Facebook has become a staple of modern living. It’s not just on our computers and phones; it’s on our mind. With two billion people using Facebook every month, it has become the intermediary between us and everybody else. It’s what connects us with the world - fans with celebrities, customers with products, and voices with momentum. But making that connection happen isn’t as easy as just posting a status update.
Social media has outgrown its infancy. In its adolescence, it’s cemented its role in our daily lives. With 64% of all social media users, Facebook is the undisputed leader of the pack. It’s more than just a tool. Facebook has become a way of life. We plan events, promote our businesses, and communicate with friends and family.
Why choose Facebook?
Facebook is everywhere and impacts almost everyone. To not embrace the platform’s potential is to forsake some of the most powerful opportunities in today’s most lucrative arena. Facebook can help any fledgling business garner its audience and build the platform of success, if they’re armed with the right tools and knowledge.
Facebook offers many different avenues for businesses to connect with potential and existing customers. There’s variety in the kind of promoted content; the column of ads down the side, paid placements in the news feeds, and organic posts shared by friends. There’s an endless way to choose who, of the 2 billion monthly users, sees your ads.
If 50% of your ad’s pixels are seen for at least a second, it will be counted as an ‘impression’. With half of Australia on Facebook every single day, there are people that will see your ads. But none of the people will pay any attention to your ad if it’s not relevant to them. You could be paying for impressions, but yielding no results.
For anyone confronted by the great wealth of choice when starting to advertise through Facebook, the more traditional methods may seem like the obvious choice - maximise the reach of your ads by targeting as many people as possible, and direct them straight to your amazing product. This will prove not only ineffective, but expensive.
In Facebook advertising, the roads well travelled are paved with gold and are heavily taxed. If your decided audience is highly sought after, you have to compete against other businesses for placement. It’s an auction. To lose is to be invisible, and to ’win’ is to pay the highest price. It’s a brute force victory with casualties (namely; your pocket). But you can save money while reaping greater rewards with a more specific, precisely targeted campaign.
Through tailoring the audience of your ad campaigns, you can maximise the impact of every paid pixel while reducing the cost. Whether it’s by vicinity or interest, advertising through Facebook’s constantly evolving set of tools and metrics allows you to hone the efficiency of your advertisements. Testing, adjusting and maintaining these variables can vary the cost and impact of each impression wildly.
Unfortunately, finding the right path to the best audience for your business is only a fraction of the battle.
It’s easy to serve up an advertisement to a potential customer, but it’s pointless if what you're offering doesn’t engage them or provide value. Consumers are being bombarded by advertisements from all directions. A lot of people have developed a blind eye to paid placements and promoted posts. It’s also pushing others to install ‘ad blockers’.
Will my ad be blocked?
With the increased use of ad blockers on computers, businesses now have to account for the losses of both potential customers and the price of an advert that isn’t seen, but there is a silver lining. Those that are compelled to use an ad blocker abjectly oppose advertisements cluttering their browser. Their perception of a brand can be tarnished when they’re exposed to those unwanted ads.
Will my ad be seen?
Only a small percentage of users use ad blockers, but it’s important to remember that everyone can still be reached through the platform with less abrasive advertising - particularly with mobile devices. The access you get to your audience with mobile devices is unparallelled - everyone constantly has one of these devices on their person. The reduced screen size on mobile devices means online services have had to devise more intuitive, involved ways to integrate their paid placements. Without any ad blocking available, and with a more palatable fusion of advertisement and content, users have a more seamless, and therefore favourable, interaction with your ad - but only if it isn’t a waste of their time.
Will people engage?
The connection you foster between your business and your customers is important, but it can’t be created for just one fleeting transaction. Most people aren’t interested in having yet-another product shoved down their cyber throats. If you just promote a product, you’re going to be another drop in the torrent of stuff they have to ignore. They have to want to pay attention, and for that, you’re going to have to give them a reason.
The online marketplace is a relationship between audiences and content - not just products, but engaging entertainment, valuable resources, and insightful education. For ongoing success, you’ll need to adhere to five core ingredients for building your online presence:
It’s hard to prepare for the assault all of these ingredients will have on your valuable resources - time, energy, money. It’s even harder to have answers for the questions each one of these ingredients poses.
What do your potential customers value?
How do I maintain quality control without losing too much to the details?
How can I consistently rely on the whim of creativity?
And where will I grow?
This ‘growth’ doesn’t mean your brand expanding from success, or your audience through more followers. It means growth of your content and mission. You can’t just continue to rehash what you’ve already done. The internet is a hectic thrall of pulsing energy and shifting opinions, and if you go stale, you go by the wayside. But if you grow - if what you create moves places, shifts focus, and strives for constantly greater things, you’ll keep people there. You’ll keep them interested. They will see there’s a trajectory, and they will want to know where it’s going.
But growing is easy, because you should be doing it already. The hardest thing to deliver upon is creativity.
The problem with half the world being online is finding something that hasn’t been done before. The life span of online content is constantly growing shorter and shorter, with viral videos and memes rarely holding attention for more than a few days. This is where creativity is vital, and this is where creativity is lost.
The internet is a bottomless pit, into which you can pour as much as you can, only to find you’ll need to pour even more the following day. Fortunately, that’s how creativity works. The more you use it, the more you have, and if it’s not within your capacity, there are teams of creative people yearning to help you.
We all want a success story for those we believe in. And fulfilling the requirements of these ingredients will make people believe in your business.
Will your ads be seen? Yes. Will they be noticed? Maybe. Only if they’re being shown to the relevant people.
Will your ads be blocked? Yes, but mostly by consumers being desensitised to advertisements. But they do see everything, and they will notice and pursue things of value to them.
Will people engage with your brand? Yes. If you give them a reason to be engaged.
Is it worth the money? Is it worth the insurmountable work? Is it worth the trail and error? Is it worth it? Yes.
Any successful advertising takes more than just the acknowledgement of a product, and it’s no different with Facebook. Even if you have value to offer your potential customers, you still need to know how to get them to see it. And you need creative, fresh, consistent content. It’s no easy feat, but we know the ones that manage to do it. They’re the ones that establish themselves as a part of lives. They’re not just Old Spice or Black Milk, Red Bull or Cards Against Humanity. They’re not just Google and Facebook.
They’re local businesses that take their impact through social media back out into the real world. Success for them becomes a tangible connection that we can’t measure with online metrics. It becomes a handshake. A paper receipt. Physical change - and not just the kind that jingles in your wallet.
Advertising with Facebook is a real thing that has real impact. With a little help, it could see your business soar.