How Small Businesses can Get the Most out of their Facebook Ads


To some marketers and small business owners, Facebook advertising is still uncharted territory. If you’re looking for new ways to advertise, why not tap into the social media site that boasts over 1.2 billion users?

Get started with social media marketing on Facebook with our handy introductory guide and see what marketing possibilities await you.

Why Advertising is Necessary

Most marketers believe that if they’re diligent about posting regularly on Facebook, their posts should do most of the work for them. They’ll be featured on all of their followers’ newsfeeds, and if they’re posting more than once a day, followers are sure to see at least one posting from the company.

This process is called organic reach, but in recent years, Facebook has changed its algorithm, meaning that your posts will reach a smaller and smaller percentage of your followers depending on what individual followers are interested in and clicking on.

In February 2015, Locowise analysed 500 Facebook fan pages for the month to track organic reach. Their findings showed that overall organic reach was at about 11 percent. That means only 11 percent of your followers might actually see your posts. Pages with less than 10,000 likes did better, which is great for small businesses.

This is why Facebook advertising has become so important. With its current features, you can better target leads that fall directly into your demographic, and you don’t have to worry about blowing your whole marketing budget on a few ads. Facebook offers a variety of ad options at different pricings so you don’t have to break the bank with every ad.

Define Your Goal

Before you begin any marketing on Facebook, it’s important that you sit down and decide exactly what you want to accomplish with your marketing efforts. some Facebook ad options might be better for your purposes than others, but how will you know you’ve succeeded when you don’t even know what you wanted to succeed in?

Not choosing a goal may cause frustration down the line. You might give up on Facebook entirely, which means you’ll miss out on great opportunities for growth. Choose a goal so that when you achieve success, you’ll recognise it.

To define your goal, simply think about what you want to accomplish. You might want:

  • More followers who fall in line with your demographic.
  • More traffic to your website or blog.
  • More sign-ups for an event, such as a webinar.
  • More downloads of free e-books or whitepapers.
  • More people to use or download your app.

Now that you know success, let’s look at how you can achieve it.

Types of Facebook Advertising

As we mentioned, there’s more than one way to start advertising on Facebook. Once you’ve figured out your goal, choose an ad type or types that will help you reach your goals.

As an advertiser, you can choose one of three advertising options: campaigns, ad sets or ads. Campaigns and ad sets are more ongoing and involve multiple types of ads, while regular ads are singular. All offer similar features, and depending on your needs, all of them can be useful.

Facebook Ads: These ads are like ads on any other website. They appear on the side panel of the page and promote an offer or call-to-action. The goal is to get people to click on them and go to either external links or the company’s Facebook page.

Sponsored Story: You can target the friends of your followers using sponsored stories. These ads will appear in the newsfeeds of friends of your followers and will encourage them to like your page, using “social proof” as a motivational tool.

Promoted Posts: If you’re updating your page regularly, you might want to expand your reach for certain causes, such as an upcoming webinar, promotion or event. With promoted posts, you can turn your previous post into an ad to appear on the right-side panel and encourage viewers to like your page or click the link.

Sponsored Facebook App: For those with specific Facebook apps, this function will help you better promote it to your followers. The ad will contain a link to where users can download the app and use it on their Facebook pages.

Event Sponsorship: The a-type is designed especially for events that you create on Facebook. It will send an invite to other people who may be interested in attending.

In general, ad creation is about the same for each type of ad, and it’s up to you to decide how much money you want to spend on each ad. You can promote for as little as five dollars or spend a little more for added reach. Don’t forget, you can always start small and branch out.

Creating Ads with Facebook Custom Audience

Facebook offers an ad creation tool as well as its Custom Audience tool. The simple ad builder will walk you step-by-step through the creation process as you decide which message to promote and which images to use. Using email addresses, phone numbers and other identifying demographics, you can directly target your followers on Facebook using Custom Audiences.

Here are some tips to get you started with Custom Audience and building ads:

  1. Upload your contact list to the Custom Audience. Facebook will match those email addresses and phone numbers with accounts that exist to help build you an audience list. According to Facebook, the information is heavily protected to you can be sure your customer’s info will not be stolen.
  2. Decide whether you want to target those contacts or new contacts.
  3. Design an ad featuring a strong call-to-action that reflects your overall goal (bringing viewers to your site, promoting new free content, etc.).
  4. Keep the text brief and pointed. Include buzzwords such as “free” or “offer.”
  5. Use high-quality images that complement but don’t overshadow the text.

You can create more than one Custom Audience lists to fit the different types of demographics you serve, and your ads can be more tailored to each certain demographic. Rather than sending out one generic ad to all, you can appeal to the needs and wants of your different demographics and target them individually.

How to Monitor Progress

When you want to see how well your ads are doing and what they’re doing for you, you need only look to Facebook’s Ads Manager. This all-inclusive tool will help you see which helps you see:

  • Statuses of the current campaigns.
  • Names of all campaigns.
  • Delivery and results of those campaigns.
  • Cost each campaign is incurring as well as the outreach.
  • Accurate tracking of the total amount of money spent on the current day and in total.
  • Start and end dates.

With this tool, you’ll have a better understanding of how your ads are doing. You’ll also be able to track your spending, which is vital for businesses on a tight budget.
Facebook advertising is all about trial and error. All demographics are different and they respond to different marketing angles. To get the most out of Facebook advertising, try testing out one or two ad types at the same time and see how well they do. With a little dedication and patience, you can extensively expand your outreach and see what you can accomplish.

About the Author

  • Michael Bird

    Mike Bird is a co-founder of digital marketing agency, Social Garden. Social Garden specialises in data-driven lead generation & marketing automation to grow companies revenue in the finance, property and education verticals in Australia. Mike is an influencer in the social media marketing & Facebook advertising space and contributes to Social Media Experts, Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, Yahoo! Business Advisor and most importantly, the Social Garden blog.


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