While we were drinking some creative juice with a security dealer from Colorado, he mentioned that a buddy of his said that Facebook was yesterday’s news, that the hype around advertising on Facebook was over and that there were better ways to spend his marketing dollars that would show a better return. He then looked at us and asked for our thoughts.

Is Facebook dead? Has all the pizzaz and usage gone downhill? Here are some recent stats to consider.

In the beginning of 2017 there were more than 1.4 billion Facebook logins per day. The average amount of time spent on Facebook daily is around 20 minutes, and there are 1.74 billion mobile active users — and these numbers have been increasing over the years.

At Security Dealer Marketing we primarily focus on e-marketing strategies. Why? Because it’s 100 percent trackable, adjustable and adaptable to any sized budget. We provide e-marketing services such as PPC campaigns, which are costly; SEO, which takes time to get high rankings; and e-newsletters, some radio and TV. But time after time we see our results and leads generated from social media, specifically with Facebook ads, Instagram and LinkedIn. We’ll typically run our clients’ ads on a CPM (cost per thousand) at about $4-$6, and with the right ads they generate leads.

What we’ve been really excited about for 2018 when it comes to Facebook/Instagram marketing is the ability to go live on your business Facebook page and the ability to retarget ads to an imported database.

Let’s start with Facebook live: a tool that will allow your company to stream live video at any time. So if you’re running ads to a 50-mile radius from your service location and have generated hundreds of thousands of business Facebook likes, anytime you decide to stream live via Facebook live, everyone that follows your business page will get a prompt on their phones that you’re streaming a live video. If that doesn’t make the lightbulb go off in your head about ways to use this tool, let us help spark the electricity.

With any smartphone you can simply open up Facebook, go to your business page, click on the “go live” button and start speaking to the world — well, your followers at least. But if you’ve just done a fresh install, ask that happy customer if they’d be willing to go live to talk about the great job your company has done — maybe sweeten the deal up with a free sensor. If your company is in a booth at a home show, encourage your staff to go live during the duration of the show, inviting your service area to come visit your booth during the show and to mention the video for an incentive, such as a free system. Or if you’re giving back to your community, go live! Nothing gets more likes and shares than streaming/videos of doing a good deed; plus, it will generate referrals and interest.

Here at SDM we just purchased a slick little camera called Mevo, which is a small camera that comes with a stand, will connect to your phone and will stream straight onto Facebook with some slick auto generated video editing. Check it out on YouTube if you get a chance.

Along with the ability to stream live for 2018 we’ve been crushing it with retargeting ads to an imported database. Retargeting is those little ads that follow you around after you visited a site, but in this case the ads will follow your imported database around all throughout Facebook. So imagine if you’re an integrator and would like to run ads that only property management companies would see; all you have to do is import your database of emails and phone numbers of those within the property management vertical, and if they’ve used that phone number or email to register their Facebook page, your ads will be put directly in front of them.

Place email addresses and phone numbers from your past customers into Facebook and create ads for referrals. If they’re happy customers, chances are they’ll refer their family members. Try creating ads with videos created from your smartphone talking about your community, specials you have going on or education videos about hardware/home automation.

These are two innovative ways to create brand equity, be kept top of mind and advertise to a laser-targeted audience — and it is 100 percent trackable.