It’s no secret that small business owners receive hardly any real exposure by simply opening a Facebook business page and posting regularly. The page alone will only reach a small portion of the target audience.
So, is it worth spending the time and money to use Facebook ads if you run a small business?
Careful post promotion and the right ad campaign could make a big difference in reaching the hundreds, if not thousands, more Facebook users on a daily basis.
Facebook’s Advertising Algorithm
Because Facebook offers its services for free, it depends on advertising revenue to stay up and running. The social media site uses a complex algorithm that tracks a user’s interests and works to get the right ads into the right newsfeeds.
The algorithm also works against businesses that do not purchase ads by keeping posts that haven’t been promoted from showing up on very many user news feeds. Even if your page has garnered 1,000 likes, each individual post is only available to about 30 Facebook users. For as little as $.027 per click you could purchase ads that will get you seen by far more users. Whether or not that expanded visibility leads to sales depends on how well you utilize your advertising options.
Make Ads One Part of a Larger Marketing Scheme
The Facebook platform is designed to promote personal interactions between users. If you simply create an ad that directs users straight to a product or service it will not be as effective.
Be creative with the ads and make them part of the general interaction with potential customers.
Direct interested users to your page and then give them the option to participate in an e-mail marketing campaign.
Taking the time to develop a relationship so the customers feel like they know you and your company will lead to more sales in the short run and more loyal customers in the long run.
Launch Dark Posts
Dark posts sound ominous, but they are simply posts that look like regular news feed posts but they do not show up on your timeline and they do not post to fan feeds automatically.
A dark post can include a regular status update, a video, a link, a photo, or a special offer. These posts can be highly targeted to specific fans of your page, which means you can create specific ad campaigns related to a customer’s interests, charitable donations, buying habits, financial data, or other behaviors.
These specific ad campaigns can be powerful tools to help you reach different demographics effectively.
Businesses that simply open up an ad campaign and leave all the settings at the default setting may not see much difference in traffic or sales. To take advantage of all of the benefits Facebook advertising offers it is crucial to tailor the settings to fit with your specific small business and the customers you need to reach.
Facebook offers geo-targeting tools that can be highly successful when used properly. If your ad campaign does not seem to change the number of visitors or fans on your page, experiment with the settings until you find a combination that brings the maximum number of people to your page.
Bottom line: Facebook ads do work — if they’re used the right way. If nothing else, it gets a business seen by far more users than a business page that is not promoted at all.
Facebook ads are a relatively inexpensive way to reach more potential customers and build stronger relationships with all of your Facebook fans.