According to an article on the website, Mashable, an IDC report that stated that SmartPhone users, on average, checked their Facebook news feed 14 times a day. This would explain why Facebook announced earlier this month a redesign of the news feed, and is displaying more and more paid advertisements in it.
So are Facebook news feed ads right for your small business?
Types of Facebook News Feed Ads
You now have a few options as to the type of news feed ad you wish to do, and I have to be honest, they keep changing, so it’s a little tough to keep things straight, but here I go:
Page Post Ads
These ads essentially put your latest Facebook post out to a target audience you select, going beyond your Facebook fans to a demographic you choose, on a continual basis until you stop it. You pay per impression or click and you set the budget, even a low as $3 a day. The results may be a lot of page likes or a lot of post likes or it may actually bring traffic to your site.
Cynthia Boris over at Marketing Pilgrim wrote an article recently about Facebook ads, and she had a interesting point. If you are doing these types of Facebook ads, only post information relevant to your business, and include a link that sends the traffic to your blog, website, or social media accounts. This is not the time to post links from other sources (such as posting an article from CNN.com) because you are then essentially paying to send traffic to them.
When It Works: If your Facebook page is new and you want more fans, or you are trying to get more people to read your blog posts, this may be worth a try.
Promoted Page Post Ads
Say you want to promote just one post. If you have over 400 likes, a “promote” icon appears in the bottom right hand corner of the posting box. Select promote, then enter the amount of money you want to spend and it will tell you how many people that amount will reach, again beyond your Facebook fans. One shot deal.
When It Works: To me, this is a fairly inexpensive way to promote a sale or special event. But there needs to be a really grabby headline, a prominent call to action and the link needs to send the potential customer right to what you are selling to be the most effective for you.
This one can be a little confusing. A sponsored story ensures that any time one of your Facebook fans interacts with your page (likes your page, likes a post, comments, etc.) that this action will turn up in the news feed of all of their friends. Now, you may think, why would I pay for that because doesn’t every action by a friend/fan turn up in the news feed already. No. Surprisingly a lot of what you post and do on Facebook your fans will not see, and if they can’t see it, they can’t like it. If you look at your posts, it will tell you how many people actual saw it. So you could have 200 Facebook fans, but it will say “40 people saw this post”. Therefore, a sponsored story provides a better chance that your fans’ friends will see anything they like that has to do with you. The reach is limited to that. You pay per impression or click.
When It Works: So, if your goal is really to get to your Facebook fans’ friends, this may be effective, especially if you are offering a “Friends and Family” type deal and encourage them to “like” in order to pass it on.
FINAL WORD: The longterm effective of these ads remains to be seen. As more ads turn up in the news feed, it may turn more Facebook users off. But for now, the best thing about these ads for your small business is that they are extremely affordable and measurable, so if they don’t give you the results you wanted, you are not out a lot of money and you can quit at any time.
By the way, you can “Like” me on Facebook at Attention Getting.
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