Is it worth advertising on Facebook?

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Following on from our article in our newsletter last month, which looked at a report that 24% of small businesses are yet to discover the benefits of Social Media, we decided to research whether ‘paid for’ advertising on Facebook has any benefits.facebook

If you use Facebook personally, you may be inundated with ads that pop up in your feed; you may even find them annoying.  However is it worthwhile paying for a specific advert or to increase your page likes? We looked at two case studies to find out:

 

Case study 1: A community page who hold regular face-face support meetings

Obj 1: to increase the number of ‘likes’ on their FB page (increase their community)
Obj 2: attract more people to attend their weekly meetings
Obj 3: increase the amount of traffic via their FB page who share ideas and comments

Budget: least amount possible
We trialled two small campaigns, with a total spend of under £10.

For this amount we were not expecting great results. The Facebook page had been recently set up & currently had 14 ‘Likes’ & 16 ‘Followers’.

Results:

The campaigns each hit between 550-600 people in the local area to the group.

Obj 1: The page now has a total of 71 ‘Likes’ & 75 ‘Followers’. Page views have increased by 54%

Obj 2: There has been a dramatic increase in the number of people who have expressed an interest in attending the meetings & actual attendance has gone up by 50%

Obj 3: People commenting on, or sharing posts has increased by 80%

Case study 2: A small start-up business consultancy

Obj 1: To increase the number of ‘likes’ & ‘Follows’ on their Facebook page
Obj 2: Increase their potential customer base (as a ‘start-up’ no specific target set)
Obj 3: Engage feedback from customers & page shares

Budget: £5

Results:
The campaign targeted approx 100 Facebook users over 3 days

Day 1:  By the end of day 1, there had been a target audience of only 36 people (resulting in 1 new like). We therefore changed the target audience to create a wider group with less specific interests (from specialisms to small businesses & consultants in general).

Looking at the results for Days 2 & 3  the Facebook target audience did not increase dramatically due to the intervention. Despite the initial promise of a target audience of 1500 users by Facebook.

Obj 1: The page now has a total of 7 new ‘likes’ & reached only 150 people
Obj 2: After the disappointing number of ‘page likes’, this objective has not been achieved
Obj 3: There have been a number of ‘post likes’ & comments. It is too early to tell whether this will grow the page ‘followers’.

Conclusions:

For the community group, Facebook advertising was a cheap, but very effective method of marketing.

For the small consultancy, I believe that the test was insufficient to draw any distinct conclusions. Instead of deterring the customer & ourselves, we feel this provides us with great research material. We plan to run another promotion, targeted differently and we will update this blog with details of the results. We will keep you informed.

Our thoughts (these were agreed upon by both ourselves & the client):

  • Was the promotion targeted correctly? We decided to promote ‘page likes’, but in hindsight, promoting a certain post of interest may have gained more attention.
  • Was the timing right? The promotion fell over a Friday, Saturday & Sunday
  • Was the choice of target audience correct? We chose specific catergories, maybe too precise?
  • Does the fact that it is a new business deter people. Perhaps the timing of the promotion is wrong.
  • Do we need to look at the Facebook page itself to see if it needs a face-lift?
  • Are the objectives (set by the client) are too ambitious for a new page & a start up business?

Learning:

  • Chose your target audience carefully.
  • Decide whether it is better to promote page likes, an event or a specific post.
  • Get your timing right, both for the promotion but also your business.
  • Ensure your page or post is interesting & specific enough to gain attention.
  • Be  specific & realistic with your objectives for the promotion.

As you will agree, interesting findings and great information to refine & learn from for the future.

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