So you’ve gotten your small business up and running, and you’ve decided it’s time to enter the wonderful world of advertising your business on Facebook. Where on earth do you start?
Despite some pushback from small business owners as to the effectiveness of the advertisements, there’s no doubt the market for these sophisticated ads is growing. A recent report testifies that Facebook and Google control over 57 percent of the digital advertising market, which is expected to rake in more than $80 billion this year alone. That’s right—billion with a capital “B.” So how can your small business take advantage of advertising on Facebook? Here are some do’s and don’ts to get you started.
Do: Make a Facebook Page for Your Small Business
It may seem obvious just to hire an advertising firm to run Facebook Ads for you, but many small businesses forget the obvious first step of staking out their digital real estate in the first place. That means learning about Facebook’s basic Page functions and creating a sophisticated, content-heavy Facebook Page that is monitored regularly with moderators who regularly engage with your customers and fans.
Don’t: Just Start Randomly Running Facebook Ads
Facebook Ads are surprisingly complex, given that Facebook is the most ubiquitous social media platform out there. Yes, it’s possible to just make a simple ad that runs on your small business Facebook Page and see if it draws any new customers, but it’s probably a waste of your limited time. It’s important to learn how Facebook’s advertising tools work. That means you’re going to have to spend some time to learn how to use them. Specifically, we’re talking about Facebook’s Ads Manager, Power Editor, and Analytics (sometimes known as Insights).
Basically, the Ads Manager is how you track and measure the performance of your ads. The Power Editor is your key to creating more sophisticated ads, which enable you to set your geographic targeting, subject keywords, audience demographics, and other key indicators. You can start here to read through the basics of Facebook Ads.
Do: Learn How to Write and Design Effective Facebook Ads
As we said earlier, Facebook Ads can seem relatively simple on the surface but their effect on your target audience can be powerful. Poor graphics, overly dramatic headlines, and ugly ads can quickly derail your best efforts to create an effective Facebook Ad. Use authentic headlines, well-crafted designs, and compelling calls to action to drive your potential customers to an action. You can find some good tips on creating and designing Facebook ads here.
Don’t: Forget Why You’re Advertising in the First Place
The most basic step in setting up a Facebook Ad is deciding on your advertising objective. It may seem intuitive that you want a Facebook Ad to drive more business to you, but a Facebook Ad can be used for many different purposes and intentions. Furthermore, your advertising objective will drive the design and implementation of your ad, so it’s important to understand what you want from your it. The three most basic objectives are:
- Awareness: The ad drives more interest in your product or service from your targeted customers.
- Consideration: Potential customers start thinking about your business and look for more information about your product or service.
- Conversions: Convincing potential customers to purchase your product or use your service.
Do: Use Facebook Analytics to Track Your Ad Performance
A Facebook Ad doesn’t do your small business any good if no one is looking at it. That’s why you’ll want to learn to use Facebook Analytics to track how well your ad is performing. This is another aspect of Facebook that is driven by your advertising objective; there’s a big difference between convincing users to subscribe to a service and selling tickets to an event, for example. Read about the basics on ad reporting and performance here.
In summary, Facebook has a host of advertising options that should serve your small business well. By learning how to access and use these tools effectively, targeting the audience you want to reach, and designing ads effectively, Facebook Advertising should offer a sure-fire way to get your business the results you want.