Facebook Advertising for Small Business

Flexible pricing options, great audience targeting, and an amazing user base makes Facebook Adverts an excellent tool to market your small business.

Last year, Facebook reported over 1.3 billion active monthly users – with half of those people using Facebook every day.  They also claim their app is on 75 per cent of smart phones; meaning that users are never far from their Facebook profile and news feed.  With users eagerly providing personal information, education and work histories, expressing themselves through the pages they like and listing their favourite activities and hobbies, the ability to accurately target an audience for your ad campaign is phenomenal.  It is no wonder Facebook can make the following claim:

“Most online advertising only reaches 38% of its intended audience. Facebook’s average is 89%.”

With stats like this, why wouldn’t you market and advertise on Facebook?  

Most advertising options on Facebook require that you have a “fan” page.  A page is a great way to stay in touch with your customers and work on your brand loyalty and awareness.  It is highly recommended that you create one of these first. Hubspot has some great tips on creating your business page.

Facebook Ad Types

Facebook supports many different advert types.  Your marketing objective will determine the type you choose.  Do you want to entice people to buy a product?  Do you want to create activity on your Facebook page for brand awareness and word-of-mouth marketing?  Are you trying to promote an event tied to your Facebook Page?  Below is a list of the many types of advertisements you can create:

  • Boost your Posts
  • Promote your Page 
  • Send people to your website
  • Promote conversions on your website – 
  • Get installs of your app
  • Increase engagement in your app
  • Raise attendance at your event
  • Get people to claim your offer
  • Get video views

You can create your advertisements using the Adverts Create Tool.  You can get to it by clicking Create Advert at the bottom of most Facebook pages (those that aren’t bottomless), or you can go to the following URL:https://www.facebook.com/ads/create

Tip: Don’t use the shortcut buttons found inline on your Facebook page.  Shortcut buttons include the prompts you’ll see to promote your page, website or boost a post.  Unfortunately these buttons don’t offer as much flexibility as the Adverts Create Tool.  You’ll be given less options when defining your target audience and will not be able to set your own bid price for your ad set.

Facebook Audience Targeting Options

Facebook Adverts allow you to specify an audience that is as broad as everyone on Facebook, to only people living in a certain city that match a specific demographic and have particular interests.  

When determining your audience you will see a Potential Reach gauge on the right of the page, that shows the number of Facebook users that meet this criteria.  Here are some of the methods you can use to define your campaign’s target audience:

  • Location – Country, city or zip code plus nearby areas specified by distance from location.
  • Demographic – Gender, age, language spoken, education, relationship status, work (employer, job title and industry), income, life events (upcoming birthday), etc.
  • Interests – Based on people’s interests, likes and pages they follow.
  • Connections – Target people and friends of people who follow a page, use an app or are attending an event. Or target only people who aren’t already connected with your business.
  • Behaviours – Purchases, device type, etc.
  • Custom Audience – Specific Facebook users identified by a list of e-mails, phone numbers, Facebook user IDs, or people who have visited your website (tracked using Facebook’s Custom Audience pixel on website).  Import lists from MailChimp or CSV file.  A hash of the list is made so that the list is not stored in Facebook database as plain text.

Tip: Targeting a smaller, more specific audience with personalized ads is recommended.  How few?  A few thousand is a Facebook best practice. 
Facebook Adverts Pricing

The Facebook Advert pricing system is very flexible and customizable, allowing you to be in full control of your marketing dollars and ensure you don’t go over budget.  You only pay for the ads shown (impressions) or clicked, depending on what you have selected.

How Are You Charged?

Ads in Facebook can appear within the news feed (desktop or mobile device) and in the right-hand side bar.  Since there is limited ad space, when you place an ad you are taking part in an auction to reach your target audience.

Optimized for Add Type

By default Optimize for <add type> is selected in the Budgeting and Pricing section’s Advanced Options. Facebook will automatically bid for you in a way that it feels your ad will be the most successful in reaching your target audience.  When Facebook bids for you, you are bidding using CPM (Cost Per 1000 Impressions).  

If you want to be in greater control of how your budget is spent, you can expand the Advanced Options list, select Optimize for Impressions or Optimize for Clicks, and then specify how much you would like to bid.  

Optimized for Impressions

Optimize for Impressions will use the Cost Per 1000 Impressions pricing model, and Optimize for Clicks uses Cost Per (single) Click.  Below the bid amount field the tool will give you a suggested minimum and maximum bid range that is based on competitor’s bids for the target audience you have defined.  Choose a bid that works for your budget and is still going to be competitive.  Remember, if your bid is too low your ads will never be shown. 

You can specify a daily budget or a lifetime budget for your ad.  If you specify a lifetime budget you are asked to specify a date range.  In this case, Facebook will pace your advert placements so that you don’t spend your entire budget at the beginning.  The ad stops when your budget is used up or the end date of the campaign is reached.

Choosing Facebook Ad Content

If you’re advertising a specific event, promotion, or trying to get people to your website or Facebook page, choosing the ad content should be pretty self-evident.  But what if you are just interested in generating activity and reach on your Facebook page in order to improve fan loyalty, numbers and work on your online word-of-mouth marketing?

First off, you will want the Facebook posts to have a call-to-action that brings your audience back to a landing page on your website; the hub of all of your marketing efforts. You then create a Facebook post that contains an enticing summary for the post and the call-to-action.  You can then convert the Facebook post into an advert (“boost it”).  But what kind of content should you create an advertisement for that will engage your audience enough to act on the advert?  Below are some ideas:

  • Promotion or Discount – Creates a buzz when people share with friends.
  • Contest – Proven to be very successful.
  • Industry Tips
  • Useful Lists – For example, if you run a lighting store, provide a list of electricians in your area.
  • Testimonials and Success Stories

To learn more about your page’s fans and what engages them, use Facebook’s Page Insights tool.  These posts may be worth creating an ad for.  

Tip: Don’t boost the post directly on your fan Page as you have more flexibility in pricing and audience targeting when you use the Advert Create Tool.

Useful URLs

Create Advert

Manage Billing/Advert Campaigns

Page Insights