Facebook Ads: “Like” Them or Leave Them?

Facebook advertising can be a great complement to your online marketing strategy.

I’m not saying it’s the end-all-be-all, but using it smartly can be game-changing for your small business.

There’s so much great content here on Laura’s site about how to leverage Facebook to grow your business.  Everything from creating a page for your business to strategies for engaging your audience.

But what about Facebook ads?

Should you be using them too? Or will you just be throwing away your money?

I feel like they get a bad rap sometimes and tend to be that “thing” behind the curtain that nobody wants to talk about.

I’m going to pull back the curtain and show you 3 simple ways you can be using Facebook ads to grow your small business.

Ad Strategy #1: Promoting Your Business’ Facebook Page

If you’re a regular reader of Laura’s site, you understand the importance of having a  Facebook page for your business.  If you don’t yet have one, I highly recommend creating one.  It’s super easy to do and can do wonders for your business.

Once you have your page, there are a number of ways to promote it, things you can do for free and those you can do with Facebook ads.

Ever hear of a “Facebook Page ad”?

They’re the ads you see in the right column of your Facebook page that tell you to “Like” this or that and usually have the “thumbs-up Like” icon.

Here’s an example:

This type of ad is so effective because all your ideal customer has to do is click the “Like” at the bottom of the ad to become a Fan of your business and start getting your updates.  They don’t even leave the page they’re on when they click.

To set up this type of ad, simply click on the “Promote with an ad” text link in the upper right of your business page.  This will take you to Facebook’s ad set up page where you can set all the parameters of your ad like headline, ad copy, targeting, etc…

For step-by-step help with creating a Facebook ad campaign, don’t miss the free guide I’ve created: “Make More Money with Facebook Advertising – Your Ultimate Guide to Getting Started with Facebook Ads.”

Ad Strategy #2: Create Word-of-Mouth Promotion for Your Business

Another effective strategy is to use Facebook’s Sponsored Stories ads.

These ads let you promote the actions that people take when they connect with things like your Page, app you’ve created, or event that you’ve set up — all within an ad.

You’ve seen ads like these on your Facebook page, right?

These ads broaden your reach by allowing your fans to help their friends discover your brand and connect with your business.

Thus, the word-of-mouth promotion. You’re more likely to take action if your friend suggests something to you.

Ad Strategy #3: Target Your Ads to Your Ideal Customers

There are over 800 million people (read, potential customers) on Facebook today, more than half of whom are active on the site every day.  This number continues to grow and some estimate will reach 1 billion later this year.

In addition to the word-of-mouth promotion opportunities that Facebook ads afford your business, the real beauty lies in the ability to put your ads in front of your exact target audience.

Facebook takes all the info in a person’s personal profile, their status updates, what’s written on people’s Walls, the groups people are part of, etc. and lets you, as a marketer, use it to target your ads.

There are literally thousands of variations of targeting, here are three to get you started:

  • “Interest” targeting – target based on what people are interested in (coffee, running, rock climbing, for example).
  • “Connections” targeting – allows you to only show your ads to friends of those people who are already Fans of your page.
  • Workplace targeting – allows you to show your ads to people who work at a specific business.

Want to advertise your business to customers of your competitors?  You have that option.

Want to target people with the same interest as your business within a 10 mile radius of where you’re located or in specific cities?  Not a problem.

I’m only scratching the surface here of what’s possible.

Hopefully you can see that smartly leveraging Facebook advertising can be a very effective compliment to your marketing strategy.

From promoting your Facebook page, to choosing from the variety of effective ads available, to the unique and precise targeting that only Facebook gives you.  It’s one of the most efficient, cost-effective forms of marketing on the Internet.”

I’d love to know, have you tried Facebook ads?  If you have any questions feel free to share them below. I’d love to help.

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Rick MulreadyRick is the founder of I ROCK Paid Traffic and teaches small businesses and online entrepreneurs how to grow their business through Facebook advertising.  For your FREE guide to getting started with Facebook ads, check out irockpaidtraffic.com/facebookguide.  Find tons of additional free helpful content and stay up-to-date with the constant changes on Facebook by joining his Facebook community (Facebook.com/IRockPaidTraffic) or going to IRockPaidTraffic.com.

Comments

  1. Have to say that as a small business, Facebook ads worked incredibly well for us in the run-up to the launch of our e-course.

    We were able to get very niche with our targeting which not only meant we had very good access to our target audience, but we weren’t wasting impressions on people who were unlikely to convert. This it very cost effective (far more so than Google Ad Words).

    We only ran the ads for about 10 days until the course launched, but will definitely be using Facebook Ads again. I would expect the efficiencies to improve with a longer campaign too, as we’d be able to test and optimise.

    • So glad you had a good experience running Facebook ads, Claire! I completely agree with you that the ability to niche target your ads so specifically on Facebook is a clear differentiator from other paid traffic.

      The efficiencies can definitely improve with a longer campaign as you learn more about the audience that responds to your ads.

      Ads on Facebook have a very short “shelf-life”, though, so be sure to update them every 5-7 days or so. You’ll know when it’s time for a refresh when your click-through rate starts to decline.

  2. Nice post Rick. I love paid traffic because I think it’s the fastest way to test your business idea – I know you have to spend – but at least you find out quickly whether you’ve got a good idea or not!

    Thanks for the fb tips :)

    Cathy

    • Thanks, Cathy!

      I love that you realize you can leverage Facebook ads to test the viability of product and niche ideas.

      I ran a campaign a few months back for a client where we tested titles to his eCourse before he launched it. We got some great data on which title resonated most with people. It was such a clear winner that he used it for his course and since his launch he’s been extremely successful with sales.

      Thanks again for reading!

  3. Thanks for the post, Rick. We used Facebook ads to get the word out about our company and it definitely worked. I’m looking for more information on turning those fans into customers…sometimes I feel like people click “Like” if they like the idea of your company, product, etc, but they have no intention of buying. Any tips on how to convert likes into sales?

  4. I totally agree that you need to promote your Facebook page. (Facebook users don’t like to leave the site they are addicted to). That said, you then need to change the goal of your advertising. In promoting your Facebook page your desire should be to make connections and engage your users (and of course it starts with getting more Likes)… but if you goal of Facebook advertising is to make more sales immediately then you will be disappointed.

    Making sales needs to be part of your long term branding strategy. If you want immediate sales then send people directly to your website, but again – you are back to the problem that it’s not as effective as driving people to your Facebook page for connections. Am I making sense?

    • Hi Lowell, yep you make total sense. If your goal is to sell products/services, than you should be tailoring your ad campaign to get prospective (qualified) customers into your sales funnel. I think you can do that on Facebook or on your external site. It’s really all about testing, though. Facebook users tend to be more trustworthy of companies/ads that keep them within Facebook. To your point, they don’t like to leave the site.

      With the new Timeline, you can also create custom apps and send people directly to them with Facebook ads. You could have an app that is a squeeze page where you’re collecting opt-ins for your sales funnel or even have an app that sells your product right there.

      Bottom line, test a few different ways to see what works best.

      • Good reminder about testing. Many people tend to launch a campaign with all guns blazing and afer blowing a bunch of month, they give up. Testing is key with any form of advertising. Thanks!

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