Social Media

Over a billion people sit on Facebook everyday, which is why it's a great opportunity for small businesses to make their mark. Facebook advertising helps to cut out the hard work of gaining a following naturally, which can be a long hard struggle.

Facebook advertising allows you to target specific genders and demographics, using your small marketing budget effectively. Small Businesses can increase brand awareness and develop new leads and customer relationships.

The Benefits of Facebook Advertising for Small Businesses

As a form of paid social advertising, Facebook Advertising can increase the number of visitors to your website, help you gain new customers and boost sales.

Further benefits include:

  • Targeting users by age, gender, political views, religion and much more – allowing you to reach your target customer.
  • Increase local awareness of your business by targeting by location.
  • Small businesses can use Facebook’s messenger service for effective communication with your end customer.
  • When someone likes your page due to an advert, all of their Facebook Friends also see your business page – Win win!
  • Facebook Pixel (conversion tracking) allows you to measure return on investment from Facebook advertising.

Forms of Facebook advertising

You might be thinking, “I don’t have time to create fancy ads!” Well Facebook advertising won’t take up much time.

  • You can set up ads with videos – from promotional to the funny.
  • Promote your business pages and events with links and images.
  • If you already have a Facebook Business page you may have already seen the “promote” buttons across your page which allows you to quickly create an ad from an existing post.

Ads can appear in the News Feed and to the side of the page. In order to appear in the News Feed you need to set up a Facebook business page.

Facebook ad tips

East Midlands Trains use the “Book Now” call-to-action.

Popular Calls-to-Action

There are a number of calls-to-action you can choose from to help meet your objectives.

  • Call Now
  • Like This Page
  • Book Now
  • Shop Now
  • Get Directions
  • Learn More
  • Send Message
  • Install Now for App Downloads

Should B2B Businesses Advertise on Facebook?

Many B2B businesses do advertise on Facebook, because at the end of the day people make decisions regarding business to business purchases. And Facebook is where the people are (especially older generations who are likely to be the decision makers for a business). If you’re not sure, it’s worth investing in a trial period and use the interests and demographic information to your advantage to target your audience well.

How much does Facebook Advertising cost?

Like Google AdWords, Facebook advertising is a bidding system where you can edit your budget at anytime. Facebook will automatically bid for you based on your budget and will show your ads to people who they think will be most interested in your ads.

You can set daily budgets or give a campaign a set amount of budget to spend. They have a helpful video to explain how it works here.

Facebook is flexible in that you can make one off payments to boost specific posts that are important to your business. If you already have a Business page, it’s likely that you’ve seen the message below before.

Boost Facebook Ads

Create Your Business Objectives

By creating marketing objectives you can create a plan of action. Do you want to increase the number of likes on your business page? Drive visitors to your website? Draw attention to an event? Deciding what you want to achieve will help you to make the most of Facebook ads and measure the success of your advertising campaign.

Specific Audience Targeting

When setting up your ads, you have the ability to choose age, gender, language, interests, behaviours and much more.

creating facebook ads

You can also target people by what businesses and brands they already like. So if you want to target men around Nottingham who are interested in football, you can type in “Nottingham Forest Football Club”. Their Facebook page will then appear for you to click, and you can set the target location to Nottingham.

Facebook ad creation

You can be as specific or broad as you wish. However, the two ads below have been targeted at me. Sadly, I’m not in the market for buying furniture nor do I wish to start a football dream team. It looks like these advertisers have gone for a broader spectrum of demographics, which is fine if you have a large budget. Smaller businesses will want to be more specific and more creative with who they want to target.

Facebook advertising tips

Already know who you want to target? Use Custom Audiences

You can target your current customers with Custom Audiences. All you need is a list of email addresses or phone numbers. This means you can target those who are signed up to your email marketing lists or who already have an account with you. Add your data to a CSV, go to the audience tab and choose ‘Customer list’ and upload your file. Read more on Custom Audiences here.

If you’re struggling to get an audience list together you can use “Lookalike Audiences“, these are people who share the same or similar traits to the people you are targeting. These “lookalike audiences” are more likely to have an interest in your business than advertising blindly.

Facebook Power Editor helps to Advertise on a large scale

Power editor works like Google’s Adword Editor, which you can install for free to manage your ads. Power editor allows you to make bigger changes quickly and you can also manage your audience using the tools.

Measuring Success

Along with the normal Facebook insights, you can see your return on investment through conversion tracking and a number of metrics

Facebook Pixel

Facebook Pixel, is conversion tracking for Facebook. All you need to do is add a snippet of code to your website and you can start tracking ROI from your Ads. The code allows you to measure your ad’s success across multiple devices and track conversions on check out pages and new sign-ups. This means you can see who converts into customers from your Facebook Adverts.

Facebook have an option called “optimised for website conversions” where Facebook will aim to show your ads to those who are more likely to convert when they visit your website.

Once you have added the code, you will see conversions being tracked in Adverts Manager and also view the cost per conversion.

Facebook pixel

Facebook Pixel Code

Facebook Metrics to Measure Return on Investment:

  • Likes – Who liked your page as a result of the ad
  • Reach – The number of people your posts were served to.
  • Page Views – Number of views from an ad
  • Post Engagements stats – Post clicks, reactions, comments and shares

facebook engagement

Other metrics

  • Clicks to your website
  • Phone Calls
  • Click through rate

Facebook Advertising Success Stories

Facebook have a number of success stories on their website, with examples from Tesco, Asos and smaller businesses too.

facebook advertising success stories

How To Get Started

To start advertising with Facebook, go to their Facebook Business Section and create a business page if you haven’t already done so.

Think about what you want to achieve with your Facebook ads – refer back to the objectives we discussed to start with. Spend some time considering who you want to target and who your perfect customer is. What are their likes and dislikes? This will help you to have better control of your budget and achieve Facebook advertising success!

One response to “Facebook Advertising Tips for Small Businesses”

  1. Deborah says:

    Great article and such a refreshing change to see an article like this that is UK based

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