I remember the first time I heard the word Facebook. I was on a webinar learning all about this new-fangled experiment called “social media”. It sounded intriguing, so I signed up for an account.

Over the next several years, clients saw amazing results from organic posts. They’d share pictures of products from their stores, and the pictures would be shared among their customers, and the next day, they’d sell a ton of them. Or they’d share tips from their business-to-business perspective to their current or potential customers and find new inquiries and leads in their inbox the next day. And yes, this was all from organic (non-paid) posts on Facebook.

It seems like Facebook quickly realized they had a good thing going and began offering advertisements. What was a modest ad here or there mushroomed into the ubiquitous seemingly every-other post is an ad situation we see today.

Gone are the days of organic posts reaching your entire audience. Today, Facebook determines who will see your posts, what they see, and when they see them. The average organic Facebook post today reaches just 0.07% of people you’re connected with – that’s less than 1%!

And, unfortunately, that’s not often…or frequently enough…to make much of a difference.

The rules have changed, and today, it’s paid social media advertisements that rule the day.

But should you pay for Facebook ads?

Facebook Advertising: What Business Owners Should Know

First, the facts:

  • Facebook reaches 2.91 billion active monthly users. To put that number into perspective, that’s slightly more than 38% of the world’s population.
  • People spend an average of 33 minutes a day on Facebook, which means they spend time looking and interacting with the platform – another factor that may convince you that Facebook advertising is worth the money.
  • Meta, the parent company that owns Facebook, collects an extraordinary amount of data on its users. And they can put that data to work for their advertisers, enabling them to focus on very specific niches. If you need to reach northern Minnesota men who enjoy riding ATV’s and fishing – both hobbies – Meta can probably help you target ATV riding fishermen in northern Minnesota.

Given these three eye-opening facts, you may be convinced your business should not only advertise on Facebook, but it should be on it right now. But wait – before you click off this article, look at the reasons why you may want to begin testing the effectiveness of your ad dollars on additional channels.

  • Facebook isn’t magic. Many business owners believe that if they just post to Facebook and boost their posts to get more views of it, they’ll instantly and magically convert those views to sales. It doesn’t work like that. It takes a catchy ad, a good offer, and the right targeting to have a chance at converting views into leads or sales.
  • Groups and communities may help you improve organic reach. However, if you’re going to run a group or community on Facebook, be prepared to invest a great deal of time and energy into it.
  • Facebook displays what its algorithm deems to be in its best interest. This means that it selects content based on what its algorithms believe will keep people on the platform longer. Currently, the algorithm favors “Reels” and short videos. According to Facebook, people spend about half of their time watching Reels. If you can invest in short videos, it may help organic reach.
  • As an advertising channel, Facebook might not be the best or most cost-effective way to reach your potential customers. Many business-to-business companies find that other social media channels such as LinkedIn make it easier for them to target their potential customers and advertise to highly specific business demographics.
  • There are other, more cost-effective ways to generate leads. This includes but is not limited to Google Pay Per Click advertising, other social media channels, display advertising, and more.
  • Philosophical objections to the platform or its parent company. Yes, I know that sounds old-fashioned, but hear me out: some people still object to companies collecting every bit of data on their lives, and they don’t want to be on Facebook, period. They still search the internet, however, so you may be able to capture their attention with paid search, organic SEO content placement, and other digital marketing methods. Bear in mind that all digital advertising channels – search engines, social media sites, and more – collect some form of digital data on their customers.

Facebook used to be a great place to post your content and gather organic interest, views, leads, and sales. Today, however, most companies need to pay for advertising or be prepared to invest in time needed to build and engage with groups to be seen.

If you have the budget and would like to see if Facebook advertising is still a good option for your business, call Dashboard Interactive Marketing. We are experienced digital marketers who understand the various social media platforms. We can assess which ones can help you effectively reach your target audience and we also track the metrics to explore the ROI of the campaign. Call us at 763-242-2454 for help with social media marketing and digital marketing expertise.