Have you tried advertising with Facebook?

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If you’re using Facebook to market your small business, you might want to take a look at advertising on Facebook. There are a number of ways to use ads to drive traffic and build awareness on Facebook.

When you create an ad event on Facebook, you can easily create an ad to promote the event. When people view your ad, they can click on the RSVP link (or anywhere on the ad) and get taken directly to your event page. Even better, if someone RSVPs to your event, it will automatically be added to their profile page and possibly even in their friends’ home page Highlights—generating free distribution for you.

The same is true of your Fan page. You can promote your Fan page with an ad and people have the option of becoming a fan. Even better – Facebook ads allow for “social proof”. If I become a fan of your page, I’ll show up at the bottom of the ad whenever any of my friends view your ad, thus giving you increased credibility with my friends.

You can also use ads to link to your website, but you miss out on the social proof options if you do.

Other types of Facebook ads include videos, Facebook gift ads and their own house ads promoting Facebook features.

Keys to success with Facebook advertising:

Target Your Ads

The best part about Facebook advertising is you can decide the age, gender, location, marital status, interests, and other keywords of who will see your ad. This way you don’t waste money on people who aren’t your target market.

ads - demographics

Images attract attention

Studies show the image you use in your ad plays a big part in how many people actually click on it. Therefore, spend some time to choose an eye-catching image to draw people in. Don’t use your logo. Choose something more interesting. Even a photo of yourself will be more effective than a logo. In fact, when I’ve run Facebook campaigns targeting a local demographic I’ve had good success with my photo. People who know me want to see what I’m up to.

Test. Test. Test.

Rather than running a single advertisement, create several ads and change the parameters (called split testing). Try using identical images and demographics but test different photos. Or use the identical ad and test who responds better: men or women. You may also notice you get different results on different days of the week.

You may be surprised at what works. The image below is a chart of a few ads I ran earlier in the year. The last two ads were identical except for the headline. If you’ d asked me before I ran the two ads, I would have guessed that the bottom ad would have performed better.

ads graph chart only

Monitor results

When it comes to Facebook advertising, don’t just “set it and forget it”. Particularly if you are testing two or more ads, you should log into your advertising account daily until you get a handle on what works. If you notice one ad is out performing the others by a long way, you may decide to discontinue other ads and have more emphasis on the better one.

Final thoughts

The nice thing about advertising on Facebook is you can experiment and get results for much less money than with Google Adwords.

I have heard some experts complain that the click through rates (the number of people who actually click on your ads) are terribly low on Facebook as compared to Google. However, I have a theory. If you have a national (or international) audience or are in a major city the click through rates will be much lower than if you are in a small market and a targeting a local audience. For example, I live in Owen Sound, with a population of about 22,000. Whenever I see an ad on Facebook that has a local town in the title, I’m much more likely to check it out.

Andrea J. Stenberg

Have you used Facebook to advertise an event, a Fan page or your website? Please leave a comment and share your experiences.

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