Is Facebook an effective marketing tool for local small businesses?
If you ask most small business owners, you’re likely going to get mixed results. For busy entrepreneurs, spending time managing a Facebook page, publishing content regularly, interacting with online followers and trying to measure a return on all that time and energy can be daunting.
However, compared with other paid advertising options like Google and Bing Ads, most marketers prefer Facebook Ads a driver of return on investment.
Organic vs. paid social media management.
Over the past several years, Facebook’s been making many changes to the way it serves content and ads in the News Feed.
For a long time, small businesses would be able to publish content to their Timeline, and a large percentage of their followers (people who actively like a company page) would see that content in their News Feed.
Sounds totally reasonable, right?
Well, it turns out, Facebook users don’t really want to see a ton of ads from businesses in their feeds. Several years ago Facebook responded, updating their News Feed algorithm to feature much more content from their own friends, families, and personal connections.
A new reality for small businesses on Facebook.
As a result of the News Feed updates, small businesses could no longer count on large percentages of their own Followers to see their content.
Over the next few years, Facebook slowly started building up its advertising platform, and small businesses across the country slowly began acclimating themselves to Facebook’s new “pay-to-play” model.
Slowly but sure many marketers and small business owners began to adopt the platform more and more. And the reason so many marketers like Facebook ads is due to their precision audience target and, as a result, low interaction costs (compared to, say, Google Ads’ Cost-Per-Click or CPC).
Your advertising options on Facebook.
There are actually quite a few different advertising options available. Some vary by media type (video, image, gallery, etc…) and others vary by objective (lead generation, offer redemptions, page likes).
For most small businesses dipping their toes in the Facebook Advertising waters, a simple Video or Image ad will do just fine.
Facebook is great for really, really specific audience targeting.
With so many users on Facebook providing so many details about who they are, where they live, what they like and don’t, Facebook is an amazing platform for businesses.
Big brother is watching.
This is one of the reasons (from an advertiser’s perspective) Facebook is so enticing.
Let’s say you own a local bakery—but no ordinary bakery. You specialize in vegan baked goods, bridging the gap between indulgence and healthy, sustainable eating.
As an advertiser, you will have the ability to send targeted ads to the following audiences:
- People who like sweets
- People who are vegan
- People who follow other healthy eating brands
- People who live within a certain radius of your business
- People who follow similar local businesses in your area
Pretty exciting stuff! Learn more about Facebook audience targeting here.
A good alternative?
So is Facebook a better alternative to other paid advertising options like Google or Bing Ads? Depending on your business objectives, it is absolutely worth experimenting with.
For small business owners with small budgets and well-defined customer personas, Facebook Ads can be a great way to reach your audience at a lower price point.