We’ve enjoyed Facebook being free for the simple things in life; photo sharing, funny videos and communicating with friends. But someone has to pay for the service and that is advertisers. Facebook promotions, when done right, are good value for money for small business. It’s a great way to engage new, but niche, audiences with your business plus ensure your existing page followers see key promotions. But too many small businesses hit ‘boost’ without targeting their promotion to achieve the desired results. Before you make a knee-jerk move to promote on Facebook, take these steps:
Define your goals
I probably sound like a stuck record, as this is a mantra I live by on social media. For better campaign results, always define your goals first. In the case of a boosted post (or perhaps a Facebook advert) what is your primary aim? Web traffic, ticket sales, growing social audience? Before you hit the ‘boost’ button evaluate whether a Facebook advert is more appropriate for reaching your goals. Boosts are usually effective for growing the audience of a particular promotion or piece of news, rather than promoting your page or website.
Use quality text and images
Ensure your message is clear plus has all the key information with no grammatical errors. Select a quality, relevant image; remember this is likely to be the strongest connection with the audience and ensure they read and click. Optimise the image for Facebook, remember that ad sizes are different to feed post images.
Target carefully to your desired audience
Facebook will ask you to refine the targeting by age, gender and location. Be wary of the latter, as it relies on people setting their location to where they really live. If your promotion is location dependent, you may want to consider including a wide mile radius around the most populated area within that area. The same applies to ‘interests’, many of these are still driven by U.S. users, so may not have many engaged U.K. users within that community. Also consider, if you have a fan base over 500, that promoting to your existing fans and their friends may be enough to get good engagement results and business leads.
Don’t blow the budget
A small business came to me for advice last month. They were spending £100 a week on boosted posts and while they were getting fantastic viral reach, the engagement (clicks, likes, shares, comments) was poor. Plus they weren’t tracking how many leads were being generated from the campaign. Therefore, there was no way of knowing if they could spend half that amount, target better and achieve the same return on investment. Apportion 20% of your campaign budget for a couple of days testing the boost.
Monitor, refine, monitor, refine
After selecting your perimeters, Facebook will give you an estimated reach which should tell you how many may see the advert but that does not necessarily mean they will engage with it. It’s key to monitor activity during the first 24 hours, after which refine the targeting if you’re not achieving the desired results. You know your customers and audience best, so invest a little time in small, cheap promotions to test your campaigns. You can grow your activity from there – with confidence too!
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