Is It True That Facebook Ads Are Dead?
Let’s all just take a moment of silence, for Facebook.
Because why? Facebook ads are dead.
Hold on a second, by “dead” we mean more expensive…
…which results in fewer and fewer people using them and they’re getting to a point where it’s extremely hard to make them effective.
If you want to know what you should be doing instead to grow your business, now that Facebook ads are dead, this post is for you.
So some of you may be reading this like, “wait what’s goin on with Facebook..?” We’re going to recap what happened to Facebook.
- Facebook started facing public and legal backlash regarding the privacy of its users.
- Lookalike audience can’t really be utilized now because of how many people are opting out of being tracked.
- Remember that there are still other organic strategies that you can utilize outside of just paid Facebook advertisements.
Quick Recap Of What Happened To Facebook
There were a few things that happened all at once.
The first reason why we think Facebook ads are dead is that they started facing public and legal backlash regarding the privacy of their users.
Facebook could tell so many things about its users because it tracked everything they did.
For example, with location tracking, unless you dictated otherwise, Facebook could have access to track where your phone is…
…aka where you are when you’re using the app or at all times whether the app is open or not.
So if you went into Target today, you might start seeing Target ads for different products on Facebook that night.
Or it could tell if you had been in a cell phone store for a few hours, you might start seeing ads for cute cell phone cases.
Now some of you may be thinking, “Okay but that’s only if you set your settings to allow that, right?”
Well for a long time, most people didn’t really check to see how their settings were set up from app to app.
They just agreed to terms without reading them whenever they downloaded a new app.
It hasn’t been until recently with Facebook in so much hot water over the last few years…
…that we think the general public is starting to question whether they want to be tracked so much or not.
And then the Apple iOS 14 update hit.
The most important thing you need to know about this update was that for Apple users, they started getting these prompt notifications that asked them:
“Do you want this app to track you across apps and other websites? Or not?
Now even though users have always had the option to opt-out of being tracked…
…they’ve never been presented with this question directly in a mandatory prompt that you have to answer that pops up on their screen.
It’s always just been an option buried in Settings that Facebook intentionally did not draw attention to.
So now, you’ve got all these people opting out of being tracked across other websites, upwards of 96% to be exact.
So what does this mean?
This means that if you click on an ad on Facebook, Facebook can still see that you clicked the ad…
…but it can’t see what you do after that once you leave its platform if you’ve opted out of being tracked.
So it can’t see if you made a purchase or if you bounced and exited the site immediately.
Now, this was a huge hit not just for Facebook but for its advertisers!
Small business owners like you who read our blog every day were experiencing firsthand the loss of tracking abilities.
Because for example, if we wanted to take all of the people who clicked from Facebook to our website and made a purchase…
…and make a lookalike audience of those people, that’s not really as effective anymore.
That used to be a killer, money-making strategy, that can’t really be utilized now because of how many people are opting out of being tracked.
Or another example is that you may be looking in your Facebook Ads Manager…
…and it’s not showing accurate numbers as to how many purchases you made or the conversion value of how much you made from Facebook ads.
Because they don’t know! They can’t tell if one of your customers has opted out of being tracked across other websites.
What’s more is that in January of this year, Facebook had to delete thousands of:
“Detailed Targeting options that relate to topics people may perceive as sensitive…
…such as options referencing causes, organizations, or public figures that relate to health, race or ethnicity, political affiliation, religion, or sexual orientation.”
So you may have had a really successful ad campaign last year that was successful because of the niche targeting.
But now those same targeting options are not available anymore, which is another reason why Facebook ads are dead.
So you can see how everything compiled has started to leave advertisers struggling…
…to figure out what they’re supposed to do with the remaining capabilities of Facebook ads.
Now what we’ve mentioned so far about Facebook tracking you into Target…
…or seeing if you made a purchase from a Facebook ad you clicked on are two very light basic examples of how FB tracked everything you did.
And then they used that information to their advantage.
The reality is Facebook was able to predict your future behavior and buying decisions because of how much data they had on you.
We’ve heard some speculate that Facebook could tell when you and your partner were thinking about having children for example.
Because that’s the level of psychological profiling we’re talking about.
You have to remember that data adds up. It’s not about Facebook just knowing your age or your location.
It’s about them knowing absolutely everything about you including everywhere you have scrolled.
Or maybe clicked or physically walked into every moment of every day, so much so that they can predict your future thought patterns that lead to behaviors.
So, beyond the general public starting to take their privacy into their own hands…
…Facebook simultaneously started facing huge lawsuits for “mishandling” its users’ data and it falling into the hands of other companies.
Companies like Cambridge Analytica for example where:
“personal data from over 87 million Facebook users had been improperly obtained by a political data-analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica.”
