I’ve never been a big fan of Facebook.
And while some businesses (like cafes) need to be on the platform, I really only kept mine going because I was too lazy to delete it.
But now I’m glad I didn’t.
And with the recent announcement that Facebook is killing organic reach I wanted to write a post about one powerful reason to keep your Facebook Page going.
It’s actually a pretty obvious one.
What’s the story about organic Facebook reach?
Over the years there have been so many stories about all the different crappy things Facebook was allegedly doing with organic reach.
Some people were really upset by it.
Others saw it and kind of understood it was all part of the business.
But the final nail in the coffin occurred late last year when reports circulated that Facebook was totally killing organic reach once and for all.
That means that, starting now, Facebook Pages will have to pay if they want to get posts circulated.
As it says in the article:
Facebook is also laying to rest the idea that good content will be rewarded regardless of its algorithm. No matter how creative a brand’s Facebook posts may be, they simply won’t get shown to anymore than a negligible fraction of their followers.
So, with all of this going on, why should we do a non-Copyblogger and persist with our Facebook Pages? Why is it a bad idea to get rid of them?
Well, it’s kind of obvious.
Why keep your Facebook page? The ads are incredible.
One of the big reasons Google is so scared of Facebook is because they know that they are transitioning into a similar search-based model with adverts as the main source of revenue.
But the difference between Facebook and Google is that, while Google has all your search history and emails, Facebook has all your friends, likes and social data.
And that makes the adverts incredibly well targetable.
I say targetable because it’s not a given that you’ll do well from these ads. It sometimes takes a lot of tweaking, and there is a lot of competition on the platform.
That being said, it still is (from my experiments anyway…) a boat-load cheaper than Adwords while still getting some pretty sweet results.
Here’s some results I got last week:
A screenshot showing some ads I ran last week that got some pretty sweet results.
If you’re familiar with ads you’ll probably see that this is a not too bad CTR and, although it could be better, for the niche I was bidding in the cost was pretty low as well.
The results were very good in terms of subscribers and sales.
How to use Facebook Ads for your blog
One thing I really have been trying to get across lately is that everyone should be spending a bit of money promoting their blog.
A blog is like any other business – it needs to be promoted.
And the great thing about online advertising is that it’s cheap, effective and you don’t need to spend $10,000+ just to get a spot.
Even just $20 a week as we talked about in the last article can be enough to get you started.
So what’s next?
1. Watch the feed and read
The first thing to do is watch your news feed and see what ads pop up and how well they appear to be doing. Obviously you can’t tell if they’re converting on the website end but you should be able to see if they are getting shared and liked.
Here’s one that popped up for me this morning:
Note the photo, the text in the image (be careful of that on FB), and the copy. A very well developed sponsored post with a good offer.
While you’re watching for some good ads make sure you read this post by Glen about his Facebook experiments. It’s a very good starting point.
2. Set up a cheap ad to a free giveaway
The next thing I’d do is practice setting up a desktop-only newsfeed ad that goes to a landing page of a free giveaway that you probably already have on your blog.
Remember, this is one of the tactics a reader of Blog Tyrant used on her site to get over 11,000 email subscribers after finding my post about fashion blogging.
So we know it works.
The main thing you want to be working on here is trying to get your target market right and your cost per action as low as possible while still being effective.
3. Try giving your best article a boost
While you’re playing around with the lead-magnet advert you might also want to try giving one of your best articles a paid boost. This can be done within ads manager as well and is a really good way get a bit more exposure – especially if you can get people sharing.
People get really mixed results by boosting posts – some love it and some hate it. But I do think it’s a worthwhile thing to do for reasons I’ll explain later.
Make sure you set your target market tightly and be online to watch your results in case anything needs responding to or altering.
The “hidden” benefits of Facebook Ads
The more I play around with Facebook Ads the more I realize that there are a few benefits to it that aren’t immediately obvious.
We all know that it can help you get traffic, leads and exposure.
But what not a lot of people understand is that it is a really cheap and effective way to essentially get an education in copywriting and advertising.
And the reason is because it is so direct.
Think about all the elements that go into an ad:
- Your copy
What does the headline, text and call to action say?
- Your photo
Do you use a photo of a male, female or some object? What color is it? Do you own the image rights?
- Your budget and bidding strategy
How much do you spend and how quickly? Do you pay for impressions or clicks? How do you know whether the resulting actions are converting?
- Your target market and demographic
Are you targeting existing fans and their friends or a new segment of people? Age, education, interests, sex, etc.?
Who is bidding against you and what tools are they using to discover your successful campaigns? Is it still viable to keep tweaking your ads?
With maybe $100-$500 over a couple of weeks you can get a brilliant education in how online business works, and how your target market and niche operates.
So many times I’ve seen people who have been successful with Facebook Ads go on and be really successful in other areas of internet marketing and I’m quite sure it has something to do with the lessons they learned playing with ads.
A word of warning
Before you jump into advertising on Facebook you need to be a bit familiar with the risks. It’s nothing worth worrying about, but still shouldn’t be ignored.
Firstly, don’t use anyone’s photo or asset without permission and a credit. And never associate anything with something illegal or slanderous. It’s just not worth it.
Secondly, make sure you set your budget limits, daily limits and lifetime campaign limits. The last thing you want is to accidentally write $2,000.00 instead of $20.00 because that money could get spent really quickly.
Lastly, you need to watch your results and conversions carefully and not just plainly go for likes and shares. There are a few people who have suggested that some results might not be as legitimate as you’d hope.
Are you keeping your Facebook Page?
I’m really interested to know whether anyone else will (or has already) get rid of their Facebook Page and what the reasons are. Please leave a comment and let me know, and also let us know if you’ve ever had any luck with the Ads platform.
71 CommentsJoin in. The comments are closed after 30 days.
Nice to know someone else follows the same mindset.
For years (before Internet) our companies developed ad budgets.
Tracked the results, fine tuned Targeting and were always pleased with results of putting Quality Solutions in front of those who were looking for those solutions.
NONE of it was FREE
But successful business mindsets do not ask cost, they want to know return.
The internet has spawned a generation of aspiring business people who believe it is there Birthright to enjoy FREE.
Could that be why so many are floundering in a sea of mediocrity and lack of PROFIT?
Love you blog.
Thank you again for your candor
I oversee 13 successful Facebook pages and none will be shutting down to my knowledge
Thanks Chuck. Really appreciate that vote of confidence.
I agree about the free. I think “free” needs to be part of a marketing strategy. It doesn’t mean “don’t spend money”. All the girls and guys that I know that are doing well are spending money. And as they get more successful they spend more, more efficiently.
Thanks for stopping by.
Not against FREE. Be doing Free for decades. But we Give Free,
do not expect FREE back.
Giving without expectation is hugely rewarding in so many ways including PROFIT
Very well said.
I’m definitely keeping my Facebook page, but I’m wondering does this affect every “page”!? If it’s a personality page like mine, do the same rules apply? I definitely have noticed a major decline in organic reach but have played around with paid ads which get a better reach but zero engagements. Regardless, I am still keeping the page. I feel like if you’ve got a good following, it’s still an opportunity to drive people to your website which has been tough for me!
As far as I can understand it’s for all Facebook Pages. As the article I linked to mentions, they are moving to a complete paid network mentality. It seems to have been going that way for a while regardless.
Sheesh. So even when I post a picture of myself I will have to pay for people to see it?
Not personal accounts.
Hi mate, love your blog, but have a serious question… you wrote a post about how great FB ads are, but you have less than 3,000 likes. Surely you don’t value them as much as you say you do, or you’d have a lot more than that.
Only just started dabbling with FB ads aiming for website conversion on Blog Tyrant. Don’t go for Page likes because of the issues above. Had some good luck with other websites though and it’s encouraged me to do a bit more for this one.
Just checked out your blog btw. It’s really good. Love the niche/personal story mix. Lost my kung fu teacher this week so it’s nice to see someone with that fire that I lost (regrettably) a while ago.
Ah thanks mate. Yeah sometimes other stuff gets i the way. Never to late though 🙂
From an economic perspective, I think it is silly that Facebook would kill off all organic reach because then there would be no incentive to buy page fans. I’m pretty sure Facebook makes a ton of money on fan buys.
At some point Facebook will find the optimal balance between revenue generated from people buying fans to people buying post promotions. I do think the pendulum has swayed too far toward post promotions, but it will likely swing back the other way soon–in which case organic reach will have to remain in place.
So I plan to keep my Facebook page and I’m very happy with my campaign aimed at buying fans for my page (albeit starting at a low level and a small budget).
I think small is the way to go. It’s what I’m doing – just bit by bit changes.
You’re right about the fan buys, surely Facebook doesn’t want to say goodbye to that income!
And I agree that they have perhaps taken things too far with regards to organic reach, maybe we will see some movement back the other way soon….
Totally agree with you, so many great results to be had with Facebook advertising…..until they decided I was a scammy internet marketer ( I do craft business coaching, scandalous) and now I can’t get an add or a boost approved no matter what I try.
I feel like all the cool kids are allowed outside to play and my mum’s making me stay home for no reason.
Weird… I wonder why that happened? Any ideas?
From the research I’ve done and the peeps I’ve spoken to, it’s just bad luck. Similar has happened to Jeremy Frandsen of Internet Business Mastery, those guys had their fan page and almost all of their ads shut down, I’m not so bad off.
Having a chat with Jon Loomer about it next week, cross fingers he can shed some light on it for me.
It was a good reminder for me to not rely on FB ads for all of my marketing and traffic generation because it can be taken away just like that 🙂
Have you asked Facebook why?
They do respond in their own good time however.
Must be a generational thing ~~smile
Hi Chuck, yes I did. They were nice enough to copy and paste their T&C’s for me regarding “not advertising get rich quick schemes” but when I questioned it (my ads weren’t anything that 1000 others aren’t doing), they won’t provide any personal feedback.
Happens to lots of internet businesses all the time apparently but usually a change to copy or photos fixes everything. In my case nothing I do has been approved since. Not even a boosted blog post.
Such is life 🙂
I had the same problem with ads I wanted to place. They had problems with the image which I changed several times until they were happy. Then it was something else contained in the T & C. I read through it in detail and challenged them.
Their complaints are very vague and it is difficult to get to the bottom of the problem.
Eventually they were happy and approved my ads.
I suppose it is a learning curve for all of us and what is more, they will keep on changing the rules to suit themselves.
Ok. I feel like you just read my mind. I just wrote them. I have a site up cause only way I feel i can start to get somewhere they should be paying me. I’m but they ripping me off. My site Michelabela go look if you like.
Write to facebook. They sometimes don’t respond, but they will set things right so you know they heard you.
Regarding likes — Do they not matter anymore? I’m not quite understanding.
That’s a good idea Christine I’ll try again 🙂
They responded.. Cause they want money.. Followed by Thank you so much for putting my life out.. But pay them.
This is keeping the old man up…..
Wanted to tee off early AM.
But have a question since it seems a lot of experience floating around.
Have new page with about 100 likes.
Organic reach per post is running about 19-34%.
Wonder why the % so high?
Is Facebook “baiting” to grow page and then show lower % a sit grows?
Are many of those family and friends of the business?
I found your post very interesting. I’ve been equating all the crickets chirping around my FB business page with the fact that so many of my friends have ditched FB. Instagram seems to be what is “in” right now and I have jumped on that bandwagon. People I’ve chatted with are sick and tired of FB and their constant changes. Home feeds are full of sponsored ads and not the family photos of your best friend.
As a business owner, I understand the importance of advertising. My son works for an advertising agency. I hear about it all the time! Facebook just seems to be on ad overdrive. What do you think?
Yeah it’s getting a bit gross over there. Hard to say where it’s going to go.
Don’t rule out videos!
You can upload videos directly to your fan page, put a specific call-to-action on it…(which by the way, the call to action button is appearing throughout the whole video on mobile phones)…
My videos are going for .03 cents a click and I’m targeting other marketers.
Great tip! Goddam autoplay on FB! 🙂
Great article, and thank you for sharing your expertise.
For what it is worth, i will be keeping my Facebook Page but for an entirely different reason…
Although not a heavy Facebook user myself (i only opened a personal account so that i could open my Page account), i have found that the simplicity of posting to Facebook is very helpful to my overall web interactions.
My primary interface with clients and the public has been my blog at http://www.michaelsmusings.com.au which was simply an extension of a client newsletter that i have sent out for many years.
