So, you have a small business and your neighbour tells you Facebook is the place to be, that you can get heaps of likes and sales out of a few dollars.
Not all true, but it can be.
Facebook can be a great way to build a small business into a bigger one, for many types of business, primarily B2C rather than B2B. There are however, some pretty simple hurdles.
Have a clear objective. Facebook visitors do not normally buy off the site, gaining their attention and trust is a process that takes a while. If your objective is to get visitors to click a link in your ad that takes them to your website, the ad copy is likely to be different than one where the objective is to collect likes.
Know your market. Know as much as possible about those you want to attract. Facebook has some really cool filters that allow you to determine who sees your ads, so there is no point in paying for someone who is never going to buy your product seeing an ad. The options cover behavioural, demographic and geographic options.
Don’t boost, promote. Every page has a ‘boost” button on it, which offers a quick and easy way to put your ad in front of eyeballs, but no way to determine which eyeballs. You need to use the Facebook Ads Manager to target your ads, making your dollars work much harder.
Custom audiences. People on Facebook are not generally there to buy, they are there to be social, exchange information, dates, photos, and all the rest. Therefore they may not be interested in your ad, even if it is highly relevant. Facebook addresses that problem by allowing you to upload your own data for use in the campaigns.
Variation. Ads work differently for everyone, so it makes sense to trial a number of versions of your ads, looking for the combinations that work best. You can do this on a small scale if you choose, just to keep the ads fresh for those who see them several times, or if you are spending more, you can systematically split test the differing ads to identify the best options. Some closed groups allow ads only at specific times, and have other criteria that suit the group. In these cases, I usually suggest that the ads change every time. One of my clients places ads in a group that allow them only to be posted on a Thursday, so every Thursday she posts a different ad, carefully targeted at the niche that is a small part of the group membership. Works well.
Be personal. Facebook is at the social end of ‘social media continuum’ so behave accordingly, and choose a tone in the ads that is social rather than sales.
The genius of social media generally, is that it enables a small business to act like a big one, so don’t miss the opportunity.