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Facebook Ads for Small Businesses: Best Practices

Posted by Selena Lawson and Love Hudson-Maggio on September 8, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Facebook ads for small businesses.Facebook ads do not inherently add value without a strategy behind them. A successful Facebook ad campaign starts with defining your goals, and thus your audience. Thanks to new Facebook targeting tools, reaching that audience has gotten easier.

Not All Goals Are Created Equal

Companies often cite goals like "increase brand recognition," "increase sales and revenue" and "improve customer engagement." All of these advertising goals are terrific but lack quantifiable measurements. Brand identity is key. You wouldn't try to sell hair widgets using a bald spokesperson. Likewise, you want visuals and messaging to be consistent across platforms. Beyond that, you're going to need to get more specific. Make quantifiable and measurable deadlines — increase sales by 12 percent within the fiscal year, or increase positive customer feedback by 5 percent this quarter.

Monitor, Monitor, Monitor

Using the ads manager tab in Facebook, you can see exactly how well your ad is doing. You can also set up multiple campaigns and evaluate performance from a holistic approach. By evaluating performance metrics, you can determine whether to turn campaigns on or off at any time — this is the real money-saving feature of Facebook ads. You can adapt your strategy based on consumer behavior in real time.

Facebook Has Done a Lot of the Work for You

Facebook offers the following categories when creating your ad:

  • Website conversions: Get users to take specific action on your website
  • Page post engagement: Garner likes and comments on a post
  • Page likes: Get people to like your page
  • App installs: Convince users to install your app
  • App engagement: Get users to use your app
  • Event responses: Promote events to boost RSVPs
  • Offer claims: Allow you to do giveaways (the downside being that Facebook doesn't share user information)
  • Video views: Put your video in front of the audience you select

Impressive as this may seem, these categories are only as good as your targeting. Perhaps it's a response to the scams that foiled Facebook's algorithms and created fraudulent results — such as the universally loathed click farms, notes Social Media Today — but now all users are able to finely segment their audiences:

  • Custom audience: In this tab, you may select "lookalikes," audiences of Pages that look like yours. It also grabs data from your website to put your ad in front of Facebook users who have visited it. Finally, you can directly import your customer email list to put your ad in their feeds.
  • Location: This tab allows you to set up geographic targeting. It's a little less specific than what you can select in Boost Post (which allows you to pair cities, countries and states, as well as exclude locations), but overall this is a better tool.
  • Age and gender: Segment your audience based on your target demographic.
  • Interests: This tab allows you to take advantage of all the data Facebook has about its users' likes and purchasing behavior.

These criteria can get really granular, so buyer beware. Hypertargeting can limit your audience to the point where your Facebook ads won't reach a wide enough audience.

These efforts can and should be part of your larger, integrated marketing approach. A local consultant can help you identify your audience and boost your results with paid social ads.

 

How to Use Facebook Advertising  

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Topics: Premium Display and Banner Ads, Social Media Marketing

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