Time pressures have made it much harder to do regular updates at the level of detail that i traditionally put into the blog posts. This has made it harder to keep content fresh, and that probably (because i really don’t know) reduces my SEO tally for the blog.
By using a Facebook plug-in, i can have my shorter and more regular Facebook posts feed through to the margin of the web blogsite. From what i can tell, this does count as activity and it does at the least provide a link to fresh content – hopefully making up for the lack of regular, longer blog posts. My website stats certainly seem to validate this point.
i have also recently polled clients and found that almost a third do actually prefer to receive information or updates via Facebook – so that is a good reason to retain the page.
Sorry if these points are less technical but these are my current ponderings on Facebook Pages and their utility.
Thanks for sharing – always good to learn how others are doing things.
My reason for keeping my Facebook page – and recommending that all my clients do the same – is pretty simple… We have *NO IDEA* what Facebook will decide to do next. Meaning, next month, next year, next feature, next app, next partnership, etc.
For me, that trumps speculation about current organic and paid possibilities.
Here is my analogy: Google Authorship. In the beginning, it didn’t exist. Then they added that feature and everybody went crazy over getting their search results to show up with their little thumbnail pic in the SERPs. It was a big deal and it made positive impacts on a lot of people’s Google search-based website traffic. THEN, they removed the feature. Will it come back and we’ll all be happy about keeping our rel=author meta tags and backlinks to G+ pages intact? Likewise, will Facebook pages’ organic reach come back in a different form at some future point? Who knows. Point being that we have no control over social properties or search engine policies – we’re property renters and policy abiders – and we ought not be too reactionary when the landlords change the rules.
Plus, I, like passels of other people, have invested real time and talent into building their Facebook page. For years, mind you. Should all that be flushed with the click of a delete button, or should we be more pragmatic and realize that people will still go to our Facebook pages to judge the validity of our businesses/services/products?
I think Facebook pages will remain a viable inbound destination for a long, long time, regardless of how people arrive on them.
The chameleon you chose says it all; blend in, adapt, survive, be vigilant. Maybe eat some bugs 🙂
Excellent point. I think that is really very wise. Here’s hoping it works out for you/them!
Great Post. FB ads helped me alot with learning more about advertising and target audience. I learned more from the ads that failed. FB is the cheapest advertising channel for me to get faster results with a low budget. It is definitely all about testing and not giving up. So you shouldn’t give up a FB page too.
Thanks for sharing Darius.
I already deleted my Facebook – best decision ever, both for my personal life AND my business. I found that people expect to be spoonfed on Facebook. My websites get more traffic now and the alexa ranking for all three has improved since I left. My biggest beef with Facebook is privacy issues. It also doesn’t help that they took money out of my PayPal account for services not rendered. Yes, REALLY!
Yeah I think I would delete my personal page if I didn’t need it for the business one.
We’re certainly keeping our business page – we picked up some work today from someone who used FB to search for a local web designer rather than using Google.
We also have a client who didn’t want a FB business page a couple of months ago, couldn’t understand why we kept telling her that she needed one, absolutely hated FB, but gave in and let us do the simple set up … and then spent a whole six bucks promoting a post she wrote on her mobile phone while relaxing in the pool. She got swamped with likes and and business worth in the thousands of dollars.
I don’t think she’ll be ditching her FB business page any time soon.
Great post, Ramsay! I am using facebook ads as a secret weapon for my business and blog. My budget per day is more like $1 a day and it gives me 50 likes already. A great tool for any marketing approach.
Anyway, thanks for sharing. I’ve learned a lot 🙂
Nice work Mike!
Does facebook delay the stats? I started my first campaign yesterday but I can’t see even a single reach. My bid is close to suggested top bid. Don’t know what the problem is.
No it’s live. I think you might not have a well defined target audience but I could be wrong.
I’m testing FB ads right now for opt-in leads, but not for my blog.
Though I should give it a try so I can gain some traction.
I don’t have any positive results yet, but I’m learning more about the platform and what it can do for me.
