Advertising on Facebook: What Your Green Industry Business Needs to Know

We get a lot of questions here at Landscape Leadership about advertising on Facebook. And evidently so do the editors of Lawn & Landscape magazine, so Associate Editor Brian Horn and I got together about a month ago for a short discussion on Facebook ads. You can listen to the full ten-minute recording below.

So, if you are a green industry company like a landscape contractor, lawn care operator or even a garden center or grower, why should you consider advertising on Facebook? There are really two reasons, or objectives:

  1. To reach more of your current Facebook fans in order to drive interaction/engagement and even sales.
  2. To reach more Facebook users in order to increase your following, generate more leads and/or make more sales.

When it comes to advertising on Facebook, your objective will determine the type of Facebook ads you purchase. For instance, if your objective is to simply reach more of your fans on a more consistent basis then Promoted Posts are most likely your best bet. If you want to reach Facebook users who are unfamiliar with your business, Sponsored Stories and sidebar ads make more sense. This is based on the Facebook ad campaigns that we've run for our clients.

We recommend reading what Facebook has to say about these advertising options. Learn more about Facebook ads and Sponsored Stories here. Learn more about advertising on Facebook using Promoted Posts here.


Are Facebook ads and Promoted Posts "pay to play"?

In the interview, Brian asks, "Is Facebook essentially forcing companies to pay in order to reach their fans?" Yes...in a way.

Facebook is really forcing companies--especially small businesses--to do two things to reach fans consistently: Participate and pay. You need both. One without the other will not allow your updates to reach a high percentage of fans.

Facebook wants your business to participate by sharing updates and interacting with your fans on a regular basis. Do this and your updates can reach 25-30% of your fans on average (compared to about 10-15% on underperforming or inactive Facebook Pages).

Of course, many companies put a lot of time and effort into creating an engaging Page only to reach 30% of their total audience. If you are one of these companies and want to reach more of your fans consistently then you'll need to open your wallet to Facebook. That means paying for Promoted Posts. That's the game, folks. It is what it is.

So, "Is it worth it?" Brian asks in the interview. I say "Yes", if you have a clearly defined objective for each ad campaign and a way to measure the results.

For instance, we're currently in the middle of a month-long ad campaign for a client with the objective of generating new leads for one of their divisions (this campaign includes both Sponsored Stories and Promoted Posts). That's a very specific goal. Thus far, based on the total number and cost per lead (CPL), the Facebook ad campaign has been very effective. I say that not based on assumptions but based on real numbers that we can accurately track.

Give the interview a listen and feel free to share your comments or questions below. 

 

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