Should I be advertising on Facebook as a small business owner?

Short: 4 min Read

Main Takeaway: As a small business owner advertising on Facebook provides the opportunity to capture and interact with your narrowed and specific target market. This tool is powerful when used to cut through the clutter with niche segmenting and relevant text/visuals to connect with your audience. Facebook marketing can also be hugely ineffective and costly if you don’t embrace the platform with a clear and specific strategy and objectives. You need a balance of paid and organic content to utilise Facebook to its full potential as a small business owner.

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Is it enough to have a presence on the platform in the form of a page set up and sporadic posting when you find the time? No, not really,  if you're wanting to gain as much as you can from the platform you need a strategy involving paid content this will extend reach and growth of your page.

Why Facebook? Facebook is home to a mass market of over 2 billion monthly users. This incredible figure is made up of an extremely wide spread of demographics including, location, interests, income levels, occupations and much more. This range of users coupled with Facebook organising this data for marketers creates a big opportunity to run advertisements targeting only relevant audiences. Facebook advertising allows for small businesses to market their products/services for as little as a $1 a day. It’s proven track record and cost-effective targeting makes it a great resource for small businesses.

Facebook’s changing algorithm? Sounds technical… It is but you don’t need to know everything just an overall understanding of how Facebook filters content from the creator to the end viewer. This understanding will help you when developing a business Facebook strategy. Basically, Facebook’s algorithm is the content manager machine built inside Facebook. The algorithm decides how much of your content will be shown to your fans and new people. Why not all of it? Well, it has to cut down the cutter from tens of thousands of posts to the 300 odd that’ll be shown on user newsfeeds. A big factor you need to take into account is the prioritisation of the algorithm. All content ranks differently, Friend's content on Facebook is likely to show up on a personal feed (Facebook want to keep the platform interesting for users not just a billboard of business messages). Next, on the priority list is paid content this will reach new people consistently. Further down the priority list is organic (unpaid) business page posts although the odd organic piece will reach far I’d suggest this is a lucky combination of timing and valuable, entertaining or captivating content for the reader. Organic content is important as it’s a free way to keep interacting with fans once they have been acquired through Facebook paid advertising. To ensure success on this platform you need to integrate both paid and organic content into your strategy here’s a few focus points for small businesses wanting to advertise on Facebook.

  • Objectives/Goals: define clear objective with each Campaign. Initially, to start off your page a goal could be to grow your Facebook page following with 100 relevant people that you can connect with moving forward. “Numbers don’t matter for small businesses much past a bit of perceived credibility. What’s important is what they represent you want each follower to be engaged with the brand and then work on converting this interest into customers.”

  • Targeting: Make this as specific as possible. Use detail targeting to reach people based on interests, occupations, other Facebook pages audience (competitors) and other demographics relevant to your product/service.

  • Visually stimulating elements: With the hyperactive day and age of business advertising we’re in you need to stand out with eye-catching content. Video content is where a lot of the attention is and a great way to communicate your story. Also, you can use the image/graphic itself to get the message across (see picture below) in this basic example for one of our clients new to the Facebook platform. We run this image with a clear message and it outperformed our other version of the post with no message on the image. This advert for Gas & Tyre was simple but it effectively resulted in clearing old stock that wasn’t selling all for one $30 Facebook promo plus an organic post to follow it up. Recommended sizes for Facebook advert images are 1200 x 628 pixels. Keep this in mind as you don’t want your images to look distorted/blurry.

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  • Ad Placements: Facebook will automatically push your campaign across all platforms that the ad set you choose allows. I strongly recommend manually choosing placements to boost effectiveness in relevant channels (example picture below). I wouldn’t advertise majority of small business on Instagram with Facebook ads unless you have a business account on that medium. Instagrams a great platform but it’s only going to be beneficial for Ads that are highly visually stimulating and other factors. Therefore, requiring a different strategy.  By manually choosing the placements you’re going to get a bigger push on the right channels for your message this is an import element of getting high ROI. It’s going to take experimenting for a start to see where your ad set did well you can check this in your ads reports.

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  • A/B Testing: Always test alternative ways your ads can be run through audience, placements and content. This will lead you to constantly improving your Facebook marketing efforts. I suggest starting an ad campaign with a small portion of the budget on two different ads then roll out the campaign with the highest performing ad according to meeting your objectives/goals with the campaign.
  • Call to action: Defining your clear call to action is critical to the success of your campaign. Focus on having aligning this request with your goals for the Facebook ad.

Building a strong Facebook presence takes time. Remember to have a well-rounded campaign with both organic and paid content that adds value to your viewers. Get in touch with any questions on digital marketing or if you would like help marketing your business.

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Alex Murray1 Comment