Have you considered advertising your business on Facebook?
If so, there are a few things you should know.
1. For every 10,000 ads that Facebook delivers, they deliver 5 (yes, five) clicks to you, the advertiser.
Here’s what it looks like on a scaled graph:
©The Ad Contrarian 2012
2. An experiment reported by AdAge magazine in the United States, in “How Blank Display Ads Managed to Tot Up Some Impressive Numbers” found that blank display ads showed a better click through rate than the average Facebook display ad.
In fact the click through rate on the blank display ads containing nothing but white space showed a click through rate of .08%.
The click through rate on Facebook ads has been estimated by industry experts at .05%. This figure can only be estimated because Facebook does not publish data about its click through rate. Perhaps there is a message to be learned from this.
The average click through rate of all display ads on the internet is actually .09% which means that the blank ad attracted only one click less per ten thousand impressions than the average banner ad.
3. Supporters of Facebook advertising might argue that “It’s not about selling, it’s about building your company’s brand and getting likes”.
But there are two big problems with this assertion:
a) 38% of “likes” come from the 18-24 age group and 29% come from 13-17 year olds meaning 67% of likes come from people with very little money(CBS Moneywatch).
b) You can buy Facebook fans for 10 US cents (250 fans for $30).
Dippin’ Dots, a US based ice cream, was one of the top 50 brands on Facebook with 4.5 million Facebook fans.
Dippin’ Dots filed for bankruptcy in 2012.
If you are a small business owner in Ireland you probably have noticed by now that:
1. People use Facebook to engage with other people, not advertising or marketing or companies promoting their products and
2. No “digital/online marketing expert” is likely to go bust by advising their clients to advertise on Facebook.
So what should a small business owner do to grow your business online?
A better way is to be there in the search engine results page with valuable information and solutions when interested searchers are actually searching to solve their problems.
Let me explain.
Why Facebook Advertising is a Waste of Money for Most Small Business
You are a small business owner.
You fix burst pipes or washing machines or repair mobile phones.
You’ve been told that Facebook advertising is great. And Facebook gives you all sorts of demographic data to allow you to target your advertising very tightly and specifically.
But there is a problem-what demographic do you target? 25-35 year olds? Male/female? Which socio economic group?
Are burst pipes or broken down washing machines or mobile phones in need of repair confined to any specific demographic? Clearly not.
So who do you target? You need to target the person with a burst pipe or broken washing machine or broken mobile phone.
How do you do this? You make sure that your website shows up when they do a search online for a plumber or mobile phone repair business in your area.
And they will search when the washing machine or mobile phone breaks down or the pipes burst after a hard frost.
Until this happens they are busy connecting with friends, sharing photos, and watching cat videos on Facebook.
They won’t notice your ad on Facebook when they don’t have a problem. And they are probably chatting with their friends about the latest movie, going out at the weekend or an upcoming party.
Save your money and invest it in getting ready for the time when they search online for a solution to their problem. Invest it in your blog or website publishing great content and helpful tips for your potential customers. Position yourself as a trusted authority and advisor.
Take some time to think about the one major problem that keeps your customer/client awake at night.
Then write a comprehensive, authoritative article which explains in simple “clear as a bell” language how you can solve this problem. And publish it on your blog or website.
And do this regularly so that soon your site will be seen as the “go to” resource.