I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that utilising social media can be great for your business. But, are you using social media as effectively as you could be, and maximising your chances of success on platforms such as Facebook?

If you think we’re living in the golden age of easy wins, when achieving amazing reach and engagement from a great piece of content was a given, the chances are we’re probably not. Organic reach has been declining for years, with Facebook reducing the visibility of business and brand pages in the newsfeed, to the point that organic reach is actually trending towards zero. So what does that mean for business owners and brands? It means that if you want to raise awareness of your business, drive sales and drum up interest on social, utilising paid media alongside your organic strategy is now the only way forward.

Why is Facebook advertising important? 
For the traditional PR person, the thought of paying for content to reach people might not sit well. However, Facebook advertising has so many amazing methods of allowing you to reach exactly the right type of people that you want to target, that it’s a great idea to have it in your marketing toolkit.
For example, as a local business on the outskirts of a city, you might have once had to rely on the local paper or the right people following you on Facebook to get the message out about your new offers. Facebook targeting on the other hand, allows you to target by location, demographic, age and gender, as well as thousands of different interests and behaviours, in seconds. You can even target people who like your competitors on Facebook, or people who have visited your website in the past. The opportunities really are endless and you no longer have to rely on the right person picking up your local paper at the right time to get the word out there.

How can I use Facebook advertising effectively?
To a Facebook ads newbie, the possibilities of this platform can be overwhelming so when starting out, it’s vital to keep things simple. Firstly, work out your business objective. Is it to raise awareness of your brand? Drive footfall? Sell a product online? Be focused with what you are trying to achieve, and choose a Facebook ad objective which will help you achieve this.
Another way to make sure you are using Facebook advertising effectively is to see how it can fit within and complement your current PR campaigns. Perhaps you have a great piece of video content that you want to ensure reaches as many people as possible? Then a video views campaign will help you to achieve this. Or, maybe you’re under pressure to drive sales during the busy Christmas period? Then conversion ads alongside traditional PR product placement will ensure your greatest chances of success.

Does this mean I should give up on traditional PR?
Hell no! Facebook advertising can work well alone, but it works even more effectively as part of a comprehensive PR and marketing strategy. Despite all its advantages, one thing Facebook advertising won’t give you is the credibility and trust of a piece of independent editorial coverage – which is where PR comes in. PR on the other hand, for all its benefits, can often fall down on driving direct sales, which is where Facebook advertising can help. When working together, PR and Facebook advertising can truly offer the dream combination, and should be the cornerstone of any successful marketing strategy.
Creating a successful paid strategy on Facebook to run alongside organic and traditional media should be an essential part of any marketier’s strategy, but Facebook advertising can be a minefield to navigate if you’re new to paid media. For further advice and support, get in touch to see how we can help amplify your content and take your PR and social campaigns to the next level.

About Erin Jones