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Do Facebook ads really yield a return on investment? Opinions are mixed, and the confusion is reflected in General Motors’ recent activity. After heavily investing in ads on Facebook, GM felt the ROI wasn’t worth it and pulled the ads from its marketing budget. Yet late-breaking news in Businessweek indicates GM has begun talks with Facebook about reconsidering Facebook if the return can justify the spend.
This love/hate relationship with Facebook ads is seen in recent data:
Direct Marketing News recently explored the connection between ROI and Facebook ads, mentioning that ComScore found that those who invested in ads and other paid media on Facebook saw an increase in both in-store and online sales. On the other hand, Reuters recently reported that “four out of five Facebook users have never bought a product or service as a result of advertising or comments on the social network site.”
So how do you know if Facebook ads will work for your enterprise? The truth is that fan engagement plays a vital role in the success or failure of ads on Facebook.
Many marketers view the way to a consumer’s heart on Facebook through “likes” to a company page. Unfortunately, simply liking a page no longer guarantees that the user will be exposed to your company. Thanks to a new change in EdgeRank, Facebook’s algorithm that controls what’s viewed on the Facebook newsfeed, users now need to either specify that they want your company’s status updates to appear in their newsfeed or they need to engage with the page more frequently than just liking it.
Here are a few tips to get the most from your Facebook advertising:
- Track performance and adjust text or photos to strengthen results on poorly performing ads.
- Use compelling photos, graphics, or videos on posts to catch the eye of viewers.
- Run “engagement ads” to take users to your Facebook page and grow your fan base.
- Keep the conversation going with fans, and ensure that you don’t turn people off with a one-size-fits-all approach.
While these steps will help you out, connecting with potential leads or customers is really about spreading the wealth. As with all marketing endeavors—a unified approach is the best way to yield all-around ROI. Allocating a large portion of your budget to Facebook ads may not return a worthy enough ROI, but setting aside a little bit, coupled with other marketing initiatives such as Google Pay-Per-Click, frequent posts to and re-syndication of a company blog, and “earned,” or organic social media engagement, to name a few, is the most cohesive and profitable way to generate leads for your company—in social media and beyond.
Photo credit: Hicham Souilmi