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Facebook Ads: Are they Worth it?

Are facebook adverts worth it?

facebook like

On facebook you can pay to have posts and ads inserted into more mini feeds.  You can manipulate the algorithm for more views to your facebook and blog post.  It isn’t a secret either.  Pages that pay to boost posts are labeled as “sponsored” on the mini feed.  On a boosted post, More people will see the post and it will drive awareness to your website and facebook page…but is it worth it? 

I help a personal friend with her coaching page.  She is a great coach and someone I would highly recommend in the South Jersey area.  We have played around with facebook adverts to boost her page and client base.  It has been working rather well.  She has signed more local runners and the page boosts have helped her build her community.  I couldn’t be happier for her!  It made me think, how would a facebook advert post for fueledbyLOLZ blog fare?

Unlike coaching, I’m not really offering anything.  I’m not offering coaching or a product.  I’m not offering the secrets to stay injury free, healthy or breaking news.  By reading my blog you are not eligible to win millions of things.   I just assume people put up with my poor grammar and spelling because they can find a LOL in there somewhere.

FueledbyLOLZ offers morning amusement with your coffee.   That is what I offer and probably will continue to offer. 

I decided to do an experiment and spend a whopping 20 dollars to boost one of my recent posts.  For my experiment, I chose a post many people responded well with without the boost.

Running on the Cheap: 

Basically a post about why Running doesn’t have to be expensive.

There are many cost options but I chose the 20.00 option.  It costed $20.00 for an extra 1000-8,000 people to view the facebook post (not my blog post but the facebook post (with the link attached) to be inserted into the minifeed).

You can pay more for more views.

Just because you boost your post, it doesn’t guarantee will see it or that they will like your page at all.

It doesn’t guarantee they will click the link to your post.  The only thing a paid boost guarantees is that the post will be inserted into at least 1,000 mini feeds (it could even be the same persons mini feed 1,000 times).

For instance (spoiler alert) when I payed 20.00 for a fueledbyLOLZ advert, about 6,000 people viewed the post.  The post itself, received 176 clicks to LOLZ blog.

facebook ad

The post was inserted into 6,082 feeds and I received 172 clicks to my actual blog.  It cost 11 cents for each feed it was inserted in.

The real question: Was it worth it?

First I must ask myself this: What did spending $20 to promote my post get me? It got me 176 extra clicks to my blog.  What did those 176 extra page views get me?  Possibly new readers or possibly readers who like the page but never read the post…it got me 176 clicks.

What did I learn?

I thought a paid boost would receive more interest or “boost” than 176 clicks (I’m not upset or sad, I just thought it would).

Overall Thoughts: 

I can’t tell you if it’s worth it to pay to grow your blog.

If you are offering a product or service, it makes sense to use facebook to advertise.

If you want to grow your blog and following then it makes sense.  Is it the best way to grow your following?  No probably not but if you gave enough money, you could probably gain hundreds of facebook likes and new readers

At the end of the day, having more or less facebook likes, twitter followers, blog readers doesn’t change who you are or your blog.  I might occasionally use facebook adverts again.  I don’t think it’s something I would use frequently but I can see how it would help bloggers trying to “make it big” and make money (FYI: I’m not sure what making it big means in blogging….).  If your main goal is to grow your blog and profit, then perhaps this is a route to experiment with.  For me I have no interest in blogging for a living and main source of income.  I can barely write a coherent 600 word post.

In cliff notes: You’ll probably get a few extra clicks from boosting your posts.  For blogging purposes, it doesn’t make as much sense to use.  If you are offering a product, service or something of value than it makes more sense to use.   For me I’ll spend 20 dollars on a bunch of coffee next time.

Questions for you:

Do you use facebook adverts? 

Facebook users: What do you think about facebook ads?

 

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34 responses

  1. Facebook is a weird beast with non-linear news streaming and re-shuffling of stuff … just yesterday I saw something an old friend posted I didn’t have time to read but when I went back later it was no longer in between the two other posts where I first found it and I needed to search it out.

    I also have to confess to being immediately antagonistic when I see things that have been inserted into my feed – I won’t download that app almost on principle. But I attribute that to my age – my kids are very different in that regard, as I assume are most of your readers (i.e. much younger than me).

    And look at it this way – I just did a quick search, and in advertising terms a 2% ‘click through rate’ is considered GOOD. You were at almost 3%. So that is quite good.

    But again – of those 176, who is back reading this today? Did you get new followers, new subscribers, more comments? It is the old thing about defining the purpose – as bloggers we are mostly writing for *readers* … not *clickers*.

    • That is my thought too, I blog because I enjoy it. Page views are just numbers…(In my opinion) it makes more sense to use ads to drive awareness to a product or service being offered.

      This post was just food for thought…I wasn’t saying I was upset with the outcome since it was just a simple experiment. 🙂

  2. Interesting! Of all my platforms, FB is my worst performer. I don’t work it hard and have never paid to boost a post. I just can’t decide if it’s worth it or not? I much prefer Twitter and it definitely sends far more traffic my way, too. Good for thought–thanks for being our investigative reporter!

    • Good for thought and food for thought.

      I must prefer twitter as well. I use facebook a decent amount but twitter is my favorite. 🙂

  3. This is actually really helpful! I’ve always been curious about FB ads and whether they’re really worth it. I’ve never tried one myself but with all the changes FB is making it seems like paid ads are going to be a necessity. If that’s the case, I don’t know how much I’ll be using Facebook to promote my blog.

