Set goals for your social media engagement before investing in paid promotions.
Facebook’s platform is always expanding — and the options it provides are always in flux — so it can be hard for small-business owners to wrap their heads around it. This is especially true of Facebook advertising. Do small-business owners really need to pony up and spend money on Facebook advertisements, or is simply maintaining regular content sufficient?
Getting your priorities straight
Let’s get one thing clear right up front: If you’re new to using Facebook to promote your business, you probably don’t need to jump into Facebook advertising right away. Give yourself some time to get acclimated to social media marketing before you start spending your money on paid promotions. Get in the habit of sharing good, useful content on your Facebook page regularly, and invite your friends and your customers to give you a “like.” Once you start to see people interacting with your content (liking, commenting, sharing) pretty regularly, that’s when you can start thinking about paid promotion.
Setting your goals
Something else to understand about Facebook advertising is the “why” behind it. Plain and simple: Why should you spend money on Facebook ads? The short answer is that Facebook requires it: If you want your page to grow, and your content to keep showing up in people’s newsfeeds, Facebook algorithms require that you make at least a small investment running weekly or monthly ads.
More narrowly, though, there are different ways you can use Facebook advertising to your advantage. Consider these potential goals:
- Get more likes for your page (fan acquisition)
- Promote a specific post, i.e. a big promo, announcement, or sale
- Drive traffic to your website (these are the ads you tend to see on the right sidebar of Facebook)
Knowing what you want to accomplish can provide clarity to your ad campaign. As it happens, Facebook has a helpful list of goals you can reference.
Targeting your ads
An integral part of effective Facebook advertising is targeting. Be specific about the people you want to see your ads. Facebook allows you to segment your audience in several ways:
- Geography. If you’re only active in one city, this is a must.
- Interests. What are the things your clients are passionate about?
- Demographics. Are you mainly trying to appeal to women? Baby Boomers?
Testing different ads
Finally, Facebook will allow you to select a post or an image to use as your advertisement. There’s really no good way to determine what’s best, except to try different things and test them. Start with a small budget — maybe $3 a day or so — and see how one ad works. If you don’t like the results, try a test with something else.
As a general rule, though, you want your ads to have compelling images, or something else that grabs attention. For example, a post announcing a few free months on a new service contract will draw some eyeballs. An ad that includes a link to your website or a relevant landing page is necessary, unless all you’re trying to do is get more Facebook page likes.
Facebook advertising is not a necessity for all small-business owners, but if Facebook is a major part of your marketing strategy it’s something to consider.
About the Author
Amanda E. Clark is the president and editor-in-chief of Grammar Chic Inc., a full-service professional writing company. She is a published ghostwriter and editor, and currently under contract with literary agencies in Malibu, California, and Dublin, Ireland. Since founding Grammar Chic in 2008, Clark, along with her team of skilled professional writers, has offered expertise to clients in the creative, business and academic fields. The company accepts a wide range of projects and often engages in content and social media marketing, drafts resumes, press releases, web content, marketing materials and ghostwritten creative pieces. Contact Clark at www.grammarchic.net.