Yes, Facebook has huge reach, but if you’re not using it as a paid platform you are dramatically limiting that reach.

With over a billion global users and a penetration rate of 58% in the UK alone - making the UK the fourth highest Facebook user group in the world - Facebook has a large, captive audience. More than 50% of Facebook users log in every day and spend on average a total of 15 minutes per day ‘hanging out’ there. What’s more Facebook converts for business - 68% of users say a Facebook recommendation from a friend would encourage them to buy a product.

But, with Facebook’s increasing restrictions on organic content from brand Pages we’re increasingly moving toward zero reach. In fact, on average organic content is now only reaching 2-6% of your audience. Why? Facebook is changing the way companies use its platform, making it a ‘pay to play’ network, much like search networks.

Companies now must earn their space in news feeds by being hugely relevant (boosting the algorithm that decides what organic to share with users) and boosting targeted content via the paid Facebook advertising platform.

The benefits of Facebook advertising

  • A large population of engaged users;
  • Accurate and effective targeting options, going beyond simple demographics or geography;
  • Varied ad formats optimised toward key campaign objectives, i.e. you can track conversions on your website via a Facebook pixel;
  • Facebook is predicted to reach 89% of your intended audience (compared with online advertising averages of around 38%);
  • Real-time reporting;
  • Easy way to monitor ROI via conversion pixels;
  • Simple budgeting & billing;
  • Power Editor offers incredible control over your ads, creative and management;
  • Leveraging wider networks - users that engage with your ads then increase exposure of these ads and your brand to their own networks.

Facebook organic and fans still have value

Your fans help increase the efficiency of your ads in the auction process, as they provide social context and positive indicators to Facebook about the relevance of your brand. They also act as advocates to other Facebook users,  giving your brand and content greater credibility.

Best practice Facebook ad guidelines 2015

  • Your image will pixelate or stretch if you upload it with the wrong dimensions. For optimal performance create ads that are 1,200 pixels wide by 628 pixels high.
  • Create compelling ad copy - make sure you tell users what the ad is about and what you want them to do.
  • Your ad headline/title can be up to 25 characters - make sure it is concise, descriptive and action-based.
  • Supporting text for the ad can be up to 90 characters.
  • You can include a link description of up to 30 characters - make sure you detail what users can expect to find at that landing page.

Beyond simply adhering to Facebook ad guidelines, you want to make best use of the platform. Here’s our top Facebook advertising recommendations:

  • Don’t just boost any old post. Make sure your ads have a clear objective - what do you want the users to do having seen the ad? Is it simply for brand exposure or is it encouraging sign up/purchase?
  • Have relevant landing pages on your website that allow for accurate tracking and have clear calls to action.
  • Make sure your Facebook Page is up-to-date and optimised (you can download our Facebook for Business guide below).
  • Establish clear metrics for success to measure when you’ve achieved your goals.
  • Develop compelling ad creative that is in line with your branding and tone of voice.
  • Use multiple variations of ads and test one element at a time to see its impact, then adapt.
  • Adhere to Facebook guidelines - don’t discriminate in adverts and don’t have more than 20% of your ad creative taken up by text.
  • Be smart in your targeting - you can set up lookalike audiences using your existing database. Lookalike audiences let you reach new people who have an increased likelihood to want to engage with your business because they are similar to your existing customers.
  • Monitor regularly and ensure you are optimising performance.
  • Use the Facebook Power Editor (found in the left-hand menu in Ads Manager) as it has increased functionality to the Ads Manager, including greater character limits, ability to customise the display URL and display multiple images in one ad (this is Great for ecommerce businesses).

We regularly run successful Facebook advertising campaigns for clients and in-house, and see fantastic results even from very small budgets. As a largely personal platform, many businesses forget the power of Facebook advertising as a business tool. Why not run a test campaign and see what it can achieve for you?

If you’d like any further advice on Facebook advertising or help developing your social media strategy don’t hesitate to contact us. You can also download our Facebook for Business Guide below.