“Should I Run Facebook Ads For My Blog?”
Most bloggers I know are fed up with Facebook.
And I get it – it can be a big, fat pain in the ass.
You spend hours creating a genius piece of content that you’re really, super proud of with gorgeous pictures, expertly formatted and spell-checked to perfection. You hit publish and share the link on Facebook. Results: it reaches a grand total of 5% of your fans. Two people Like your post and one person clicks on it. Great. Thanks Facebook.
Experimenting with the dark art of Facebook advertising can therefore be oh-so tempting. (You’ve spent ages slaving away at a post and you want people to see it goddamnit!) But with a non-existent marketing budget and zero paid advertising experience, is it ever a good idea for bloggers to run Facebook ads?
To Advertise Or Not…
In short, my answer to this question is generally no. Bloggers should not run Facebook ads.
I love Facebook advertising. It’s one of my favourite parts of my job and, as a freelancer, one of my main sources of income is running Facebook Ad Training workshops for businesses. So, my opinion does not stem from a “Don’t give your money to this evil corporate giant” anger.
From my experience Facebook ads are only worthwhile if you are promoting or selling a product or service. If you want more people to read your content, or if you want to increase your Page Likes, Facebook ads are a stupid waste of money.
1. Page Likes Are Ego Driven
If you are desperate to increase your Page Likes, you need to really ask yourself what the motivation is.
Due to Facebook’s Edge Rank Algorithm, Page Likes no longer matter. That number is not indicative of your success. Reach and engagement are the metric worth chasing. You see, there are Facebook Pages out there with tens of thousands of fans but get only a handful of interactions on their posts. And likewise, there are Pages with a handful of fans, whose posts reach tens of thousands of people. As everyone and their ma has a Facebook Business Page these days, followers are no longer important. Having an engaged following of any size is the smarter goal as it will grow at a steadier and stronger pace and lead to greater longterm success.
2. Page Likes Should And Can Be Increased Organically
And besides, even when you do fork out a fortune for Page Likes ads, the results are never great. I’ve had a lot of experience with this. The first Pages Likes ad you run will do well, but the results will wane on your next attempt and won’t have an overall impact on your engagement levels.
The only way to really grow a Facebook Page following is organically. Again, this is from experience. In the past I have grown a Page from 9,000 followers to 250,000 followers within months, without spending a penny. More recently, I’ve grown a Facebook page from 22,000 to 36,000 fans and we have an organic reach of over 1 million people per week. This is achieved through creating good quality content that goes viral and spreads like wildfire, reaching and engaging more and more people.
3. Ads Won’t Make Your Content Better
Paying to promote your content, again, is pretty pointless. If your content is genuinely good and adds value to the reader, it will do well on its own. Sure, you can put a bit of ad spend behind it and target it to your reader demographic and sure, it might reach a few more people, but if your content isn’t good to begin with, those paid-for readers are just going to bounce straight back off giving you absolutely no return on your investment.
Putting ad spend behind mediocre content is like throwing glitter on a lump of poo.
4. You Could Be Pouring Money Down The Drain
Perhaps my most pertinent argument against Facebook advertising as a blogger, is; if you don’t know how to properly optimise your ads, you’re effectively pouring money down the drain.
Creating and implementing successful Facebook ads is not rocket science. But it’s not easy either. If you’re not properly educated on how to create campaigns, narrowly target or optimise your creative, you’re going to waste money by paying for ads that neither reach the right people nor compel them to take the appropriate action – ie. a Like, a share or a click.
You’re running ads for the sake of running ads with no real strategy.
Here’s The Rule
There is one exception to this rule…
The only time you should ever pay for Facebook advertising, as a blogger, is when you are getting direct, measurable return on your investment.
For example; if there is a shop on your blog, then Facebook ads driving people to your product pages *could result in sales. If you have written an eBook, then Facebook ads directing people to your purchase page *could result in sales. If you’re running an event, Facebook ads *could result in sign ups.
(*I use the word ‘could’ because if your ads aren’t optimised, they still probably won’t work.)
Instances such as these are the ONLY times you should spend money on Facebook ads, as a blogger. If it’s not measurable and does not result in a profit of some kind, it is not worth doing.
If you have any questions about Facebook ads, or if you’re interested in some training, you can holla at me here.
Thanks for reading!