Does Facebook Advertising Work for Small Businesses?

Digital marketing can get quite costly. Big companies with plenty of resources to spend generally operate on a “let’s do everything at the same time” model. They understand that the more visibility they get, the better chances they have to meet their goals and reach their target audiences. And often, more visibility means more resources, whether it’s money for ads, employees focusing solely on these tasks, or even contracting third-party companies for assistance.

Small business owners are understandably more careful with how they spend their resources. Even if they do have some budget available for these efforts, they still worry whether Facebook advertising is even worth all the hassle or if it’s just going to cost them a lot of money without much to show for at the end.

Well, the answer is fairly complex, but we’ll try to explain this topic more in-depth below.

When It’s Not Worth It

The social media platform currently has 2.34 billion monthly Facebook users logging in to check notifications and scroll through news feeds. That’s a pretty big target audience, which can alone serve as the biggest argument for why small businesses should focus on Facebook advertising.

However, it is genuinely possible not to need this form of marketing, or not to get all the great benefits you’ve heard about if:

  1. Your Target Audience Isn’t Using Facebook

It may seem crazy to think so, considering it is the biggest social media platform to date, but having a large pool of users does not mean your target audience is automatically using Facebook.

For instance, if you have a local shop in a small city, and you want to get more customers through the doors, you should really see first if your target market (the citizens in the small city) are even using this platform. Maybe they prefer Twitter. Maybe most of them are old citizens who don’t even have internet access. There are a lot of maybes here.

You could, however, use it if you want to expand and reach people from different areas.

  1. You Have No Idea Who Your Audience Is, and How to Talk to Them

Let’s say that your audience is on Facebook after all. Are you completely sure who they are, regarding demographic information, likes, interests, etc.? Because this data will help you know how to talk to them, what kind of posts they’d respond to, what type of call to action persuades them and even at what time you should be talking to them.

  1. Your Business Goals Are Limited.

Let’s say that you are a coffee distributor. You don’t have a physical location; you just go around, talk to restaurant and cafe owners and sign contracts to sell your coffee. You don’t have the resources to expand yet, but you heard somewhere that you need to promote the brand through ads on Facebook.

Do you? If you don’t have enough products for this expansion, then do you really need to dedicate resource to Facebook at this point? It’s debatable.

What It Means to Do It Right

Let’s assume that you’re not in any of the three situations above, and you are considering Facebook advertising to promote your product or service. Is it worth the effort? Maybe.

If you know how to  leverage Facebook advertising correctly, then the perks you’ll see aren’t that different than the ones big companies expect:

  • Increased engagement rates;
  • More leads, better conversion rates;
  • Increased revenue;
  • Better brand recognition;
  • A community around your brand.

Small business owners have a lot to gain from Facebook advertising, but it’s reported that 62% of them fail at it. This number does not inspire a lot of confidence, we know, but here we are still making a case for it.

The truth is, a lot of businesses fail because they go into the marketing effort without a good foundation to start with.

How to Leverage Facebook Advertising for Small Businesses

  1. Your Industry Counts

Different industries can have different success rates on Facebook. Of course, Facebook won’t prevent you from using its advertising services if your business comes from an industry with a lower appeal to users, but you do need to understand your model if you want to generate results.

For instance, Facebook is now actively encouraging e-commerce stores to use their advertising services. There are even ads specifically designed to help these businesses sell their products on the platform, from carousel ads where you can promote ten products or services at ones to remarketing ads where you target the people who’ve abandoned the shopping cart.

Your industry and business model will generally dictate how you’ll use Facebook advertising.

  1. You Need a Good Strategy

The chances of achieving your marketing goals depend on the strategy you have. This strategy often starts with your business goals because it should really reflect it.

For instance, your business goal is to achieve a certain revenue in a year, and you want to use Facebook as an additional method to help the business reach that goal. Once you know this, you’ll need to think of specific ways you can make that happen through Facebook, meaning the individual steps you need to take. All of that will end up being the strategy.

  1. You Need Time

Nothing happens overnight, and if you want to use Facebook for anything, you’ll need to be patient with it, even if you do use paid ads to boost the process.

But you also need to dedicate a lot of time into it. There is a lot of competition on Facebook since currently, more than 60 million businesses are using it to promote their products and services. Given this situation, one hour per week isn’t going to cut it. Actually, it’ll most likely require near-constant supervision, and it’s best to have someone on it full time.

 

Summing up

The short answer to the question is that yes, Facebook ads work for small business. It is possible that your business does not need Facebook. Whether it’s not the right time, or you’re doing fine without it, don’t automatically assume you need it.

If there is room to grow on Facebook, then small businesses need to create a good marketing strategy first, and then implement it through their Facebook page. Without this strategy, you’ll be stuck in a guessing game of what to do next, and the results won’t be anything to brag about.

Need some help growing your small business with Facebook? Our team can provide the best industry solutions to your troubles, and you can start truly seeing great results. Contact Australian Internet Advertising now and let’s see what we can do for your business.