Social media is a huge catch all – and like PR – it can feel like a free deal that you get what you pay for. Spend a lot of time and then hope something comes out of it. But there is another side to Social that does generate some quantifiable returns. Paid advertising. Facebook ads offer audience targeting that is on par with direct mail, performance-based budgeting and seriously good analytics. In English, that means you can define your audience by zip code, age, interests and a good variety of other criteria. Once you know who you’re after, it’s a measure of budgeting, and here, Facebook is easy – pay per click. Figure your budget – say $100 – bid however much you want to pay for each click to your specific audience – say $2 – and Facebook runs your ad until 50 people click through. And once the ad runs, you can see how many clicks came from where and when. As time goes along, the information allows you to tighten you targets, refine your budgets and test different creative executions.
Are there downsides? A couple – Since it’s Facebook they tend to change things on the fly. What they are doing today may not be happening tomorrow. And as more and more advertisers jump on board, the costs of those clicks go up, as more people try to reach that audience. Creative limitations are sever as well.
We’ve seen it work for a weight loss surgery client. They opted to try a social campaign instead of TV. While it didn’t have the impact of the television ads, it was a fraction of the cost to reach a very targeted audience. There weren’t a lot of skinny 70-year-olds seeing the Facebook ads.
Next time you’re looking for a quick hitting promotion to a targeted audience, talk to us about a paid campaign on Facebook.