Last week Face­book marked a major mile­stone with its 10-year anniver­sary, which prompted many Adobe Cam­paign cus­tomers to ask me about the effi­ciency of Face­book as a social mar­ket­ing chan­nel and why Adobe Cam­paign still evan­ge­lizes the social network.

Many of them refer to the recent open let­ter sent by Nate Elliott from For­rester, to Mark Zuckerberg, beginning with the bold state­ment, “Mr. Zucker­berg, Face­book is fail­ing mar­keters,” along with numer­ous other blog posts explain­ing that, after 10 years, Face­book is a dying social net­work that is no longer effi­cient for marketing.

In response, I’d like to address the two pri­mary take­aways in the mar­ket­ing world regard­ing Facebook’s util­ity as a mar­ket­ing chan­nel and explain why it is still a viable option for adding busi­ness value.

Take­away No. 1: Not enough reach

Over­all reach went down because con­sumers are tun­ing into mul­ti­ple pages:

  • Face­book is over­crowded: Mil­lions of brands and bil­lions of users are shar­ing con­tent all day long, which will require Face­book to enhance fil­ter­ing to sat­isfy Face­book users. Gone are the days when only a cou­ple of brands were active on Face­book and eas­ily stood out.
  • Face­book is a freemium plat­form for brands: Face­book is a free owned chan­nel to con­nect with your audi­ence through­out the day. The num­bers speak for them­selves, with 1.19 bil­lion users, includ­ing 728 mil­lion daily users on the social net­work.  And on aver­age, users spend 8+ hours per month on Face­book. All of this equals a reach of about 10 per­cent of your audi­ence. That’s not a bad deal, is it?

Here are three ways go beyond that 10 per­cent reach and to max­i­mize mar­ket­ing spend on Facebook:

  • Secure the rela­tion­ship with your fans in the chan­nels you con­trol, such as email lists and websites.

Point ads and posts to land­ing pages that include forms and a Face­book login area to cap­ture opt-ins. You’ll then be able to reach Face­book users through email (don’t for­get that email is still the most effec­tive mar­ket­ing chan­nel accord­ing to recent stud­ies.)

More­over, with a Face­book login you’ll be able to cap­ture valu­able user infor­ma­tion such as their birth­day, pages liked on Face­book, loca­tion, check-ins made on Face­book, etc.

Does it work? Yes. Adobe Cam­paign cus­tomers saw a two-figure increase in the size of their email sub­scriber list by cre­at­ing land­ing pages and inte­grat­ing Face­book apps that are used by more than 70,000 Face­book users monthly. As another exam­ple, suc­cess­ful and very sim­ple apps from KitKat, Heinz, and Orange are used by more than 40,000 users per month and allow these brands to acquire a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of new opt-in con­tacts (Adobe Cam­paign made a full sur­vey on these suc­cess sto­ries.) By lever­ag­ing liked pages and their fans’ inter­ests from Face­book, com­pa­nies can engage in tar­geted com­mu­ni­ca­tions with a very high level of email reactivity.

  • Fol­low com­mu­nity man­age­ment best prac­tices and your com­mu­nity will spread the word about your content. 

Fans are con­sumers that like to be treated like VIPs. Cap­i­tal­ize on that fact by offer­ing them exclu­sive con­tent and inter­est­ing deals to “like” and share with friends. The more they are invited to engage with the brand and give their feed­back, the more they’ll love you.

Does it work? Yes. Recent cam­paigns for one of our enter­tain­ment cus­tomers received more than 50,000 likes and 600 comments!

More­over, pow­er­ful solu­tions to man­age Face­book pages like Adobe Social can help you to bet­ter under­stand and reach your dif­fer­ent communities.

  • Buy ads and man­age them wisely with social ads man­age­ment solu­tions like Adobe Media Opti­mizer. You’ll math­e­mat­i­cally reach more fans.

Take­away No. 2: Poor ad targeting

Forrester’s Nate Elliott says: “Your com­pany isn’t good enough at the pure adver­tis­ing busi­ness onto which you’ve shifted your focus. We esti­mate your site now deliv­ers tens of bil­lions of dis­play ads every day. But fewer than 15% of those ads lever­age your ever-growing cache of social data to tar­get rel­e­vant audi­ences. And your site’s static-image ad units offer mar­keters less impact per impres­sion than they could achieve with the ad units other sites offer.”

Four proof points that Facebook’s ad tar­get­ing is effective:

  1. Face­book opened its plat­form to suc­cess­ful real-time bid­ding retar­get­ing ads and they offer Cus­tom Audi­ence tar­get­ing capa­bil­i­ties. These two new for­mats have great performances!
  2. Other stud­ies show that global CTRs on Face­book ads grow very quickly, offer­ing a less neg­a­tive vision.
  3. Look­ing at Facebook’s mobile ad rev­enue, we can observe that brands seem to adhere to Facebook’s value proposition.
  4. Finally, if an adver­tis­ing leader like Google “part­ners” with Face­book, it’s likely because it believes adver­tis­ing on Face­book is not such a bad investment.

If you want to con­tinue the con­ver­sa­tion, don’t hes­i­tate to con­tact me @mickael_b


Great post Mickael. So tired of a few lazy marketers griping about Facebook ads and how Facebook is dead.. Just stupidity and laziness.