When it comes to direct marketing, using Facebook as a marketing channel is a powerful addition to direct mail and email marketing. 72% of online adult Americans use Facebook and odds are you are one of them. It’s a wildly popular social media platform that helps people stay in touch or reconnect with old friends. People nowadays assume that you’re on Facebook in the same way that they assume you have an email address – it’s a staple of being an active Internet user. So understandably, Facebook has been able to build a huge collection of consumer data from its over 1.23 billion active online profiles.
Recognizing the opportunity that this could provide to businesses, Facebook began to sell this data in conjunction with correlating advertising opportunities. Now, Facebook captures 73.4% ($9.86 billion) of social media ad spending in the US. If you’ve ever seen ads pop up in your timeline, you know how accurately they can match your personal interests. Facebook offers a unique advertising opportunity for businesses by allowing them to customize their audience, set a budget and timeline for their advertising campaign, and track its success.
1. Customize your audience
In the initial stages of organizing a Facebook advertising campaign, you are prompted to define an audience. Facebook allows you to fine-tune this audience by pursuing prospects based on gender, location, age, education, relationship status, hobbies and interests, etc. This ensures that your message is delivered to the exact type of people that meet your target audience. Additionally, if you have a list of emails or phone numbers from your current customer base you can opt to advertise to just them. Yes, Facebook can link it back to their page! Alternatively, you can opt to exclude these people if you’re looking to attract new customers.
2. Set your budget and timeline
When creating a Facebook advertising campaign, you get to choose how much you want to spend every day and how many days you want the ad run. Payment works on a bidding system, and you can opt for either CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per 1000 views). Although Facebook provides price range recommendations based on what you’re looking for, you can opt to pay as little as 1₵/click (although it likely won’t get you too far!). In the US, the average CPC is 24₵, and the average CPM is 66₵.
3. Track your success
At the start of your advertising campaign, Facebook provides you with a conversion pixel that can be installed on your business’s website. Your Facebook ad will reroute customers to your website, and when they go on to make a purchase the conversion pixel tracks it. This information is sent back to Facebook, and gives their system data about the types of people who will take action after seeing your ad. Ultimately, this allows Facebook to optimize your ad by promoting it to an increasingly more accurate audience, and allows you to see how well Facebook is helping your business achieve its goals.
Facebook has evolved from the strictly socially interactive platform it started as to a powerful direct marketing tool. Go in, check it out! There are tutorials available that explain the platform itself, and can walk you through setting up your own campaign. Of course, if you are like the rest of us, finding the time to do your own marketing is difficult and sometimes results in not getting it done (you know, the shoe makers children!). There are many marketing agencies available that can handle your Facebook advertising for you, just as they would your direct mail, email deployment and content management. Either way, get on board. It could be the linchpin channel that rounds your direct mail and email marketing efforts and sends them soaring.