Facebook is free, right? Well, yes and no.
The tool is free and available for anyone over 13 years old to use, but using it well for your business takes time and strategy. Further, some of the most effective Facebook tools for businesses cost money. You don’t have to spend that money, but that doesn’t mean your competition won’t. Paying to play can pay off, and balancing free content with paid online content is worth considering.
Paid Facebook ads, promoted posts and boosted posts can help businesses gain exposure to new audiences.
Understanding the Facebook algorithm
Facebook algorithm rewards those who pay. In fact, they’ve decreased the organic reach (free reach) for business pages to encourage you to pay.
The Facebook algorithm is what pushes content into users’ feeds. Just because someone likes your business page doesn’t mean they are seeing your content in their feed. If a user hasn’t interacted with your content in a while, or any other content like yours, they probably aren’t seeing your content anymore. Paying to boost or promote a post will get you back into those news feeds.
Likewise, making sure those on your team (employees, your CEO, influential board members) are engaging with your business page’s Facebook content is key. If those closest to your brand aren’t willing to interact and spread your message to their circles of influence, you can’t expect your average followers to do that same, either.
Facebook ads, boosting and promoting
Boosting or promoting posts can be done directly in Facebook on each individual post. Boosting posts comes with options on who you boost each post to. You can choose to push individual Facebook posts to all your fans and their friends, or choose a more targeted list. You are in control of your budget and how long you want to promote each post.
It’s the same for creating Facebook ads. Facebook is very flexible in giving options on how much businesses pay and how long ads will run. They even help you create great ads by providing free images. Getting started with paid online content does not need to be expensive; Facebook allows you to control your budget here as well.
When you pay to play on Facebook, you have access to excellent targeting options. You can pick the audience for your paid ads based on geographical location, age, gender and even interests.
For example, if you work in the real estate industry and want to reach young, first-time home buyers, you can choose a target audience between the ages of 25 and 35, interested in home and garden shows and living in your city.
Facebook gives you the option to reach your fans and their friends, but your friends’ fans might not be interested in your content. Targeting allows you to reach the specific demographic you have in mind. Paying for Facebook ads gives you much more control over who you reach and allows you to grow your audience.
Tips on paying to promote content
- Only pay to promote your own content, content that leads back to your website and helps you meet a specific business goal.
- Promote content that answers questions or provides value to your audience.
- Promote content that helps you build your email or newsletter lists.
- Utilize a mix: Promoted content and paid advertising can help boost your reach and get others to engage with your brand online, but don’t get too comfortable here. As with all marketing tactics, a solid mix of strategies (paid and unpaid) works best.
Search optimized content
Not on board with paid content yet? A good keyword strategy will help Facebook users find your content as well. Create content with keywords in mind and pair those posts with paid and organic posts to get the best results.
No matter how much you pay or how many people you reach, your Facebook strategy is only going to be effective if your content is also good. Your content needs to answer burning questions, solve problems and engage your audience. You need a mix of content.
A good Facebook strategy should include a good balance of paid content, search optimized content and organic content. To be effective, you need to do more than create content and hope for a positive result.
Looking for a little help figuring out the right balance and the right type of content for your social media strategy? Download our Best Practices in Social Media eBook and start putting out consistently successful content. And as a special bonus, use the code BLOGSAVE5 to get $5 off your download!