When it comes to social media marketing platforms for small and mid-sized businesses, Facebook often makes sense as part of the mix. Facebook offers a number of benefits; it can help you get your name and product exposed to larger audiences, it can help drive traffic to your website, it allows you and your staff to connect with your customers and engage with your community, and it can create positive customer experiences.
In addition to being a social network, Facebook also provides an advertising platform with various ad options. It offers advertisers the ability to hyper target audiences based on their age, gender, location, interests, language, education level, relationship status, and political views.
So how do you get started with Facebook advertising?The highly targeted audience segmentation makes Facebook advertising appealing to small businesses with tight advertising budgets. However, the wide range of options can make it somewhat confusing.
Create a Facebook page for your business if you don’t have one already. Make sure the page has been set-up correctly; that you have filled in as much company information as possible, that you customized your banner image, and that you have populated the page with great content.
Start by Choosing your Facebook Campaign Objective
Firstly, you have to decide on the goal of your campaign. Do you want to get more page likes? Lead people to your website? Or get people to install your app? Facebook offers the following campaign objectives:
- Page Likes
Choose this campaign if you want to increase your page likes and build your audience. This is a great way to help gather likes and establish your brand credibility. It’s important to note that the “Boost Post” advertising option is not available until you have at least 100 page likes.
Page Likes offer additional engagement opportunities later on. The people who “like” your page will then see some of your posts in their feed going forward.
- Page Post Engagement
Choose this campaign if you want to draw attention to the posts on your page. You can create a wider reach by drawing attention to a photo, video or link that you have posted on your page. Choose a post that is already showing good signs of engagement.
- Clicks to your Website
Use this campaign to drive traffic from Facebook to your website. These posts offer an optional “call to action” button to add to the advertisement.
- Website Conversions
This campaign option will determine if your website visitors perform specific actions such as filling out a contact form or making an online purchase. (This requires installing Facebook Ads Conversion Tracking to your site).
- App Installs
If you have developed an app, you can use this campaign type to get viewers to install it.
- App Engagement
Use this campaign when you want to get people to use and promote your app.
- Event Responses
Event response ads are a great way to inform people about your company’s events.
- Offer Claims
Do you have a retail store or an e-commerce website? Use the Offer Claims campaign to entice people to buy your products by offering discounts.
After you have selected your campaign goal, you then choose your budget, audience, and ad placement.
Where Should I Place My Facebook Ad?
Facebook offers 3 different areas to place your ads. Here is a breakdown of the places you can post your ads:
- In the News Feed
This type of ad appears in the users news feed along with the posts from their friends. It will be labelled as a “Sponsored” post, but it will have the engagement options available just like any other post. This type of ad placement is the most prominent of the 3.
When appropriate, use humour to increase engagement, or use interesting information and images to catch your viewer’s eye.
- In the Mobile News Feed
This ad will only appear in the user’s mobile feed. It’s ideally suited for mobile App Installs or App Engagement campaigns. Make sure your website is mobile friendly before using this type of ad placement or your users will have a negative experience.
- In the Right Hand Column
This ad placement is located on the right hand sidebar column of your desktop version of Facebook. These ads are not as prominent as the news feed placement, but they are located under the “trending” topics.
Run Your Campaign and See What Happens
Run your ads for the desired length of time and see which ads are successful. Analyse your results and learn. You may need to make adjustments; refine the targets, change your ad copy, improve your conversion strategy, etc.
Finally, don’t neglect your Facebook page just because you are running ad campaigns. You need to keep up a high frequency of updates on your company’s page to maintain its effectiveness and increase audience exposure to your page posts.
Further reading: Online Marketing Success Requires Relentless Execution
Check out our FREE resource guide: Top 5 Social Media Management Tools for Small Businesses (some of them are free!).