In the early days of Facebook, business owners could gain visibility for their brand—and communicate freely with their clients and customers—simply by posting status updates or good, informative content. Nowadays, things aren’t quite so simple. Businesses can still use content to reach out to social media users, but there is also a growing need to take out paid ads—spending money to promote posts within Facebook’s algorithms, ensuring that the posts in question actually get seen on a large scale.

Maybe your business has never experimented with Facebook ads. The time is quickly coming when you may not have that luxury any more. As the era of paid promotion dawns on us, let’s take a moment to explore five fast facts about Facebook ads.

What Every Business Owner Should Know About Facebook Ads

  1. You don’t have to buy ads to be successful—at least not yet. Some companies—especially smaller ones—are still finding success through organic Facebook outreach. And that’s fine for now. If non-paid posting seems to help you meet your marketing goals, you can stick with that. But Facebook wants businesses to pony up, and is gradually changing its algorithms to make paid promotion more or less necessary. Sooner or later, you’ll need to pay to play.
  1. You’ll still need good content. You may need paid promotion to break through Facebook’s algorithms, but you’ll also need content that will grab the attention of actual, human users. Ideally, paid promotion and content marketing work hand-in-hand. Don’t scrimp on creative marketing outreach just because you’re paying for a Facebook boost.
  1. You don’t need to promote every post. Facebook will let you pay to promote every post you make from your business page—but just because you can promote them all doesn’t mean you should. Be judicious with how you use your marketing money; boost the really strong, compelling posts—especially ones with vibrant images and strong calls to action—but don’t feel the need to throw money behind every single post.
  1. Targeting is everything. Facebook has a pretty robust set of targeting tools that will let you determine who, exactly, will see your ad. Use them! Remember: Everyone is not your target audience.
  1. Experimentation is the key to success. How will you know what kind of paid ad works best for your business? Only by playing around with different ideas and measuring your results. Always be experimenting, and always be analyzing!

Facebook advertisement isn’t going anywhere—so your business may as well start learning the ropes!