The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

Facebook Advertising: 5 Tips for Building a Successful Strategy as a Small Business

Owning a small business can be very tough. You have to do a lot of things on your own, worry about overhead, worry about taxes, worry about labor costs…. There’s a lot to juggle. It can be even more stressful when you think about having to market that small business on top of everything else, especially if you are no marketing expert. Most can agree that social media has taken over as one of the most popular and easy to use mediums for small businesses to market on, but are they really that easy to use? There are tons of tools, tips, tricks, websites, and the like out there that claim to “help” you market your small business on social media, but many of them use industry level phrases and wording that can be like figuring out a jigsaw puzzle to the average Joe. Take Facebook, for example. Facebook is a powerful tool for marketing on social media, as there are over 2.45 billion monthly active users on the site, according to Zephoria. I have a personal connection to marketing for small business on Facebook, as I assist my dad with the marketing efforts of his automotive repair business. Thanks to my experience in marketing his business, combined with my educational background in social media marketing, I have compiled a list of some of the best tips for marketing your small business on Facebook.

1.) Form Objectives!

One of the most important first steps in any business venture or campaign is to form objectives. What are you hoping to accomplish? What are you trying to do with your campaign? Forming objectives before diving into any campaign helps you stay on track and gives you the opportunity to discover what is most important to you. In addition, it helps you discover what metrics are most important for you to measure… but more on that a little later. Charlie Lawrance compiled an excellent list of some of the most important Facebook marketing objectives that you should consider, including increasing brand awareness and post engagement.

2. Identify Your Target Audience

You’ll need to identify a target audience
before you can continue any further. What kind of business do you have? What
kind of demographics do you want to market to? What demographics are most
likely to engage with your small business? In my case, the automotive repair
garage has a large target audience. We can target both men and women who are
over the legal driving age of 16, and we tend to focus on a 20 miles radius of
the garage when creating posts. Does your small business cater to a specific
age demographic or gender? Are you more likely to sell to men or women? Does
location play a factor in your small business? Meaning, do you have a brick-and-mortar
business that people can visit, or do you conduct business online? Or both? You
need to take all of these and more into consideration when trying to figure out
who your target audience should be. Check out Hootsuite for more
detailed information on defining your target audience.

3. Create Interesting Posts

According to Hubspot Academy, images help to capture an audience’s attention better than just simple text posts would. On a website like Facebook, there are many different post types to choose from, including text, image, video, polls, and more. Choose what’s right for your business and the type of post you are trying to create. If you are simply trying to advertise a sale or special on a product, you may want to consider using an image instead of text to get your point across. Websites like Canva are helpful in creating images for your posts. Canva is simple and easy to use and can help you create beautiful graphics for your social media or to accompany a post. You can choose from multiple different post types, formats, and templates when creating your design. Canva is free, so I highly recommend you check it out and play around with all it has to offer.

4. Learn the Basics of Facebook’s Advertising Platform

There is so much to Facebook’s advertising platform that it can seem overwhelming, so only focus on the basics for right now! Disruptive Advertising has a great blog post dedicated to all of the basics of Facebook advertising, including some of the concepts I’ve already mentioned. Once you’ve created a few posts for your Facebook page, you can choose to boost them. You can boost posts that are already doing well, or boost posts you want more engagement with. For example, I have a post on our garage Facebook page that highlights some of the dashboard light diagnostics and repairs we can do at the garage. I went onto Canva and created this post and put it up on Facebook:

I can log into our Facebook page and decide to boost this post, of which case I get a screen like this:

From the boost post page, I can customize my advertising preferences, including the objective and audience. I can choose to change my audience or objective or keep them the same as they were before, which I’ve decided to do. If you choose to target your audience, you will see a screen pop up similar to this:

Be careful not to make your audience too broad or specific, try to aim for your post targeting to be in the green for the best results.

Next, you can set a budget and duration for your post. I decided to go with spending $10 over a 7-day period to try and get more likes and engagement on the post. Choose what works best for you, as well as what budget is right for your business needs. The great thing about Facebook is that it will not go over the spending limit you have set for the advertisement, so there is virtually no way to accidentally overspend on your marketing.

5. Measure, Measure, Measure!

Finally, you’ll want to measure your results. This can seem like a daunting chore, especially if you don’t know where to start. Thankfully, if you’ve defined some objectives, measuring your ad performance shouldn’t be as difficult, as you will know exactly what you need to measure. For example, if your objective was to increase brand awareness, you can measure this by how many new likes your page got during the advertising campaign. AdEspresso by Hootsuite has an excellent article that details some of the major metrics categories for Facebook, including cost per result, ad impressions, ad frequency, and reach, among many, many other metrics. I invite you to read through the list and see what metrics are going to best align with your business goals!

There you have it! A short list of some of the most important steps in creating a successful Facebook advertising campaign! This list can help you get started with your Facebook advertising. With the right objectives and ad targeting, who knows, your small business can turn into the next Starbucks or Nike! Happy marketing!

Category: Social Media Marketing 201