When it comes down to the Facebook Ads, I have love it / hate it relations, let me explain - I believe Facebook Ads are one of the simplest ways for small business to spread the word, while, at least, speaking about my experience the results are questionable.
I'm spending on Facebook ads regularly, my spending/promotion habits are pretty simple - I can spend actively for one month, then stop for some two months and start again.
Generally I'm promoting blog articles related to tourism activities in Georgia. For the better (cheaper) results I'm targeting local Georgian audience as well. Though, during my latest Facebook ads campaign I experimented with targeting other countries as well, and got some decent results.
Facebook Ads reach
For the record, population of Georgia is about 3.72 million. Making my reach of Georgian audience to stand at about 2.6% in January 2016. Awesome.
That's in fact I'm trying to achieve here - build some brand recognition about myself and mine services offered to the people of Georgia.
Now, about two years ago I did come up with and idea: Should Every Blogger Should Spend At Least $1.00 Per Day On Facebook Ads?
Idea was simple, 1 dollar per day might help to build brand awareness / recognition. Soon I started my first 1 dollar per day on Facebook ads, I had to stop it shortly, because of, it generated some really good buzz, my ads got clicked and yes I got some good visitor traffic to my website, on the other hand, my images got stolen and re-used, my texts got re-used. Not the best way to spend money to promote you to the copyright infringer guys, right?
See my findings about my first campaign: Why I Stopped Facebook ADS Campaign: Case Study
I had to implement some basic security of helping not stealing pictures and article from blog: How To Protect Drupal Content (Articles and Photos) From Being Copied
After some time I decided to make another experiment with Facebook promoted posts - spent 2 dollars per day, by promoting one article from blog every day. Again - a lot of likes, shares and .. I started notice fewer click actually back to the website.
There are two things have kept me sticking with Facebook ads:
- I still believe it helps to build brand recognition, your content is seen by many eyes, some will like stuff you are promoting, some will share and some will even click back to your website to learn more (of course you should target your audience wisely). Brand recognition can help in other ways, like closing a deal later, selling a product later. In short it's kind of repetitive marketing, you have been noticed, hopefully in a good light.
- Not sure about this, but I believe there is some correlation with page likes and Google SERP. Hopefully - if people are engaging with content you are sharing on Facebook, Google will notice that. See: Does Facebook have an impact on SEO?
During my activities on Facebook in past couple of years I have built small, but pretty engaged follower base from Georgia (I'm mostly promoting my photo articles from Georgia to the Georgian audience). As of January 2017, I have about 3,500 followers to this blog's fan page. The vast majority of audience is Georgian.
At the end of 2016 I rise my budget on Facebook ads to spend $3.00 per day, and during one month promoted about 30 posts (every day another post). I stopped that monthly campaign at one point, because it was really hard to manage 30 different ads, and most ads didn't generated a lot of clicks back to the website, though got shared and liked a lot.
For the start of 2017 I come up with an idea to spend $4.00 per day on Facebook ads, but minimizing total article count I'm promoting.
I come up with following ad campaign on Facebook for 30 days - one article for two days with 8 dollar budget. God, that helped a lot, it was way more easier to manage my campaigns. And I had an option to choose the best possible articles related to the interests of my audience.
My top performing ads gathered more than 1,000 likes and shares for a budget of 8 dollars, I got some 50-200 clicks per day back to the website, and nobody was stealing my content anymore. Just perfect.
This time I experimented with more audiences as well, for the start I went with ads in Georgia, then expanded them to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Spain, Philippines, United Arab Emirates and at the end United States.Mostly I was targeting audiences who were already somehow engaged with content on blog.
My ads in Georgia couldn't even reach their total budget, as they were perfectly targeting audience willing to like and share (Georgia related content for Georgian audience).
I had a decent results from Bulgaria (I promoted an article about my future travels plans to Bulgaria)
Very good results from Spain (Promoted article from my latest trip to region of Andalusia)
and even article targeted to the US audience get some decent results (promoted Prometheus cave in Georgia for speleology lovers in United States)
After each campaign ended I manually invited all the persons who have liked posts to follow my Facebook page. It helped me to acquire about 600 new followers.
Speaking of total visits back to the website - at the end of month they totaled at around 4,000, which is about 6% from overall traffic I got in January. Pretty decent, but I would say very expensive traffic. As the rest of the traffic I get, I get it for free, and that's about 80,000 users in January.