In our social media training sessions, Facebook marketing beginners often ask us how unpaid Facebook posts and Facebook ads compare. In this blog, we take a look at some of the key differences between the two types of content and how you can combine them in a winning Facebook strategy.
First things first, you might hear the term “organic Facebook content”. This refers to normal Facebook posts on your business page which don’t have any budget behind them. Ads on the other hand, cost money to run and are usually set up in the ad centre on your page- they are sometimes called “paid Facebook content”.
Unpaid Facebook posts are just as important as Facebook ads and you should factor them into your strategy. Consistently sharing free content onto your page is just as important as advertising. To simply put a large amount of money onto ads does not guarantee success- see our disclaimer below for more on this.
To create a balanced Facebook strategy that covers both posts and ads, let’s look at some of the differences…
Posting on your page is free while adverts cost money
The most obvious comparison to make is that posting organically on your page does not cost money. Other than the time it takes you to prepare, schedule and engage with your posts, there’s no monetary spend required. If you don’t have much money to spare, organic posts can make Facebook marketing more accessible.
Facebook posts typically reach fewer people than paid adverts
One of the main benefits of using Facebook advertising is to reach more people. Without a budget behind your posts, they will only be seen by your existing followers unless you share them to a group or on a personal profile. Ads, however, will be seen by much larger crowds. This is especially true if you use the objective of reach or brand awareness.
Paid Facebook ads will be marked as “sponsored”
Eagle-eyed Facebook users may notice that you’ve paid for ads because they will be marked “sponsored”. If your content is great, this shouldn’t matter too much but bear in mind that social media users are savvy! Organic posts won’t say that they’re sponsored which could mean users find them more authentic.
You need to keep an eye on how adverts are running
Ads can be a bit more temperamental than organic posts. We recommend checking on how they’re running in case a technical issue stops your content being shared. Since they’re more complicated than normal posts, there is more that can go wrong!
Facebook ads can be seen outside Facebook
When you set up a Facebook ad, you’re able to choose where it shows ups. This might be in the Facebook feed, messenger or on Instagram. But it can also show in the audience network. This is where ads appear on websites outside of the social media site itself. This has the potential to increase your reach and show your messages to people who might not use Facebook so regularly. By contrast, unpaid posts will only show up in the Facebook feeds of people who follow your page.
Beware: paid advertising does not guarantee results
While an ad budget will improve the chances of achieving reach, engagements or clicks, there’s no guarantee that your money will get you results.
The best adverts deliver relevant messages to the right people at the right time. If you’ve carefully chosen your audience and created an ad that says what they want to hear, then you’re onto a winner. If you randomly set up ads without considering who you’re speaking to and what stage they’re at in their customer journey, you’re likely to see a high cost per result.
The same goes for how you present your ad. High-quality and correctly formatted images and videos will perform well with even the smallest of budgets, but pixelated pictures or poorly cropped graphics probably won’t take off.
To do this effectively, call in our team and we’ll be happy to talk you through how to set up winning Facebook ads. Get in touch via our contact page.