After outlining the benefits and drawbacks of Direct Mail last week, today TACK10 analyzes the positive and negative attributes of Facebook advertising to reach a defined target audience. There are a number of digital media channels that can be leveraged for small business advertising and Facebook ads offer interesting opportunities for audience engagement.

Benefits

  • Facebook offers the ability to filter your target audience to a very specific market. This includes the ability to target by demographic characteristics and interests.
  • The potential for your paid advertising to be shared; expanding its reach with the endorsement of an individual taking the time to share it within their own network – digital word of mouth marketing.
  • Facebook offers fewer restrictions to the format your advertising takes. Boost a post of particularly engaging content to spread awareness, test multiple ad formats with one audience profile, use a higher ratio of text to image to educate your target audience – the options available are appealing.

Drawbacks

  • It can be difficult to catch the attention of a Facebook user. You are competing with content from within their own networks and it is easy for a user to scroll past advertising. For this reason, content and imagery needs to be eye catching and highly creative to capture the user’s attention.
  • Word of mouth marketing can be negative – if someone has had a negative experience with your product or service it is easily shared in comments on your advertising. Never delete or report comments unless inappropriate language is being used. Try to engage the poster quickly and professionally as your response will be seen by other current and potential customers.

Who can benefit from Facebook Advertising?

While this is in no way exhaustive, Facebook Advertising could be a good option for:

  • Local businesses who want to make a targeted, personalized offer
  • Businesses with a niche product or service
  • Businesses targeting audiences that are heavy social media users
  • Online businesses given the steps to sale are shortest

Facebook Hack

Facebook for Business offers the ability to a Lookalike Audience to further narrow in on your target audience. By determining who in your greater target market actually converts to a sale you can create target advertisements to profiles that look like them. Sources for Lookalike Audience profiles include conversion pixels, data from mobile apps, profiles of your current Facebook page fans.

TACK10 thoughts on Facebook as an advertising channel

Despite the need to compete for attention on Facebook, it remains the social media channel with the most developed and effective advertising platform. Sponsored page posts that have a call to action deliver on average a higher return than other types of content such as external website ads. With the ability to test and learn from Facebook advertising campaigns it is worth the type and investment of time and resources to hone in on the audience profile that will respond to your business’ advertising.