I think it’s a little misleading to say they are totally killing Organic reach. I’m not finding that to be true at all. For example, I just did a #TBT (Throwback Thursday) FB post yesterday and it’s currently sitting at 5000 organic views. I didn’t pay a dime. We have 2300 FB followers or so so I’m seeing great reach. The post was shared 15 times as of now so that helped spread it quickly. All from a blog post we wrote last year! The key at the moment is to post stuff that gets engaged with and engaged with quickly. Facebook “rewards” those posts and I see it again and again. Also, Facebook how has the “call to action” buttons for pages that you can use to send people to any link you want…so squeeze page for email signup if you will. There is really no reason to abandon Facebook. You can get great results without paying a dime.
I’m happy to hear it’s still working for you. I’ll be keen to learn whether it keeps going over the next month or so.
[ Smiles ] Yes, I am keeping my Facebook page, because it is good to have a presence there.
For the record, I am not too happy about the idea of paying Facebook to promote my page.
You’re not alone on that one.
I’m not dropping the page. I’m going to share more of the updates on my personal page and invest more into strategic ads.
Let us know how it goes!
I go through many moments of deleting my fan pages, I have 3. However, I’m keeping them, because they are a direct way I get feedback from my regular fans, like for info I wanted to put in my new book, I asked what was interesting to them, or whether they’d rather buy it as an ebook or hardcopy.
Also, I built my art business from scratch over 4 years via blogging and facebook, to the point where I travel internationally to teach and exhibit my art work, it’s about adapting your business. Paid ads are great because they are targeting direct conversions, where as likes on a page didn’t do that.
That’s really awesome to hear. I love leaning about how different niches use the net. Congrats on the success!
Facebook is defenitely the best source for advertising. Less revenue, more engagements.
If facebook was search engine. It would definetely had more searches from users than GOOGLE.
Great Post Ramsay (Y).
Ha. Not sure about that one but it would be interesting to see.
I really appreciated this post. I’ve been using FB ads for about 2 years now. I’ve had some minimal success with them (mostly because I always set my budget really low). I like some of the ideas you presented to us and I’m working on using them right now.
Thanks Naomi. Hope it helps.
I am keeping up with my page although I hardly get any reach. I have a blog and I noticed when I post links to my own blog the reach is very low but if I post links to other blogs or articles the reach is probably 10x more. So I keep up with the page hoping to get new readers seeing shared content.
Keep experimenting and don’t forget to try some ads.
We must have a per-planned strategy to run any campaign on Facebook in order to expose your content in front of right audience and measure the efficiency of investment and ROI
Great post! I have had a lot of success with Facebook advertising, specifically, when linked with some kind of giveaway like you mentioned. The cheap advertising is reason enough to keep the page up to date. It can also be done with little effort as well if you really just want to keep it going.
[…] explains why we should keep our Facebook author pages, in spite of their lack of organic reach. Jason Kong shares the 3-step process to creating a compelling marketing offer, and Cathy Yardley […]
I love using Facebook for promotions. It’s cheap and you can target a lot of ways. I especially love their remarketing platform.
I missed coming back here Ramsay, it’s been a while since I could finally sit back, read and comment 🙂
It is always a good idea to keep your Facebook page. I am not realy a big fan of paid advertising with Facebook ads but posting in the groups definitely works for me.
Its really an interesting post. But for facebook Ads, i’m a bit confused. My website do get a daily visitors of around 1300, but my niche is not profitable enough. I don’t know enough options for monetizing my website apart from adsense.
So will it be profitable and if yes then how should i run my facebook ads? so that i gain from it
I do not think, I will give away my Facebook page ever. Apart from the obvious benefits with the paid adverts, Facebook pages are still very effective as a platform to reach out to other profiles and groups of the same niche.
That’s a very valuable point. I also sign up on many online social networking accounts so I can confirm my online presence, publicize myself, and display my website. I advertise on Bing. I still have lots of work to do on my blog:)
Most importantly, I want to comment on your blog- SEO for Idiots- using this blog since I didn’t find anywhere to comment on Beginner-Blogging-Seo page. That blog does a good job in explaining what is SEO and how to use it on your website. I highly recommend it for anyone that is new to SEO; furthermore, it is also a good refresher for those who are masters of SEO.
Thank You, Ramsay, for all of your contributions!
Great article. You are right, Facebook is one of the best source for advertising.