Should I Invest in Facebook Ads?

Should I invest in Facebook ads? This is a question I often hear from clients. There is plenty of value in maintaining a social media presence, but is it necessary to take the extra step of paying for Facebook to run an ad? As with many questions around marketing, it depends on your goals.

It’s important to be crystal clear on what you are hoping to gain from running a Facebook ad - this will help you to determine whether or not you need to run one. There a few consistent categories that these goals fall into.

1. Building a following. If you have recently started your business, or are just now putting together a Facebook page for your customers and clients, you may feel the need to drive people to your page and ask them to “like” it. This can be a useful time to run a Facebook ad, especially if you are going to be promoting revenue-generating opportunities for yourself via your Facebook page. Still, there are a couple of questions to ask before clicking “purchase.”

  • Is my page primarily for interaction with already-existing clients? If yours is the type of business that benefits mainly from a community-oriented page with people who are already paying you money, it might not make sense to spend effort and cash on driving more people to your page. In this case, you may want to simply reach out directly to your clients and ask them to join you on Facebook.

  • Will having more people see your page updates lead to more revenue? This goes back to the point above - will the announcements you make on your page, such as announcing specials, new products or services, or events, lead to more revenue? If the answer is yes, then you will want to have as many potential customers as possible receiving those updates, and the best way to increase the chance that they will see them is to have those potential clients click the “like” button on your page.

2. Promoting an event. This is a case in which it is usually beneficial to have an ad, but it is still worth revisiting similar questions as those above.

  • Is this event primarily for existing customers? If so, consider reaching out directly to them via email or in person instead of creating an ad.

  • Will this event build my brand recognition? If the fact that people will know about your event, even if they’re unable to attend, will build your respect and recognition for your brand, then it probably makes sense to run an ad. For example, if you are hosting a big party to celebrate your 10th anniversary in business, this is something you’ll want the wider community to know about, even if they aren’t necessarily attending, because it gives you a chance to highlight your longevity, service, and accomplishments.

3. Promoting specific revenue-generating services or products. This is the case that is the most clear-cut: if you are going to directly profit from the exposure generated by the ad, then by all means, pay for an ad. However, you will still need to consider how much you want to spend.

  • How many clients or purchases do you expect to make from this ad? What is the potential return on your investment? Here are some examples:
    • Consider the case where you only need a couple of new clients to make a big difference in your revenue. Maybe you offer a service that results in a long-standing relationship (think, coaching or counseling), where you will have monthly revenue coming in from each client. You may expect to make $500 over time from a single new client. In this situation, you could spend up to $499 on an ad, and if you get just one client, it would technically be worth it. I wouldn’t recommend spending that much, but you could comfortably spend $35-$50 knowing that you are probably not going to lose that money.
    • On the other hand, consider a situation where you need to sell hundreds of units of a product to make your ad worth it. Maybe you sell lipstick. To make a difference in your revenue stream, you probably need to sell at least a few hundred tubes of lipstick. You’ll need to carefully consider the audience for this ad, and whether or not it is likely that you will get enough customers clicking through your ad and then making a purchase. You will likely have to make a larger investment in the ad in order to have it reach enough potential customers to make the investment worthwhile. In this case, a Facebook ad could be a great fit, but you may also want to consider other ways of advertising that might be less risky.

I hope this helps steer you in the right direction when deciding where to put your advertising dollars. If you need more help, Detail & Design is here to assist you!

Thoughts or advice on using Facebook ads? Share them in the Comments section.