No More Free Ride from Facebook?

With changes again hitting Facebook’s algorithms, some say it’s the end of the free ride for radio stations and shows. From NuVoodoo’s perspective, Facebook stopped giving away free rides years ago as it refined the algorithms that determine which posts users see most prominently in their news feeds. Businesses relying on organic-post distribution have missed the exclamation point that has punctuated Facebook’s businesses strategy: You Gotta Pay to Play.

While it’s true that Facebook constantly frustrates advertisers with sudden rule changes, for stations that invest in paid Facebook and Instagram engagement, it’s the single best, most cost-effective platform to the reach the people most likely listen longer and to give stations credit for listening.

More frequent Facebook users tend to be better users of terrestrial radio: they’re more engaged in media overall.

And, those who use Facebook more often turn out to be more likely to participate in PPM-type methodology.

Paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram offers other significant advantages over other digital advertising platforms:

  • Specific age, interest, behavioral and geotargeting. Stations can limit targeting to people who live in Zip Codes that matter most to their ratings. This is very significant, since Nielsen methodology is home-address-based. Most other Social Media and digital ad platforms use IP address for geo-targeting, which means ads reach those who may be in the area, but may not live there.
  • Facebook provides powerful data-modeling opportunities; the kinds that allow stations to extrapolate the audience that already engages with them on Facebook or visits their website or signs up for the loyal listener club … to reach others who match up well from a data standpoint.
  • Some NuVoodoo clients take advantage of advanced targeting strategies we offer to model and target their competition’s audience. Think of it as a legal way to access your competitor’s database.
  • While exclusion of particular ethnic groups is no longer allowed in Facebook campaigns, the platform still allows for narrow targeting of African Americans or Hispanic Americans.

All of this means budgets are spent efficiently to find the right people. Radio stations that embrace this platform and focus on relevant messaging have an incredible advantage over those who give up because they can’t have this capability for free. There’s no free ride, no free lunch, no free milk: pick the metaphor you like best. You don’t have to buy the cow, but you do have to pay for the milk. And, yes, we’re sure Old Farmer Zuckerberg appreciates your business.

Many thanks to NuVoodoo Marketing EVP, Mike O’Connor, for his wisdom, which accounts for most of the smarter words above.