Facebook is the largest social media site (over 1 billion users). It's larger than some countries. That all sounds good, but what does it actually mean for small business owners. Basically, Facebook is a way to have a super focused target for your business. Even if you are just testing out an idea or want to develop your avatar, Facebook Advertising is a great way to target your audience.
What makes Facebook different isn't just that it's a social media site, it's the sheer amount of data that's available on the website that makes it's ability to target such a great opportunity for most small business owners. Little did people know that when they were building their profiles that included your birthdate (age), location, family members, interest and more, we were opening the door to advertisers to connect with you directly with a tremendous amount of information. The only social media site that may have more information is LinkedIn but it doesn't have the engagement, the number of users or the time spent on the website. LinkedIn is more of a digital resume.
The point is Facebook has a huge amount of data and every day the Facebook advertising experience is getting better and better for business owners. Some of the best ads that I've seen have some type of free offer whether it is a free class, free book or something that allows people to sign up for free.
Using Facebook ads, you can drill down and target according to all the information that users have put in Facebook. Basically that's age, gender, location, interest and device.
Here's a few scenarios:
- You're an iPhone App Developer and you're thinking of creating an Android application. Instead of investing the time and energy to develop the app first, instead you test the market to see the interest. You might set up a landing page that simply has people sign up for a mailing list that will announce when the Android version is in the Google Play Store. Your Facebook Ad can target people that use Android Devices.
- You're launching a new “Women in Business” e-course for business owners and you decide to target your avatar. Your target audience for your Facebook Ads can be age 25-50, women, that show an interest in entrepreneurship and business. Your ad can go to the sign up page for your course.
- You are a small local business owner and you just opened a Italian food truck in Washington DC. Your goal is to spend Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in DC and Monday in Arlington, Virginia and Friday and Saturday in Bethesda, Maryland. Using Facebook Ads, you can target people that might be interested in Italian categories, food and are located 3-5 miles from the physical location you plan to park. You might also provide a Facebook only special so that you can track your ROI from your Facebook Ad.
The wild card (if you didn't know) is that Facebook owns Instagram. If you know anything about Instagram it has user base and coupled with Facebook, it's a very powerful opportunity for business owners.
Now it's still more of a branding tool largely because most people are not actually looking for the service you provide. It's not like Google Adwords where there is already some type of interest or need. People are spending time on Facebook and your ad happens to come up. If you target well, you should be incredible returns but keep in mind that it is more difficult to convert people for a paid opportunity than a free course or a free e-book. On other thing you can do is take your e-mail list and upload it to Facebook and from there you can target people that you already have a connection with.