Is Facebook Advertising Really Worth It?


Your social media campaign almost invariably can be broken down into two distinct categories – your organic efforts, and your bought efforts. The aim of both games is of course first to get more ‘likes’, followers, engagement and connections, and from these to go on to acquire actual conversions in terms of subscribers and of course sales. 

Your organic efforts in seeking out these things will inevitably entail the likes of content creation and curation. You will be writing blogs, composing tweets, providing links to breaking news in your industry, making videos and pinning pins. Through these you will be hoping to expand your reach across the internet, build your brand awareness and drive traffic to your site – and it works.

So, since it’s working so well, why on Earth would you want to start dipping into your possibly quite precarious budget, and try and buy your way to the top of social media feeds? Surely paying for social media success defeats the object, right? Well, yes and no. The fact is that, even though your organic efforts will no doubt serve you well, they will only ever take you so far – and Facebook makes sure of it.


Facebook has changed

If you’ve been in this game for long enough then you will remember the glory days before the online world got hit with Facebook advertising. Up until this monumental moment in social media marketing history, all of your followers saw all of your posts in their feeds. That’s just how it worked. It was free, it was fair, it was fun… oh, such a simpler time!!

However, since the advent of Facebook advertising, things have changed. No longer does Facebook allow all of your fans, likers, and subscribers to see all of your posts for free – now you need to pay for Facebook advertising to make sure that your posts get the same reach that they previously did. It’s been a shrewd business move indeed, but one that only benefits a single business – Facebook. Everyone else has been hit.


So – Is that extra reach really worth your bucks?

Well, the answer to that question will really center around how much a Facebook ‘like’ is worth to you in monetary terms – and that might not be a particularly easy thing to figure out.

A lot of social media marketing, of course, comes down to raising brand awareness. Your Facebook ‘likes’ are a good indicator of your popularity online, but it’s click-throughs that you’re really after. So, does paying for Facebook ads really boost either of these?


Put to the test

A Blogger for recently put Facebook advertising to the test. As an experiment, her aim was to see how many ‘likes’ $100 could earn her over the course of a week for her husband’s band’s Facebook page, which was starting out at just 206 likes.

First of all, she took $35 of her budget to try and boost the actual page itself. Here’s the ad that she created:



As you can see, she even offered something FREE as a little boost to her CTA.

After 7 days, the ad reached 1,301 people, and garnered 53 new likes for the page. Facebook didn’t actually use the whole $35 to achieve this, so, in the end the total spend was $29.67 – which equates to roughly $0.60 per like.

Secondly, the blogger experimented with boosting an individual post, which ended up costing her around $0.88 per like (for that one particular post, not the actual page).

Finally, the blogger tried to boost the same post on a larger Facebook page with over 18,000 followers with $20. Despite Facebook estimating that the post would reach between 41,000 and 110,000 people, it only reached 3,900, and only managed to garner a single like for the band’s page, plus 7 likes for the actual post – which worked out at $2.50 per like. That’s not cheap.

In total, the blogger spent around $90, and gained a total of 76 likes, which equates to an average of $1.18 per like (assuming that none of those likes during that period were incidental). The blogger concluded her post by saying: “I think there are better ways to acquire Facebook fans.”



Well, this is just one point in example, and Facebook itself has many success stories that counter’s somewhat lackluster endorsement of Facebook advertising.



DesignMind – 100% paid advertising budget spent on Facebook, which led to a 40% increase in web visitors, which equates to one-third of their site referrals coming from Facebook. – enjoyed a 5 times increase in web traffic, and the average basket value increased by 2.2 times.

Grant’s Scotch Whisky – with Facebook advertising, Grant’s reached 6.5 million people, generated 7.5 million video views, and enjoyed a 52% increase in social mentions over one month.

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Is Facebook advertising really worth it?

Well, as with everything there are success stories and there are scare stories, and so the online debate will inevitably rage on for a while yet.

Put simply, though, as the examples have shown, it is more than possible to create your own success with Facebook advertising. The trick is to focus on what it’s good for, use your analytics to make targeted ads, and engage in a little trial and error and don’t expect to see off-the-scale results overnight.

Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of your Facebook advertising campaigns:


1. Target, target, target

Facebook advertising allows you to target some very specific demographics for your ads – and that’s exactly what you should do. There’s no point in advertising roller blades to grandmas in Greenland.


2. Boost your competitions

Competitions are a great way to boost your engagement in the first place, but if you give them an extra boost with Facebook advertising then they can go through the roof – and you’ll be able to obtain the email address from each contestant, too, as an added bonus to grow your list. Just remember to tag them properly when importing to your email marketing software.


3. Follow up with email

To really ensure that your Facebook ads are lasting, make sure that you follow up any conversions that they’ve engendered with an email marketing message of thanks. And then again with any special offers that you have in the future. And then to alert them to any new blog posts that you write. Keep going, once you’ve got them, you’ve got them.

Is your Facebook advertising campaign a success or scare story? Let us know in the comments below. 


