As a busy market vendor, finding time to advertise your business can be tough, but Facebook has rolled out some new tricks to help. In addition to asking your customers to like and follow your business on Facebook, there are some simple steps you can take to boost your online presence to help you find new fans, as well as keep your current customers engaged and coming back to your booth, time after time.
According to SEO experts MOZ.com, the average amount of time consumers spend on an individual brand’s website is about 3 minutes, 49 seconds. The average amount of time these same consumers spend on social media is 40 minutes per day. As a busy entrepreneur, you want to put your money where the shoppers are, so it may be time to open up a Facebook Ads account.
If you already have a Facebook account, just log in, and run a search for Ads Manager, or simply start at www.facebook.com/business. Once you log in, Facebook will build an account for you, and open a window that allows you to set up ad campaigns. If you’re worried about the cost of this program, set your fears aside. You can set your budget, starting as low as $20/day, including setting a daily or lifetime budget, with a start and end date. Facebook has very user-friendly FAQs and Help screens all along the way if you have additional questions in trying to figure out your budget schedule.
To start, you’ll be asked to state your business objective, and choose between Awareness (Brand awareness and Reach), Consideration (Traffic, Engagement, Apps, Videos, and Lead Generation), or Conversion (Conversions, Product catalog sales and Store visits).
Each of these objectives has different benefits that Facebook will define and step you through. For example, if your objective is expanding your email promotion list, you would want to select the LEAD GENERATION goal under the objective ‘Consideration.’ The ad campaign you build will be focused on finding people who match your ideal shopper profile, and will be successful when Facebook serves up your ad and someone new gives you their email address to be added to your booth’s email or promotion list.
Once your objective is set, Facebook will ask you to set up a few basics about where you are located and how you do business, and then will move you on into defining your audience more specifically by creating a custom audience for your ad campaign. You can create this custom audience by uploading your existing customer email file, creating a list of people who visit your web site, or creating a list of people who have engaged with your previous Facebook posts. Each of these choices is worth exploring, and each may give you different results. If you are just starting out, choose one, see how it works for your business, and after a week or two, set up a new campaign choosing a different custom audience. Facebook will also save these custom audience lists for you, so if you want to use the same list again in the future, you can select it from a drop-down menu.
Once your audience choice is defined, you may choose between having Facebook automatically serve your ads (this is recommended, especially at first) or you choosing your own time and place for the ads to be seen online.
Your last steps are the actual creation of your ad, and these are also easily walked through with the help of the Ads Manager. You can choose from a single photo and text, a video clip, a carousel (showing multiple images or videos in the same ad), a slideshow video, a custom canvas ad, or a collection ad (showcases multiple products).
A few notes on creating ads that work:
- Stick to one topic, like Sale This Weekend, or $10 Off Today Only
- Use photographs – the simpler, the better, and remember to think mobile first. Most people check Facebook on their phones so if your image isn’t mobile friendly, you may lose people.
- Use legible text. If you’re not sure if the text in your image is clear, try using Facebook’s Image Text Check Tool to make sure your ad looks good.
- Keep it Short. Make sure your ad text is short and clear online, no one will read a paragraph, but they will click on a coupon, savings offer, or the best word in the business – FREE.
All in all, setting up an Ads Manager account in Facebook may take you a bit more than an hour initially. Online ads have the potential to reach hundreds of thousands of people, and in Facebook’s case, millions of logged-in users, but the law of online returns is not the same as in other advertising media. Online ads have an average response rate of just 0.06% according to Google’s Display Benchmarks Tool, so keep your expectations in check. That being said, the better you define your audience, the better your ad will resonate with them, and the more successful your promotional efforts will be. Good luck!