Top tips on using Facebook advertising for your small business

Thinking of doing some Facebook advertising for your small business but not sure what to do? That’s understandable. It can be daunting to navigate that side of Facebook no matter how “easy” it all seems. However, no matter what the latest news says, no matter how many people say they’ve sworn off Facebook, it’s still one of the strongest social media platforms around – especially now that Facebook has launched advertising on Instagram Stories. But before you start with your advertising plan, it’s good to know more about the whole process. In this post, we give you some tips before delving into Facebook advertising.

Know your target market really well

The upside of using Facebook advertising is that you can specify your target audience on a granular level. But if you are not sure who your target market is, then it’ll be harder for you to create a solid marketing plan. Segment your target audience at the beginning so that you can specify your ads even more. The more specific you can make it, the better you’re going to get results. Save this segmented audience as a Facebook audience so you don’t have to keep creating them every time you do an ad.

Specify your message

Tell an authentic story that is tailored to your target audience. Because you’re a small business, you won’t have the budget to squander in different ads. Try picking two to three key messages and target a specific segment of your audience. Do the hard work beforehand in segmenting audiences as it will pay off in the long run. Run the two ads at the same time and see which one resonates with your audience more.

Track your ads

Do you know the backend of Facebook? Especially the bit where you check the analytics? Check out your Facebook Business Manager to see how your ads are going from the moment you launch it. Which one is getting more engagement? More eyes? Tweak the one that’s not performing well or reassess it. This is one of Facebook’s best features — being able to track your ad’s analytics quickly.

Use amazing graphics

With so many companies out there providing affordable graphics, videos and stock photos, there is no excuse to have boring ones for your ads. Things like Canva, Shutterstock and Animoto are small business friendly and easy to use. Have a play with them and maybe start with the free trial to see how you go. Your ads need to stand out from the crowd to get attention.

Know the rules

To make sure your ad doesn’t get rejected by Facebook, it’s worth checking out their rules beforehand. Things like drugs, guns, tobacco, supplements, weapons, gambling and so on are the obvious no-nos. Racy materials and language are also not allowed on Facebook. This includes foul language and profanity — even the symbols to replace foul language aren’t allowed. You can’t use shock tactics and sensational claims as well (e.g. curing a disease or losing that annoying belly fat).

It may seem daunting to look at all this, especially if you don’t have the background for it. But over time, you can learn how to use Facebook advertising for your small business. There are online platforms that cater to teaching small-business owners digital marketing. Alternatively, you can hire someone who knows how to do it for you. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it is one that suits your small business.

Kristyn Levis, Creative Director, 3C Digital

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