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Ask an Expert: Should Your Business Be Using Facebook Ads?

Have you been noticing more and more advertisements showing up on the right side of your Facebook timeline?

If you haven’t, log onto Facebook quickly and take a look, I’ll wait…

The businesses advertising on Facebook aren’t just big corporations with gigantic advertising budgets. They are small businesses, just like yours, trying a new way to drive fan engagement and grow their social presence.

But for today, I sat down with Ashley Silva, digital planning manager at Constant Contact, to discuss Facebook Ads and the opportunities that they offer for small businesses.

What exactly are Facebook Ads and how do they work for small businesses?

Facebook Ads are those advertisements that you’ll see on the right side of the screen when you log onto Facebook. You’ll notice them throughout Facebook: on apps, photos, groups, pages, timelines, and your home page.

These ads are served to Facebook users based on specific targeting criteria. That includes anything from demographic or age information, to the interests that you have listed on your profile.

What would you say are the biggest benefits of running a Facebook Ad?

Facebook advertising offers a number of benefits. But the greatest has to be the ability for advertisers to target very specific audiences. Being able to target specific groups will give your business more exposure to the people who are most likely to be interested in your products or services.

For businesses looking to drive more “Likes,” targeted ads serve as a great way to build a fan base and increase traffic. It can really be a turning point for some businesses, especially those who are just starting out or have been putting in the work on Facebook but haven’t seen the results that they’re looking for.

How can a business decide whether or not advertising on Facebook is right for them?

I think it’s a worthwhile test for almost any small business.

It’s low risk because ads are relatively inexpensive and Facebook’s Marketplace tool gives advertisers full control of their advertising budget, which makes it ideal for a small business looking to test the platform on a small scale.

It’s high reward because it not only lets advertisers reach a highly targeted audience, but serves as an effective message testing platform. By that I mean, it gives advertisers a platform to figure out which types of messages or offers will resonate best with their audience.

Whether you’ve been on Facebook for awhile or you’re just starting out, there are advertising opportunities on Facebook that are worth trying for your business.

 

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  1. HMDhome.com •

    You hit the mark with your analysis Ryan! For my online interior design firm http://www.HMDhome.com Facebook enabled targeting of married female homeowners meeting a key range of age, education, geography and income demographics. It earned a few likes and sent a small number of new interior design clients – not as many as other advertising venues but it did accomplish a ton in the form of branding. Thousands of our “friends” and customers saw our ad and when they didnt click on it we didnt pay a penny. Sounds counter intuitive but the free branding reenforced our brand image in such a targeted way that it added more value during the campaign the the actual clients it delivered.

    Reply
    • Ryan Pinkham •

      Thanks for sharing Amanda. The biggest thing that I took away from my interview with Ashley was that Facebook Ads are really a low risk/high reward form of advertising. It sounds like that was the case for your business, especially when it comes to branding.

      Reply
    • Rob Knapp | Iron Post Media •

      Amanda,

      How do you know that thousands of people saw your ad? I understand that you can measure the clicks, but how do you measure the brand exposure? Does Facebook tell you how many times the ad is displayed?

      Thanks – Rob

      Reply
      • HMDhome.com •

        Yes it does! There is an intuitive dashboard that shows 1) how many Facebook users are targeted 2) how many saw my ad 3) how many saw my ad next to one of their friends who had previously liked my page 4) the number of people who liked my page within 24 hours of seeing my ad and finally the actual number of clicks on my ad.

        You can’t slice and dice the visitors like you can with Google Analytics but its still super cool.

        Reply
  2. [...] Ask an Expert: Should Your Business Be Advertising on Facebook? (blogs.constantcontact.com) [...]

    Reply
    • Nishreen •

      Hello, I am a freelance graphic designer (both web and print design) and looking to get more business. I have an online portfolio and want users to view it and ultimately get me more business. I have a facebook ‘artist’ page at:
      http://www.facebook.com/nishreengraphicdesigner

      Should I use facebook marketing? Whom should I target if I use it. Should i use the clicks payment method or the other one? Please advise me.
      thanks
      Nishreen

      Reply

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