It’s no secret that Facebook advertising is huge—we’re talking 1.86 billion monthly active users worldwide. (That’s nearly one in every four people on the planet….) Clearly Facebook has a massive audience, and they’re engaged in the platform. Most people spend 20 minutes or more on Facebook every day. There are hundreds of thousands of comments, statuses, and photos posted, along with several million likes—all in the span of the average 60 seconds.

At this point, it’s impossible to ignore the marketing potential for your treatment facility on Facebook. It’s the number 1 most-used social media site among all ages, and it’s used by almost 2 out of every 3 Americans ages 12 and up. With numbers like these, that are constantly growing, the platform offers you a promising audience. Even more promising is that the large majority of Facebook users are on desktop and mobile devices. In fact, almost half of all Facebook users only access the platform through mobile today.

In Case You Didn’t Know, Mobile is the Way to Go

Why’s this important for you? Well, as of 2014, the number of mobile users across the world surpassed the number of desktop users. Today, mobile devices make up the lion’s share of total minutes spent online. That means most of your audience’s eyes are on their smartphones. In the United States, mobile devices account for 71% of the country’s total online minutes.

facebook advertising

Online users are steadily shifting over to mobile devices, and a significant portion of that mobile traffic is on Facebook. As of 2016, Facebook accounts for 1 in every 5 minutes spent on mobile. If you’re not able to reach your audience through mobile search or display, you’re missing out on serious marketing opportunities—while more and more of your competitors take advantage of that mobile audience. Facebook is a fantastic place to make the most of mobile advertising for your treatment center.

The Pros of Facebook Advertising

Though the performance of Facebook ads will vary—depending on your budget, the type of campaign, your target audience, and the length of time that your ad is active—they can be an effective form of advertising for your treatment center. In general, mobile click-through rates in the U.S. have been increasing significantly. Similarly, Facebook’s click-through rates have been increasing noticeably. That means more people are actually clicking on the ads they’re seeing on their mobile phones.

And, phone-based CPCs, on average, cost 24% less than desktop. This is one of the major benefits of Facebook advertising: it’s extremely underpriced. With the huge audience on Facebook, your brand will definitely be seen. In addition, Facebook uses selective placement and targeting of its ads, in an effort to improve the relevancy of ads on the platform. Ads are targeted towards specific, relevant audiences who are more likely to be interested in those ads. This means Facebook has begun to run fewer ads, while still seeing an increase in the number of clicks. There is huge potential here to drive traffic to your treatment program.

And the Cons

One of the major downsides of Facebook advertising is the general intent of people using the platform. As a social media platform, the primary intent of users is to socialize and connect. A Facebook user’s intent is far more broad and wandering, unlike search where the intent is clear. Lots of people spend large chunks of time on Facebook, but the platform is well-known for it’s ability to distract (and even addict) users with mindless content.

Though some of the major demographics that are using Facebook are millennials and parents—either of which could potentially be seeking information about addiction treatment—it’s likely that someone wasting time on Facebook will (probably) not be in the frame of mind to go to treatment. Arguably, the low cost of Facebook advertising and the massive reach of the platform can outweigh these cons. It’s an investment that could result in major business gains—if it’s done right.

How to Run a Facebook Ad

There are several components that make Facebook ads more effective:

  • Choose your visuals wisely—images are responsible for 75% to 90% of an ad’s performance on Facebook.
  • Capitalize on video adsvideo media is increasingly sought by online users, and video marketing earns the highest rate of engagement on Facebook, despite making up only a slim percentage of content.
  • Tailor your ads—most users watch Facebook videos and ads with the sound off, so it’s important to caption video ads in order to increase the length of time they’re watched.
  • Keep it brief—The most effective length for an ad title on Facebook is around 4 words on average, with only about 15 words in the link description.

Most importantly, you need to have a good landing page. You need to build the right landing pages for the right traffic. The goal of your ad is to bring in new admissions, and connect those in need with your services. You want to generate addiction treatment leads, and direct that traffic to a landing page that’s perfect: it’s informative, it has relevant images, it provides clear contact information. The hope is that every click that goes to your website will be relevant, and have a high conversion rate. Your landing page is key to creating the best returns on your Facebook advertising.

The Importance of A/B Testing

As you consider your Facebook marketing strategy, it’s important to plan for multiple advertisements. The digital sphere is constantly changing, and it’s important to stay up-to-date on emerging trends. A major mistake in Facebook advertising is to just run an ad and let it go unchecked.

Ideally, you want to create 4 to 5 ads for your treatment program at once. When you launch those ads, you have the ability to track their analytics. See which ones perform best, then draw conclusions as to why. Use the information that you gather to create new, better ads. With those new and improved ads—you guessed it—you repeat the process and continuously refine your marketing campaign.

Clearly, Facebook ads do work. Plenty of people are searching for health resources and healthcare services—including addiction treatment—on their mobile devices. And, as we’ve discussed, the majority of people are also using Facebook on their smartphones. With the right strategy, Facebook ads can help generate leads and bring in admissions for your treatment program.

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    Tim Stoddart

    Tim Stoddart is the CEO of Stodzy Internet Marketing. He lives in Nashville with his wife and hit adorable pitbull, Alice. Tim loves to write about digital marketing and personal growth. You can learn more at

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