Small businesses have great products and services, but they don’t always have the volume of customers they deserve. One effective and affordable option for getting new customers is to advertise on Facebook, which currently has over 500 million users.
What Are Facebook Ads?
Facebook Ads are the small, square, image-based and text-based ads that show up on the side of Facebook pages to advertise businesses to people using Facebook. Unlike a TV ad, which anyone can see, Facebook ads are highly targeted.
As the ad’s creator, you get to select a target audience for your ad based on location, age, interests, and other factors. In other words, your ad only appears on the side of the page for Facebook users who are likely to want your products or services! Plus, you control your budget by setting a daily budget you are comfortable with.
When Facebook users click on your ad, they are taken to your website (or, if you prefer, to your business’s Facebook fan page).
Steve Luxenberg’s Story
In a recent article in the Washington Post, author Steve Luxenberg shared his foray into using Facebook Ads to promote his new book. Though initially he was disappointed by his Facebook ad’s click-through rate, he found that the ad did push traffic to his website and raise his book’s profile. Here’s an excerpt:
Constructing my target audience turned out to be fascinating, almost entertaining. I suspect this is intentional. Make the process less daunting, and more users will try it. As you add or subtract demographic info, a counter recalculates the size of your potential audience…. I started with no limits other than age (over 18) and country (United States). That produced an estimated target audience of 134,052,520…. After this flight of wishful thinking, I followed Facebook’s advice and went micro. I typed in “books.” The counter responded: 936,860….
There’s really a lot you can do with targeting. A wedding planner, for example, can target people who have listed “weddings” as an interest—and people who have identified themselves as “engaged.”
Two Growing Trends:
Online Advertising and Facebook Advertising
You aren’t the only entrepreneur making the foray into online advertising. According to a January 2011 article from eMarketer, online ad spending in the US is poised to reach record heights over the next few years. Experts expect that the 2010 spending total, $25 billion, will grow to $30 billion in 2012 and over $40 billion by 2014.
The following week, eMarketer reported that ad spending on Facebook is predicted to reach over $2 billion in the U.S. in 2011, which is almost double the Facebook ad revenue from 2010.
”2010 was the year that Facebook firmly established itself as a major force not only in social network advertising but all of online advertising,” said eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson.”
If you think Facebook ads could help you grow your business, find out more and get started at the Facebook Ads hub: Guide to Facebook Ads. If you’d like more helpful tips, watch this Facebook webinar called “Get set up for success with Facebook Ads,” or read this article on Facebook ad targeting.