Online Fame! (So embarrassing!) If you want to promote your brand online, you do not want to pay someone who claims to have a huge following, but in reality it’s this. It will do nothing for your brand. These fake numbers are not real people who will become customers. But how do you know if the following is real or paid for? I can tell who puts money into a service like this by looking at the comments onmy Instagram account. The comments are always so random and have nothing to do with the picture. (A downfall of automation.) How else do you tell? Well, there’s an app for that! Actually, there are a few apps for that. They aren’t 100% accurate because some count inactive accounts and in a few cases, it’s hard to tell who’s real and who’s fake. There is an app called Fakers that basically calls people out on a fake following. For example, I get terrible pitches from a woman at a PR firm that will remain unnamed. In her pitches, she starts by basically saying, “As a thank you for sharing this news on your outlet, we will share it with our 117,000 Twitter followers.” Being a social media manager, I wanted to check out this amazing Twitter account.Well, most of those followers are fake. Paid for. It’s a shame too because 21% of 117,000 is more than 23,000. That’s a great Twitter following. Why ruin it by buying fake followers?!There are also other ways to tell. Check outmy Twitter following. It is growing, but it is slow and steady. If one day you see numbers spike, someone just went viral (which is rare) or they bought their following.This is why bloggers are tricky. It can be hard to tell if a blogger really will have a positive impact on your brand or if you’re just throwing money away. (That’s the marketing industry in general.)There are also Facebook groups devoted to helping bloggers get more likes and comments. I actually used to participate in them when I started blogging. I thought it was great to have people read my blog, like my Facebook page, and comment on a post. Then, I remembered why they were doing it – because I would return the favor, whether or not I liked the content or not. In some groups, there are even rules that state you will get kicked out if you don’t like or comment in return. Keep in mind, these aren’t friends we’re talking about. Showing a friend or acquantance support online is completely different. These are complete strangers on the internet. I felt like it was a misrepresentation, not to mention very time consuming, so my participation in those groups was very short lived. (In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t care about how things look. I care about how things really are. I’m a principle person.)
Now, don’t get me wrong, as a blogger, it’s a great way to promote your blog and get it in front of others who may turn into true fans, but the majority just want the numbers to say, “Look at my numbers.” I’d rather have 100 real views, likes, followers, and comments than 10,000 fakes ones. If you’re paying for coverage, I’m sure you would agree you’d like to see real numbers.
Today, I read blogs, comment, like, and all that, but it’s because I want to, not because I’m getting something out of it in return.
With all of that said, this goes to show how influential bloggers are. Some operate their blogging business honestly and have a real following. Others want to get there too, but unfortunately, are taking short cuts.So, if you are looking to spend money on a blogger or influencer in exchange for publicity, make sure you know what you’re paying for.
For marketing your business online, Facebook is perfect because nine times out of 10, it’s where all your buyers are and the targeting that can be done is amazing. That’s why I love Facebook, but it has changed in the last year or so and has made things a little challenging for business owners, hence why I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook.
As I explain, I’ll show you some examples with images from my own Facebook page.
Facebook limits your reach.
Before, you could post anything on a fan page, or business page – whatever you want to call it, and everyone would see it. Now, Facebook only shows certain posts to people who it thinks wants to see it. If it seems promotional, for example it includes a link to your website or has text like “buy,” it will limit your reach even more.
Take this post for example. I have more than 6,400 likes on my page, but Facebook has decided to show this post to just 184 people. It’s shared from a very popular page, features the star of a national TV show, includes four tags, and is getting lots of engagement on my page, but still, Facebook makes it visible to ONLY 184 people in my feed. This is the most frustrating part of Facebook as a small business owner and social media manager.
At the bottom of the post, you can see Facebook suggests I boost the post to get more results. That’s why Facebook is not a free platform for these kinds of pages. (And why it’s worth more than 18 billion dollars.) To reach people on Facebook, you need to boost posts and/or create ads. Facebook makes it very easy to target your audience this way. For example, I could choose to boost this post so only people who like the show I Am Jazz see it, to only people who care about LGBT issues see it, or only people in my geographical area see it. You can also choose a budget for as little as $1 a day to much more. When you choose your budget, Facebook gives you an estimate of how many people you will reach. You can play with these factors (audience and budget) to reach a higher amount of people.
In my experience, three kids of posts work best when it comes to the amount of people you reach – pinned to the top, videos, and Facebook live.
