How To Use Facebook Ads and Marketing For Your Small Business

Edited by Akshat Biyani

Updated


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Meta’s (formerly Facebook) platforms boast over 3.6 billion monthly active users. This number is expected to keep rising as more people across the globe get access to mobile internet.

Social media platforms like Meta’s Facebook and Instagram present a great opportunity for you to market your small-to-medium sized enterprise (SME) better. These platforms boast billions of active users and are a great place to run curated Facebook ad campaigns.

Social media marketing campaigns help small businesses in several ways including:

  • Reaching more people
  • Developing a unique and organic brand identity
  • Interacting with customers to build trust and loyalty

Facebook ad campaigns allow you to promote your business. Before running different ad sets, ensure that your business has a fully functioning Facebook page. Here’s how you can get one.

How to Set up a Facebook Business Page

To use Facebook for your business, you’ll need to create a business page.

First, you’ll need a personal Facebook page.

Then, go to the create a page wizard. You can find this manually by clicking on the small arrow in the top right corner of the menu bar and selecting Create a Page:

Facebook Create a Page wizard.

You’ll be shown a skeleton of a page that you can customize. Enter your page name and category first, along with a small bio that accurately describes your services. You can customize your page now.

Start by adding a cover photo, roughly 820 pixels wide and 312 pixels tall.

Here’s a free guide to creating a cover photo, plus a cover creator tool you can use.

Next, upload a profile picture. This will appear in all your posts in the top left corner, making it very important.

Facebook upload profile picture example with a graphic of a cat and text that reads "Digital Cats!"

Once your page is set up, you can use the customization panel on the left to fill in details about your business, like working hours.

Facebook setup your page example.

How to Get More out of Your Facebook Page With Custom Buttons and Tabs

Beyond the basics, you can make a few changes to your page to drive more sales to your business.

First, you can add a custom button right under your cover photo.

Click the “add action button” below your customization panel to find it.

Facebook add action button.

Have a look through the different options to pick the best one for your business. You can choose the option most likely to drive customers toward your end goal. If .you run an app and want customers to download it, choose that. However, if you run a small cleaning business and aim to get more calls, click on “call now.”

Once you choose one, you’ll have to input a link where someone can take that action on your website.

Facebook Action Button menu with option to add website link.

Visitors to your page will now see this button and can use it:

Book now button example.

You can also create a tab for custom offers or even create a mini store on your Facebook page.

All you need to do to add additional tabs/buttons is navigate to this button through the drop-down menu depicted here.

Screenshot of Facebook manage page with the drop down menu shown.

You can then create a shop on Facebook’s marketplace, link to a third-party marketplace you already use, or link directly to your website.

Action button menu for linking to a third-party marketplace.

Tracing the same steps will help you add several other easy-access buttons to your page, such as a link to your Instagram/WhatsApp Business page or email ID.

You’ll need to configure most tabs by going to the tab itself and then following the prompts.

Post Types and Formatting

One of the main purposes of having a Facebook page is to make posts that people who “like” the page will see.

When those people interact with your posts, their friends may also see your posts and learn about your business and product.

Creating new posts on your page is pretty simple. Near the top, just click inside the new post text box:

Facebook Creat post window.

You can choose from different post types along the top, but typically you’ll want to stick to either photo/video posts.

Here’s a look at a few favorite companies to give you a sense of what your posts should look like.

Facebook sample post from Amazon page.

We recommend having some images or videos in your post to grab people’s attention.

Tip: If you post videos to Facebook, get a boost by uploading it directly to Facebook as opposed to posting a YouTube link. The Facebook algorithm favors video uploads.

Phone with a live Facebook video shown.

When you get Facebook basics down, you may want to explore new forms of engagement like live video. Your users will be able to comment and post emoticon reactions in real time.

Using Business Suite to Create Perfect Customer Personas

Meta Business Suite (Facebook’s data analysis feature) will change the way you understand your users.

Here’s what the dashboard looks like:

Facebook Meta Suite Insights dashboard with Results page shown.

Facebook tracks a lot of data about people who interact with your page and provides that data for free. This includes

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Country
  • Operating system
  • Job titles
  • Income.

And so much more. You can install pixels (small pieces of code) on your website to continue tracking which specific Facebook users convert to customers.

This will impact your marketing as a whole, not just on Facebook.

To get even more data, you can go to your Facebook business page and click “insights” along the Cpanel.

Facebook Meta Suite dashboard example page.

This will give you more demographic data and data on the posts you’ve made. After you’ve made several posts, analyze them and see if certain types of posts or Facebook advertising campaigns have higher engagement.

If so, start posting more about those topics.

Facebook professional dashboard.

Here’s an in-depth guide to using insights data.

How to Use Facebook Ads Effectively

The other side of Facebook is Facebook advertising.

It will be painfully slow if you try to grow a page purely through organic posting and interaction. It was possible in the past, but organic is not enough these days.

Are Facebook Ads Right for Your Business?

With any advertising, there is a cost.

Facebook ads are certainly cheaper than Google Ads, but their price continues to rise.

A Facebook advertising campaign can help you expand the reach of your page’s posts. However, your posts need as much engagement as possible to get a reasonable cost per click (CPC).

You’ll need to be creative. Think: “What content can I create that my target audience finds particularly useful, valuable, relevant, and share-worthy?”

Basics First: The 4 Parts of an Ad

Once logged into Facebook, click the “create ads” button on the Cpanel.

Facebook Meta Suite menu options with create ads selected.

Your first step is to pick an objective.

Pick objective menu for Facebook ad.

The most popular objectives are

  • Automatic: This is how you “boost” posts; you pay based on post likes, comments, and shares.
  • Get more leads: This tracks which click results in sales and optimizes for this type of user.
  • Get more website visitors: This choice prioritizes driving traffic to a landing page on your website.

The second step is to create an audience for your ad:

Create audience form for Facebook ad.

Pick the gender, language, location, and interests you’d like to target.

You want to pick a specific audience to nail down your message. Aim for 10,000-50,000 users in your audience.

Third, set your maximum daily budget and when to start running the ad:

Form to set budget for Facebook ad.

Finally, you should change the ad placement default settings.

Placement options for Facebook ad with options to display on Instagram or Messenger.

You’ll typically want to uncheck showing the ad on Instagram. If you decide to only show to desktop users or mobile users later, you will change it here.

Which Ad Placements Are Best?

The short answer: you won’t know until you try.

You might find that News Feed ads perform best or that sidebar ads work for you.

Example ad for Amazon self cleaning litter box.

Ideally, run all types of Facebook ad strategies for a few days and then eliminate any underperforming placements.

Retargeting: The Key to Getting Extraordinary Results

Retargeting lets you track users and target them specifically, resulting in really high levels of engagement (and cheaper clicks).

Go into your Facebook ads manager, and click the “tools” section on the right. You’ll see an option for “audiences.” Click it.

Screenshot of Facebook ads manager page.

Creating any of these audiences and targeting them with a Facebook ad strategy will yield far better results than typical targeting through interests and demographics.

If you have the email addresses of at least 100 customers, you can upload those, and Facebook will find people that are most similar to them.

Here is a complete guide to Facebook retargeting that walks you through the technical steps.

Screenshot of a page that has case studies for how to grow Facebook marketing.

Once you’ve mastered the tips in this guide, try exploring the success stories of small businesses using Facebook. You’ll find these on Facebook, on the “Facebook Business” page.

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