Facebook marketing has been a popular and extremely prevalent platform for marketers and businesses of all sizes for over a decade now, and it’s evolved a great deal. Best practices have come and gone, and the platform looks completely different now than it did when we all first signed up for our first accounts and it looked a lot more like a cleaned-up Myspace reboot.
Since so much has changed and the platform is now almost dizzingly complex to those who aren’t familiar with it, it’s not surprising that there’s so much information out there that some of it just isn’t quite right. There are some misconceptions that come innocently, and some that are spread by marketers who want clicks on their blog posts or to sell you on their services.
With all the Facebook marketing myths out there, it can be difficult to know what’s true and what isn’t, so we wanted to clear some of that up for you. In this post, we’re going to take a look at EIGHT Facebook marketing myths and shed some truth on each one.
1. Facebook Ads Are Too Expensive for Small Businesses
This is one Facebook marketing and advertising myth that we hear a lot: That Facebook Ads is just too expensive for small businesses. How could a one-person LLC possibly compete with a mega corporation with a $100,000-a-month budget?
This myth, of course, is false.
You don’t need a $100,000-a-month budget or anything even close to that to market on Facebook Ads. You can set a budget as low as $1 a day (which is Dennis Yu’s famous strategy), and you’ll pay a “bid” price on the action you’re optimizing for. You could pay $1.50, for example, for 1,000 views of your ad, or a click on the ad, or a 10-second video view.
You can set bid caps (pictured above), which allows you to determine the exact threshold you’re willing to reach when setting a bid. If you know, for example, that it’s not profitable to spend a penny over $0.79 per click, then you can set your bid cap right there. This can impact placements if your competitors are consistently bidding higher, but it still gives you a chance to participate in the ad system.
Facebook Ads is also one of the relatively more affordable ad options out there, particularly once you factor in retargeting campaigns and its overall potential for conversions. While some small businesses may find it hard to squeeze some extra ad spend out of an already-tight budget for Facebook advertising when other methods are working for them, that doesn’t mean that it’s too expensive across the board. In many cases, Facebook Ads are at least worth testing, even if your budget is small.
Wondering exactly what you can expect to pay? A lot of variables goes into the specific cost, but you can see some benchmarks here.
2. Facebook’s Organic Reach is Dead
We hear this all the time. At least once per year, you’ll probably find an article that’s dramatically proclaiming that Facebook is dead as a doornail and it’s time to close up shop. This is often attributed to the always-declining organic reach and the stingy algorithm.
Even though the writers of these articles seem extremely impassioned about their beliefs, we can confirm that this is another myth that is false.
The declining organic reach is true, of course. It’s been more and more difficult to have our content show up in our followers’ feeds for more than five years now, and each algorithm update seems to make it a tiny bit more challenging. But that doesn’t mean that all of organic Facebook marketing is useless.
Consider the following:
- The more your followers engage with you, the more you’ll show up in the algorithms. High-quality content can still have content showing up in the feeds of top-followers semi-regularly if you’re making an effort to engage your audience and post frequently.
- Facebook Groups is currently prioritized in the algorithm, so content you post to a group that you create will be more likely to appear in members’ feeds, giving you better reach and a stronger avenue to connect with your target audience.
- You can use events to generate interest on platform, and when someone clicks on “interested in” an event, it’s shown to the majority of their friends.
- Facebook is often used as a search engine, and the ability to collect reviews and UGC on platform in a place that new customers may discover you is incredibly valuable, even if they aren’t seeing your posts regularly.
It is important to adapt your marketing strategy knowing that organic reach has been affected, but the ad system isn’t the only way that Facebook is valuable to marketers; organic content is still key.
3. I Need To Use Hashtags On My Facebook Posts
Hashtags have never seemed to fit in on Facebook or taken off the way they have on Twitter and Instagram, but you see some marketers proclaiming that everyone should be using them nonetheless.
Hashtags really don’t have much of a place in Facebook marketing. You can use them if you’d like, but they’re not necessary and they don’t serve much of a purpose. Unlike Twitter and Instagram, users aren’t searching for hashtags to find relevant content.
The only exception here is if you run a Facebook group. Some group admins will encourage members to tag posts with hashtags like #jobposting or #resumerequest so that people can easily search the group later if they’re looking for similar information.
Aside from that, though, keep the hashtags out of the majority of your organic posts on Facebook since they’re not really serving much of a purpose.
4. Users Will Convert on a Great Facebook Ad the First Time
One of the biggest myths out there about PPC ads is that a user will see a campaign from a new brand or product and immediately convert. Sometimes this happens, but the reality is typically a little more muddled, particularly with discovery-oriented ads like Facebook Ads.
Instead, the reality is that most users will need to see multiple ads from the same company before they’re willing to convert. There’s even a “rule of 7” in marketing that states that customers may need to see messaging from your brand 7 times before they’re willing to convert. While 7 times may not always be necessary, the principle here is correct: Most users aren’t going to purchase the first time they see one of your ads.
