Facebook Ads: Are They Worth It?

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As someone who has been working in social media for the past few years, I cannot count how often I am asked this question. As I visit child care centers and once child care center owners find out that I am responsible for SmartCare’s social media and marketing, this question always comes up, as well as many others regarding social media and advertising.

When I first looked at this question in the eyes of a child care center, I wanted to say yes, Facebook Ads are worth it. Then, I began to look into the facts behind the ads. As of Q1 2015, Facebook had 1.44 billion monthly active users which makes many business owners believe it is a great platform for drawing in new business. But as a child care center, what percentage of those users are in your neighborhood? How many have children and are looking for child care? 

Being active on Facebook and engaging with brands on Facebook are not mutually exclusive. In 2014, Kentico asked people how many brands they “like” on the social media platform. 40% said they don’t like pages at all. This means that 40% of those 1.44 billion users don’t like any pages. Not to mention, they may not be in your geographic region. But just because your page won’t reach them, it doesn’t mean that your ads won’t either. But be wary of paying for Facebook Ads.

One of my favorite videos about how Facebook Ads work on YouTube can be found here. The video highlights something calling “click farms” where people in other countries spend all day “liking” pages but never end up interacting with your Facebook posts. This can be detrimental to your social media presence if only about 3% of your audience sees your posts to begin with, and then the majority of those are outside of your target market, including living in other countries. No one will be traveling across the ocean to find a new child care center, even if you do have lower tuition.  Click here for more Facebook Ad statistics.

With over 1 million small to medium sized businesses on Facebook, it seems like many businesses are finding success on this social media platform. Maintaining a presence and using Facebook for advertising are very different ways to use social media. Finding what works best for your child care center is key to finding success on Facebook.