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Facebook Advertising for SME

Facebook Advertising for SME

In our last blog we looked at Facebook advertising and setting up your presence online using a Facebook page. If you regularly use the Facebook page you created and engage with people you will hopefully garner more likes, unfortunately it can be a little hit and miss. Negative rumours abound about just how Facebook lets people access your page and any posts you make. A regular complaint of small businesses is that although they may have X many likers of their business page, for some reason, only a fraction of X get to see the posts they make and this can seriously limit their business opportunities.

You – theoretically – can get round this by asking your followers to click on the “Get notifications” link in the drop down tab where they ‘like’ your page. Unfortunately they don’t always do this, and even if they do, there’s no guarantee they’ll see what you post. If, like me, they have lots of favourite pages then your feed can get lost among the mass, no matter how interesting it is!

So, you may decide that the best thing you can do to get your products or page noticed is to pay for advertising. You’ll see Facebook adverts popping up in your feed (they’re the “sponsored posts” you see, or you can see them to the right of the page. Now unlike the Facebook web shop that we looked at last time, I have tried Facebook advertising and I have to say it wasn’t too difficult to set up and it was quite successful.

Ads Creator

You can create Facebook advertisements by using either the Facebook ads creator or the Power Editor. I recommend using the Ads creator if you’re new to all this because it is pretty easy to use and you’ll be up and running in no time. The Power Editor has more functionality and helps you to create bulk advertisements, but is perhaps not so well geared for small businesses.

Campaign objectives

You can choose a number of ‘campaign objectives’ for your first advertisement. Have a look at these and think about what your primary objective should be.

Page Post Engagement: Promote your business page and the posts you make. Really good for encouraging engagement with your products and your Page and of course you can chat back! This type of ad can boost a status, photo, video, website link or offer that you’ve already posted to a much larger audience to increase engagement (likes, shares and comments). These are the best types of ads to drive engagement on your posts.
Page Likes: Grow your business page with likes and make your brand more recognisable. Getting “Likes” on your Facebook Page is really useful because you establish a strong credibility on the social site, so that when someone is researching you or your SME, when they find your page they can see that you have happy customers. The second great thing is that as soon as someone follows you, your company posts will sometimes show up in their News Feed free of charge.
Clicks to Websites: Get people to visit your ‘real’ website. Often these ads have an optional “call to action” button. These ads do a great job of driving traffic through to your website, with the bonus that the image you choose will click right through to your website.
Website Conversions: Get people to perform certain actions on your site (requires adding a Facebook pixel to your site). You can do this through Power Editor.
App Installs: Get people to install your mobile or desktop app
App Engagement: Get people to use your desktop app
Event Responses: Increase attendance at your event if you’re holding one or attending a show or market etc. If your company or business has an event that they’d like to promote, this is a great way to promote it. Write an appealing invitation, and then promote it out to your target audience.
Offer Claims: Create offers for people to redeem in your web store or actual shop etc.


Phew. This is a tricky one. The ‘experts’ I have read on this suggest you should spend 50cents to $1 per customer you want to target – so if you want 500 new clients that would be $500, which at the current (highly favourable to us) rates of exchange is £320.

However I have seen results (albeit a little limited) on a lifetime budget of $50 (£32) – yea I know, what an old stinge! – so it’s entirely up to you. Play with it, but make sure you can afford it!

Ad placement to the right.

Ad placement to the right.

Step One

Look to the right where the adverts appear. In one of the advert boxes you should see a link which says ‘Create advert’. Click on this.

The first step will allow you to choose your campaign type once you’re in the Ads creator.

Step Two Choosing Your Campaign Budget

Once you’ve decided on what your Facebook campaign is about, you need to set up an “Ad Set.” The Ad Set lives directly underneath the campaign and is the place where you set the budget of how much you want to spend. You can allocate certain amounts of your budget to specific markets or objectives. A budget can be set on a daily or a lifetime basis, and you can also choose your own advertisement start and end dates.

Target your audience

Target your audience

Step Three Choose Your Facebook Audience

Choosing the relevant audience is hugely important. Facebook is really good at segmenting its audience, meaning you can target groups to sell to very specifically. You can aim for:

• Location
• Age
• Interests
• Gender
• Languages
• Education Level
• Relationship Status
• Political Views
• Whether or not they are already connected to your page (I ignore this one – no point preaching to the converted is there?)

You can also target a custom audience if you upload your own information using:

• Email addresses
• Phone numbers
• User IDs
• Mobile advertiser IDs
• People who have visited your site

And while I can see the latter of these is useful, for the rest I’m not sure how useful it would be for SME, but you may feel differently, so explore it if you wish.

Step Four Choose where people see your ad

Where should you place your advertisement? There are three main locations on Facebook.

This is a great placement for your ad - right in the newsfeed.

This is a great placement for your ad – right in the newsfeed.

A. Facebook Newsfeed Advertisement

The News Feed post is the most prominent of the Facebook advertising placements. These ads show up in the user’s timeline along with the posts about people’s lunches, cat cartoons and “Remember this” nostalgia photos (or is that just my Facebook?). People see these posts as ‘sponsored’ but they can still comment and like.

B. Facebook Mobile News Feed Advertisement

If you have a mobile friendly website this might be an option for you. If you don’t, don’t bother.

If you have a great mobile app you can utilise Facebook advertising

If you have a great mobile app you can utilise Facebook advertising

C. Facebook Right-Hand Column Advertisements

You’ll see the advertisements on the right-hand side of the screen, they are right underneath the “Trending” topics section. There are fewer of these now than there used to be, and these ads are now larger than they used to be.

And that’s all there is to it really. I would say it is worth doing this if you fancy having a go and you’re willing to invest the money. For big results you would need a big budget and a lot of stock, but for a smaller budget and small amounts of stock, you haven’t got a lot to lose. Factor your Facebook advertising into the costs of your products.

Ready for part 3?

Over to you

Have you used Facebook advertising? Did it work for you? Do you have any hints and tips for other SME business owners who would like to try Facebook advertising out? Comment below or come and have a chat on Facebook.

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