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How many Facebook ads is optimum in a social media marketing campaign?

By Adam Gray | @AGSocialMedia

How many Facebook ads do you need in a social campaign? This was one of the questions that was recently posed on a Slack group which of which I am a member, amazingly I didn’t rise to this question. Nor did I pace around the room shouting angrily. Instead I decided to put pen to paper and try and articulate what seems to be a growing, and profoundly misplaced, belief around this.

Before I begin though, let me start by posing a simple question.

If I place an advertisement on the hoarding behind the goal at a football match, does that make me part of the game?

The answer is of course “no”. I am not part of the game.

PPC marketing has its place in an overall campaign strategy, perhaps, but placing adverts on social networks IS NOT social media marketing, any more than the football hoarding analogy. Any more than buying TV sponsorship of X Factor makes you a music promotor. You are not “in the game.”

The truth of the matter is that buying ads has always been and will always be the easy (and often ineffective) option. Buying advertising is like the parent who’s always travelling on business buying presents for their children in order to curry favour. It is like hiring an external company to do the work that you are either unable, too busy, or too lazy to do yourself.

The interesting thing about PPC advertising is that it does often work for clients (if it is set-up and managed by someone who knows what they’re doing) because the costs are based on results. Pay PER click…nobody clicks…there is no charge. So, if you have a website that converts or an event you’re trying to sell and the visitors actually want to buy, then PPC can be an efficient way of increasing “footfall” and therefore sales.

But, as I said, this is not social media marketing. This is advertising on a social network.

Social media marketing is where you create a persona which i) encourages people to jump to the conclusion that you want, ii) promotes engagement and interaction, iii) gives prospective champions an easy route to promote you, your product or your service to their network (whether they realise this or not). This in turn leads to more revenue.

Don’t get thrown out of the party!

This is the digital “at scale” version of going to a party full of people you know (some of whom may be friends) and talking about the great product or service or person that you’ve found. Going to the same party and announcing that you have a suitcase full of watches for people to buy is likely to get you thrown out, make sure you are never get invited back and do untold damage to both your relationships and your credibility.

Of course, none of this is news to anyone. Everyone knows that this is an inalienable truth of relationships, networks and business. But people still keep doing it. They do it because they either think that their product is magically different (which it isn’t). Or that somehow their reputation will not be sullied by this behaviour which it will. Or most likely, that the long term damage that this behaviour will do to their business and their brand won’t matter because by the time the problems come home to roost they will be working somewhere else.

So, to answer that group question “How many Facebook ads is optimum in a social media marketing campaign?” The answer is NONE!


Digital Leadership Associates: We are Global Social Media Management Consultancy. We do three things:
Social Media StrategySocial Selling and Social Media Management. Drop us an email or call one of our founders on 00 44 7823 534 557 and let’s talk about how we can make an impact on your organisation.

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