Small Business Marketing by Jillian Shaw Marketing, Advertising & Public Relations for the Small Business

How to Target Your Facebook Ad

02.26.2010 · Posted in Advertising, Facebook, Social Media

There are countless reasons to use Facebook to promote your business.  This article outlines just a few of them and highlights some real Facebook success stories.

One of the greatest things about being a business on Facebook is its unique, affordable, targeted advertising tools.  I talk briefly about Facebook Advertising in this post, but I want to go into greater depth for you here.

Once you’ve started a Facebook page for your business, and connected with as many of your existing customers as you reasonably can, you might consider advertising on Facebook.

The process is pretty simple:

  1. Click the link I just gave you, or find the ‘Create an Ad’ button in the upper right hand corner of you Facebook page.
  2. Type what you want to say and choose an image.
  3. Set a daily spending limit and time frame.
  4. Input your credit card info.
  5. Pay only when people  actually click on your ad.

Pretty cool, right?  I know!  But there are so many other things you need to know to make your ad effective.  First and foremost is targeting.  That means setting parameters so that your ad is only shown to people who are most likely to click on it and follow through.  Here are all the options you’ll see as you customize the targeting for your ad, and how you can use them.

  • Location.  If most of your business has to happen in your actual physical store (like if you don’t have a website where you can sell your product), then the location feature is very important.  You can target by city.  If you’re in, say, Anderson, Indiana, maybe you only want to market people in Anderson.  More realistically, you’ll add outlying communities like Pendleton, Lapel, Noblesville, and even Indianapolis.  If you do business across the Midwest, you’ll want to widen your geographical market with the state option.  You can target specific states just by typing them in, so you might want Indiana, Illinois,  Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan on your list.
  • Age.  This is great if you know your business or product attracts a certain age range of people.  If you own a skate park, or an arcade, you can target people 18 to, say, 30.  If you sell dentures and walkers, you can target people 55 and older (and yes, those geezers ARE on Facebook!).
  • Birthday.  You can get real tricky and target people on their birthday.  If you’re a massage parlor, how great would it be to write an ad that says “Happy Birthday! Treat yourself to a full body massage…”
  • Gender.  You can choose to target just men or just women, if your business caters particularly to one or the other.
  • Keyword.  This is potentially the most important feature.  Using keywords, you can make sure that your ad  goes to people who have already expressed an interest in your service or product.  For example, if you sell art supplies, Art, Arts, Artist, Arts & Crafts are all keywords you should be targeting.
  • Education.  You can choose to market to everyone, target college students, or those who’ve already graduated college.  This could be very useful if you’re selling, say, college textbooks.  Or if your business is a bar near a college campus, this is right up your alley.  This  would also be a useful tool if you know your service or product is specialized to the point that very likely only someone educated in a related will use it.  Perhaps you sell surveying equipment – you know it will probably be engineers buying your stuff.
  • Workplaces.  If you want to target people that work in a specific field, use this option to target large companies in that field.  Then your ad will only appear to employees of those companies.
  • Marital Status.  Are you a wedding planner?  You’re in luck!  You can target people with “engaged” set as their marital status.  You can also target singles and married people, or those who are just “in a relationship.”
  • Language.  You can target people by the language they are using, which is a really cool feature.  If your business is particularly culture-based, like a hispanic grocery store, for example, this might be a useful tool for you.  As a warning, however, most people will have English as their language setting if they are in the United States.
  • Connections.  This gets a little complicated.  You can target ads to people already connected to your page, or to another page you own.  Or you can target ads  to people who are NOT already connected (meaning if they are connected already, they won’t see your ad).  Or you can target the friends of people who are already connected to your page.  Get it?  With this option, if Jane is connected to your page, Jane’s friends will see your ad, but not Jane herself, and not anybody unaffiliated with Jane.  This goes for all your fans.  Post questions in the comments if you have any on that one.

At the bottom of that list you’ll see an ‘Estimate’ number.  That number is the approximate number of people that would be exposed to your ad.  I think it’s always better to have a smaller number than a bigger one, but that’s up to you.  If you’re targeting 200 people, those people are going to see your ad a lot, and they are going to be the people that are most likely to click on it.  So not only do you increase your chances of click-throughs, but you also increase the number of times they see your ad.  Even if they don’t click on it, you’re leaving an impression on them, and they may think of you next time they need your product or service – and that’s totally free!  Think about how much money you spend to have your tiny ad in the newspaper for one day and compare that to zero.  Zero probably looks better!

Jillian's Currently Reading: Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business
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    good shit

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