There's a common misconception that when you post something on Facebook it will be seen by everyone who has liked your Page.
This is absolutely false, and a rookie assumption.
Back in 2012, Facebook itself noted that posts only reach 16% of the Pages' fans organically - on average. Since then there has been multiple subsequent algorithm updates and there is generally widespread acceptance that average reach has declined even further as a result.
There are stand alone sections of The Network detailing information regard the value of Reach as a metric, and strategies for enhancing organic Reach. This section speaks to the value of advertising.
- You cannot get your message to all of your fans organically.
- You want to get your message to as many of your fans as possible - especially big call-to-action posts - these are people who are already interested in what you do
- Facebook advertising is very economical compared to traditional advertising, and can be carefully targeted to meet the people most likely to support you.
There are three main vehicles to getting on board with Facebook Advertising:
- Boost Post
- Self Service Ad Tool
- Power Editor
Boost Post is the easy-entry, non-confronting, toe-in-the-water way to try out Facebook Advertising - and it is beneath you. If you have joined The Network then you are serious about your professional development, and getting strategic, and Boost Post doesn't cut it.
When you use Boost Post there is zero strategic targeting involved. You are not using your professional savvy and knowledge to tell Facebook who to target with your message. It is the equivalent to walking to the top of your building, throwing flyers off the roof, and hoping they fall into the hands of people likely to support you, donate to you, buy your products, or attend your events.
If you've never used it - don't start. If you're currently using it - Stop. There are better options.
The second option is the Self Service Ad Tool. It is the middle of the road option. It is a dramatic leap up from Boost Post, but it falls short of the options available in the third option - Power Editor, which we shall come to later.
The Self Service Tool takes a significant amount of the functionality available in the advanced marketing tool - Power Editor, and repackages it into a more user friendly, simpler interface for beginner to intermediate users. On the positive side, the graphic user interface is simple and visually pleasing. It is simple, and can be accessed within the same browser you are using for Facebook.
On the negative side, it has less functionality and options than Power Editor, though the gap between the two has been significantly reduced in the last 6-12 months. Another negative is that Facebook tends to roll out all new advertising functionality to Power Editor first, which means that if you want to be on the cutting edge - you need to use Power Editor.
If you aren't currently using either the Self Service Tool or Power Editor, you are going to have to learn. And if you are going to heave to spend time developing some advertising skills - why not jump straight to the advanced option with the greatest range of options and cutting edge access.
The third option is Power Editor, and as at today it is my advertising tool of choice - though new developments all the time mean this too can change.