Should Your Small Business Be Doing Facebook Ads?
Honestly, you could give facebook a try or you could avoid it. For majority of small business owners, my advice would be to veer towards the ‘no’ side of the argument. Why? Well, I’ll explain below.
Firstly, its important to determine how useful Facebook is to your business from a marketing standpoint. Now, for most business owners, the answer to any question related to growing their business is usually centered around “ more marketing”.
Many struggle to raise extra revenue through banks or alternative finance providers to arm themselves with the required budget to finance their marketing strategy.
But do you think your capital is being put to good use, if you get people to like your company page or visit your website? Fan pages are just not worth the effort for a small business.
A few years back if you posted new content on a fan page, it would reflect on their timelines about 40%-60% of the time. Recent estimates put it at 5%. What’s the point of paying somebody to like your page, if there is zero chance of them viewing your posts? You could pay Facebook to increase the likelihood of a fan viewing your page. But guess how much that costs? Almost double.
Perhaps the biggest bone of contention with Facebook is that they tend to market to small business owners directly. Moreover, they make it sound like running Facebook ad campaigns is the easiest thing in the world. The same could probably be said about Google Adwords.
You don’t need any special skills to create and run ad campaigns on platforms like Facebook and Google Adwords. However, just running a campaign is not enough. You need to execute your campaign in a way that provides you with the best ROI.
Like all other ad campaigns, you will still require a good ad along with a good offer to have any sort of success. Additionally, you also have to make sure that you are reaching out to the right customer profile for your business.
Saying that, Facebook ads still work, but if you don’t go about it the right way you will end up losing a lot of money. If you don’t know to run facebook ad campaigns or have no prior experience on it, my suggestion would be to find somebody with the required level of expertise.
Or you could learn to do it right.
What Do You Want Your Target Audience To Do?
You need to identify what action you want your target audience to take on Facebook. This will help you figure out the effectiveness of the campaign you are running. If you are looking to run any random ad on Facebook with the hope that customers will visit your website and buy something from you, then good luck to you because you are really going to need a lot of it. I wouldn’t be looking to pay anyone just to ‘like’ by business’s page on Facebook.
However, if I can get customers to join my email list through my ad campaigns, I would consider it a better return on my investment and efforts. Getting a direct sale from Facebook is easier said than done, but if you can direct potential customers into your sales funnel, it increases your chances of converting your leads into customers.
If your considering remarketing to customers who have already visited your website, Facebook is an interesting option for you. Through remarketing, you track users who have been to your site before and advertise to them as they surf other corners of the world wide web. This could be construed as ‘creepy’, but it is highly effective.
Try Promoted Posts
A promoted post can create the right kind of engagement for your business as it is directly inserted into your target audience’s timeline stream. A promoted post is successful only if it can manage to create any engagement.
It could be anything from an interesting blog that you have written for your website, the results of an interesting survey or some type of limited offer. Bottom-line, it has to be engaging and interesting to have the desired effect.
Always remember that people go on Facebook to socialise and not to shop. There are a lot of interesting cat videos and memes for you to wade through before your post can be deemed creative/interesting.
Don’t Underestimate the importance of Geo-Targeting
Always ensure that your ads are only visible to people belonging to certain specific geographic locations. For example, if your operations are based in Northampton UK, ensure that only users from Northampton can see your ad. If your ad is being displayed in Asia or North America, it would literally be of no use to you.
Moreover, there are many ‘click farms’ based in such locations (especially Asia) where people spend their day ‘liking’ posts and clicking on every ad they come across.
If you are a small business owner and are looking to place Facebook at the heart of your marketing efforts, you could end up being disappointed, especially if you are not going to rely on specialist help. I
f you are still determined to go ahead with your Facebook plan, I would like to leave you with a final thought. Make sure that you do it right, or don’t bother doing it at all.