Social media has become vital in marketing for most companies and brands. Particularly, Facebook, the leading social media platform in the world, is helping companies engage with their customers and gather precious data. With over 2.4 billion active users worldwide, Facebook offers a wealth of ad targeting options so that companies can reach people through their interests, behaviors, locations, and other parameters.
But Facebook is just a tactic. It’s not a magic key that will have sales flooding through your door. Behind a successful Facebook ad campaign are a sound strategy, strong fundamentals, and stable monitoring.
Unfortunately, some companies and entrepreneurs dive headfirst into Facebook advertising without a clear vision of what to do with their fans, likes, or clicks. Fans are important but without a clear pipeline on how to convert them into customers. Facebook quickly becomes a pageant for vanity metrics. Facebook is only too happy to get you as many clicks as you want. That’s how they earn money. Lots of it. What happens after people click is up to you. If this is as far as you thought about it, it may be wise to press the pause button.
1. When you don’t have a sales funnel
Every company should have a clear plan and strategy of their customer journey. Each customer undergoes a process of awareness, consideration, and decision. There should be an intervention or path that your company has built for your customers. This path or funnel, as it is popularly called, leads them in a natural and unforced way into the next stage until they are ready to make a purchase. There’s even another stage where a customer is nurtured into an advocate. A company that does not have this funnel is clearly wasting opportunity and money by investing in Facebook ads. Clicks don’t mean anything if you don’t convert them. If you don’t have a clear sales funnel then hold off doing Facebook ads.
Here’s an example of what should happen at each stage of your customer journey from: cleverrism.com
2. When you don’t have a lead conversion
Talking about conversion, one of your most important assets in marketing is the database of qualified leads. This database is carefully and meticulously built over time by getting visitors to give up their emails in exchange for helpful information. You get visitors from organic searches, social media followers, and clicks from your paid advertising. If you don’t have a plan for converting your traffic into leads then hold off doing Facebook ads.
Loganix.com desicribes the parts of an effective landing page
3. When you are a B2B company
Facebook is a very effective marketing platform for B2C. Due to the social nature of interactions of Facebook users with one another, there is a wealth of data on people’s behaviors, interests, social events they celebrate, contents that they like, when they are active, and a whale lot more. This information is a marketers dream for consumer products. These are often products that rely on impulse buying or emotional appeal. Facebook is not so good for B2B or products and services that require a lengthy buying process. If you are a B2B company then hold off doing Facebook ads.
4. When you don’t have a well-defined budget
Facebook is only too happy when its clients pour money into their advertising. Facebook will return data that will encourage you to keep spending. It’s not too bad when you are already solid on items 1 to 3 already above. Unless you want to find yourself scraping the bottom of the budget barrel, you want a well-defined budget and stick to it. Here’s what I mean by that. A well-defined budget has a reasonable expectation of ROI. It tells you how much exactly do you want to spend on each click or conversion. If your product sells for 1 dollar and you are spending 2 dollars for each click, then immediately stop your Facebook ads. If you don’t have a well-defined budget then hold off doing Facebook ads.
5. When you don’t have a content plan
The best way to grow your followers is organically. Don’t buy likes. Don’t buy fans. The concept is easy enough to grasp when we are talking about bots or like farms. These are companies from remote corners of the world that sell you “likes” but don’t gain an iota of engagement. But when I talk about refraining people from throwing like campaigns left and right, the reaction is “why not?” According to a study cited by SocialSamosa, only 1% of users who like a business page will visit that brand’s Facebook page. That’s why. You get 100 likes for which you spend 10 dollars each. That’s a thousand bucks. What Facebook doesn’t tell you is that only 1 person out of 100 will visit your Facebook page. Maybe scroll down for a second or two then bounce. Forget about leading them to your website. A good content plan will attract engaged fans. Ads will attract, well, fans. The former are very engaged while the latter rarely peeks.
Sample content plan from Hootsuite
6. When you don’t have community management in place
Community management is engagement. This is what Facebook has come to be since 2018. Thanks to its algorithms that drive and reward conversations, the Facebook page has largely become a repository of self-promoting content that nobody engages with. The more you engage with people, the more Facebook will show your content in people’s newsfeeds. Facebook is a social platform. So companies need to make their brands more social. Give it a human voice. This can be done through community management. There are already a few people who will go to your page as a result of seeing your ads. Don’t shoo them away by not having anyone reply to their messages.
7. When your customer service sucks
People trust companies with Facebook pages because their expectation is an interaction based on humans. They don’t want bots asking them questions and matching their answers to a database. This is the wrong time to do ads. Customers want to ask questions and social media gives consumers the power to reach out to producers. If their orders remain undelivered, arrive in damaged condition, faulty, wrong specs, and a thousand other problems, they will reach out to you on Facebook. You better have a well-trained customer support team managing these problems. If not, an irate customer with a faulty product and a social media page is a powerful adversary. If you don’t have any established customer support then hold off doing Facebook ads.
This chart from Hubspot.com tells you why you should invest in customer service
8. When you are FB page is redundant with your website
One of the mistakes people often make is to make their Facebook page do the job of a website. You will often see Facebook pages littered with products and promotional posts. They try to use every pixel to sell products or talk about themselves. It’s a social page. You’re supposed to relate your content to society somehow. People who only talk about themselves often find themselves alone in parties. Since they only talk about themselves, they don’t need someone to talk with. So talk with your customers. Be social on your posts. Talk about your customers’ problems. Brighten up your client’s day.use humor. Don’t take ourselves too seriously. Putting up ads and then only talking about yourselves when people go to your website will turn them away for good. People want to see posts or content that they can share with their friends. If you are not sure about your supply and stocks then hold off doing Facebook ads. If you are using your Facebook page as a website then hold off doing Facebook ads.
Targetedwebtraffic.com lists the best traffic sources for e-commerce
9. When you have stocks problems
We had a client once who asked us to manage their Facebook advertising campaign for the Christmas season. After a successful three weeks, we started to notice that complaints were starting to pile up. The issue was of one particular problem, lack of stocks. The client didn’t bother to adjust their stocks and buffer up in response to their Facebook ads. And we were handling community management. Nobody needs these kinds of aggravation. We had to pause the ads until the client could sort out their stock problem after a month. If you are not sure about your supply and stocks then hold off doing Facebook ads.
10. When you have better options
There are other ways to reach your target market than Facebook. In terms of platforms, there are Google Display Network, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram. For tactics, you can use email marketing, content marketing, SEO, Digital PR, and inbound marketing just to name a few. You could do some of these tactics with just an investment in time and effort. Facebook advertising is important. It is also expensive. It is better to cast a wide net than to put your eggs in one place. If you have better options for marketing your business then hold off doing Facebook ads.
Here’s a helpful table put together by Adespresso.com
Facebook advertising is something that you don’t dive in headfirst. You get your feet wet little by little. Set aside a small budget then test your targeting in small increments. Get your house in order first. Create a sound plan and don’t be afraid to make adjustments. Plans are not written in stone. It changes and adapts based on the results you are getting. Keep the above in mind and you might still find Facebook ads to be a very effective marketing tool for your business.