  4. This is really interesting, thanks for doing a little legwork here. I have trouble keeping up with more than one social media platform, so for the moment, I just use twitter for my blog (personally I use twitter a bit and mostly instagram. I don’t have a personal facebook or one for the blog.) I have wondered if I’m missing out on something by not having a blog facebook, but stuff like this makes me feel like I’m really not in the grand scheme of things. I’m lucky to interact with many people on twitter every day and a lot of people do get to my blog via twitter, so I am satisfied with that for now. If I were going to branch out and start using another social media platform, it would probably be trying to be active on Pinterest. Do you use Pinterest to promote your posts? Do you find it effective?

  5. Thanks for sharing you thoughts. I have been very curious about ads and really how to use Facebook in general! I am disappointed that it’s now the algorithm it is and so hard to use. It used to be such a great user experience!

  6. Facebook is the bane of my social media existence. I’ve never been able to figure it out, and I tend to ignore it more than I probably should. I’ve always been curious about the paid ads, though, and it’s kind of disappointing to hear that they don’t do much. Thanks for sharing the info!

  7. I actually remember clicking on at least one sponsored post for a blog I saw and thought looked interesting. I would much prefer finding something like a blog through a sponsored post rather than a product. And also strangely I think Facebook has me in the wrong demographic because I get a lot of ads that seem more appropriate for young moms and not college students, haha.

  8. I don’t really like ads on Facebook – that’s not why I use facebook. However, I have come across some interesting things on those ads that I may not have found through any other medium. I agree with you though, it may be useful if you are selling a service or product, but probably not worth it just to boost blog traffic.

  9. Depending on the demographics of a page, Facebook ads can be worth it. I’m friends with a local race director who has used it to boost views to the race page (it’s a fairly large race) and it’s had good results- lots more views to the page. But… the page already had a lot of “likes” and I think the ad just got the post onto people’s feeds- probably people who’d forgotten about it. Like someone said above, how many of those clicks or views actually translate into revenue? I guess it raises awareness of the race, which is great for a race, but I wonder if that ad generated registrations?

    I don’t think it’s really worth it for a blogger, more for a business and especially one with a slightly older demographic. I wrote an article on Instagram recently for my big-girl job and that seems like a better platform for anyone trying to reach younger people… especially high school age. Now that people’s parents and grandparents are on Facebook kids don’t want to be on there anymore, haha.

  10. I have not tried FB ads, but I may. I am promoting the “My First 5K” medal. So far I have only used my blog and web site which cost me very little. I’m beginning to get results.
    For a blogger it may not be worth it, especially if you are not making money w/ your blog. It may be worth promoting a really well written post once in a while for $20 and see what happens.
    My mentors have advised starting as small as possible ($5) and see what happens. If it is a total flop you are out $5 and you know you need to make changes. Spend another $5 and see how that works.
    After I get my new 2015 medals I will probably try a few $5 ad buys.

  11. This is a nice review of Facebook Ads- I have been curious about them myself. I could see it being beneficial, but there are also so many other ways to promote yourself. I could see doing it for the more “important” things, you know? Thanks for sharing this information, it really helps!

  12. I haven’t done this but considered it if only for my coaching services. What has held me back is that I’m cheap, I don’t use facebook a ton to begin with, and I wasn’t sold on if it would make any difference given how unpredictable facebook seems at times. I love that you did an actual experiment with this. I might do the same at some point 🙂

  13. Coffee > Facebook ANY DAY. It’s funny because I always think about whether I would rather spend X amount of money on something or if I’d rather have coffee or peanut butter… Spoiler alert: I drink over 50 ounces of coffee a day. LOL

  14. LIke the post (and your blog)… I was wondering about paying for Facebook to boost my posts too. But also like you, I’m not blogging as a job. I do it for fun and to share my thoughts and crack a few jokes along the way. Like most people I wish my blog was read by 14 bajillion people, but I guess I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and know that I’m enjoying myself and hopefully making a few people smile.

  15. One ‘bigger’ blogger I follow paid FB to boost a few posts for her, but then after she stopped, the views on her page went way down. It seems like FB was saying “Now that you’ve paid, YOU MUST ALWAYS PAY’ and that’s a bit upsetting.

    I’m not trying to make a living off my blog, so I can’t see myself paying FB anytime soon 🙂

    • That’s interesting. I don’t know if I believe that. I think of course if you pay, your blog posts are going to be seen by more people. I think part of Facebook is how engaging your posts are. The more engaging they are…the more people see them.

  16. i agree with you that if you are selling an actual product than it might be worth it but if you are just blogging with out any kind of “product” than it probably isn’t. thanks for sharing your experience!

  17. Good experiment, you’re right in everything you said. Oh and FB ads are less annoying that a “follow me on Instagram and repost” contest too 😉

  18. This was super interesting.

    As someone who is not self-hosted, much less in an ad network, I know nothing about it. I efinately have always wondered what kind of traffic companies saw form promoting their as. 6,000 views (to me) seems to be huge, but do you have to do that for each post? you’ have to be generating some serious ad revenue for that to balance out as a blogger – if that’s your goal.
    Thanks for sharing!

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