For small businesses looking to grow, there has never been a better time to leverage Facebook. It is well known that social media, in general, has become a valuable channel for businesses to communicate with their prospects, leads and customers throughout the entire customer journey. Facebook specifically is effective because of its impressive user base, as well as multiple tools and offerings that businesses can use to accomplish their specific business goals.
The statistics are clear: Facebook, with 1.66 billion daily active users, is the largest social media platform today. It is also important to note that 49 percent of users like or follow a brand’s Facebook page, making it a perfect platform for expanding business reach.
Due to users’ significant engagement rate with Facebook business pages, those who advertise on Facebook also reap the benefits of high conversions. In fact, 26% of users who clicked on a targeted ad reported later making a purchase.
Facebook knows the power of its platform, and has consequently developed many tools for increasing brand recognition, gaining new followers and acquiring new customers. But what method is best for your business?
Check out our exclusive infographic below for a short overview of posting, boosting and advertising, and then keep reading the blog for even more details:
What Goal Do You Plan To Accomplish With Facebook?
Prior to determining whether to post organically, boost your business’s existing social posts, or create an advertising campaign on Facebook, it is crucial to determine and outline your goals.
Is your business looking to boost engagement online? Are you hoping to increase brand awareness? Perhaps you want to drive more traffic to your website, or simply increase your number of customers. Only after determining a clear direction should businesses embark on a Facebook strategy.
Determining your business goals will dictate which of Facebook’s tools you use. Posting, boosting and advertising are not created equal – each one has pros and cons, and should be used to achieve specific ends. This will not only save your business valuable time and money, but also greatly increase your chances of achieving your marketing goals.
A Breakdown of Facebook Posts vs. Boosts vs. Ads
Facebook posts are posted updates in the form of a block of text, sometimes including a photo, link or video. Facebook posts are shared with one’s own community of Facebook friends or followers. Posting is free and unlimited.
For businesses, Facebook posts can provide followers of the business page with important updates and help establish a clear, relatable voice for the brand. They also lend businesses the opportunity to share relevant content that will keep their audience engaged. The reach of posting, however, is limited as posts are only shown to the number of followers your page has.
Facebook Boosted Posts
Boosted posts are Facebook posts that reach a larger audience by adding budget to make the post “sponsored.” This can be done in a few simple clicks, making boosted posts an easy way to deliver sponsored content to the news feeds of a wider audience, while maintaining the content’s “organic” feel.
For increasing engagement and exposure of a particular post, like the announcement of a new location, or to increase website clicks, this method is optimal. However, boosted posts lack the advanced audience targeting and content variables of actual Facebook ads. Placement is also limited – you must choose between sharing your post on Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram.
Facebook advertisements are various forms of paid content promoted on the Facebook platform. Facebook provides incredibly detailed and granular audience customizing and targeting for its ads. This allows businesses to run full ad campaigns using a variety of creative and optimization tools.
With distinct location targeting, Facebook advertising is a great way for businesses to build brand awareness in a local community. Ads are also an effective way to convey different messages throughout the entire customer journey, ultimately generating more customers and driving offline sales.
Placement for Facebook ads are also very flexible – businesses can place ads on all available Facebook platforms, including Facebook Messenger and Instagram. Using the strategic method built into the Facebook ads platform, your business’s ads will be optimized to the fullest extent, reaching the exact audience you wish to target.
And the Winner is...
Realistically speaking, which method you use on Facebook will be different for every business. What is most important for any business using social media is to determine your goals. These goals will dictate how social media can best be used to optimize your marketing strategy.
Why should any business choose to pay for ads on Facebook when posting is free?
If your goal is to get new customers, only posting on Facebook will not give you the ROI you’re looking for. Organic reach is very low for posts (limited almost solely to your page followers). By spending a small amount of money with Facebook ads, you can guarantee a much larger reach and specifically target your ideal customer, providing an offer that will get them through your door. Facebook advertising is, in short, the best, most powerful and affordable method for exponentially expanding your reach and growing your business.