Facebook Advertising Basics

Most small business owners are eager to harness the marketing power of social media, and it’s easy to understand why. There are more than 1 billion active users for Facebook alone! Social media can help your business to (cost effectively) reach a whole new audience. It can also be a source of frustration.  

Are you getting very little return on your social media investment?

If so, some basic education may help. Take Facebook for example… Your company page is VERY different than your personal profile. I know this because I work for a marketing agency, but I’m finding more and more that small business owners aren’t as familiar with the interworkings of social media. Mostly it’s because you’re busy, but Facebook (in my humble opinion) does a very poor job of explaining the limitations of your company profile and the importance of investing in ads. They tell you how great targeted ads are and neglect to tell you why you really need them…

Let’s step way back for a moment, and think about how the “typical person” uses Facebook. We log in, and BAM! There’s the news feed. Unless we’re prompted by a notification to go elsewhere, we spend the next few moments scrolling through that feed. We click on pictures, comments and articles that are of interest, and we ignore the rest. If we share a photo or status update, we can rest assured that all our friends (per our privacy settings) will see it in their news feed very soon.   

Here’s what Facebook hasn’t told you (at least not plainly) about your company profile… Your posts don't end up in every follower's news feed. In fact, they end up in very few.

In order to preserve user experience, Facebook limits the number of promotional posts that appear in personal news feeds. They have an algorithm that takes links, language, hashtags and a whole lot more into consideration… Your posts are displayed to a select number of your followers based upon the result.

Facebook for Small Business: Regular Posts vs. Sponsored Posts

The following is a real life example that may give you a better understanding of how small changes can increase the effectiveness of your social media strategy.

Client ABC spends between $500 and $1000 per month on content creation and social media management. The business has a Facebook page with 3,500 likes. 3,500 LIKES FOR A SMALL BUSINESS IS AMAZING! The company posts at least three times per week. 

The Problem - A lot of posts were only getting seen by about 50 people.

The Solution - We’ve managed to increase exposure two ways:

  1. Engaging Content – We do our best to create content that is timely, interesting and “share-worthy.” The goal is to encourage likes, comments and shares. The more Facebook users interact with your post, the more likely the post is to be seen in a news feed. Client ABC regularly shares important information about local events… These posts (which receive a few likes, comments and the occasional share) usually reach between 150 and 250 people. 
  2. Facebook Advertising – Content that features special offers and/or events are great material for sponsored posts. A small budget ($5-10 each) can dramatically increase the exposure a post gets. Client ABC recently spent $5 on an ad that reached a targeted audience of 1,800 people. 

Facebook Advertising Tips

Set a Goal – Marketing strategies should be crafted with a measurable goal in mind. Facebook offers analytic data so that you can track the performance of your post. Evaluate post engagement (audience size, clicks, etc.) and compare that with other desired results (increased revenue, transactions, inquiries, etc.).

Experiment with Advertising Options – A lot of “social media marketers” will tell you to never boost a post. I tend to disagree… Facebook gives you two options when it comes to advertising: the easier “boost” option and the more time consuming “create ads” option. “Create ads” will give you greater control over targeting, but if you just want to make sure a post is seen by your loyal following, the “boost” option works just fine. 

Let’s Collaborate

There may be an opportunity for us to collaborate on your next social media campaign! Contact us to schedule a complimentary call.