At the end of last year, Facebook announced that they were changing their newsfeed algorithm again and that, if businesses want to post “promotional” items they should expect to pay.
Many small businesses (and quite a few large ones) have given up on Facebook, fed up with the lack of exposure and a poor return on their effort.
But Facebook does offer some great advertising capabilities. If your target client is a typical Facebook user then it is well worth considering.
Adverts can be targeted at a very niche audience. If your typical customer is a women aged 20 – 30 living in the UK and interested in fashion that’s no problem.
There are some really powerful remarketing possibilities. For example, you can use your existing email marketing list (if it’s big enough – you’ll need more than 1,000 email addresses) and target them with Facebook adverts.
You don’t need a large budget. You can spend as little as $1 per day.
You can split test text, images and get feedback on what works very quickly.
Watch out for
Facebook makes it very easy to start advertising, but the default options are not usually the best. You’ve probably seen the “Boost Post” suggestion – there are usually better ways to spend your budget.
Like all advertising some will work and some won’t. You’ll need to try different things and learn what works for you.
Starting out with Facebook Advertising
Setting up your adverts is not difficult (although it can seem a little complex to begin with). But do your homework before you start. As with any other form of advertising, you’ll need to
- Know your goals
- Plan your campaigns
- Test and measure
With Facebook you can organise campaigns around specific goals – page likes, website visits and post engagement are just some of the options. Before you start, make sure you know what you want to achieve. Here’s just a few suggestions:
Building your email list
One of the best ways to use Facebook is to find your target customer and get them onto your email marketing list. I’ve used Facebook to advertise webinars and Free guides. These get new people onto my mailing list and then I can start building trust. Eventually some become clients.
Promoting something special
Are you running a competition, having an open day or offering a discount? You can use advertising to reach more people while giving them a good reason to engage with your post.
Reaching your fans
Only a small proportion of the people who Like your page will see any specific post. You can use the “boost post” to ensure more of them are shown your most important messages.
Use this for things you think your fans will be particularly interested in – it could be a new product or service.
To run your campaigns successfully you will need:
Great images to make your advert stand out
Facebook is a very visual site. The best adverts use eye catching pictures to get noticed in the news feed. You can include some text within your image – but not too much. Check the Facebook guidelines (it’s 20% text maximum at the time of writing this).
A well defined target audience
Targeting is one of the big plus points of Facebook advertising .
You can be very specific about who sees your advert. As well as basics like geography, gender, relationship status you can look at “interests” – things like art, weddings, health – plus “behaviours” which covers characteristics such as “small business owners”.
As well as finding new prospects, Facebook also lets you target people you already know through website remarketing (those ads that follow you around the internet wherever you go) and custom audiences. If you want to know more, then check out Jon Loomer’s website – he’s an acknowledged expert on advanced Facebook Marketing.
You can’t just set and forget Facebook advertising – you need to be constantly refreshing your images, trying new text and so on.
Facebook allows split testing so make full use of the capabilities.
Have you tried Facebook advertising? Do let me know your experiences in the comments section.