Facebook Advertising is Dead

Apologies for the clickbait headline, but you clicked, didn’t you? Let’s talk about the disaster that has become Facebook advertising. With recent iOS tracking changes, determining the ROI from social media ads can be nothing short of exasperating. Justifying budgets for social media ads that are barely breaking even is a difficult pill to swallow. The internet is full of opinions, simply Google, “is Facebook advertising dead” and scroll through a multitude of posts and articles on the subject. So, the question remains, “Is advertising on social media dead?”

Of course not.


Running ads on social media will not provide the data it did before the iOS updates. The data no longer exists, so there is nothing to measure. In some cases, Facebook is using complex modelling to show conversion data. Is this data reliable? No idea. Facebook will tell you that it is. The real question becomes: how much do you trust Facebook?

Facebook Has a Lot to Lose

Facebook makes a huge amount of money from advertising. Without these ad dollars, Facebook and, by extension, Instagram will feel a pinch. For this article, when referring to social media, we predominantly mean Facebook, as they are the largest. It is in their best interest for you to trust their modelling and continue to spend your ad dollars.

At Lett Direct, we want to see your marketing budgets applied where you will receive the best return. This might still be Facebook; it all depends on your historical data and any changes you are now seeing. To get an idea of the how much Facebook ads were contributing to your total online revenue, pull up your historical data. Go back to 2019, since 2020 was, well… 2020. What percentage of revenue was Facebook driving? If your budgets stayed the same after the iOS updates started to take effect, the overall revenue percentage should remain similar. You won’t know for certain since the tracking has changed but you should see a bump in another channel, such as referral or direct, picking up the slack for social media.

Start Testing

Who doesn’t love a good test? Do you see a large drop in your overall revenue when you lower social media budgets? Or does revenue remain unchanged? This will be the best indicator of continuing to spend advertising dollars; again, look at the overall revenue percentages and historical data. If revenue stays the same when you lower (or even cut out) social media budgets, it might be time to rethink your strategy.  If revenue plummets along with your social media budgets, then you know that social is driving sales.

Rethinking Your Social Strategy

Remember what social media used to be? A place to be social! If needed, shift gears away from running ads and move towards building your brand. Social media can continue to drive sales by connecting you with both current and potential customers. This means post daily or, at a bare minimum, every other day. This also means wonderfully, diverse, unique content encompassing every medium available. Static posts, videos, lifestyle posts, product posts, live chats, Q and A sessions, giveaways, sponsored posts, working with influencers, and so on. Plan ahead and get your creative in place! See what the competition is doing! Be creative! Your brand is more than your products; it is your culture and social media is the perfect place to showcase who you really are.

If you aren’t seeing the return you once did on ads, but still feel it is important to take the real estate away from your competitors, maybe it is time to change how you measure the success of an ad. Yes, ROAS is the easiest and most preferred way of measuring success, but brand awareness campaigns can be a powerful tool in the social media bag of tricks. Getting in front of people, introducing them to your brand (and your culture!) can drive sales. It’s just not a direct conversion.

Brand awareness ads are a great way to prospect and build your new client list. Measure the success of these campaigns in impressions and reach. Consider running brand awareness campaigns that require an action on the part of viewer, an email sign up on your website for example. That way, you determine if the campaign led to an uptick in new email signups.

Social media advertising is not dead, but we may need to reshape our expectations of direct conversions from social media. Social still offers a wealth of opportunity to connect with people, build a community, and broadcast the culture behind your brand!