Our franchise development clients are all asking the same question: Should we still be on Facebook?

Our franchise development clients are all asking the same question: Should we still be on Facebook?

Brands are laser-focused on lead generation for franchise sales right now. And Facebook – which has always been an extremely affordable platform – suddenly isn’t quite as affordable.

Even more importantly, negativity seems to be rampant on Facebook right now – both from ads and from content posted by users related to the election, the pandemic, racial unrest and more. Some large global companies have pulled their dollars from Facebook altogether.

So, the questions swirl about Facebook and franchise development: Does it still work? Why is it more expensive right now? Should we continue to advertise through the election? Does Facebook bring in quality leads?

It depends on your brand, your goals and your budget.

The Competition

In general, Facebook does a great job of generating leads. But the lead flow on Facebook has slowed down significantly in recent months. That may be, in part, due to an increase in competition for users’ attention. There are more political ads with the presidential election looming; there is a lot of information and misinformation about the pandemic; and there is a lot of discussion about social unrest.

In short, there is a lot of noise clamoring for the attention of the Facebook users you are trying to reach.

The increase in political ads, especially, is driving up costs. The 2016 election saw an unprecedented amount of digital ad spend, totaling $1.4 billion. This year, the Trump and Biden campaigns have spent more than $118 million on Facebook alone through Sept. 15. Facebook is cracking down on copy in ads and who is being targeted. And ads running in swing states – including California, Florida and Texas, which also are the top states for franchising – may be even more expensive.

Additionally, the sheer volume of ads appearing in users’ newsfeeds may cause some users to take a break from Facebook or suffer ad fatigue, where they begin to ignore ads – including yours – because there are just so many

It’s hard to dispute Facebook’s power as an advertising platform. As the world’s largest social media platform, Facebook has 2.4 billion users, and ads reach a large and diverse audience. Even with the current higher prices, advertising on Facebook remains less expensive than most alternative platforms.

If you move your ad dollars to LinkedIn or Google, for example, the cost very likely will go up and the total number of leads may go down. However, LinkedIn or Google may deliver a more qualified lead. 

Most people in franchise development will tell you lead generation is a numbers game. You want quality leads so that you can find the best candidates, but you also need quantity to fill your pipeline.

Before you can decide whether you should take a break from Facebook advertising, even temporarily, delve into your CRM to understand how your Facebook leads move down the sales funnel. That’s the only way to know whether you can get enough of the high-quality leads you need from somewhere else and without busting your budget.