Why Facebook Ads Don’t Work For You & How To Fix It

The Cosmic Truth

This article begins with an absolute.  You’ve heard it before hundreds of times from your parents, grandparents, teachers, and mentors.  It’s never fun to hear, but it’s always just as true.

If It Seems Too Good To Be True, It Usually Is. 

That little adage is never more fitting than when applied to advertising.  The fact is, if you could just post an ad for free and getting quality applicants, you wouldn’t be reading this article.

Think about it.  If it was really as simple as uploading a picture and some “we-we” sales copy, everyone would be an advertising genius and Facebook would be so overrun with ads, you’d never see those adorable animals videos you love so much.  And besides, if people were that easy to reach and convince, you wouldn’t have job openings in the first place.

Regardless of how much we would love for Facebook Ads (or any ads for that matter) to be the miracle cure for all our recruiting ills, we must remember who we’re ultimately dealing with – people.  Yes, three-dimensional, thinking people.  And as long as people are at the end of our advertising process, we will have to engage and woo them if we want successful results.

You wouldn’t simply walk up to someone the very first time you meet and ask that person to marry you.  Courtship matters.  After all, aren’t relationships are just advanced recruiting?

The truth is that you absolutely can use Facebook for recruiting.  I do it every day.  You just have to do it in a specific way.  But first, a little more truth.

The Connection Cunundrum

In order to get off on the right foot in this dance we’re doing, we need to remember the purpose of Facebook and other social media platforms.  They exist for the purpose of establishing meaningful connections between people.  That means that cute animals, children in their halloween costumes, and happy birthday wishes are the important things.  Business and advertising are a necessary elements that pay the bills and keep the lights on.

This is why you need to begin by establishing a connection with your audience.  And the best way to do that is to give them value.  Value is the essential currency of social media.  It’s why we have complete control over what we see.  We can choose when we consume, who can connect to us, and what content we want to see.  All of this choice is designed to provide maximum value.  You need to start things off by doing the same.

Find out what your audience wants or needs to know.  Then give it to them.  Write a blog post or design a page of your website than openly shares information your new friends will find helpful.  Create a tool that they can download and use to save them time or money.  Infographics, Articles, Research, Case Studies, Tips, and Suggestions – these are all great starters.

Once you have some value to bring to the deal, pay for some traffic.  In other words, run an ad that simply directs people to your helpful stuff and give it away.  By giving value upfront, you’re kicking off your relationship with substance and establishing yourself as someone who cares.

Timing A Transaction

Every audience is different, so you may need to provide value multiple times before you transact.  Transacting is anytime you give and get.  For example: I give you a Resource and you give me your contact information.  

Some transactions take longer to bring about than others, but after enough connection, a transaction will be appropriate.  This is when you make your offer.  A properly timed transaction will “feel right” because you’ve built up trust with all of the value you’ve given.

“I don’t have time for all that,” you say.  Well, think of it this way.  You have the same amount of time in each day – we all do.  The question is how do you want to spend that time?  Stressing out and chain smoking (or binge eating) while you scour the earth for one more candidate is certainly one way to do it.  However, that process stops as soon as you crash for the day and only resumes when you drag your carcass back to the computer to try again.  And one-off ads that shout a one-way message at your audience are helping at all.

Ads that provide value and nurture your relationship with job-seekers work for you around the clock.  They may take a little more time to gain traction, but, once they do, they will easily outpace your frantic freak-outs.  And all of that steady progress brings your audience ever closer to a successful transaction.

The Facebook Funnel

Alright, enough about all that relationship stuff.  Here’s how to make it work.  You have to build a funnel.  Just like your sales people.  One-off Facebook ads won’t work – not very well and not for very long.  Here’s the trick.

Ad 1 Introductory Value

  • Use this ad to give generally informative or entertaining value.
  • Target your ad using basic information you know about your audience.
  • Try to do it with a video that doesn’t require people to leave Facebook.
  • Make an Facebook Custom Audience (we’ll discuss this in another post) from the video views.

Ad 2 Specific Value

  • Use this ad to give value specific to your audience.
  • Target your ad using the same basic information + your custom audience from Ad 1.
  • Send people to a landing page on your website to do it. (if people bounce off your site and don’t stick around long enough to receive the value, you may need to run more ads like Ad 1)
  • Make another Facebook Custom Audience from the traffic to your landing page.

Ad 3 Make Your Offer

  • Use this ad to make an offer to your audience.
  • Target your ad using the same basic information + your custom audience from Ad 1 + your audience from Ad 2.
  • Send people to a landing page on your website or use a Facebook Lead Form Ad.
  • Make another Facebook Custom Audience from the traffic to your landing page.

The Disclaimer

Now, please understand that this is, by no means, a comprehensive plan for Facebook Ads.  There are a ton of factors that I did not have time to discuss like Targeting, Custom Audiences, Remarketing, and more.  I just wanted to offer a quick peak behind the scenes, so you can see that Facebook is a lot more complicated than simply posting an ad.  That’s why there are people who make their entire living running Facebook ads.

I also wanted to show you some of the potential of Facebook as an advertising channel for recruiting.  It really does have a ton of potential!  Most importantly, it has tremendous potential for creating campaigns that continue to work long after other methods have run their course.  You can always return to provide more value and it only deepens the relationship.

If you want to know more about how Facebook Ads can help you business, Contact Us.  We’re always glad to answer your questions and help you any way we can.