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Should You Advertise on Facebook?

july15-advertising-01It’s no secret that it’s getting harder and harder to reach your business’ on Facebook. Changes to the newsfeed algorithm mean posts from business pages lose out when compared to posts from users’ friends.

It’s frustrating, we know, but it doesn’t mean you should give up marketing your wedding business on Facebook. Quite the contrary – we think you should continue using the social media giant for your business.

You just might have to spend a little money.

If that seems unfair to you, consider this: Would you expect to get ad placement in a newspaper for free? Would you expect to place an ad in a bridal show flyer for free? Any worthwhile method of marketing your business is going to cost money. We don’t think Facebook is any different.

The good thing about Facebook is that you don’t have to spend money on every post you add to your page. Targeted advertising can help you expand your reach (the number of people who see your post), gain new fans, and find new customers.

There are three ways to advertise on Facebook:

Boosted post: On any post on your business page, you’ll see a button at the bottom right that reads “Boost Post.” This expands the reach of that post. When the post appears in users’ newsfeeds, it will be labeled as “sponsored.”

Promoted post: Like a boosted post, a promoted post is also labeled “sponsored.” Promoted posts also have a “Like Page” button for non-fans.

Newsfeed ad: A newsfeed ad includes the buttons above plus you can change the URL of your link to something catchy and easy to remember. It also includes a second call to action, like “Shop Now.”

Which method you choose is up to you. All three give you the same options for choosing a target audience, and each lets you set an advertising budget as small as a few dollars.

Which posts should you promote?

You should be posting to your business page at least once a day. Which posts should you promote? Convince and Convert suggests boosting or promoting a post that has already gained a little traction among your followers. (Ever get those notifications from Facebook that a post on your page is performing better than others on the page? These are the posts you want to consider boosting.)

We love the STIR evaluation method that Convince and Convert uses to determine whether a post should be boosted/promoted:

Shelf life: Will your post still be valid in four days? You want your post to have relevance beyond today.

Time: Has it been at least six hours since you published the post? You need to give it time to see whether it catches on with your followers.

Impact: What are you asking followers to do? Your post should include a link to your website/blog or a call to action stronger than asking for likes.

Results: Have more than 1 percent of your followers interacted with the post in some way: Like, comment, share, etc.? You want to promote a post that some people already seem to be interested in.

Finding Your Audience

You probably already know a lot about the audience you want to reach: Where they live, how old they are, what their interests are. Facebook, as you know, collects a huge amount of data on its users, their habits, and their interests. As a Facebook user, this can be disconcerting.

As an advertiser, you’ve struck gold.

First, decide among these three audiences for your boost or ad:

  • People who like your page and their friends
  • People similar to those who like your page
  • People you choose through targeting

If you choose to target an audience, you’ll be able to really get specific about who you want to reach based on:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Gender
  • Interests
  • Income
  • Other demographic information

Once you’ve placed your ad, you can visit the “More Demographics” section on the advertising page to get even more specific: Education, work, detailed interests, page likes, etc.

The more specific you’re able to get, the more likely you are to find people who want what you’re advertising. But don’t get too specific – the more parameters you add to your audience, the smaller the final group will be.

Finally, the cost of your ad. Like we mentioned above, you can spend as much or as little as you like on your Facebook ad. The more you spend, the wider your reach will be. The goal is to lower the cost per click of your advertising and increase the click-through rate of the ad.