Using Facebook Advertising for Your Small Local Business

Want to know how to use Facebook advertising to market your business? Use this guide for understanding the many reasonably-priced, paid options Facebook has for helping you to increase your visibility and attract customers and to learn the steps you’ll take to set up a promotion.

Having a Facebook Page for your business is the first well-known step to effectively marketing on Facebook. The next is to get as many Likes for your page as possible and make regular content posts on your Page. While all that is good, it is not even scratching the surface of how you can use Facebook to market your local business.

Paid advertising on Facebook is an effective way to get in front of a targeted audience and it is surprisingly affordable as well.

You can do promotions on Facebook to get more Page Likes, boost attendance at an Event, make specific offers and more. You can put these promotions right in front of your ideal target market. And keep to a strict budget as well.

Before diving into the technical aspects of setting up a Facebook advertising campaign make sure you know your target audience demographics.

What zip codes do your customers live in? What kinds of activities or interests do they have that aligns them with your business? Is there a particular gender or age group of your customers? Is there a particular life event that they are going through right now? Be as clear and specific about this as possible. This is the foundation upon which your Facebook ad campaign will be built and it will determine how successful it can be.

The first step in doing a Facebook promotion is to decide what you want to happen as a result of people seeing your sponsored post go by in their News Feed or show up on their ad sidebar. Do you want them to register for an Event? Buy a ticket for it? Like your Page? Watch a video? Click through to your website to read a post? Or click through to take some other action?

Then create a Post on your Page, create an Event or build an offer. Be sure to use compelling copy and ask for the action you want people to take. Also, make sure the image that you use is eye catching and appealing. Also, if you do regular promotions change the image you use for different promotions so that people don’t skip reading your post because they think they already saw it once. 

After you have created the content you want to promote, click on the Promote tab in the upper right hand navigation section of your Page. Then go to the Ads Manager. The first thing you will do is Choose your objective.

RELATED: Print Advertising for Local Businesses

You can chose any of the options, but as an example, let’s say you are promoting off season dining at a neighborhood golf course restaurant. You could use either Reach people near your business, Raise attendance at your event and/or Get people to claim your offer.

What you do is choose one and it will ask you which Page you are working with and which specific post, offer or event. This is why you have to create the post, offer or event first. Otherwise, you have to go back and do it before you can proceed.

The next step is to Set Audience & Budget. This is where the magic happens. Choosing who sees your Facebook campaign is what makes it succeed. Start with location. This is what makes Facebook advertising good for local business promotion. You can narrow it down to a specific range from your business or choose zip codes. You can choose specific cities or towns.

The addresses of your current customers is a great place to gather data for this. If you already draw from a certain area, then target more people nearby.

RELATED: 7 Reasons People Aren’t Engaging With Your Business on Facebook

Choose as many demographics as you feel fit your target audience. Keep an eye on the right hand side of the page. This is where you will see how many people you are able to reach with the selections you’ve chosen.

After you have defined your audience, then set your budget. You can choose to spend a maximum certain amount each day or a maximum spend amount for the duration of your ad campaign. The daily budget will spread out your promotion evenly and cause it to stop showing up each day once the maximum budget is spent. The lifetime budget will fluctuate more each day but still not gov over the maximum amount you set. Either option is fine.

Unless you are a pay per click specialist, I suggest going with the option of letting Facebook automatically select your bid amount. As for the When you get charged option – you can either go with Impression (this is when anyone sees your ad) or by result (when they take the action you are promoting for). Going with the result usually makes sense. After all, that’s why you’re doing the promotion – to get the result. And it makes Facebook work harder to put your ad in front of people who will take the action.

Once you have finished up this part, you will Choose Ad Creative. Make sure your headline is compelling and your image is good. If you are going to do multiple campaigns, switch out your copy and your images to avoid ad blindness and test what works best.

After you place your order Facebook will need to approve your ad. As soon as it is approved it will start running. Lastly, check in to the Ad Manager to see what is happening with your ad. You may spot things you want to change for your next promotion. 

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