Depending on who you talk to, there are a lot of mixed messages about social media platforms, their longevity, and whether it’s wise to spend your advertising dollars on them. In the center of the bullseye is Facebook, a platform that some love to hate. Stocks are up and down and controversies pop up with some regularity, so does it warrant a piece of your marketing budget?
While the definitive answer to that question may depend on your specific business and audience, chances are really good that for your business it’s “yes.” And here’s why:
- Everyone is on it. Frequently it’s argued that Millennials (or the generation after, Gen Z) don’t use Facebook, they use Instagram. But the truth is that 26% of the world is on Facebook (and that’s a lot). However, 68% of the U.S. population actively uses Facebook (that’s a whole lot). So while it’s not literally true that everyone is on Facebook, it still means that there’s a great chance the bulk of your customer base is.
- Instagram. That “they’re not using Facebook… they’re on Instagram” argument? Guess who owns Instagram. Yup—Facebook. And the default advertising options in Facebook push ads out to Instagram too.
- Targeting, targeting, targeting. Facebook has a notorious amount of information about their users, rivaling the reach of hyper-targeted direct mail marketing which once ruled our mailboxes. It’s true that following the Russia interference debacle leading up to the 2016 election that Facebook shuttered some of its data partnerships, but it still has a ton of information that can help advertisers reach audiences that wouldn’t be possible elsewhere.
- Organic can’t compete. It’s not enough to just have a Facebook page for your business (though you should… you do, don’t you?). Organic has had limited reach on Facebook for several years now, so it’s almost guaranteed that your audience will not see every post you publish. You really have to be willing to at least periodically spend some money to be seen on Facebook.
2019 Facebook Updates
On top of these reasons, a number of 2019 platform updates offer a number of benefits to advertisers to make it more compelling.
- Shopping within Instagram stories: beyond the Instagram newsfeed is the story feature (which Facebook also offers). Product stickers can now be added in stories to motivate sales within an engaging format.
- Augmented reality ads: engage consumers with the ability to bring your product (virtually) into their world to try on apparel and accessories, for example.
- Facebook stories ads: similar to Instagram stories, advertising within this fullscreen immersive format can be very effective.
- Playable ads: do you offer a game, or have a way to gamify your product or service? This format is a great way to grab customers’ attention and loyalty.
- Video creation kit: automagically generate a video ad from your image assets.
- Page recommendations: an update to the reviews feature.
- Mobile experience: pages have been redesigned on mobile for an optimized experience.
Data, Analytics, and Assets
- Updated video metrics
- Brand lift data
- Value-based lookalike audiences (based on online and offline behavior)
- Minimum ROAS bidding
No platform is perfect, but Facebook is far from dead or irrelevant. In fact, advertising spend continues to be strong—especially as it is heavily bolstered by rapid growth in Instagram spending. Like other advertising platforms, it can be complex and the data obscure, but that’s where a great agency partner with Facebook advertising expertise can be a tremendous help. Give us a call or contact us to discuss how advertising on Facebook and/or Instagram can be part of your marketing mix to help you reach your business goals—and gain loyal customers.