ICYMI, there’s a nationwide advertising protest of Facebook Ads going on. Advertisers are boycotting the social media platform until the company agrees to change its ways. Critics are angry at Facebook because it did not flag posts from President Trump about the Black Lives Matter protests in May. Twitter flagged similar messages.
Now, major advertisers are trying to put financial pressure on Facebook to change its ways. According to NPR, as of July 1, 400 advertisers have pulled their advertising from Facebook including Patagonia, Coca-Cola, Ford, Adidas, and Lego.
Small Businesses Rely on Facebook Ads
It will be difficult for small businesses to follow suit, even if they want to. For many major corporations, the money spent on Facebook Ads is just a drop in the bucket. For many small businesses, it’s a majority of their advertising budget.
According to Bloomberg, almost 76% of Facebook’s advertising revenue comes from small- and medium-sized businesses and that’s because it works. Facebook Ads helps small businesses make sales. As many successful small business owners know, sometimes you just have to do what works.
However, don’t forget that Facebook is not the only advertising game in town.
What if I Want to Stop Using Facebook Ads?
Whether you’re a small business owner looking to make a political statement or you’re simply fed up with how much Facebook is charging, know that you have options.
As Unstoppable CEO founder Steve Gordon said in a recent podcast with Intentionally Inspirational founder Jason Wright, “One of the things that I believe with marketing is all marketing works… Where it works is generally where someone has focused on that strategy and they’ve taken the time to really understand it master it.”
It is possible to master advertising on another platform.
Remember, Instagram and WhatsApp are Facebook
To start that mastery, remember that Instagram and WhatsApp are Facebook too. If you’re opting out of Facebook because you don’t want the company to receive any of your ad revenue, then don’t immediately turn to Instagram and a lesser extent, WhatsApp.
In 2012, Facebook bought Instagram. It also bought WhatsApp in 2014. You want to avoid those platforms as well if you’re looking to avoid Facebook.
Facebook Ads Alternatives
So where can you go?
If you’re leaving Facebook as a political statement, then maybe you want to turn to the company that chose to take a political stand.
Twitter isn’t a bad place to start with marketing. In the first quarter of 2019, Twitter had 330 million users per month worldwide with approximately 145 million using the platform daily. According to a 2018 study by Statista, 67% of B2B businesses are using Twitter as a marketing tool. It’s a solid option.
If you do choose Twitter, know the audience that you’re marketing to. Oberlo reports that 63% of Twitter users are 35–65 years old and two-thirds (66%) are male.
Advice for using Twitter: Other advice, if you’re using the app, go all in. According to a 2015 study by Twitter, 77% of users have a more positive image of a brand if they respond to a tweet within an hour. That means if you’re advertising on Twitter, make sure you’re keeping contact with the people who tweet at you.
If you need more tips, check out this past post: Should I Focus on Other Social Networks.
When it comes to search engine marketing, Google Ads is the giant, but there’s a reason. It’s very easy to customize your Google advertisements to a specific region or area. That means a plumber can use Google Ads to only reach clients within his service area.
The benefit of using Google Ads right now is that Google is offering advertising credit to small- and medium-sized businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s free advertising for your business.
Another free way to get Google to notice your business is to work your way up the search engine rankings so that you appear on the first page of a Google search. For more details, check out this past post: The Best Google Position.
While Google is the giant, Microsoft claims it’s closing in. According to HubSpot, the company that runs Bing has 5.5 billion monthly searches. That’s not a bad group of people to be reaching, plus it’s cheaper. WordStream says cost-per-click on a Microsoft Ad is 35.5% lower than Google Ads.
When it comes to B2C marketing, LinkedIn runs third behind Facebook and Google. LinkedIn’s advertising methods are probably the closest of the bunch to Facebook Ads, so you won’t have to change your advertising strategy and graphics too much.
Just remember that LinkedIn is more of a professional media platform than a social media platform. It’s designed with a focus on business and professional development, not pictures of what you ate for dinner last night.
If you plan to go the LinkedIn route, you want to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is perfect. For tips on how to do that, check out this past post: Make LinkedIn Work for Your Business.
It’s a common misconception that Pinterest is only for crafters. The truth is, it’s for everyone.
According to Statista, Pinterest had 367 million monthly active users in the first quarter of 2020, continuing its upward growth trend. The site is ideal for companies that have very visual products such as home décor, landscaping, travel, etc.
If you’re already using Pinterest and you think your engagement could be better, check out this past post: 5 Pinterest Mistakes You’re Probably Making. It’s filled with tips and tricks from an expert Pinterest user.
If you want to advertise on Reddit, tread carefully. Reddit is a great place for advertising if you know and understand the user base that you’re trying to reach. It’s not something you should try if you don’t frequent Reddit already. That’s because the platform is very community-centric.
People in the discussion threads, called subreddits, require you to have a deep understanding of what’s being discussed in the subreddit before you even attempt to sell them something. If you don’t understand, you can be quickly spotted as an outsider and that can be very off-putting to Reddit users.
There are plenty of alternatives to Facebook Ads that you can be using. You need to figure out if these alternatives are the best choice for your business, but don’t ever get stuck on the idea that Facebook Ads are the only option for your business. Your ideal customer may be on platforms other than Facebook.
If you need help determining exactly who your ideal customer is and where he or she is, check out this past post: Creating a Customer Profile for Your Business.
If you simply can’t figure out what’s going on with your digital marketing, then start with this post: Why Your Digital Marketing Isn’t Working.
Written by Erika Towne