I regularly write blog posts about what our retailers can do to increase organic reach on Facebook. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take advantage of paid Facebook advertising, which includes Facebook ads and boosted posts. Paying for additional exposure on Facebook is becoming more important as you try to stand out among all the clutter your customers see in their Facebook timeline.
Since this is my first post about how to use Facebook advertising, I’m going to keep it pretty high-level and focus on the most common questions I get from retailers who don’t have much experience with this digital marketing strategy.
Why Should I Use Facebook Advertising?
Despite the ongoing rumors that “Facebook is dead,” and even the recent controversies surrounding the social media platform, two billion people still actively use it every month. And while it isn’t as popular with people in their late teens and twenties, you can focus on that demographic with Instagram. Here are a few tips from one of my recent blog posts about Instagram strategy. You can use paid advertising on Instagram too but I’ll get to that later.
Speaking of demographics, you can customize your Facebook ads and boosted posts to a specific audience, depending on who you want to reach with a given post. This is better than simply posting something without paying and hoping the people want to target will see it. And that’s assuming you get a decent percentage of your audience to see it in the first place.
Which brings me to the most important reason why you should use Facebook advertising: it’s effective. The platform has countless success stories that show more than 5x increases in marketing results after advertising on Facebook. At the very least you are guaranteed that your post will be seen by more people. Even if you don’t meet the goals you set on your first few ads or boosted posts, that’s okay. I encourage my retailers to test different messages and try different types of posts to see what resonates with their customers. Facebook also offers split testing (also known as A/B testing) on their boosted posts so you can compare which one does better based on one specific difference between the two.
When Should I Use Facebook Advertising?
Use Facebook advertising strategically. You don’t need to use it on everything you post. If you’re just starting out on Facebook and have recently created a new page, create an ad targeted to your customers to let them know your store is now on Facebook.
Is your store having a big sale or event? Created an ad or boosted post for it. You can also boost Facebook events! These are particularly helpful because your customers can RSVP and will get automatic reminders on their Facebook account as the event gets closer.
Are you rolling out a new program or making a major change in the store? This is another great time to pay for Facebook advertising to ensure you get the message out to as many customers as possible.
How Should I use Facebook Advertising?
You should also be strategic with how you use paid posts. You have the ability to reach a large number of people in your geographic area, as well as narrowing down your audience by age, gender, interests, etc. You can set any budget you want, starting as low as one dollar. I recommend that my retailers start by spending $25 so they can get a benchmark for how big the reach will be for that price. $25 is significant enough to get an idea of how many people you can reach with that amount of money, but not so much that it’s breaking your advertising/marketing budget.
As you start to get a better understanding of what your customers respond to and how much you should spend, you can start to experiment with different objectives.
Facebook also gives you the option to show your ad in multiple places where your customers will see it, including Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and even something called Facebook Audience Network (other apps and mobile websites).
A few more helpful hints:
You can run a campaign during a set time. If you have a sale going on all week, run the Facebook ad for the entire week.
When a Facebook user likes a boosted post but they haven’t liked your page yet, Facebook gives you a notification to invite them to like the page. Do it! This is another way to take advantage of Facebook advertising. It helps you grow your page following!
I mentioned that you can target customers by their interest. That includes targeting customers who like your competition on Facebook!
If you have any questions about Facebook advertising, feel free to contact me or your digital marketing specialist today!