What’s the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the phrase “social network”?
According to AdWeek, Facebook has over 1.59 billion active user accounts, making it the biggest social network in the world. To give you some perspective, the next most used network is Instagram with just 400 million users. If Facebook was its own country, it would have a population bigger than China’s 1.36 billion.
Can you imagine it?
Facebook Advertising is already a trillion dollar company. Statista reports that back in 2015, Facebook’s revenue for ads alone stood at more than 17 trillion U.S. dollars.
Having a reach of over 1.59 billion people all over the world has its advantages. These are users who are looking to connect with friends, family, and all the things that interest them. The possibilities are endless.
What Can You Accomplish with Facebook Ads?
Marketing on Facebook allows you to reach 5 main goals of every business:
- Push Online Sales
- Increase Your “Brick-n-Mortar” Sales
- Promote Your App (If applicable)
- Raise Brand Awareness
- Generate Leads
Do Facebook Ads Really Work?
Advertising on Facebook gives you the opportunity to create and target ads to reach any audience imaginable as well as help you meet your business goals. When you run an ad on Facebook, you’re able to choose the audiences that will see it. You can narrow it by location, age, interests, and so forth. This gets you proven results. By making your ads relevant to the people that will see them, you make sure that your audience is laser-focused to the most valuable potential customers.
Technology moves at an incredibly fast rate. What we used to do in person (for example, going to the store) is now something we do through a computer (buying online). Well, now with smartphones, we can do that and much more from anywhere, any time. Mobile devices are now a part of our lives — we use our phones to learn, discover, communicate, and shop.
If you’re a Facebook user, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Can you tell me how many times you have turned on your computer just to access Facebook? Not that many, huh?
Most of the time we check on our friends and family through our phones. While people are browsing through their stream of news and stories, your ad will show up alongside it. And what better time or place to have your ad show up than when they’re most likely to see it and take action?
From the business side of the social network, over a billion people visit Facebook Business Pages every month, and more and more are doing so with their smartphones. This means that it is more important than ever to have a page that is mobile friendly, and Facebook guarantees their pages will work great on mobile devices.
Advertising on Facebook is a win-win scenario when done right. It’s easy for you and your customers, plus you get to tell them about your brand, and they get to know you on a personal level. People will be able to get directions, download your app, watch your videos, add items to their shopping cart, or really take any other action on your page.
The best thing about advertising through Facebook? It keeps you up to date on how your ads are performing and how your budget is being spent. And since you choose your campaign’s budget and audience you can rest assured that you are completely in control. Facebook ads are highly targeted and actionable, meaning that every action can be measured, including the results of your campaign.
How Can You Reach Those Who Will Love Your Business?
There are four basic steps to set up a Facebook ad:
- Use your free business Facebook page to get started
- Let Facebook know what you want to promote
- Choose the audience for your ads
- Set your budget and start enjoying the results
Your Business Facebook Page
Show your customers you mean business. Start by creating a Facebook page for your business (or if you already have one, make sure it’s up to date). On this page you can describe what you do and what you’re all about, show off your business website, make your business hours and contact info available, and promote your products and services.
Here’s a basic tutorial on getting started with your Facebook Business page:
Having your business on Facebook gives you ears and a voice. In our previous posts we’ve told you how to make social media work for you, and one of the most important aspects of having an online presence is to put the “social” in social network.
We have two ears and one mouth. Follow that ratio and engage with your audience.
Have you ever met someone who talks over everyone else? That one person who won’t listen but still wants to be heard? Yeah, don’t be “that guy.”
Think of your page as a relationship-builder. For it to work, you need to establish a two-way communication channel with your audience. By engaging and interacting with your followers, you are able to establish a personal connection with them. You’ll no longer be the “big business who sells,” you’ll be the “friendly neighbor who cares.”
Facebook designed pages specifically to help you connect with your customers and reach your goals. So get to know your customers and keep growing.
Choose Your Objective
We understand that as a business grows, its goals change with it. You could start by focusing on building awareness of your brand and finding new customers. Once you have your customer base your campaigns may shift towards encouraging people to make a purchase or sign up for an event.
Facebook lets you choose from up to twelve options to define your objective and create your ads around that. From increasing brand awareness to boosting your posts or collecting leads for your business, it’s all there. The rest is up to you.
What do you want to accomplish?
Let’s look at an example. Imagine you are the proud owner of a gym in town. It’s a very competitive market and business seems to have slowed down recently. It’s August and people aren’t signing up as much as during the first months of the year. You decide to increase awareness of your gym by creating an ad campaign that promotes the convenience of being a member of a gym that’s close to home, and also mentions your state-of-the-art equipment.
You can then choose “Reach people near my business” and “Boost your posts” as objectives. By reaching people near your business your ad will show up to those within a certain distance of your business.
When boosting posts, you will be able to get more people to see and engage with your page’s posts. By highlighting the specific posts on your page that relate to the new equipment at your gym, you’ll be able to reach as many people as possible and drive engagement with your ads.
Find the Perfect Audience
Will a single, college-aged guy, whose interests are “going to the beach” and “party,” have the same potential to be a gym member as the married, middle-aged man who is interested in “brunch” and “antiquing”? I don’t think so.
Can you see the importance of defining your target market? Marketing 101 has always been finding your audience. You can do this by trying to look at the world through the eyes of your customers to identify what they like and dislike, most importantly, to figure out what their needs are.
Think of a concert and the rockstar shredding his guitar on stage. Even though he can see everyone in the audience, he doesn’t know much about them, just that they’re all here for his music. The perspective of an audience member might be much more complex. The audience went through a whole process that ultimately led to them being in that place at that time. If the audience was there “just for the music” they could’ve stayed home and listened to their songs. Instead they decided to purchase the ticket, take the time off from work, maybe use up one of their sick days. The question is: what motivated them to do all this? That’s where we come in.
Go through your customer’s full range of wants and needs, and take a look at those who cater to these needs — your competitors. What are they doing in terms of marketing? What can you do differently? This exercise will also help you understand the behavior of your competitors and maybe even help you predict their next move.
Facebook gives you the edge of letting you know what your audience thinks, and then crafting your ads with them in mind. Take advantage of the feedback from your customers; they know what they want better than anyone.
And remember, what makes you stand out is the uniqueness of your offer. Find your niche. Going back to our first example, is your gym exclusively for women? Do you offer personalized training? Do you have attractive perks for your members? Incentives such as loyalty or refer-a-friend programs? Stick with us, because in the coming weeks we’ll give you great ideas for incentives and offers that your customers won’t be able to resist.
Choose a Budget
One of the best things about advertising on Facebook is that you set the budget for your ads. When you run ads on Facebook, you’re always in control of what you spend. You set the budget for each ad and set up how long it should run. Facebook promises to never ever charge you more than your budget limit.
It’s actually cheaper than you might think. Buffer Blog ran some tests, did some experiments, and shared with everyone some interesting facts. They found out how much you can afford with a small budget of only $5 per day:
- Page Likes – 9 likes per day
- Clicks to your landing page – 1 per day
- Boosted post – 787 new people reached
It’s a given that no industry is the same so the results may vary; you could have even bigger numbers than the ones Buffer Blog has. What we can get from this is: even with a small budget, that you control, you can sit back and start seeing real results.
Are you interested in Facebook advertising? Let us know in the comments. Even better, fill out our online form or call us today at (915) 585-1919 to schedule your first consultation. 8 Signal, your marketing department — without the overhead!
Photos courtesy of: Sarah.Marshall, miniyo73, Jeff Tidwell, Martin Fisch, Andrew Smith.