Written by Jamie Smith
When anyone—including a business—makes an investment, they want that investment to have positive returns. The same is true when it comes to investing in Facebook advertising. Unfortunately, too many businesses fail to get a positive ROI because they fail to create effective Facebook ads.
Here are some of the most common Facebook mistakes small businesses make and how to do it better:
It’s no coincidence that Facebook requires users to choose a goal as the first step. After all, if you don’t know what you want to accomplish, then how can you take the right steps to accomplish it?
Here’s one hint: the goal can’t be vague like “increase sales.” You have to be more specific than that.
It’s important to have a goal in mind with your Facebook advertising but it’s even more important to have the right goal. More specifically, the right goal must be a refined goal. Are you wanting to get more likes on your Facebook page? Or have people visit a specific website? Or perhaps the goal is to get people to RSVP to an event.
Facebook ads are essentially a call to action and you need to know what action you want people to take when they see your ad.
Facebook advertising is great in that it gives you seemingly countless options for refining your audience and other ad choices. Facebook also offers the opportunity to create a custom audience using a mailing list or other types of lists of people who have already interacted with you in some way.
Many users decide to refine their target audience by location, age, interests, Facebook interactions, and other demographic information. The more detailed you get when defining your target audience, the better you can focus your ads to the right people instead of wasting impressions with a less than accurate target.
For example, if your business only offers local service or is perhaps a restaurant with a largely local customer base, it doesn’t make sense to advertise state or nationwide. The same goes for demographics such as age. If your product or service is for the elderly, don’t waste time and money by advertising to millennials.
It’s one thing to know that refining your audience is necessary, but that knowledge is less helpful if you don’t know what answers to provide for each demographic option.
This happens when you don’t know your target audience—either you don’t know who your target audience is at all, or you don’t know your target audience well enough to make the right demographic selections.
Learning your target audience will make it easier to refine your choices.
We all hope our Facebook ads are wildly popular, otherwise we wouldn’t bother creating them. But are you ready for the response? If you are asking people to click through to your website, will they find a functional, user-friendly site? Does your hosting plan allow for the extra traffic? If you’re advertising an event, can people RSVP without a hassle and can they easily find supporting information about the event? If you’re inviting them to interact with an app, has that app been tested for bugs and glitches?
By being prepared for people to respond to your ad, you will create goodwill with the customer and further the chances that they will purchase your products or services after seeing your Facebook advertisement.
If you try to meet all your overall goals with only one ad, it’s sure to fail. Another great aspect of Facebook advertising is the ability to easily create multiple ads in one campaign. This allows you to better target each ad to a specific audience without ignoring another section of your target audience. You can easily spread your advertising budget over multiple ads. By placing time limitations on how long the ads run, you can also decide to cut ads or add them if you find a specific advertisement is not resonating with its target.
What other advice do you have for fellow small business owners? What have you learned about Facebook advertising?
About the Author: Jamie Smith is an avid content creator both for her personal blog Jamie’s Thots and for clients through her writing business Jamie’s Notebook. A newspaper journalist by training, Jamie has loved the written word since elementary school. She started her personal blog in 2005, but had never considered that platform as a means of making a living until joining Social Fabric in 2013. She still writes some magazine and newspaper articles, but the majority of her work is now in sponsored blogging, corporate blogging and website writing. Happily married to husband John, Jamie works in a home office and loves sharing about her four-legged “children.” Tweet her at @JamiesThots.