Facebook's Advertising Fallacy: That It Works!

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Facebook advertising

Fewer than one-third of U.S. consumers are influenced by social media when making a purchase decision. That was an eye-opening statistic from a new consumer survey conduct among 1,512 U.S. online consumers by Splashlight, a visual content creation company.

That pretty much aligned with findings from a 2016 study by Lithium Technologies, a digital engagement platform. In their survey, conducted by Harris Polls, among 2,000 U.S. consumers, they found that all consumers, but most especially some 74% of digitally-native millennial and GenZ consumers, object to being targeted commercially by brands in their social media feeds. Lithium reports, “In fact, 56% of these digital natives report cutting back or actually stopping use of social media sites entirely due to advertisements in their news feed.”

Social media advertising is booming, reaching $31 billion in 2016, according to HootSuite and Facebook is the biggest and baddest social media platform of them all, raking in a remarkable $6.8 billion in advertising last year. But I wondered if Facebook in particular was delivering on its promise of more eyes, more engagement and ultimately more sales. Or whether as these recent studies show, consumers are pushing back against the increasing commercialization of their Facebook social media experiences.

Now that Facebook has defined a new mission, “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together,” is it was giving the same power to businesses, particularly small businesses with modest advertising budgets but big needs to drive engagement and sales to their businesses?

What I discovered is that Facebook makes big advertising promises that most small business take on faith, not measurable return on investment. But as the saying goes, “Hope is not a strategy,” and the only thing that will make those FB advertising efforts pull customers in the end is to make a big investment in time, and often money, to achieve success.

In my research I found numerous people quoting dramatic ROI results thanks to Facebook, like this from ConversionPoint Technologies for one of their direct-to-consumer clients, “They are currently seeing about a 200% ROI on their spend,” said Amy Chilla. Yet all the impressive ROI stats I found originated from social media agencies where companies invest big time to get equally big results.

But I found many more stories like this one, from Point Two Design Group, that offers maps as wall art, “Facebook ads are becoming increasingly expensive for a mediocre delivery of service. We were purchasing highly-targeted ads through a professional marketing service that specializes in Facebook ads with high ROI. Yes, we were able to triple our sales,” said John Owen de Lancie, company co-founder and lead designer. “But Facebook was taking a 40% cut of our gross sales. We realized that if we just stopped running the ads, we would actually take home more money.”

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Pixabay.com

Facebook advertising

Fewer than one-third of U.S. consumers are influenced by social media when making a purchase decision. That was an eye-opening statistic from a new consumer survey conduct among 1,512 U.S. online consumers by Splashlight, a visual content creation company.

That pretty much aligned with findings from a 2016 study by Lithium Technologies, a digital engagement platform. In their survey, conducted by Harris Polls, among 2,000 U.S. consumers, they found that all consumers, but most especially some 74% of digitally-native millennial and GenZ consumers, object to being targeted commercially by brands in their social media feeds. Lithium reports, “In fact, 56% of these digital natives report cutting back or actually stopping use of social media sites entirely due to advertisements in their news feed.”

Social media advertising is booming, reaching $31 billion in 2016, according to HootSuite and Facebook is the biggest and baddest social media platform of them all, raking in a remarkable $6.8 billion in advertising last year. But I wondered if Facebook in particular was delivering on its promise of more eyes, more engagement and ultimately more sales. Or whether as these recent studies show, consumers are pushing back against the increasing commercialization of their Facebook social media experiences.

Now that Facebook has defined a new mission, “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together,” is it was giving the same power to businesses, particularly small businesses with modest advertising budgets but big needs to drive engagement and sales to their businesses?

What I discovered is that Facebook makes big advertising promises that most small business take on faith, not measurable return on investment. But as the saying goes, “Hope is not a strategy,” and the only thing that will make those FB advertising efforts pull customers in the end is to make a big investment in time, and often money, to achieve success.

In my research I found numerous people quoting dramatic ROI results thanks to Facebook, like this from ConversionPoint Technologies for one of their direct-to-consumer clients, “They are currently seeing about a 200% ROI on their spend,” said Amy Chilla. Yet all the impressive ROI stats I found originated from social media agencies where companies invest big time to get equally big results.

But I found many more stories like this one, from Point Two Design Group, that offers maps as wall art, “Facebook ads are becoming increasingly expensive for a mediocre delivery of service. We were purchasing highly-targeted ads through a professional marketing service that specializes in Facebook ads with high ROI. Yes, we were able to triple our sales,” said John Owen de Lancie, company co-founder and lead designer. “But Facebook was taking a 40% cut of our gross sales. We realized that if we just stopped running the ads, we would actually take home more money.”

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