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.