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.

Good luck!

P.S. – Don’t forget that all annual Webs premium package purchasers receive a free $50 worth of Facebook Ad credits.  Learn More.

About the Author: Irina Kabigting is Webs’ Social Media Marketing Manager. Get more from Irina on Webs’ Blog and Google+.

8 Responses

  1. Reply
    U WANT
    Feb 15, 2011 - 11:07 AM

    thats really eye catching entry! i am just thinking to get the premium packages for my both websites and my new one ,thanx to webs for all these great articles! love it

  2. Reply
    Michael Rohrer
    Feb 15, 2011 - 01:12 PM

    There were some coupon codes to get $50 in Facebook ad credits last fall, which I was able to use. From what I’ve seen, its not worth paying for. Most people ignore those ads anyways. And I know I’m not the only one who’s had the same results. Biggest complaint is their “click-through” stats didn’t correspond with actual site hits. Their stats had twice as many click-throughs as people who actually visited my site.

  3. Reply
    yunana a. kure
    Feb 15, 2011 - 04:51 PM

    precisely, i am lost of handling my website for prospects to see and act. Facebook is good, how do i place my ads?

  4. Reply
    anime kida
    Feb 15, 2011 - 09:14 PM

    I’ve tried them already, they’re so bloody expensive, no small business can afford to get any real audience with that. we’re talking thousands of dollars here. facebook aps are good for big corporations but not for small business like the one i have.

  5. Reply
    Mar 31, 2011 - 06:20 PM

    It looked so good until I found out I have to pay! 🙁 im searching for a way to make The Mockingjay Perch a great hunger games forum…

  6. Reply
    Mark Kauffman
    Jun 10, 2011 - 08:37 AM

    I’ve been getting some nice activity from my Facebook ad and my “Likes” (Fans?) have gone up over 1000, but when I tried to contact them I was blocked by Facebook. I was either doing too many or going “too quickly!”

    I someone shows interest in my product (which is expensive @ $1500 and not a whim or impulse purchase) I want to be able to contact them with more information or to see if they are interested.

    I had a good percentage confirming my “Friend” request and saying they were interested, but then I was blocked!

    That is NOT okay! If my ads are working, I need to be able to respond to those people who “Like” me and befriend me!

    Does this make any sense? Seems abusive to me! I can’t continue the ad without following up with sales!

  7. Reply
    Aug 05, 2011 - 02:29 AM

    I have too need this link. But I don’t know how link?

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