Ecommerce vendors attempting to keep up with a litany of challenges in practical, technical, and non-tangible realms share a common objective: attracting attention and acquiring customers. Seasoned veterans have adapted organically, watching trends unfold over time. Newcomers scramble to digest a flux of information in a cost-effective manner, hoping to make investments that count.
This third in a series of blog entries establishes the importance of social media behemoth Facebook as a compelling place to market your goods. As with everything, there are pluses and minuses, and everything in-between.
With that out of the way, there is no discussion of advertising in 2019 that does not begin with Facebook. The giant of social media platforms is entering its 12th year as a pastime for a general audience, having started as a fun and easy way to connect with college classmates. Its exponential growth has myriad explanations, and one of them makes Facebook an utterly irresistible place to throw your ad dollars.
It’s called domination.
Monopoly may be too strong a word, but the US Department of Justice is targeting the California-based firm for anti-trust violations. It’s a familiar tune with Facebook stockholders; governments have come after Mark Zuckerberg’s company before and collected big fines. It’s also not news to those in the know. Zuckerberg faced protracted, high-profile litigation when he was accused of appropriating the idea earlier this century from a pair of twin brothers, and was forced to pay them handsomely in a landmark civil settlement.
You don’t get to where Facebook is by being timid. In the short term, ecommerce and other vendors may not care about legal action. If their ad dollars pay off, it’s all good. We know that advertising on Facebook is about as inexpensive as it gets, making it an attractive option for low budgets. But if you’re genuinely interested in the nuts and bolts of Facebook’s long-term future, consider this: the atmosphere there is increasingly polarized, political, and hostile. Users have made no secret of the fact that they take long breaks to escape the negativity. And if perusing the site puts them in a bad mood, that may not be the right scenario to capture their attention as a potential customer.
And that’s if they see your ad to begin with. Algorithms will distribute it to the news feeds of users in a demographic you have pre-selected. But if someone hasn’t logged in for some time, the ad will have scrolled off of their feed, never to be seen again.
Other users may see it and ignore it, either out of annoyance, impatience, or indifference. Often they appear to users as just another bread-and-butter post, and if targets don’t immediately recognize your user name, it may go into the scroll bin of history.
The up side
But here’s the good news. Even taking all of the above into consideration, these facts still apply:
On balance, then, you should consider your unique objectives, and determine whether taking a chance on a low-cost advertising platform will work in your favor. The odds are pretty good.