“Is Facebook worth it?” said every business person I’ve talked to. From enterprise level clients to small business owners and blogging friends who have launched their own label, it is the inevitable social media question. There are a lot of fluffy answers out there, but the most important thing is to determine if Facebook is worth it for YOU. There are three key components to this question. Answer all three and you’ll have your answer!

The What – Is Facebook worth it?

It’s the catch-22 thought process. Businesses feel they need to get in the social marketing game and Facebook seems like the easiest entry point. For good reason too: it’s one of the best social platforms for marketing. Others have been on Facebook for some time and have enjoyed the free ride up until now. But with the steep decline in organic reach and increase in platform saturation, some have jumped ship (see Copyblogger). Naturally, Facebook lends itself to certain businesses more than others. B2C brands have had great success building cult-like followings and directly converting from the platform. This infographic shows some promising stats for e-commerce businesses on Facebook. View the full infographic here.


Keep in mind the strengths and weaknesses of the platform. Generally speaking, Facebook should be one component in your digital marketing strategy, so tailor your campaign activities to leverage the strengths – targeting capabilities, remarketing, local check-ins or whatever the case may be.

Other questions to consider:

– Is your audience/target customer base on Facebook?
– Are your competitors on Facebook?
– Do you have an email database that could be used for Facebook remarketing?
– Do you have existing content that could be repurposed for Facebook?
– Are influencers in your niche on Facebook?
– If you are absent from Facebook, what kind of message will this send to potential customers?

The Investment – Is Facebook worth it?

To accurately calculate your return, you first need to know what you are investing. The true social cost of your activities is not just the media spend. Convince and Convert gave a good example of how to begin figuring out your social costs in their blog post here.

In this example the formula is as follows:

*Yearly social media wages*/12 months

+

Overhead factors

+

Other social media related expenses (designer fees, stock image licenses, social media tools etc.)

= Monthly cost

Monthly cost/pieces of content created = average price of content produced.

This cost plus the media spend you might use to promote it is a more accurate representation of your investment.

The Return – Is Facebook worth it?

Define your ‘it’. What is the ‘it’ you want to measure? Or more likely, what are the multiple ‘it’s’ you want to measure?

Do you have a new online product you are launching? You’ll be able to write a blog post about it and share that organically. However, over-promotional posts won’t be getting real estate in news feeds, so you will need to create a unique add (or few for split testing). If you already know the value of a click to your website from other marketing activities (such as SEO and SEM), you can measure the value of each click through from your article and ad. You may also measure the value of a completed form and a download. Keeping in mind, you will most likely need to have an established social presence to implement the above.

In conclusion, Facebook may or may not be worth it for your situation and many factors are tricky to quantify. The point is, you can do the math to make a more informed decision if you are willing to put in the time.