The press has made a lot of fuss over Facebook’s changes to keep overly-promotional posts out of our news feeds. Some think Facebook has pulled the rug out from under local business owners - first encouraging the cultivation of “likes” and now expecting payment in order to reach those fans with ads.
But, you don’t want to rely on a polluted medium. If Facebook didn’t clean this up, then we all would suffer when viewers started paying less attention to the content on their newsfeed.
So where do we go from here and do what is right for your business? Don't think of paid Facebook ads as the enemy when they could bring you great success at a small cost.
Here are 3 key reasons you should advertise on Facebook:
- One BILLION people use Facebook EVERY DAY. Your customers are there. There is no free lunch. Facebook ads are a great way to reach your customers.
- No other platform lets you target so efficiently. There is a lot more to come from Facebook. We’ve only seen the beginning of the powerful targeting they can provide with their intimate knowledge of your customers. What other advertising medium can let a pet shop owner place an ad ONLY to moms who live within 3 miles of the shop and haven’t yet purchased? That combination of demographic data, geographic data, and integration with existing customer information is extraordinarily powerful (and cost-effective).
- Facebook ads reach your customers where they actually are - on the go. Close to 90% of Facebook users log in using their mobile phones.
And, once you decide to start advertising, follow these simple tips to get the best results from your Facebook ad:
Use a high quality image that contains little or no text: Your image is competing for people’s attention in their news feed with stories from their friends and family. Make sure your image does not include text that covers more than 20% of the image's area per Facebook's Advertising Policies.
Photos of your products or services work best (avoid stock photos): Use eye-catching, appealing imagery to capture your customer’s attention in their news feed.
Discounts or special offers work well to attract new customers. Start by deciding what your ad is intended to do. Are you trying to push a certain product? Encourage website views? Identifying the purpose of your advertising up front will help you attract visitors that deliver the desired results.
Use Facebook’s extensive targeting options; they are unparallelled. Decide who your target audience is before you design your ad. It may affect the image and the way you write copy. How old are they? 18-25? 25-54? Where do they live? What kinds of things are they interested in?
Finally, it's very important to keep in mind that Facebook is changing rapidly. Along the way, they may make mistakes or communicate things poorly, but ultimately, they will get it right. And they must. After all, their monthly advertising revenue (more than one billion dollars per month) entirely depends on making ads that really "work" for small business.