Smith vs. Facebook was about “whether Facebook’s tracking of users’ visits to medical websites violates California and Federal privacy laws.”
And this doesn’t even scratch the surface, these are just a couple of quick examples.
So you have that pot of hot water Facebook has been in with its data privacy lawsuits.
Then you have all of these other things going on like:
“The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) suing Facebook again alleging that it’s a monopoly that has violated federal antitrust rules.”
You’ve got Whistleblowers like Frances Haugen starting to come forth saying things like:
“Facebook, over and over again, has shown it chooses profit over safety.”
Her findings that she shared included:
“that Facebook knew Instagram was worsening body image issues among teenagers and that it had a two-tier justice system.”
One article said:
“While Facebook has publicized its work to combat misinformation and violent extremism relating to the 2020 election and insurrection,”
Ms. Haugen’s documents told a different story, one cover letter read:
“In reality, Facebook knew its algorithms and platforms promoted this type of harmful content…
…and it failed to deploy internally recommended or lasting countermeasures.”
Then late last year, the parent company Facebook rebranded to Meta, and received a little bit of skepticism and backlash.
This is because people felt like they were just trying to sweep everything under the rug with this conveniently timed name change.
So we mean, wow. You hear all of this kind of stuff and think, “Why is anybody on Facebook?”
Because this is the bad press that’s been piling on for years now.
But Facebook still has 2.912 billion monthly active users, still making it the largest social media site worldwide.
So despite everything, people are still using the app in their everyday lives.
They’re just not as trackable and therefore Facebook ads are not as valuable to advertisers and small business owners as they once were.
So now that you’re up to speed on what has been going on with Facebook and why Facebook ads are dead…
…we want to talk about what steps you can take to keep your business growing.
Facebook Ads Are Dead: 3 Things You Can Do To Continue Growing Your Business
1. Leverage Facebook but in a different way.
Wait, hold up, continue using Facebook? Did we just say that?
We did. But hear us out.
A lot of small business owners have invested so much time (and money) into their Facebook marketing over the years…
…building up thousands and thousands of page likes, fostering an engaging community, and so on.
They’re not ready to just call it quits or throw in the towel on Facebook yet.
If that sounds like you, we’ve got some resources for you and a glimpse of hope.
In our Facebook ad tips post, we show you how to rethink your Facebook advertising funnel…
…to leverage Facebook-oriented ad campaigns that don’t drive traffic away from the Facebook platform.
Because remember, Facebook can still track everything that happens on its platform. It just can’t track users across other websites and apps.
So that post shows you how to restructure your Facebook ads to keep people on the platform while still moving them down your sales funnel.
Plus it’s worth noting that there are other organic strategies outside of just paid Facebook advertisements.
For instance, Facebook Reels have really been taking off.
Or with Facebook events, for example, anybody can send 500 direct invites to their friends on Facebook prompting them to RSVP to your event.
And thus, can lead to massive, direct organic reach.
So if you’re still wanting to make Facebook work, check out those posts to get you started.
If, however, you are done with Facebook and thinking, “okay, what are your other options?” Don’t worry, here they are.
2. Check out other advertising platforms.
While Facebook has been under all this scrutiny and distress, other advertising platforms have been rising.
This is something we specifically address in our best ad platform no one is using post.
So do some research to figure out which platform holds the majority of your target audience specifically…
…and then start testing out some ad campaigns on that platform.
At LYFE Marketing, we have always said, the newer the platform, generally the cheaper the ads and better the results.
So if you’re pulling the plug on Facebook, reallocate that budget to a different platform that has a sizable percentage of your target market on there.
3. Transition from Facebook marketing to email marketing.
Take whatever leads you did collect from Facebook over the years, and make the most of them with an effective email marketing campaign.
Don’t just let all of your Facebook efforts go to waste.
You can still leverage any lead information you collected by funneling them into a strategic email marketing campaign.
This is something we help you get started with our email marketing for beginners post.
Or you can upload them to the new advertising platform you’re testing out to start with some existing data instead of from scratch.
The beauty of an email list is you own it because the customers on it have opted-in to receive information from you.
So you can follow up with them outside of Facebook to move them down your sales funnel.
And if you’re thinking, “Crap, I didn’t really get a lot of emails from my Facebook followers, I just drove them to my website as much as I could.”
You can still run a Facebook lead generation campaign targeted towards a custom audience of your page likes and engagement…
…to see if there are any you can collect before you call it quits on Facebook ads.
So, with all that information, what are your thoughts on Facebook ads?
Are you still going to give it a shot with a Facebook-oriented advertising funnel? Or are you going to try some of the other options we mentioned today?
Now if you want to try other social media platforms, check out our social media advertising services today!