Gone are the days when Facebook was a platform where your photos, status updates, and milestones were shared with your circle of friends.
Facebook has morphed into one of the best tools that small businesses can use to reach out to customers, highlight events, and even sell products.
But in order to accomplish those goals, you might need to think beyond your typical profile page and start looking into Facebook advertising: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads.
Surprised? Facebook is often seen as a free marketing tool, and compared to other forms of advertising, it essentially still is. However, using your business profile alone is nowhere near as effective as using Facebook advertising.
According to social media expert, Jake Perkins, “organic reach on Facebook has gone from a place where about 20% of your followers would see your post, to a place where about 2% of your followers will see your post. That's why paid Facebook advertising is so important to help grow your business.”
So what does that all mean for you as a business owner? While you may need to pay in order to get your business in front of customers, you don’t need to break the bank. Here are some simple steps to develop a successful Facebook advertising strategy.
**Keep in mind you will need a Facebook business page to use these steps - you can’t use your personal profile (even if you use it for business purposes) to set up Facebook ads. You can launch your own Facebook business page here: https://www.facebook.com/business/pages/set-up
Define your objective.
Decide what you want to get out of your Facebook advertising. For example, are you trying to increase page likes? Build engagement on Facebook posts? Increase traffic to your website? You’ll be asked to select your marketing objective while creating your ad, so make sure you think about it carefully before getting started.
Create your budget.
Once you’ve set your objective, create a realistic monthly budget you’re willing and able to spend on Facebook ads and try to remain consistent. It’s important to not overspend in the early stages of Facebook advertising.
If you have absolutely no idea how much you want to spend, try this rule of thumb: Put $10 a day toward Facebook advertising for a week. Once that week is up, go back to your ads and check out your results. Did you get more traffic to your site? Did customers engage with your brand more? If that $10 helped your business, awesome — use that as a starting point for your advertising budget. If you didn’t see much from it, then cut back on your spending.
Select your ad type.
Based on your objective, choose the type of ad in your Ads Manager that best fits. Facebook will help you design your ad based on the marketing objective you’ve chosen, so make sure you’re 100% clear about your goals before moving forward.
Select your audience.
Facebook allows you to target specific demographics, behaviors, and interests.
For each month or week, identify an audience you would like to target. In the early stages, feel free to create broad audiences and slowly narrow it down over the course of the month to see if there are any changes or improvements in engagement.
Test and learn.
Don’t be afraid to test different types of content, such as videos, surveys, polls, images, and more. For example, video content is highly engaging and popular now; if you have the resources, feel free to test how successful it might be for your business. Your video content could be as simple as introducing yourself to customers or as in-depth as creating a virtual portfolio.
Use Facebook Blueprint.
If you’re still confused about how to use Facebook advertising for your business, here’s a helpful hint: Facebook offers free courses to help you become a Facebook Advertising guru: https://www.facebook.com/business/learn.
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