I’ve been stubborn with my money and advertising on Facebook. Since I remember the glory years when all pages were created equal, I was offended when Facebook said I had to pay. Although I didn’t officially boycott Facebook, I decided to put it on the back-burner and find an alternate.

I was alone. Every other business jumped on the Facebook advertising wagon and I was left in the dust. After some self-reflection (and many experts advising), I went ahead and gave Facebook my money.

Why Advertise with Facebook?

Facebook has billions of users and a very active audience. My years working in advertising made me very conscious of what goes into a good media buy.

  • Reach – how many customers are available to see my message?
  • Frequency – how often will my customers see my brand?
  • Cost – what’s the price tag?

Just like buying television, radio, or Google display ads, Facebook advertising is graded on the same standard.

Facebook advertising metrics - dial up against media.

What is the lowest cost to reach the most qualified people, multiple times?

In many industries you are graded on cost per thousand (CPM). How much money does it take to reach a thousand people? This is simple math.

You also start seeing cost per impression (also CPM). An advertising impression is a single served ad. CPM also deals with cost per thousand impressions.

In order to grade media platforms on an equal scale, you use CPM to decide who can help you reach the most people for the cheapest cost.

Advertising Waste

The major benefit of digital advertising is your ability to target your customer. As users we might not love big data and how our every movement is being tracked, but it does help us get served better advertisements. Advertisers use this information to serve ads to specific customers and demographics.

Television and Radio try to get as granular as possible. Most advertisers find programming that matches their target audience’s demographics. I watch wrestling on Wednesday nights. If I watch the commercials on TNT, I will see a ton of Male 35-49 products. Advertisers want to spend their money on the right audience. Although there are females and kids watching, they want the middle-aged males. If they could, they would only pay for this audience.

Facebook Advertising Waste

With online advertising, you eliminate a lot of the guesswork. You also have a lot of options. Television advertisers only have 20-30 commercials to buy during my 2-hour wrestling program. Online advertisers have countless websites to buy impressions on.

Facebook, negative as it sounds, tracks a lot about you. They also partner with companies that know even more about you. This makes it real easy to place an ad or post on your feed that will get your attention.

You click on that post. The advertiser is happy with the results. They pour money into the system.

Inexpensive and Easy

I’ve started asking many of my clients if they have a personal Facebook account. This isn’t because I want to be friends, but because I use this as a general measuring stick for their technical capabilities. I make a great majority of my websites in WordPress and I want the customers to take over the site when finished. I often say, “If you can use Facebook, you can use WordPress”.

Almost always, the client has a Facebook and understands how to post.

It’s equally easy to hit a boost button to reach more users. It’s also inexpensive – or appears to be. For only $5 I can reach 1,000 more people? Many users don’t stop and think if that’s actually a good deal. It’s subjective to the user if that $5 means a lot or a little.

Most of the time the business can afford $5 for a boost.

What is Your Advertising Goal?

If you made a post on your Facebook page, you get bombarded with Facebook trying to get you to boost or advertise. I get tired of closing out of all of the pop-up and call-to-action attempts. They are relentless.

The reason I don’t advertise or boost usually has to do with my end goal. I would love more people to see my blog, but that won’t likely translate to an actual return on investment. Sure, every interaction gets me closer to a sale in the future but I don’t want just any old eyeballs.

Target Audience

Although I have several potential audiences, if I could only reach one specific customer it would be the local business owner who advertises. I like being local and I like working with clients that understand the importance of advertising. Even though I welcome everyone on the internet to consume my message, small business owners are the ones that help me pay my bills.

If I am going to pay money, I want to reach this audience (as niche as it may be).

Facebook gives you the opportunity to really drill down to your exact customer.

Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion

What’s more important that actually find your niche customer is knowing your actual advertising goal. Facebook makes it very easy to hit a boost button on your latest post, but why would you want to do that?

