By Cam Furniss: Client Relations Intern

In recent years, Facebook has become a widely used avenue, not just to connect with friends and family, but also as a tool for both marketers and advertisers alike. Over the last decade, the paradigm has shifted from a very traditional media placement approach to a more diverse approach, including that of digital (new) media. Consumers realize the ease of finding a business through various forms of digital media, including the likes of Google and Facebook. Today, more and more businesses also realize the importance of having a social media presence, primarily Facebook. What they may not realize though, is that with its advantages come a few disadvantages. Facebook can be a very useful platform for B2C businesses, like a restaurant or a health spa, but on the other hand for more specialized businesses, like engineering firms or law consultation, it may be hard to articulate your advertising message. Below are some pros and cons of advertising on Facebook. After you weigh them, see if it is the right tool for your business.

First and foremost, Facebook advertising is inexpensive compared to traditional forms of advertising. For companies with a tight budget when it comes to their advertising campaigns, Facebook may be one of the cheapest platforms to utilize. When running a Facebook campaign, businesses have the option to choose advertising one of two ways: cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM). When choosing cost-per-click (CPC), a business will only get charged when a user clicks on the ad. By choosing cost-per-impression, a business will get charged when the ad is shown every 1,000 times (impressions). Both strategies have their advantages, however, the one common denominator is that both options are fairly inexpensive.

Another great angle Facebook has working for it is how target specific it can be. Facebook aligns with the ability to focus on various demographics, whatever your business may be. This can be very beneficial to businesses because it allows them to target different audiences based on everything from location, age, marital status, employment status, education, gender, interests, hobbies, behaviors and even user interactions with a profiles content, including likes, comments and shares. Facebook advertising also allows you to target people in any geographical region throughout the world. If you are a small business with a small trading area, Facebook will let you target that area. On the flip side, if you are a national business and want to target people on the national level, you can do that too. Besides the capability to target people based on their demographics and psychographics, businesses have the option to choose where to show their ads. Whether they want to run in the newsfeed, right-column, or even streaming videos, the options are endless.

Although Facebook has its advantages, it also has its disadvantages that can dim the light at the end of the tunnel. The most apparent reason for this is you need to make sure your content stands out from the rest of the content on users’ profiles. People are continuously adding new friends, liking new pages and sharing new posts. Spotting a Facebook ad in the midst of this smokescreen, created by the debris of constant updates from friends, can be quite challenging, and acquiring clicks may sometimes feel like it requires a miracle.

Another disadvantage are the restrictions Facebook places on advertising content that could potentially get a user’s attention. One example would be the limit to the amount of content in the ad. Facebook has a word limit capacity which may not allow businesses to elaborate their message to its full extent. Certain businesses may find it difficult to follow these guidelines, thus putting a strain on the creativity of their ads.

All in all, setting marketing goals is important and monitoring performance metrics is vital when it comes to deciding whether or not to use a platform like Facebook. A business must know what it is trying to get out of its campaign and who they are trying to reach before deciding if Facebook advertising is worth it or not. One thing to remember: Facebook has over 2 billion active monthly users. That makes its potential outreach huge and a primary factor in why businesses choose to advertise on it.

If you’ve decided Facebook advertising is the right tool for your business or would like to learn more about its potential, please give us a call at 701-478-1111 and ask to speak with a Marketing Advisor, or contact us at