Image via Neil Patel.

Image via Neil Patel.

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As the largest digital communication platform, Facebook is still one of the best tools for your business to reach, engage and secure customers.

But organic reach, aka “free” reach, is dying and even Facebook acknowledges we may be headed to zero reach. And, since Facebook now owns Instagram, many brands are feeling the burn on Instagram, too.

Facebook's Declining “Organic” Reach Timeline

2012: About 16% of FB Pages’ fans would see posts for pages they followed organically.

2014: Organic reach for the average Facebook Page dropped from 16% to 6.5%.

2018: Facebook shifts again to... "make News Feeds more about connecting with people and less about consuming media in isolation." The end result is that most pages are seeing organic reach around 2%.

“Facebook has evolved into more of a paid marketing platform than an organic one.”


Should you just give up? In 2017, digital ads surpassed TV ads for the first time ever. Don’t abandon social, it’s time to adapt.

Image via  Neil Patel .

Image via Neil Patel.

“Maybe it’s dramatic to call it the death of organic social, but increasingly, we’re telling our clients, ‘If you’re not going to put money behind promoting your content, organic engagement is a real tough thing to produce sustainably.’”

- AdWeek

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Among social networks, Instagram has the highest engagement rates. However, like other networks, Instagram also deals with content overload and over saturation.

“On average, people miss about 70 percent of the posts in their Instagram feed. What this is about is making sure that the 30 percent you see is the best 30 percent possible,” Kevin Systrom, CEO of Instagram.

You will need an Instagram Business account to advertise on Instagram. If you have created saved audiences in Facebook and linked your Facebook and Instagram accounts, you will see your saved audiences as options when you go to advertise on Instagram, as well.

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Step one: What’s your budget?

  • OSS: $100 Instagram, FB

  • Budget should be based on a goal. Engagement boosting, what we do as above, is the most cost effective.

  • Other ad types, such as lead acquisition, may be more expensive.

  • Facebook ad costs: Based on AdEspresso’s most recent data from 2017, the average CPC is $0.26, and the average CPM is $7.19.

  • Instagram ad costs: CPC is between $0.70 and $1.00, same source as above, 2017 stats.

  • But the audience I want is only on Instagram, right? Not according to the stats!

Image via  Pew Research Center .

Step two: What’s your goal?

  • Awareness: Building brand awareness or increasing reach.

  • Consideration: Sending traffic to your website, increasing engagement, encouraging app installs or video views, lead generation or encouraging people to communicate with you via DM, Messenger, etc.

  • Conversion: Creating online conversions, making catalog sales or driving foot traffic to offline stores.

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“We spend about 70% of our overall advertising budget on simply amplifying or “boosting” top performing content. Some of these boosted posts have reached up to 750,000 people with one or two hundred dollars. Where else can you reach 750,000 people for a few hundred bucks? It’s incredible!”

-Buffer App

Step three: What will you advertise?

  • Choose your ad type. For today’s purposes, options are photo, video and carousel.

  • Ad type should be focused on objectives above. For example, an awareness ad should be fun, useful or entertaining content that is targeted to an audience who is unaware of your brand.

Step four: Who will you target?

  • Demographics

  • Interests

  • Behaviors

  • Custom (IE targeting those who already subscribe to your email list, especially if they aren’t opening your emails.)

What to Promote?

  • Create and boost great content, not just any content!

  • Try boosting posts that have already proven to be strong performers, not just the posts you think will perform well.

  • On Facebook specifically, if you have the resources, including time, consider opening a “free” Facebook group which is given preferential treatment by Facebook in terms of reach.

Content is still king but your business, like all successful businesses, must adapt to survive.

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  • For uber detailed explanations of the many types of Facebook ads available and how to use them, check out this Hootsuite blog post HERE.

  • A detailed look at Instagram by the numbers, HERE.

  • Do you really want to dig into the average cost of Facebook ads in 2017? AdEspresso shares so much information HERE.