It seems like you can hardly hit “sign up” before a new social media site starts making its rounds, promising to be the latest, greatest way to connect with loved ones. Sites like Xanga and LiveJournal made way for their younger, more hip siblings like TikTok and Houseparty. MySpace is all but a distant memory. Even Instagram and SnapChat are losing their luster as consumers seek out new horizons.
Like a goliath amongst ants, though, stands Facebook. Despite the shifts in the collective conscious of social media users, Facebook seems to evolve right along with each new generation of users. It’s got a little something for everyone, sprinkled in with just the right amount of product placement to keep businesses coming back for more ad space.
Now, what we’re about to say might sound like blasphemy, but… Facebook isn’t the end-all, be-all of social media marketing.
Does it check most of the boxes? Sure.
Is it a good starting point? Absolutely!
That being said, there are situations where Facebook marketing makes sense and situations where it doesn’t. Let’s look at a few times that Facebook really is your best route for your marketing journey:
You’re Marketing to Adults Over the Age of 25
For businesses selling to tweens, teens, and young adults, Facebook may not be your best bet. According to a survey conducted by Forrester Research, 34% of U.S. teenagers who spend time online say that the social media site is “for old people.” Only 1.8% of Facebook users are 13-17 and 13.5% are 18-24.
If those are your demographics, you’re going to have a tough time finding them. In the 25-34 age range, though, that number jumps up drastically, making up 24.2% of users. This particular age range makes up the largest total percentage of active Facebook accounts.
You’re Marketing Outside of the United States
As of July 2019, India has the most Facebook users, topping out at a massive 270 billion. The United States takes 2nd place with 190 million, closely followed by Indonesia, Brazil, and Mexico. If your marketing reach goes beyond the United States, and particularly into South Asia, you’ll find a rich vein of daily users to check out your ads.
If we break down users by the total percentage of the population using Facebook, the United States falls even lower on the charts… All the way down to 21st. In the Philippines, for example, nearly 90% of people visit or use Facebook per month. That statistic is largely the same for Mexico, Turkey, Argentina, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Brazil, and Thailand. For the United States, less than 70% of the population report that they use the service daily.
You Can Commit to Frequent, Targeted Ads
Facebook’s tools for creating rich, targeted ads are impressive, but you have to stay on top of the data that they feed back to you.
If you’re shooting your shot with ads without making them highly targeted, you’re probably missing out on a large number of your prospective customers. Dedicating time to piecing together the puzzle of your demographic’s lifestyle and habits is going to make your marketing efforts much more fruitful.
For example, we know that the 25-34 age range makes up the lion’s share of Facebook users. We also know that the vast majority (73%) of that age range is involved in the labor force. We can even take it several steps farther and note that 69% of Americans prefer working the 8-4 shift or that 22% of DC’s population is in the 26-34 age range.
Then, it’s time to whip out your calculator and get to targeting. Knowing what you know, you can assume that most of your demographic is commuting to work between 6:30-8:00 in the morning, eating lunch between 12:00-1:00, and commuting back home between 4:00-5:30. These are going to be peak “catching up on Facebook hours,” when you can post your ads for the most bang for your buck.
You’re Marketing to Locals and Friends
According to Sprout Social, “There are more than four million advertisers with just an average click-through rate of 9%.” Even with all the time, money, and effort you pour into Facebook marketing, there’s absolutely no guarantee that you’re going to be singing the Sound of Music and dancing in the hills as your profits skyrocket into the stratosphere.
There is a caveat to that, though. If you are a local business, Facebook is quickly becoming one of the most-used search engines available. When you use your Facebook search bar to look for businesses, it specifically compiles the results with the highest ratings and the closest proximity.
Even better, the ratings aren’t as heavily weighted towards the total of ratings, but towards your friend’s ratings. If the people you’re closest with absolutely adore a business, and consistently give it good reviews, it’s going to show up higher on the results page than even a national company that sells the same product.
You’re Hosting a Promotion or Contest
Facebook has perfected the art of the business-based giveaway by implementing a built-in platform where you can advertise your product and tempt in new customers with just a few mouse clicks. With a feed that is crammed tight with businesses vying for the attention of the same demographics, it’s no surprise that user’s eyes tend to glaze over when they see another advertisement. One estimate says that the average person encounters nearly 4,000 instances of marketing per day, between logos, commercials, banners, and emails.
Cutting through all that noise is tough, but proclaiming that you’re giving away something for free can certainly catch someone’s eye.
A personal example from today was Spotify’s offer to provide a brand-new Google Home to every customer who signed up or had an account prior to November 15 of this year. While I was waiting in the car to pick up my husband from work, I was (of course) scrolling through my timeline. I am not exaggerating when I say that I could not tell you a single other post, ad, or picture that I saw this afternoon, but that Spotify ad certainly caught my eye.
The craziest part is that it wasn’t any different from any other ad I see every day. The words weren’t larger, the picture wasn’t terribly engaging, but something about it just stuck out. It’s a testament to the power of a good bargain and how promotions tend to grab the attention of readers despite being surrounded with a veritable cornucopia of less-tempting ads.
Facebook Marketing Works… But It Matters When You Use It
An article from Pacific Business News notes that, in a sample of 7,446 people, smartphone users check Facebook nearly 14 times a day, but only for a combined total of 30 minutes. That means that they are scrolling through their feed for an average of less than two minutes per visit.
That puts you in a unique position as you begin Facebook marketing.
Catching the eye of your customers is tough, but when you hit the mark, the results pay dividends. The price point is ideal for new businesses or local sellers who know exactly what their audience is looking for, and the process of creating the ads is intuitive. Even posting on a consistent basis can increase your demographic’s awareness of your brand.
Facebook is a pretty forgiving medium. With its low cost point and easy-to-learn interface, it doesn’t take much to play around with it and see what sticks. Your ROI will more than justify your efforts.