Do Facebook Ads Work For Small Businesses?
When it comes to online marketing, nothing beats SEO for getting hot targeted leads because the people searching on Google are in a buying mood. Google adwords pay per click also works very well for the same reasons, but the ads can get pretty expensive with a click to your website costing at least $1 and sometimes up to $5. However, there is another type of pay per click advertising on Facebook that is much more affordable.
Facebook ads can be as cheap as 20 cents per click but they are not as effective as ads from Google or Bing. This is because people do not go to Facebook to look for products or services – they go there to interact with friends and family. So, when they see an ad in their newsfeed it will be viewed in much the same way as a TV or radio commercial. You are interrupting their newsfeed, so your ad has to speak directly to them and be compelling enough for them to click on the ad and be taken to your website or Facebook business page.
However, Facebook ads do have an advantage over Google ads – you can do some very impressive targeting that you can’t do on any other platform. Facebook does a great job of gathering information about their users, and they let you use that information to get your ad in front of people that are most likely to buy your product or service. For example, you can choose to only show your ad to women between the ages of 35 and 50 that have a university degree and have shown an interest in singing. Or you could even drill down further and only target those women that went to a particular university and have a certain income level. Facebook gets all this information when their users sign up for Facebook and through the content they post and share. They also get consumer information from third party websites that they share data with.
Facebook ads can be beneficial if you use them to build a relationship with your target audience before bombarding them with a pitch for your services. When you start, try to create ads that send your audience to articles you wrote about your business and give them useful information that they might need if they are ever in need of your services. This helps to build your brand in their eyes, and they might begin to trust your company enough to actually hire you when they need your services. You can use retargeting to show a more aggressive ad to only the people that clicked on your previous ads since they have already shown interest in your product or service. Retargeting is when you place a little piece of website code on your website to track all the people that have visited a particular page. Then you can use that information to send ads only to that list of people.
The bottom line is that Facebook ads can work but you need to do a lot of testing with your ads and your website landing page. The learning curve can be a bit steep mostly because they keep changing things.
Here is a great and comprehensive guide for creating a Facebook advertising campaign from Maggie Aland. http://fitsmallbusiness.com/facebook-advertising/