This myth can be a particularly dangerous one, because it causes many advertisers to abandon campaigns that are successful at generating the brand awareness or interest that’s needed to eventually drive conversions. For best success, you’ll typically want to create ad funnels utilizing retargeting to nurture users towards a conversion and show them increasingly relevant ads. Also, you want to make sure you're writing good copy for your Facebook posts.
It’s more complicated than setting up a single ad, but it’s so much more effective, so this isn’t a myth that you want to believe.
5. Facebook Followers Matter Most
Sometimes it’s easy to be swayed by the most flashy marketing metrics, and plenty of brands have fallen prey to this, believing that the number of followers an account has is the most important metric of success.
Followers do serve as great social proof, and it’s good to see your like count growing overtime because it’s an indication that you’re finding members of your target audience and successfully connecting with them. That being said, the number of followers an account has is not the biggest indicator of success.
Instead, engagement matters more, which is why you're selling tools like SEMrush's Social Media Tracker having an entire metric focused on engagement rate.
Your engagement rate, specifically, is one of the most important metrics to watch. We discuss this in-depth as it relates to Instagram here (and the principles are the same for Facebook). Essentially your engagement rate is going to tell you how relevant your audience finds your content and what percentage of your followers are actively liking, sharing, or commenting. Since a high engagement rate means relevance and a boost in the algorithm, it’s an important metric to track.
Follower count isn’t entirely irrelevant, but it is more of a vanity metric. Look at your content’s performance as a core metric instead.
6. The Secret to Success Is Posting As Much As You Can
There are some social media agencies that try to sell brands on the promise of the mass-posting strategies, attempting to beat the algorithm with a sheer number of posts that would put their competitors to shame.
Is anyone surprised at this point that this is downright false?
Posting frequently is a good strategy in and of itself. You do want to create content regularly enough that you’re able to keep your audience engaged and so that your Page looks alive and full. That being said, there’s a limit. You don’t want to be posting more than once or twice per day at the absolute maximum on average.
The reason why is simple: The more you post, the more you’re almost competing against your own content for those limited slots you could hope to get in users’ feeds. When you’re flooding your own Page with content, the engagement rate overall per post will likely drop, which can ding you in the algorithm (and thus your reach).
Prioritize quality over quantity, post at ideal times for your audience, and remember to test posting frequency like you would anything else. Try increasing or decreasing the frequency of your posting, and see how it impacts your engagement rate.
7. The Clear History Tool Will Ruin Retargeting
Facebook’s Clear History tool has gotten a lot of attention this year from users and marketers alike.
Amidst all the privacy and transparency concerns, many Facebook users have been excited about the impending release of a new on-site feature that will allow users to delete their off-platform history so that Facebook isn’t able to store it and use it for marketing purposes. It’s easy to see why users are excited, and why marketers aren’t.
If users delete their off-platform history and even prevent Facebook from collecting it in the first place, it can absolutely affect the retargeting abilities of brands trying to reach them. Some have started to say that the Clear History tool will therefore completely ruin all retargeting potential.
This myth is the one that’s perhaps the closest to the truth on this list, but it’s still not quite right.
Here’s what’s true: Marketers making heavy use of retargeting based on app activity or site activity (like using custom audiences based on website activity) may find that these campaigns aren’t reaching enough people anymore. You can’t show someone a retargeting campaign after they visited your landing page if you can’t actually track that they were there.
That being said, not all users will automatically disable this information, so it may still be possible to leverage these specific types of off-platform retargeting.
We’ll also still have the ability to use other types of retargeting, too. This includes retargeting based on on-platform activity (like video views, lead form activity, or engagement), and retargeting coming from custom audiences uploaded from a list of customer emails.
It will be an unfortunate loss if we see a big hit on retargeting centered around site activity, but it’s not the end of retargeting. It will just force marketers to get a little more creative with their strategies, and perhaps focus more on ad funnels using on-platform activity as a retargeting method.
8. I Should Promote My Business Information In Facebook Groups
This is another common misconception that we sometimes see small business owners sharing, not quite understanding how marketing in Facebook groups work. They’ve been led to believe that they should join industry-related groups where they may find their customers and promote the daylights out of their own product or service.
What’s unfortunate is that this myth can get you labelled as a spammer, put a negative taste of your brand in the mouth of potential customers, and get you kicked out of the group after just a few posts.
If you want to use Facebook groups to your advantage, start your own group centered around your brand somehow. Make one for your customers, or for your target audience, and share insights.
Answer questions, build a community. Then you can promote your business as you see fit, and it will feel more organic.
There are a lot of Facebook myths out there, and what’s scary is that it’s not just small businesses coming to agencies with misunderstandings of what’s possible; there are some industry members who are actively (and often unintentionally) causing some of the misunderstandings.
Social media is always changing, and perhaps no platform touches Facebook’s consistently fast evolution. These myths, however, are all firmly debunked for now, so don’t let them impact the social media work you’re doing for your own business or for your clients’. With all the right information, you’ll be able to move forward and create more successful campaigns.