When I first started blogging a few months ago, I had a lot of direction. Matthew Woodward gave me all the information I needed to get my blog up and running, and a huge number of posts guided me on content creation and audience interaction.
I didn’t have to make any big decisions in the beginning; I simply followed advice from those who had come before me.
However, during the last 2 months I have managed to find my feet, and as a result I have started making decisions for my blog. So far they haven’t been huge, and they include which theme to change to, which platforms are best for me, when to post, and other small details. I have probably made a couple of small missteps along the way; however, none of them stick out like the mess that is Facebook advertising.
Below I will let you in on my Facebook advertising mistake, so that you do not follow in my footsteps.
My History with Facebook
I joined FB on June 17th, after a lot of debate on whether or not this platform was right for my blog. As it turns out, Facebook is really great for Business Broken Down. Between June 26th and 29th I ran my first Facebook campaign, in which I advertised my WordPress Plug-ins post. I spent $4.62 over 3 days; unfortunately I had no response to my post; it was simply a bust.
However, as I started getting better at using my FB page for my blog, my confidence grew and I decided to give it another shot. At this point I had 98 organic likes for my blog, most of it as a result of engagement in FB blogging groups. It was at this time that I decided to create an advertisement for my FB page.
My reasoning was that the 98 likes I had gotten so far were sending good traffic to my blog, so if more people were introduced to my blog then my content would be viewed more frequently. It still sounds like good reasoning to me!
The Facebook Advertising Mistake
On August 12th I decided to create an advertisement for my FB page that would run for 5 days, at $5 a day. There was a bit of haggling with Facebook as they said my ad exceeded the 20% text capacity they had set, however, after some puppy dog eyes and a bribe of tickets to a Willie Nelson meet-up they accepted my ad (I’m obviously kidding, I would never give away tickets to see Willie).
Anyways, once Facebook reconsidered their position and accepted my ad, it was time for me to sit and wait.
My ad was targeting men and women between the ages of 18 and 65, who had shown interest in social marketing, advertising, marketing, and social media. The geographic locations included Kenya (my home), the U.S.A (the bulk of my current audience), and India (an audience that was highly engaged in my niche). Sounds solid so far?
What Went Wrong?
Well, the next day I woke up to find that my page likes had exceeded my expectations. I was in the hundreds, and every time I checked my account the likes had grown.
Needless to say I was ecstatic. However, by day 2 I was getting a little skeptical. I’m incredibly happy with the content on my FB page, but the results seemed a little bit unrealistic for my current blogging level. It felt like a majority of the likes I was receiving were from people who indiscriminately like all the page ads in their feed.
As someone who is picky when it comes to liking pages, I didn’t have the foresight to see that some people like pages without the intent to engage with that page on a regular basis. I had streamlined my ad, so I believed that the people liking my page would be searching for advice on small businesses.
Instead, what I got was a small number of interested people, and a huge number of people who couldn’t care less.
When I sought advice on one of my FB blogging groups, I found that other bloggers had been in the same position I was currently in. Their FB page advertising had resulted in uninterested followers, as opposed to engaged followers.
One blogger even told me that once the ad is complete, your post reach falls as FB wants you to keep on advertising. I can attest to this as my stats have reduced from an average of 30-50 people reached at 98 likes, to an average of 10-20 people reached at 800+ likes.
My Facebook Advertising Results
Once I realized that my page advertising was not delivering the results I expected, I stopped the ad. FB reported that the ad had reached 4048 people, and resulted in 505-page likes (though I estimate it to be around 700+ new likes). I spent $17.16, which was lower than the $35 budget I had allocated.
And unfortunately, my engagement has fallen as I mentioned above. Thankfully, there’s nothing that cannot be rectified with some elbow grease and aggressive networking.
However, it is a situation that I wouldn’t have been in if I had sought advice before I went ahead with it. Thankfully, my $17 investment will not haunt my dreams, though it serves as a reminder to make smarter decision.
So is Facebook Advertising All Bad?
I have no definite answer on this, as I have not ventured back into the scary world of FB advertising since my blunder. I know many people who have had a positive experience with FB page advertising, and many others who have not. I also admit that my audience targeting may not have been as sophisticated as it should have been, hence my less than stellar results.
I have also been told that it is better to promote your post, than to promote your page. In this way only your target audience will be drawn to your content.
However, if you are still brave enough to venture into the murky waters of FB advertising, then here’s a piece of advice from me to you:
Run your ad for 1 or 2 days and closely monitor your results. If the likes appear genuine, then go ahead with your ad. However, if you are a small blog getting 200 likes a day, then maybe you should cancel your ad campaign and regroup.
And with this advice, God Speed my courageous friend.
As you can see, there are risks associated with advertising your FB page. However, if you take time to plan your promotion strategies, then you won’t waste your time, effort, or money on mistakes such as mine.
I hope this post helped set you straight on some of the blogging decisions you have made, and although all of us are bound to screw up more than once, hopefully we won’t be making the same mistakes over and over again.
Before you leave drop me a comment and let me know if you have been in the same position as I have. And if you kicked FB’s ass, then you can brag about it as well. Also share this with your friends, and sign-up for the Business Broken Down newsletter where I share with you some more great tips and advice about business and blogging.
Thank you for stopping by, and be sure to come back next Monday when I will be kick-starting a campaign to raise the $17 that I lost (just kidding…or am I?). Have a great week!