  • Hi John,
    What traditional methods are you using?
    I haven’t hadmuch luck with Facebook either.

  • Although I understand we “need” likes, but isn’t the point to get your target market to your site to garner a sale, grab your freebie or just join your email list? We know that organic reach is decreasing on Facebook (and social media, in general) so seems to me that running an ad just for likes is a waste of time and money. Just a thought.

  • Jeferson

    Sorry to post it here, but i have no alternative.

    I have an account on GetResponse as
    GetResponse is asking me to give my phone number in order to receive a code via sms.
    I inform +55 12 997916636 wich is my phone number but the system does not accept it.
    Please notice that recently that number was +55 12 97916636 but last year the celphone company add the extra number 9.

    Thanks and regards,
    Jeferson Esposito
    12 3937-8278
    12 99791-6636

  • Jeferson

    Sorry to post it here, but I have no alternative.

    GetResponse is asking me to give my phone number in order to receive a code via sms.

    I inform +55 12 997916636 wich is my phone number but the system does not accept it.

    Please notice that recently that number was +55 12 97916636 but last year the celphone company add the extra number 9.

    Thanks and regards,

    Jeferson Esposito
    12 3937-8278
    12 99791-6636

  • Sara-Ruth Wolkiewicz

    Hi Jeferson, have you reached out to our support team? You can get in touch with them via email or chat

  • I would agree that you need a fair sized budget to be effective. Consider boosting posts and measuring the engagement you get from that, so that you can tailor content that your audience will really like. You should also mix content up – video gets more shares, whilst images and links get more likes and comments in general.

  • ‘Organic’ reach is down, yes. In fact it’s barely there on Facebook now that the algorithm changes have kicked in. However, paying for ads is still worthwhile, as you’re boosting potential organic reach and getting paid reach. I don’t really understand why so many people complain about it – Facebook was free as a marketing tool for a long time, it couldn’t last forever.

    Check out Minds if you haven’t already, it’s a new social network that promises to reward brands with further reach based on the engagement they get and the amount that they post.

  • Brandon Ferrell

    I have a tax practice in the bay area and I have been advertising through Facebook for the past two years. I just sent an email yesterday to Facebook Ad Team because my “likes” on my targeted boost are coming from lame bogus accounts. Most likely this will be the last time I spend money there. Everything shows me visibility but I have yet to see anything come from 33,000 reaches. Kind of sad, but I feel like it is my lesson learned. I’m anxious to hear back from Facebook to explain their point of view.

    PenCoast Tax Services

  • Sara-Ruth Wolkiewicz

    Thanks for sharing Brandon! That does sound like a really bad glitch in the system, please follow up with us and let us know how Facebook responded, this problem might be something that all of us should keep an eye out for.

  • Charles Miller

    Facebook advertising is just garbage, it would be far better and Facebook would be much better served to just have a monthly 5 dollar charge or something to have your business page posts function in the previous manner, this is just a sickening abusive money grab as companies are wont to do, rather than make a reasonable fair profit that benefits the consumer as well as themselves it’s geared to squeeze you dry with little to no benefit.

  • Michal Leszczynski

    Hi Steve,

    First of all, you’ll need to specify the goals you want to achieve. Then you need to choose the right FB Ads campaign type to match said goal and specify your target audience. So for example if your objective is to increase traffic, you should choose Traffic as the preferred campaign type.

    Secondly, every fanpage/industry/post is different and it’s difficult to say whether these are good or bad results. Your outcome will be affected by factors such as your chosen target audience or the design of your ad. Having said this, it’s good to test different sets of ads and compare your results to your previous ones, and to those of others in your industry.

    Good luck with your ad campaigns Steve! Let us know how they perform 🙂

  • ir_fuel

    Hi Brandon, just stumbled upon your comment. My limited experience is exactly the same. Since I am launching a piece of software and targeting a very specific audience I can still easily inspect each person’s profile for the likes I get. My conclusion is the same. Either people that have no interest whatsoever in the interests I specified (pictures on a Facebook account go a long way in telling me that, in my case), or complete bogus accounts from countries where literally nobody lives that would have any use for my product. It has been a pure waste of money so far.
    Isn’t if fun when you pay per click and all the clicks you get are complete rubbish. If paranoid you could start thinking that Facebook does this on purpose to empty your wallet quicker.

  • Ahmed Nazeeh

    In my experience, It increased the traffic to my blog My blog is a tech niche. I spent $2 for a blog post url boost and got around 200 clicks to my link.That is 100 click per dollar.
    In my opinion, the success of ad depends on proper ad targeting using interests and also the quality of the post outlook.

  • Tiffanie Patscheck

    I run a non profit theatre company and I used Facebook ads to boost posts about our first production. Though it did generate a lot of likes, clicks, etc, it did not relate to Box office sales. I know I targeted the appropriate audience. In the end I spent about $300. I don’t feel like it was a worthwhile investment. I think for our next show, that $300 is better spent in an old school newspaper or public banner. We’re just starting up so $300 that doesn’t equal butts in the seats is a jagged pill to swallow.