social media

Should You Pay to Advertise on Facebook?

The positives and negatives of advertising on this social media channel.


This year marks Facebook’s 10th birthday, with 1.23 billion active users reportedly using the social network. According to The Moz Blog, Facebook ads can reach as many people, or more people, as radio or TV. Advertising through the network is cost effective, but you need to have a solid strategy in place to turn your clicks into conversions. So, should you advertise on Facebook? We say, “yes” – but be mindful of the benefits and pitfalls.

Why Facebook advertising is appealing

You control your costs: The first upside to Facebook advertising is that it mostly follows a pay-per-click (PPC) model, so you only pay for results. For just $1 a day, you could be using Facebook ads to raise awareness of your business or brand. And with promoted posts, you’re able to set your own budget and receive a real-time estimate of how many eyeballs will see your content, so you can adjust your reach accordingly.

You can target your content: Facebook’s 1-billion-plus user base means it offers one of the largest pools of consumer data available. So if you want to target men and women between the ages of 25-35 who live in New Jersey and are interested in pizza and the NFL, you could easily do so with just a few clicks when setting up a new ad campaign – and you’ll have access to detailed results. (Stop for a minute and compare this to the process of mailing to and measuring success of a purchased list.)

Where Facebook advertising can go wrong

You forget to target: One error made across the board in PPC advertising is a lack of targeting. We mentioned that Facebook provides a robust set of targeting options, so taking advantage of them seems like a no-brainer. However, some advertisers don’t, and they suffer by spending on irrelevant followers who are far less likely to convert into customers than targeted prospects.

You neglect to back up your activity with good content: Some assume that a promoted post will perform well and receive engagement because of the money behind it, and fail to provide content that is actually interesting to their target audience. You need your promoted post to be eye-catching and offer something of value – information, entertainment or an offer. Posting bad content will also damage your long-term engagement rates with existing fans.

Bonus tip: For promoted posts, Facebook instills a “20 percent text” rule – meaning that an image that’s promoted can’t feature more than 20 percent text in relation to its overall size. Knowing this ahead of time can help save you time and headaches later, and Facebook provides a tool for analyzing images to ensure compliance with this rule at

About the Author: Carrie Baczewski is content strategist at boutique NJ advertising agency Mint Advertising, Clinton. The agency offers creative content marketing strategies and social media campaign solutions for clients in both b2b and b2c industries.

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