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The Scary Truth Behind Facebook Numbers and Why (Almost) No One Says “I Found You On Facebook”


Have you had the dream? You know, that dream? The dream where all you have to do is start a Facebook page for your business post a few clever posts and BAM! viral city baby…customers and clients start pouring in your door telling you how amazing your Facebook game is, that they all saw your killer post and rushed right over. Yeah, that’s a nice dream.

Or, maybe, you’ve already played the post every day, remind people to follow your page, beg people to comment and like your posts and realize that it’s just not enough game. So, you’ve dipped your toe in the water of Facebook advertising. Man, you are slaying the Facebook paid promotional game. More than three thousand people saw your last boosted post! Three. Thousand.

You may be asking yourself oh slayer of Facebook, what do those numbers mean and if that many people are looking at my ads, why isn’t anyone telling me that they saw me on Facebook? Both are excellent questions, let’s get you some answers.

Facebook Used to Make You Work for It, Now They Make You Pay for It

Here’s the thing…Facebook is a business. I know, it’s shocking to hear, but it’s the truth. They were super nice to businesses in the beginning of their Pages feature. Luring you in with fun features such as “Likes” and Events. Once you got good and reliant on Facebook as a collaborator in your communication with your clients and customers, they asked you to start paying to get in front of your audience. The company has found a way to monetize the platform they have provided businesses for years.

You know that Facebook page you’ve been so diligent about keeping up with, nurturing and growing your community ever so carefully? Well, Facebook has deemed it the lowest of their priorities when it comes to what they show to people. What do I mean what they show to people? Well, Facebook decides what your fans see and what they don’t depending on a combination of factors, such as their interests, what they click “Like” on or react to, and what they share. Compounding this prioritizing of content are the factors that have negative effects like, is it a business post, promotional post or a post that Facebook deems either boring or undesirable (posts about things their users might not like thinking about like getting old).

So, to get in front of anyone as a business on Facebook organically, especially one that doesn’t sell rainbows, unicorns or ice cream is next to impossible. However, if you are willing to pay to capture the attention of the massive number of consumers and potential clients on Facebook, then your business will be seen. If you play your cards right, it will be seen by A LOT of people. Being seen is great, and even if someone doesn’t react to your post, it doesn’t mean they aren’t a viable lead. Consistency is key. The more someone sees your ad, the more likely they are to react and see your brand as a trusted business. Keep it up!

I Am Using Ads, Why Don’t Customers Tell Me They Found My Business on Facebook?

It is excellent that you recognize the value that Facebook advertising offers your business. Your reach exceeds that of print media and allows for engagement by people outside of your current followers. I know you want to translate dollars spent on Facebook directly to revenue. There are a couple of instances where this could happen; if you have an ad running that references a specific product or promotion that is specific to your Facebook advertising or if they only get a reward advertised if they mention Facebook. Additionally, if you have an online store, you can track revenue through Facebook advertising and shopping apps. Outside of these occurrences, you will very likely not hear “I found you on Facebook”, and here are a few reasons why:

You Didn’t Ask

As a business owner or promoter, you are probably much more aware of how you heard about a business and what that means to an owner to know this information. Even with this heightened awareness, how often do you walk into a business and immediately tell them how you got to them? Your customers aren’t going to volunteer unsolicited information. If you don’t ask, you won’t know.

You Did Ask but Still Don’t See the Response You Are Expecting

In this situation, are you asking the right question? Is it multiple choice or open ended? By giving a few very specific options for them to choose from, it can help get more reliable responses. Rather than using general options on the referral portion of your forms, you should use responses like Facebook, The Austin Chronicle, 93.7 KLBJ FM and similar, then they know exactly why you’re asking and will take more care with their answer. Even with all these efforts in place, many people will still just say “Online”, and many may even skip the question. Pro tip: Do not use the designation of Facebook Ad, the idea behind the ads is that people don’t even notice it’s an ad, so just Facebook should suffice.

They May Have Seen Your Facebook Ad Somewhere Else

Say what? Yes, Facebook ads do appear elsewhere online in some cases. When building a Facebook ad, unless it is a campaign specific to Facebook such as a ‘Like’ campaign or boosted post, your ad can and will be shown on other sites unless you opt out of showing it on other platforms.

In these cases, Facebook takes into account your business, as well as the demographics you have selected for your target audience and uses this information to determine on which of their mystery partner sites it thinks would be best to show your ad. For instance, if you are advertising a sale on garden hoses, Facebook might think your ad would fit well on a home and garden website. The information as to which sites they show these ads on is still top secret. Additionally, your ad can be shown on Instagram. So, even those these ads are part of your Facebook advertising spend, your customers may not know that and “online” may mean Facebook.

Ultimately, in the vast majority of cases, people just don’t walk into your business and tell you where they heard about you. In many cases, they may not remember or have a vague recollection of it being on some social media network, or even more ambiguously “Online”.  Take into account where your ads are being shown and if your business has changed since you started advertising on Facebook. If you see an uptick in phone calls or customers in the door around the time that you run a particular ad, then you’re likely on the right track and should pay special attention to your advertising power on the platform.

Hot Dog Marketing has extensive experience in the Facebook advertising arena and we love doing all the things that you just don’t have time to deal with, like whittling down your target audience and creating new content to attract all the right people. Our team can help you up your social media game and get your Facebook advertising in line with your goals. Click here to get started.