If you're like most entrepreneurs out there today, chances are high you rely on Facebook for promoting and advertising your product or service. In fact, according to Weebly, 89 percent of small business owners use Facebook for promotional purposes. Yet, 62 percent of these small business owners say their ads are underachieving on their campaign objectives.
Additionally, the cost of advertising on Facebook is going up significantly. Based on research compiled by AdEspresso, in the past year alone the price per ad has increased by 39 percent while impressions have only gone up by eight percent.
It's clear that Facebook is becoming increasingly cluttered and placements increasingly expensive, causing many to question whether or not the platform is worth the effort. That being said, this doesn't mean all is wrong with Facebook. The platform remains an amazing tool to help grow a business on and the ad targeting capabilities are still top-tier. However, for all the entrepreneurs and marketers who choose to select Facebook as their default social media platform simply because it's what everyone else is doing, it's time to start looking elsewhere.
There are many options out there for businesses of all budgets, and it's up to you to experiment with all of them to determine which is best suited for your company's goals. To get you started, here are some viable alternatives for Facebook in terms of social media advertising.
1. Advertising on Instagram
Facebook owns Instagram. Because of this, Instagram has access to the same user data previously reserved for Facebook. This data makes the targeting capabilities on Instagram extremely precise. Think of Instagram as the "cool version" of Facebook, ripe with millennials and opportunities.
Clearly, many brands are catching on to this trend, as the platform has seen the number of advertisers double from March 2017 to September 2017 alone. This year, consider hopping on the bandwagon yourself.
2. Posting and Advertising on LinkedIn
Over the past few years, Facebook has been steadily slashing organic reach for businesses on their platform, making it nearly impossible for brands to see a return on their work without putting money behind every Facebook post they publish. On the other hand, the LinkedIn algorithm, which isn't as refined as Facebook's EdgeRank, is pretty easy to "hack". As long as influencers or other professionals in your industry are engaging with your content, it will rise to the top of relevant feeds. This is why it may be time to start doubling down on LinkedIn when it comes to publishing and advertising.
Additionally, not only will your organic reach skyrocket as a result of getting active on LinkedIn, but you'll also have access to higher quality leads given the network is reserved for ambitious professionals. This is much different than Facebook, a platform filled with cat photos, fake news and recipe videos.
Lastly, if you regularly use Facebook video, you should begin experimenting with LinkedIn video. The competition regarding high quality content isn't as fierce as it is on Facebook, making views come much easier.
3. Advertising and Advanced Search on Twitter
Because of Facebook's geotargeting capabilities, one of the primary benefactors of Facebook advertising have historically been local businesses with a remote location. You are able to zero in on users within a certain number of miles of your store's location.
That being said, because of the caveats discussed throughout this article, primarily rising costs, Facebook may not be the best option for entrepreneurs in this situation. Instead, the platform these entrepreneurs should experiment with is Twitter for two reasons. The main reason is Twitter has seen a 10 percent spike in engagement from 2017 to 2018, highlighting the opportunity available on the platform.
The next is a feature many may not be aware of: Twitter Advanced Search.
With this free tool, you are able to search for keywords used in recent Tweets in a specific geographic region. For instance, if you own a local coffee shop called Sasha's Cafe, you could search the word "Starbucks" within a 10 mile radius of your store's location. Once you see who has Tweeted about it recently, engage with those users playfully by saying something like, "Next time try some coffee that isn't burnt. We'll save you a cup at Sasha's Cafe."
While Facebook has historically been an amazing platform for businesses with both big and small budgets, their advantage is slowly starting to erode. While many would view this trend negatively, thinking of it as an opportunity will help position your brand for success. This year, begin testing out other social media advertising platforms. It just might be one of the best decisions you make within your marketing efforts. Best of luck.