I’ve been using Facebook ads to grow my businesses since 2013 and this is one of the questions I get asked the most.
You can start off advertising on Facebook in South Africa from as little as R15.38 per day (Excluding VAT). With this budget, your Facebook Ad will be seen by between 542 and 1600 people and you can expect between 17 and 48 clicks to your website.
It is important to note that these numbers can and do change because the Facebook advertising platform runs as an auction. The more advertisers there are, the higher that drives the cost of Facebook advertising in South Africa.
As you can see on the diagram below, Facebook is recommending that I spend at least R15.38 per day in order for my ads to run.
When running Facebook ads in South Africa you can run them for as little or as many days as you like. If you only want to run ads for a short period of time, you are able to.
The results and impact of your Facebook advertising efforts will also depend on your daily advertising budget. The quality of your offer and product or service will also impact your advertising costs.
Let’s dig into what that means and how advertising on Facebook in South Africa works…
The cost of your Facebook Ads in South Africa depends on your objective…
There are currently over 23 million Facebook users in South Africa. Facebook has an incredible amount of data on these users and that is beneficial to us as advertisers.
Facebook knows if someone is more likely to watch a video as opposed to clicking on a link. It also knows if someone is more likely to make a purchase online than someone else.
If you can tell Facebook what your advertising objective is, they will make sure they find the people you’re looking for.
But what do I mean by your objective?
When you are creating Facebook ads you want to tell Facebook what your end goal is.
If you want someone to watch a video, then video views are the objective. If you want to get people clicking on your website then traffic is what you’ll select.
There are 11 different objectives in all that you can choose from when setting up your Facebook ads. I use some of these objectives way more than I use others.
When setting up a Facebook ad campaign you can tell Facebook what it is you’re trying to achieve. This is what it looks like within the Facebook Ads Manager:
The cost and impact of each of these objectives will differ and that will in turn have an impact on how much your Facebook ads cost.
For the sake of this article, I’m going to talk about the four that I use the most which are reach, traffic, conversions and video views. (If you would like to learn more about the others then click here to access my comprehensive training on Facebook ads for South Africans)
How much does it cost to show my ads on Facebook?
I’ve done a side by side comparison for you so that you can see how much you can expect to spend on your South African Facebook ads. I’ve also included the and the reach or impact they will have.
This example is using a R200 daily budget:
|Video Views (ThruPay)
|16000 – 46000
|6800 – 20000
|212 – 613
|885 – 2600
|6 – 17
|4800 – 14000
|1300 – 3700
You will notice that on the daily budget of R200 your results for each objective will vary greatly. It is for that reason that you want to choose your objective carefully.
Let me take a minute to explain when we use each of these Facebook ads objectives and how much using them costs in South Africa.
When you use the Reach objective, Facebook will show your ad to as many people in South Africa as possible.
Think of it as a billboard on the side of the road. Thousands of people will see it but only a few will take action.
In the example above, for a R200 daily budget, Facebook will show your ad to between 16 000 and 40 000 people. That’s a CPM (or cost per 1000 impressions) of between R5.00 and R12.50.
I only use the reach objective when I’ve had some sort of interaction with someone on my website already. For example, I show ads to people who have come to a sales page on my website but haven’t purchased. This is called retargeting or remarketing.
I get Facebook to show my ad to as many of those people as possible using the reach objective. (This can get quite complicated and I show you exactly how to do it in my extensiveFacebook Ads for South Africans online training here)
The cost of clicks to your website using Facebook ads in South Africa
The Traffic objective tells Facebook that I want as many people to visit my website as possible.
Think of it as handing out a business card with your address on.
Facebook will only show those ads to users who are most likely to click on your website.
In this example, Facebook will show your ad to between 6800 and 20 000 South Africans. Out of that, between 212 and 613 people will click onto your website. So you’re looking at between R0.33 and R0.94 per click.
I use the Traffic objective to drive people to content on my website before I offer them something to buy. It may be an informative article or a success story for example.
Conversions is where I spend the bulk of my Facebook Advertising budget in South Africa. As mentioned earlier in this article, Facebook knows so much about their users.
As an advertiser, I am able to ask Facebook to show my ad to those people who are most likely to convert.
But what does that actually mean?
Conversions can be different things. It could be making a purchase. It could be opting in for a free download.
But that is what makes them so powerful. If you tell Facebook what you want people to do, they will find those people for you.
The cost of conversions can differ greatly because it depends on how big the action is you want people to take.
If it’s something as simple as opting in to download a free cheatsheet, the cost will be a lot less than if it needs someone to make a R10 000 purchase.
In the example above you can expect between 6 and 17 conversions and your ad will shown to approximately 885 to 2600 people.
In my experience those numbers are more in line with the bottom end of the action you want someone to take.
If you were trying to grow your email list, you could expect somewhere between 6 and 17 email subscribers for a daily Facebook ads budget of R200 per day.
Note: If you would like to learn how to generate leads, this is exactly how I generated how I generated 38 471 leads for our business in South Africa (and how you can too)
And finally, the video views campaign objective is to get as many people as you can to watch a video.
Think of this as old school TV advertising (Who still does that???). When you choose this objective, Facebook will show your ad to as many South Africans who are likely to watch it as possible.
In the R200 per day ad budget example, between 4800 and 14 000 people will see the ad and of those 1300 to 3700 will watch some of that video ad.
I use video ads a lot in my business to add value to potential clients by teaching them something. I show them I can help them by actually helping them.
I very seldom try & sell something on my video ads.
From those video views I use the reach objective (depending on how much of the video they watched) to show them a different ad to sell them something.
(I know this sounds super complicated but if you’re serious about wanting to grow your business using Facebook ads in South Africa then have a look at my Facebook Ads for South African Businesses here)
The next thing I get asked very often is…
How much does it cost to boost a facebook post in South Africa?
Boosting posts is the simplest and least complicated way to get started advertising your business on Facebook in South Africa.
When boosting posts on Facebook you can start with a daily budget of as little as R15.38 excluding VAT. For that you can expect to reach between 286 and 826 people with between 45 and 131 of them engaging with your post.
Again, the more you spend the more people will see your post and the more people will engage with it.
I personally am not a fan of boosting posts because you aren’t able to target the audience you’re trying to get in front of as well as you can using the Facebook ads manager.
That said, there is definitely a use case of when to boost a Facebook post.
Boosting posts is a fast way to test engagement on a post that you would like to use as a full on Facebook ad as I’ve explained above.
If when boosting a Facebook post it gets more reach and/or engagement than other posts you’ve boosted, that is a good sign that it could potentially perform well as a Facebook ad.
So, is Facebook Advertising effective in South Africa?
I get asked this all the time and I absolutely love this question!
Yes, Facebook advertising is very effective in South Africa. It is one of the most effective advertising platforms around today because you are able to start with a very small budget and scale your advertising efforts as your results improve.
That does come with a caveat, however. It does take some time and effort to learn how Facebook advertising works in South Africa but the beauty of Facebook is you don’t need deep pockets to start with to learn how you can benefit from advertising on Facebook.
I’ve been advertising on Facebook for over 7 years and have slowly increased my Facebook ad spend as time passed.
This is snapshot of my Facebook ads manager for 2014:
As you can see in 2014 I spent R9000 on Facebook ads…
…Fast forward to 2020 and you’ll see that my ad spend has increased to over R1.2 million!
Facebook ads are an extremely affordable and effective way to advertise and grow your business in South Africa.
If you would like to learn more about Facebook advertising in South Africa, and how to make it work for your business, then be sure to have a look at my extensive online course about it here: