The Nitty Gritty on Facebook Ads
In an ideal world, your Facebook page would collect likes organically – that is, by people enjoying your content enough to proactively ‘like’ your page. Maybe they come across your Facebook page via your website, or perhaps they saw a friend like or share something of yours on Facebook. Regardless, they found you naturally, liked what they saw, and in turn ‘liked’ your Facebook page.
Unfortunately reality is diverging more and more from this ideal. Facebook’s algorithm now gives priority to those who pay to put their content in front of an audience in the form of Facebook ads. Those that aren’t paying to advertise have their posts show up in the news feed of just a fraction of their followers. In fact, research has shown that organic reach may be as low as 2% now.
On one hand, yes, this is absolutely Facebook being greedy and trying to make money off its users. But also, think about it: there is way too much content being shared across this platform to show every single post in someone’s news feed. There has to be some way to prioritize it.
If you want to increase your business’s website traffic and/or following through Facebook, there’s no way around it: you must pay to play the advertising game.
Here’s a quick look at your options for Facebook advertising:
The advertising options on Facebook are plentiful. At the moment there are 13 different advertising methods to choose from.
The first 3 on the list are probably the most common, so let’s take a look at how those work:
Boost Your Posts
Rather than create an ad, you can pay to boost one of your Facebook posts from your business page. Whether this post is a link to a page on your website, or a photo that you’ve shared, boosting a Facebook post means that more people will see and engage with it.
You can choose the audience you want to target (location, age, gender, interests) and have your post boosted to either people who already like your page, friends of people who like your page, or people who don’t already like your page. You can also specify where you want your post to appear (Facebook, Instagram, or both).
Why boost your Facebook posts? Boosting is a great way to increase engagement and organic reach, and may generate more organic page likes (though likes are not guaranteed).
Promote Your Page
If you’re looking to get more page likes, promoting it with a Facebook ad is the way to go. It works similarly to the boost where you choose your audience, but instead of paying to get one of your existing posts in front of a wider audience to garner more shares and comments, you are paying for an ad to display to new people in hopes that they will like your page. Careful though: you don’t want to go too crazy with paying for likes, otherwise it will be very obvious that this is what you’ve done.
Why promote your Facebook page? To increase page likes.
Send People To Your Website
If your priority is to generate more website traffic, you can have your ad lead to your business website rather than your Facebook page. You select your audience the same way you do for the other options above, and your ad budget is put toward clicks to your site. It’s a good idea to have your ad link through to a post or page on your website that has done pretty well already – that way, you’ll hopefully inspire people to continue clicking around your site and come back for repeat visits.
Why advertise to get people to click through to your site? To increase your website traffic.