Facebook Advertising – Why you must “Pay to Play”

A popular question we get asked here at Likeable Lab is “what time of day should I post Facebook content for it to get the most reach”?

But here’s the thing…

The time you post Facebook content does not matter much at all. How much you pay for your content to be seen does.

Yes, this means you have to “pay to play” on Facebook.

In fact, Facebook has been heading this way for years now. In 2018 you must pay for your content to be seen (unless you post cute animals, awesome recipes or people hurting themselves – these often get traction all on their own!).

When you pay for your content to be seen, say for 24-48 hours, it literally does not matter what time of day your content gets posted. Because Facebook will promote your post for the duration, to the selected audiences, whether they use Facebook at 3pm or 3am. The time the post goes live is almost irrelevant. Facebook will only show your post organically to some of your most diehard fans, who engage regularly.

The cold hard fact is that Facebook makes its money from advertising. That’s why, as a business, you have to pay to be certain your customers will see your content — even your fans and followers.

Facebook doesn’t make money by showing content to your fans, organically, for free. Sorry folks, that ship has sailed.

If you want Facebook to work for you, it is time to cough up some budget for ads.

Here are a few pointers to get started with Facebook ads and ensure your content gets seen

#1.  Install the Facebook pixel on your website

#2. Build warm audiences who have engaged with your brand before

  • Use the pixel (see point 1) to build an audience on Facebook of all those who have visited your website, and then target them with ads for your Facebook content
  • Another very useful warm audience is to target all of those who have engaged with your Facebook or Instagram pages in the last 90 days.

# 3. Build cold audiences of your target demographic

  • Unless you have a service that literally everyone locally could use, such as a plumber or a fast food shop, please don’t waste your money targeting everyone in your region.
  • Instead, get specific and target people in your area that match the interests more likely to make them a target customer for you. This will eliminate some wastage.
  • In fact, even the plumber mentioned above could target homeowners and landlords since people renting are less likely to book a plumber themselves. It just takes a bit of logic to be applied and zero in on those people worth paying to show your content to.

#4. Exclude your warm audiences from your cold audiences… and make sure that you attract new streams of people constantly

  • Now you have both warm and cold audiences set up, you can easily exclude the warms from the colds.
  • Why? Because if you don’t, Facebook will show it to the people most likely to engage with you – your warm audiences – and you will struggle to attract new people to your business
  • Spend approx 20% of your ads budget on warm, and 80% on cold audiences to keep filling the funnel

#5. While every post should be worthy of running some ads, not every post should be an “ad” in the traditional sense

  • Too cryptic? I just mean that you are paying for your content to be seen. This content could be anything. But not every post needs to be a traditional “ad” that requests an action or purchase. If all you do is sell to your audience, they will begin to ignore you.
  • You must entertain and engage them with regular content and build your warm audiences… then, they will be far more likely to take your desired action when they see an ad requesting it.

I could go on, of course, there is more to mastering ads. But this is a good start point and it is really worth getting started.

If this sounds too much like hard work and you prefer to have Likeable Lab help you to run your Facebook ads instead, get in touch!


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