How to Use Facebook Ads to Grow Your Business

Mark Zuckerberg, is for me, easily one of the smartest tech minds of the 21st century. Although, he did not create the idea of a social network, he has nonetheless brought it to another level. Businesses realizing the massive and far-reaching impact that Facebook has had on all of our lives are keen on taking advantage of this revolutionary platform. There are some predictable mistakes that they make in their initial forays on Facebook.

Editor’s note: for those just getting started with Facebook for Business, see our handy Intro to Facebook for Business guide!

To truly understand the brilliance of Facebook, one has to think about it as millions of blogs, which are all continuously updated and regularly read. Facebook is able to accrue massive amounts of money for ad slots, which are broadcast to its users. This is like a self-enclosed internet in which rivaling ad networks are locked out of.  I take it at this point that most of us are familiar with what Facebook is, so I will forego a deeper discussion,  in the hopes of explaining -in as few words as possible- ways that it can be used to further your outreach efforts.

What is the difference between a Personal Profile and a Page?

There is a saying that many of you may have heard before: “all politics are local.” The connection that I am trying to make here is that Facebook is about making the world no smaller than the distance between two houses. You know what your neighbor is doing simply by looking out the window.  In some instances, you may even have to drive a couple of minutes to reach out to that person, but the task of keeping up with the events taking place in their lives is relatively easy.   Where we struggle is in keeping up with people who we once knew. Their paths diverge from our own and we use Facebook as a means to connect with them.

The first mistake that businesses make is using Facebook as a person would. There is a reason why you must create a Page for your business. Facebook is in the business of creating impressions for its advertisers. Your using a personal profile in the capacity of a fan page dilutes the user experience. In essence those using their personal profiles to advertise are no better than spammers. Although Facebook does not routinely do it, they do reserve the right to delete your account for anything that they deem unnecessarily disruptive. It is best to play by their rules, which is why you must take the time to create a business page.

Your page is the face of your business on Facebook and will serve as a better voice for your agenda than a personal profile ever could. On your page you will be able to post your brand messaging using software such as Hootsuite, which will serve to streamline your outreach efforts. There is also the added advantage regarding your being able to use Facebook advertising to increase the traffic to your page. Your page can and should serve as an extension of your brand.

Starbucks is an example of a brand that has excelled at reaching out to customers on Facebook!

Starbucks is an example of a brand that has excelled at reaching out to customers on Facebook!

How do you advertise on Facebook? Is the cost worth what you get?

 Advertising on Facebook is a tricky proposition for one major reason. You must make a calculated decision as to whether you want to target your ads to either boost content or to garner likes. You can always do both, but for businesses on tight budgets the decision is can be an either/or choice. I will always advice you to go with advertising your page in lieu of getting people to visit content or an external site. When you get people to visit your site or content, it is a single time proposition. It makes entirely more sense to  get them to like your page, because it increases the likelihood of your messages being exposed to them and other potential customers within their Facebook feeds/streams.

Before giving you the final steps in creating an ad campaign, I want to make sure to clarify some things. Facebooks ads offer you the ability to create campaigns for as little as $10, however, they do not represent the best online marketing bargain and are actually kind of expensive. There are two metrics that you can use to gauge the effectiveness of your approach. It is imperative that you keep them in mind to maximize your return on investment!

The first metric being: are you getting enough likes to break the $1 per like price range. Effective campaigns are able to dip their per like cost well beneath the $1 per like bar.  Once you have completed your campaign, you want to then measure the amount of discussion that is taking place about your content and brand updates. A common mistake is to believe  that just because your page has a certain number of likes that it translates into resonance. Smart Facebook brands keep an eye on the “talking about this” and “has been seen by” numbers. The former tells us whether our messages are falling flat with our audience or whether they are sharing our messages with others; the latter tells us whether our fan base is active at all, or whether they have removed us from their streams/feeds.

As a blogger it’s easy to ramble and there is something rather appealing about using available resources. Here are the directions that you need to follow spelled out step by step. Thanks Facebook for the clean step by step guide.  SImply click on the image to enlarge it.

Easy and clear cut instructions on how to begin your Facebook ad campaign!

Easy and clear cut instructions on how to begin your Facebook ad campaign!

As always, feel free to share your comments, thoughts and experiences regarding your Facebook campaigns in the comment section below.