Until recently, even using Facebook ads has been controversial: if you’ve already worked hard to build a following on Facebook, why the hell should Facebook charge you to communicate with them anyway? And while I can see the logic here, the fact is it is free for businesses to create a page and build a community on Facebook. At some stage you can expect Facebook to ask you for money for an enhanced service because Facebook is not a charity.
In the last year or so it’s become harder to make an impact on Facebook without paying for advertising. To reach lots of people, you need to keep pushing them to ‘engage’ with you on your Facebook page, day in and day out. So although you’re not necessarily paying Facebook, there’s certainly a cost in terms of your time. And this constant push to engage drives some businesses to ask daft questions just to get more likes and comments on their posts. If you’d like to see some great – and hilarious – examples of how not to do this, take a look at Condescending Corporate Brand Page.
I can’t help wondering how long it will be before people are sick of being asked ‘Fill in the blank “My favourite colour is___”‘.
But here’s the good news: Facebook ads are cheap. Compared to print advertising, they are really cheap. Even better, you can tell within 15 minutes of posting an advert whether it’s likely to be a success because you can track how many clicks your advert gets. And if you set up pay per click ads (called CPC on Facebook), if you don’t get a click you don’t pay.