When you are creating a Facebook ad, you decide your campaign objective. They are dived into three categories:

  • Awareness – generate interest in your product or service
  • Consideration – get people to start thinking about your business and look for more information
  • Conversion – encourage people to purchase or use your service

If you don’t have a good understanding what you want to accomplish, it is nearly impossible to grade your success. Its a good idea to think about this when you craft any post or content. What is the point and why are you spending time on this? In some way it should help push you and your business forward.

What’s the Difference Between a Facebook Boost and Facebook Ad?

Boosting a post on Facebook is very tempting. You hit Boost and fill out a few parameters. Next thing you know you are getting more engagement and you owe Facebook some money. It’s easy and it performs.

A Facebook Ad is a thought-out advertising solution using the Facebook Ads Manager. Instead of just engaging more of your followers with a current post, Facebook ads gives you greater control of who you target and how you want them to convert.

Let’s say you want to work out and lose weight.

Boosting a post would be going to the gym. Facebook Ads would be getting a personal trainer.

Both tactics will help you reach your goal, but having more control will likely get you a more efficient, desirable result.

Facebook Ads allow you to choose Interests and Behaviors – not just location and gender. Interests tend to be hobbies or pages liked on Facebook. Behaviors use purchase habits, devices used, or recent life events.

Ads also give you greater control of the post format and where it is located on the Facebook feed.

Is it difficult to create a Facebook Ad?

We know boosting a post is fairly simple. It’s simply hitting a few buttons. Facebook ads have a few extra steps, but still is a far cry from rocket science.

Create an ad for Facebook Advertising

Facebook Ads Manager is an extension of Facebook that allows you to advertise on their platform (and Instagram). There are several steps in setting up an account, but can be done with a few video tutorials and a half-hour of free time.

Once you create an account, you can create campaigns and ads. You can save most of these settings and use them time and time again.

If you dedicate a few hours and a small budget to trying out the platform, you will likely understand and feel confident in your ability after a few ads/campaigns.

Take a look at Facebook’s 5 Steps to Create a Facebook Ad to start the process.

Should You Boost or Should You Create an Ad?

Boosting your Facebook post or using Facebook Ads really come down to your post or business objective. Many experts saying Boosting your post is not the best way to accomplish a goal. Others argue that the ease of boosting makes it a very cost-effective way to get more engagement.

I tend to believe that boosting a post or content helps you accomplish your goals for the following:

  • Brand Awareness
  • Post Comments
  • Page Likes
  • Post Shares
Facebook Advertising online

You reach a targeted group of individuals, increasing your impressions and hopefully the content triggers comments, likes, and shares.

Ads are better at helping you convert for specific goals. These tend to be:

  • Online orders or shopping
  • Video views
  • Web Traffic conversions (or website visits)
  • App Installs or Downloads

The ability to target specific customers and exact interests help you hit quality customers, not quantity.

How to Get Started with Facebook Advertising

Hopefully you have an understanding of your options on Facebook – boost or ad. The resources are available for anyone with access to a business account to get started. Often I work with clients that take one of two approaches:

  • Learn and try on their own
  • Not worth the effort and pay someone to do it for them

I guess there is always the third group that decides they don’t need to use Facebook. I’m not in the business of changing their minds, but always watch from a distance when their competition passes them by. You should take advantage of this network and reap the benefits.

If you want to learn and try out Facebook Advertising on your own, I strongly suggest paying the monthly fee to LinkedIn Learning or Lynda.com. I’ve gone through the majority of their video tutorials for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. Every video provides you with simple step-by-step instructions.

If you want to hire a social media marketing company, I know a few individuals that can help you out. Reach out today and I can find you several options.

Not sold on the idea of Facebook Advertising? I have a podcast recommendation for you.

The Podcast: “Advertising and Optimizing Facebook Content”

Brought to you by the inbound marketing juggernaut HubSpot, this podcast is quick and informative. Learn all about Facebook advertising and why you should be doing it.