are facebook ads worth it?

James Daniels | 14/03/16

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Facebook is a great marketing platform that allows you to reach and interact with existing clients, as well as millions of prospective customers by creating a fun page for your brand, product, or business. This element of social media campaign involves organic efforts such as content creation and curation through blogs, articles, videos and other media that seek to generate more connections and ultimately conversions.  

Besides this, the social network also offers bought efforts via advertising, which you can use to promote your brand’s Facebook page, company website, or even run a promotion directed at a certain demographic, still to gain more connections and conversions.

The organic efforts generally work well, and you are able to maintain customer engagement and even grow your audience without spending a dime. So, why would a marketer want to start dipping into their budget to pay for Facebook Ads?

The role of Facebook Ads

During the early days of Facebook, all your friends saw virtually all your posts – every post appeared on their feed – and it was all free. But after the introduction of Facebook Ads, this changed. No longer does the social network allow all your friends, fans, and likers to see all of your posts for free. So, to ensure that your posts get the same reach they had during the pre-Facebook advertising period, you have to pay.

According to an article explaining the organic reach of Facebook, the social media network employs complex algorithms to reduce the average user’s news feed from an estimated 1,500 entries per day to a more manageable 300 entries – comprising the most relevant feeds to the user. This was Facebook’s way to cut down on content overload and ensure that users only view the stories that are most important to them.

With Twitter, every post is shown in real-time, which means that content is regularly buried. To compensate for that, social media marketers post a high volume of content and stay active throughout the day. But the same strategy won’t work on Facebook. Too frequent posts do not necessarily increase your reach, plus you may do more harm to yourself as Facebook focuses on enhancing the quality of the user’s experience as opposed to doing what is best for brands.

So, is Facebook Advertising worth it?

According to a recent study by Social@Ogilvy, Facebook’s organic search has reduced drastically in the last few years, and is currently below 10 percent. This has made it quite hard for marketers to reach a sizeable audience without Facebook Ads.

But as with everything, Facebook Ads have both success and scare stories. But based on logic, it should be possible to be successful with Facebook advertising if you focus on what it is best for, measure and use analytics to make more targeted ads, do a little trial and error, and don’t expect to reap big overnight.

It will become increasingly hard to achieve any meaningful gains with free Facebook advertising only, without using the Ads feature, so:

Ensure you target your ads accurately
Organise competitions
Follow up with email

Facebook also has to prove that their ads are worth the money, so if your strategy doesn’t seem to be yielding any meaningful results, there are other social media networks.


Next: what’s going on in the digital marketing world?

Previous: why you should ditch keyword targeting


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