Should I Advertise on Facebook? Some “Coffee Talk” Might Just Answer That

should i advertise on facebook

Is Facebook advertising really right for your business? Some businesses can definitely benefit from it more than others. So how do you know if Facebook ads are a worthwhile investment for you?

Online marketing specialist Perry Marshall has come up with a single question to help businesses decide if Facebook advertising is right for them: Is your business something people might talk about with their friends at a coffee shop?

Things like music, food, culture, politics and events fall into this category. Whereas things like supply chain management software might not make for incredibly interesting coffee shop discussions.

Marshall explains in a video interview with Entrepreneur:

“Google is the Yellow Pages and Facebook is the coffee shop. That’s really a very good way to think of it. Do you buy automotive brake pads at a coffee shop? No.”

It makes sense. Facebook is a social gathering space, like an online version of a coffee shop. So if you’re trying to figure out whether you should market your brand on Facebook, ask yourself first, “Is your product or service the kind of thing people are likely to share with friends over coffee?”

If your company makes for interesting coffee shop conversations, it can make for interesting Facebook talk as well.

There’s at least one other kind of business that be effective with Facebook marketing, too, Marshall adds. This is a business that can benefit from event-based promotion. So if you own a restaurant with regular events and specials, or if your business involves promoting concerts and live events, Facebook may be for you.

Still, Marshall insists the coffee shop question remains an effective litmus test.

For those who want to go a bit more in-depth, Marshall also shares a quiz aimed at finding out just how effective Facebook advertising might be for different businesses. The quiz ranks businesses with a score of one out of ten, representing how well each might do with Facebook ads.

Image: Video Still

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

7 Reactions
  1. In my experience, Facebook advertising is effective in promoting a page. This is because it targets the interest of the user. This allows you to get real targeted fans and allows you to increase your fan base naturally.

  2. Google is the old Yellow pages and Facebook is the coffee shop? What is Twitter ads then? The cocktail bar?

    • Hmm good question. I would think that Twitter would be similar to Facebook in that it’s a platform where people talk about things with their friends (like a coffee shop), but it seems to also have more business/professional type of chatter so some B2B type ads could also be more effective there. So maybe Twitter is like the cocktail bar where people hang out and talk shop after work?

      • Annie,

        I look forward the new social network that will be described as a tea lounge. 🙂


        All the Best,


  3. I agree with this concept. Facebook is an active community – and what do most communities talk about? It’s the usual topics: revolving around food, arts, and politics. Plenty of businesses think social media is simple. It’s actually very strategic. Not all businesses can benefit from Facebook – it’s knowing when and how to use it.