In my last post, I talked about the merits of Facebook ads and boosting Facebook posts, and the Achilles heel of Facebook ads: ad-blockers like Adblock Plus. I ended with the question, “What does this mean for your company’s social media strategy?”
I think it means that the smartest way to advertise on Facebook is not to advertise at all, but to boost posts, for the following reasons:
- Adblock Plus blocks ads. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t block boosted posts.
- People are more likely to be interested in something that their friends are interested in, as opposed to an ad running down one side of their Facebook feed. Boosted posts put content in your newsfeed that your friends have liked.
- Free equals good. Since the inception of the Internet, there has been one thing about it that everyone has loved: it’s free. Sure, you pay an ISP several dozen dollars a month to have online access, but the Internet is the wild-west once you’re plugged in. People like free. People don’t like ads.
- While this principle doesn’t apply to niche products or services, boosting posts for products and services that most people need is probably just as effective as targeted advertising (again, assuming the ad isn’t blocked). Radio, newspaper and TV had great success for decades selling advertising on the theory that reach was greater than specificity when it comes to the audience. No, everyone may not be interested in compostable plastic packaging for the frozen food industry. But a lot more people are probably interested in, say, retirement planning or central air conditioning. If you’re playing a numbers game and not seeking a very specific audience, boosted Facebook posts will get you there.
- If there’s one message we hear over and over again in this age of pop-up ads, viruses, spam, malware, phishing, redirects, Trojan horses, neutron and suspicious content, it’s don’t click on it. The average Jane or Joe out there is simply going to be less inclined to click on an ad from an unknown company than they are a post that a coworker liked.
When it comes to social media strategy, it’s important to test outcomes. So boost a post and run a similar ad. See what brings in the best results for your company.