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Irrigation Association of New York

Facebook Advertising for Small Business

Many small-business owners have discovered the benefits of on-line Facebook advertising to reach new customers. If you have mastered pay-per-click advertising and are looking for other venues to promote your small business on-line, consider a targeted advertising program on Facebook.

Like pay-per-click, it’s easy to make mistakes in configuring a Facebook ad program. The better you set up your campaign, the more likely you will generate a base of truly interested buyers. Otherwise you can quickly run through your budget without generating sales. Consider these tips:

  • Pinpoint The Audience for Your Ads: Facebook ads are most effective when targeted to very specific audiences (e.g. people who are interested in “lawn sprinklers” or “landscaping”). It’s up to you to decide who you want to see your advertising. Facebook lets you choose variables like geographic location, the user’s recent searches and their interests (based on their participation in groups and other “likes”).

Get into the minds of your target buyers: What do they read? What neighborhoods do they live in? What causes do they support? What news sources do they pay attention to? What brands do they follow or love? Brainstorm a list of things your audience may have already “liked” on Facebook. Based on the target information you enter, Facebook will estimate the size of your potential audience.

  • Develop a Winning Ad: What should you put in your ad? Drive action toward a specific purchase. Just getting more clicks through to your page is not enough. You can offer coupons, discounts or promote specific events. Avoid lotteries and prizes in your ads. There are many users who “like” any page for a chance to win something for nothing. Raffle participants are seldom buyers.
  • Choose the Right Ad Type: Facebook ads target viewers in a comfortable setting that they visit often. Standard marketplace ads run in the right column of the page and include a headline, a small image and a short amount of text. These are common and proven effective. A newer ad type, called a Page Post, runs in the user’s news feed. These have the benefit of being right where potential buyers are looking.
  • Start Small and Budget Wisely: Run ads in short bursts during critical selling times when your audience is most motivated. (Brown or weedy lawns are real motivators!) Ads that run too long lose their appeal when they’re repeated over and over again. Budget about 50 cents per click. Always start with a realistic trial campaign that is well-designed and runs for a defined period, so you can judge your potential results with a broader effort.

Start experimenting with Facebook’s ad tools to grow your company’s presence in social media.

Jeff Carowitz leads a marketing agency focused on the landscape industry. His website is www.StrategicForceMarketing.com

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