When done right, Facebook can be a key tool in promoting your small business—even on a limited budget. With new updates on a nearly daily basis, it can be overwhelming trying to take advantage of all the features Facebook offers. Through its Ads Manager program, you have the ability to gain more followers, likes and impressions on a post, and even direct people right to your own homepage. While traditional advertising avenues are limited for the budget-conscious marketer, social media advertising can stretch even a $500 budget a long way with some careful thought to these four considerations:
1. Know your audience You can get a thousand likes on a post, but if none of those Facebookers care about your company, was that ad successful? This is where quantity vs. quality comes in to play. While both have their time and place— to drive real sales and profits from these ads, you need quality engagement. This starts with building the right audience. One of the most powerful tools Facebook Ads Manager provides you with is its targeting capabilities. Your company has a specific demographic and your targeted Facebook audience can reflect those details. Narrowing all the way down to age, gender, job title, zip code and even what kind of pages they already like are all ways Facebook gets your post where it needs to be. Before you even begin boosting posts, take a look at your existing audience. If your follower count is lacking, consider using $100 out of that budget toward getting new followers that meet your target demographics.
2. Thumb-Stopping Visuals The next time you’re going down your Facebook feed and your thumb stops scrolling, take note! Why did that specific post jump out at you? Maybe it was an eye-catching video or just a cute baby picture. Whatever the reason, that post got you to stop and look at it. Keep these visuals in mind when creating your own ads because we usually look at a picture before reading the accompanying description. Avoid stock photography if possible as it can make your ad appear generic. Try capturing your own compelling images or videos, or consider creating original infographics with a program like Canva to get noticed.
3. What’s the Point? With a smaller budget, it’s necessary to be a little picky when it comes to choosing the content you want to sponsor. Upcoming promotions/events, fun pictures and original resources/infographics are all great options to put some dollars behind. Once you settle on that post, it’s time to choose what you want to get out of it— Post likes? Clicks to your website? Video views? When you’re building your ad, keep these options in mind.
4. Test & Measure This final step is the most important when it comes to maintaining and improving the success of your ad campaign. Keeping an eye on what you’re promoting, what you’re spending and the results you’re seeing can help you evaluate how to move forward. See that infographic you boosted for $30 is getting a ton of likes? Add another $20! If it’s not broke, don’t fix it— there’s a reason why people are responding, you have an awesome post, spread it around! See a post isn’t doing so well? Scrap it and make a new one. Social media is all about trying things out and adjusting in real time— don’t be afraid to try new things and experiment.
Social media advertising can appear intimidating at first, but it provides marketers with great opportunities. Learning how to make the most of advertising on social platforms like Facebook can help truly elevate your marketing efforts, no matter the budget.
Article originally appeared in Website Magazine.