3 Reasons Not To Run Facebook Ads

By JD Prater | @JDPrater | Head of Social Media at Hanapin Marketing

Are you running Facebook Ads? Are you happy with your results? Do you struggle to measure their impact and return on investment?

 

A lot of advertisers are growing frustrated with their Facebook results due to a lack of an overall Facebook marketing strategy.

 

In this article, you’ll discover three reasons not to run Facebook Ads until you have some of the fundamentals of Facebook marketing in place.

 

1) If You Think Facebook Marketing And Facebook Advertising Are The Same

 

Many people often confuse advertising with marketing. While nuanced, advertising is just one component of marketing and should be a part of your comprehensive marketing strategy. With this in mind, let’s take a look at what the difference between marketing and advertising on Facebook entails.

 

What Is Facebook Marketing?

 

Marketing on Facebook has shifted over the last year as the social media giant makes a concerted effort to keep users on the platform longer with videos and instant articles.

 

A lot of businesses adapted their marketing strategy by posting more and various types of content. Remember, Facebook is a social media platform.

 

social media solving problems
Social media hype from the marketoonist.com

 

The goal for businesses is to build a basic marketing funnel by reaching people who matter the most, engaging with their community, driving traffic to their website and finding new customers.

 

In essence, this is marketing on Facebook. Businesses should develop a marketing strategy specifically designed for the platform and leverage the features it has to offer. One of the features is advertising.

 

What Is Facebook Advertising?

 

Facebook Ads should compliment your marketing strategy and not be your only form of marketing on the platform. You could pay for ads to amplify your marketing efforts like boosting a post or promoting a video.

 

If you’re not doing any of the above marketing tactics and just rely on Facebook Ads to move the needle then you’re at risk of wasting advertising dollars. Or at the very least, you’re not maximizing ROI from your advertising efforts.

 

Here are two questions to ask yourself:

 

  1. Do you have an engaged community on Facebook?
  2. Is your advertising an aspect of your marketing strategy?

 

If your answer is no to both of those questions then you’re probably frustrated with your Facebook results.

 

2) If You Don’t have a Facebook Strategy

 

Looking into the future, what are your business goals for being on Facebook? If you can’t answer then stop spending time and resources until you get this figured out.

 

What Is Your Content Marketing Strategy?

 

Who is going to post your content? What types of content? How often? These are important questions to ask yourself because having a blank timeline just won’t cut it.

 

You need to have a content strategy for engaging your community, attracting new customers and meeting your company goals. Facebook’s Newsfeed algorithm changes constantly and you need someone responsible for keeping up-to-date.

 

marketing resolutions
Marketing resolutions from marketoonist.com

 

What Is Your Customer Service Strategy?

 

Who’s going to reply to all those messages and comments? Whether through Facebook messenger or on posts, there needs to be someone dedicated to answering and interacting with people’s comments.

 

If you don’t have someone in place then I wouldn’t recommend Facebook advertising. Hold off or pause until there’s someone to respond to your community’s questions or comments. Not doing so, can be detrimental to your advertising results.

 

Here are two questions to ask yourself:

 

  1. What’s your Facebook content strategy?
  2. What’s your customer service strategy?

 

3) If You Can’t Properly Measure Your Facebook Advertising ROI

 

If your business has a Facebook marketing strategy in place with the right resources to achieve that purpose then you’re ahead of the game. The next step is understanding how to properly track and measure Facebook Advertising ROI.

 

marketing touchpoints
Marketing attribution from marketoonist.com

 

Are You Measuring At All?

 

If you’re wondering if Facebook is having a positive impact on your business then take some time to analyze the data. There’s no need to invest resources on Facebook if you’re not measuring the results. Consider tracking campaigns with a website analytics tool like Google Analytics.

 

Measuring Only The Short-Term Impact?

 

On social media channels you have to measure the long-term impact on your business. Dave Hanley of Deloitte Digital came up with a great social media ROI model allowing brands to establish a current value on their social assets.

 

socialassetsroi

 

Measuring All Channels The Same?

 

If you’re measuring every advertising channel with the same KPIs then you may be frustrated with your Facebook Ads performance.

 

As an advertiser, please stop expecting and measuring all channels to perform the same. I’ve worked with a lot of clients who expect Facebook to perform the exact same as their AdWords campaigns. That’s not realistic given the customer intent and customer expectation on each platform. The bottom-line measurement must be separated and have different benchmarks and KPIs.

 

Measure Channels Differently

 

The customer journey has changed. We now live in a multi-channel, multi-device world where last click measurement doesn’t cut it. When advertising on social media channels, businesses shouldn’t rely on last-click attribution as the only way to measure effectiveness. Rather, the entire path to purchase has to analyzed and each step given a value.

 

Attribution Models

 

Setup attribution models to develop a better way to measure the customer’s path to purchase taking into consideration when and where the channel is playing a role.

 

I’m not saying you need to be able to track a like on Facebook to a sale on your website. I am saying analyze the conversion funnel from different angles and understand how customers utilize various platform to inform their purchase decision.

 

Facebook Engagement Metrics

 

Lastly, Facebook provides many touch points to measure and analyze outside of just conversions. These should be considered and weighed into the value of your advertising. Things to consider measuring and tracking are post engagement, new fans, fan churn, reach, impressions, likes, comments, shares and ad recall lift.

 

Ad Recall Lift is the additional number of people Facebook estimates will remember seeing your ads if asked within 2 days. That’s a really important metric to measure as that will impact your brand affinity and brand loyalty.

 

Summary Checklist

 

Facebook is an excellent social media platform where smart businesses can find a lot of value.

 

In order to get the most value and maximize results from Facebook make sure your business is set up for success by having a Facebook marketing strategy outside of advertising, the right resources in place to interact with customers and the ability to track and measure results across the customer’s path to purchase.

 

You may get great results even if these tactics aren’t in place, but I suspect they could be better if they were.

 

When considering and analyzing your Facebook advertising efforts make sure you have answered these questions first.

 

  1. Does your company know the difference between advertising and marketing on Facebook?
  2. Do you have a Facebook marketing strategy outside of advertising?
  3. Do you have a Facebook advertising strategy that advances your marketing strategy?
  4. Do you have dedicated resources to implement and execute the strategy?
  5. Are you tracking and measuring your social ROI as well as your financial ROI?
  6. Are you independently measuring channels with different KPIs?
  7. Do you have a multi-channel attribution model in place?
  8. BONUS: How much is all this valuable information worth to your business?

 

I think what matters is focusing on the Facebook marketing fundamentals, and not trying to skip ahead without having the pieces in place. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Facebook marketing and advertising.