Safety tips first: I would not consider paid advertising until I have maximized every organic and free service available. From there, I would build campaigns that can be tested while learning the ropes of digital advertising.
Keep your budgets low at first, you will have far more failures than successes while you are figuring out a good system for your business. Once you hit a home run feel free to expand upon that strategy and test some slightly higher budgets. Many small businesses can do well with a $10 budget per ad.
Most ads don't get much play beyond 2.5 days, this is the reason I prefer to use ad sets and I never repeat the same exact ad on social media.
Lastly, be very carful on choosing your budget and settings, there have been many people that carried ads longer than they realize which made for some great internet stories.
--Now on to the tips--
Step 1: Set Up a Facebook Page and Account
Before you start putting a lot of money in Facebook Advertising, you need to start with the basics. Make sure you have a business account set up. You should also build a Facebook Page for your brand and join a few groups. Don't worry too much about stuffing your pages with advertisements or links to your site. People want real content and will reject your brand if you are yelling at them. Instead, focus on building an attractive, friendly-looking profile and page. A professional can always look it over when you are done and recommend changes. You also have to know your target audience. For instance, Facebook has been losing market share of youngsters under 21 to apps like Snapchat. There is a social media site for every demographic, you just have to figure out where your prospects are these days and Facebook is not the only place to be looking.
Step 2: Decide What You Want to Get Out of Facebook
Facebook is a very versatile network and it can be used by businesses in several different ways. Aside from establishing your online brand, Facebook allows you to make direct connections with people interested in your product, drive highly-targeted traffic to your website, encourage app installs, show off videos to potential clients and gain a regular following. In fact, one of the first things Facebook Ads asks is what you want to accomplish with paid advertising. This is great but don't count on Facebook to be around forever. Make sure you are capturing prospects with your own system. I could go on and on about this, but the point is that your house list is your own gold mine that no one can alter or take from you. Consider social media as one touchpoint for your prospects to enter your brand world and start to engage with you. Social is a great place to curate relationships and can also be a great place to sell but be very careful about focusing too much effort on the selling side of social. Friends first is always a good model with social. It is widely estimated that digital advertising takes 8 contact points before a conversion is made. Be patient and you will grow with time.
Step 3: Develop a Professional Marketing Campaign
After you have decided what you want to accomplish on Facebook, the Ad setup is very straightforward. Keep in mind that in order for campaigns to be effective, they usually need to target multiple stages of the buying process, which means running multiple campaigns to hit various sections of your marketing funnel. This means you have to understand your marketing funnel prior to running a campaign. You also have to understand some pretty serious copywriting and graphics before starting. Your ads need to have a professional, straight-to-the-point appearance. Facebook limits text to 20% of the visual space so every little word has to be well planned. It's also a good idea to A/B test ads to see if you can improve performance. The more testing the more advanced your advertising will become and likely the more conversions you are going to gain.
The take away from social media can vary greatly from company to company. Some brands just want to build relationships and some want to see sales convert. In the end you have to know what your KPI is before you ever begin social advertising.
Trying to summarize social media advertising in one simple post is pretty much impossible. I left out a lot of details that can be very important to a campaign. Spend some time doing your homework before spending money on digital advertising. You must have: research, strategy, and a great execution just like other forms of advertising.
Getting a digital marketing professional to help you develop and manage your campaign can help save you a lot of headaches. Want to learn more? Contact us today.