This is an example of Facebook live… well, more like a screen grab of it. It reminds me of when I would do live shots in news. It’s just a live recording of what you’re doing at that time. Like a post, you can still check in to a location, type some text, then hit record and create your live video. People who follow you and are on Facebook at that time will get a notification you are live, can watch, and even interact with you by commenting. When you’re done, the “live shot” just stays on your page like any other post.
Okay, now that I’ve described the basics regarding my love/hate relationship with Facebook, let’s get into a little social media management 101.
As I mentioned, it’s important to use tags on Facebook.
(Hashtags don’t work too well on Facebook. I’d save those for Twitter and Instagram.) When you check in or tag another page, it will get a notification and may respond which could also increase your reach. This is also why it’s important to react to every comment you receive on your page. (It’s called social media… so be social!)
It’s also important tohave a goal when you create an ad.
You will have a variety of call to action options when creating an ad. In my opinion, the most commonly used are the top four you see on this list. When you choose the option to increase conversions on your website, you can add something called a pixel to your website so when someone visits your site, it sends a message to the Facebook ad to target them again… because research shows that if you see the same thing 6, 7, or 8 times, you will buy it.
Speaking of call to actions, make sure your homepage has one.
You can create a button on your cover page to ask your audience to do something.
This is an example of mine. I want people to sign up for an online course. I also created my cover page photo to show this with an arrow. Many people see this image on a phone, so you will need to make sure it looks centered and works on a phone as well.
Finally, don’t focus on promoting your businesswhen you post.
Instead, focus on entertaining your audience. I use the 70/30 rule – 70% for my audience, 30% promotional… but it’s all brand appropriate. Take a look at this post. I’m not talking about me or what I do. Instead, I’m sharing some nice pictures of a meet-up I did with others in my industry.
And do you see the great engagement and little reach?! 52 people out of 6,400+. (Come on Mark Zuckerberg!)
…and just when I think I’ve got my finger on it, this one gets a higher than an average reach. It’s a video of Mr. Bean dancing for crying out loud!
If you are a business owner, the inventor of a product, or have a brand – maybe you are your brand, you must be on social media.
I recently explained to one of my social media clients, a personal account compared to a business account is like night and day. You really can’t compare the two, so don’t compare apples to oranges if you’re on the fence about getting your business on Facebook.
Social Media Marketing for Small Business
What started as social networking has turned into social media marketing for small business. It is a necessity.
Social media is a powerful tool that allows you to promote your brand and communicate with customers while bringing in new ones in real time. It’s an amazing customer service tool… if used correctly. If not, it has the potential to break your business.
Your business needs social media for a lot of reasons, but here are my top five:
You need to be able to communicate with your current and potential customers. This is the best way because it’s so accessible. It’s also great because others can see that communication, unlike in an email or on a phone call. Show off your skills as a business that cares about communicating with customers.
When Facebook launched, it was only accessible to college students. That’s when I joined. Now, everyone is on it, so your business should be on it too. Every generation is represented. Name a demographic and you can target them and reach them through social media.
In my opinion, great customer service is the most important thing any business can offer. If I loved a product but found the customer service to be bad, I’m not going to be a repeat customer. It’s that important! With social media, you can respond quickly to customers questions, concerns, and needs. You’re not only building a relationship with customers, but others are seeing that as well.
In my opinion, this is the best part and why social media works so well. It’s also when things can get ugly… so again, choose your social media manager wisely. If you see a company responding quickly to customers concerns online, then you see a company who ignores customers concerns… which one are you likely to choose? Every time I go out to eat, I tweet or instagram a shout out to the restaurant. Some respond right away. Others never do. (Bad move.)
In 2016, it’s expected your business has two things: a website and at least one social media account (depending on your business.) It shows you are active, you are busy, you are engaging… and you are relevant because you are online and you are online where it matters.
Remember when I said your business account is not like your personal account? This is exactly why you don’t want to hire your niece to post on your behalf while she is on summer vacation. If you are going to spend the time and money (yes, time and money) to market your business on social media, you need to have a strategy that will give you a return on your investment. Do not hire someone to post once a day and call it a day.
Again, it’s not a personal account. It’s a business account for social media… something that should be making you money!
Today, social media marketing for small business is one of the most important pieces of marketing you need to pay attention to.
Do you want to promote your brand? You can! Sign up for my online course to learn how you can by doing PR yourself. Click here to master your PR. For more, or try a bit out for free, e-mail me at Christina@MediaMavenAndMore.com.