Facebook marketing tips for small businesses

Facebook is the world’s #1 social media platform. But it’s so much more than that! With over 2.9 billion monthly active users, the platform is a goldmine for companies looking to market their offerings to consumers.

Companies, especially small businesses, can use Facebook for direct sales. They can also share valuable branded content, create memorable user experiences, provide customer service and build a tribe of loyal followers.

The great thing about social media marketing on Facebook is that it levels the playing field. Thus, it’s not only for large enterprises with large marketing departments and budgets, but small local businesses as well. 

Even small business owners with small marketing teams and limited budgets can use Facebook marketing to drive demand, expand their customer base, create loyal fans and grow sales revenue.

This guide will explain why small businesses need Facebook marketing and how they can make the most of it for enduring results.

Free Guide: 10 Tips To Get More Customers From Facebook


What is Facebook marketing?

Facebook marketing is the practice of promoting a brand and its offerings on Facebook. It may involve both organic (i.e., free) posts and interactions and paid or “boosted” posts. 

Either way, the goal is to get your brand in front of a massive audience and create your unique niche in this buzzing online marketplace.

Paid Facebook marketing

Paid Facebook ads are a great way to attract new leads and convert them into customers. Ads are highly targeted, so you can tailor your promotions and different types of content to a specific audience based on various demographic criteria, such as their:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Location
  • Job
  • Interests

You can also target ads based on behavioral data, such as prior purchases or device usage. Facebook will automatically show your ads to those most likely to find them relevant.

Audience types for paid Facebook marketing

You can define three key types of audiences for your marketing messages:

  • Core audience: Audience segments based on demographic data
  • Custom audience: People who have engaged with your business in the past
  • Lookalike audience: A group of new people whose interests and traits are similar to those of your best customers and are therefore likely to respond to your ads

Organic Facebook marketing

If you don’t have the budget or resources for Facebook ads, you can use free Facebook marketing with helpful, informative posts that will show up in your audience’s newsfeed. 

Although this method is not as targeted or effective as ads, you can still generate buzz amongst your audience with original content and build a community of people who appreciate your brand’s authenticity and are interested in your offerings.

Integrations with other marketing channels

You can use Facebook marketing in conjunction with other digital marketing channels, such as:

  • Email marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Mobile marketing
  • Search engine marketing (SEM)
  • Facebook Messenger ads

Such a combination of marketing channels can help you develop a potent promotion mix to reach a broader audience and stand out in a crowded and noisy marketplace.

Why should I market my small business on Facebook?

Facebook can help your small business get found more easily with its massive reach and popularity. 

Whether you use organic Facebook posts or paid ads, you can build a thriving community around your business, promote your content and products, and develop a sustainable, strong brand identity.

Here are some reasons to market your small business on Facebook:

A broad range of marketing tools

Facebook offers many tools to market your business and its offerings to your target audience. These include:

  • Facebook Messenger
  • Click-to-Messenger ads
  • Pages to Watch
  • Facebook Insights
  • Facebook Stories

With these and other tools, your small business can create helpful content, tell stories and share creative ideas that resonate with your audience. You can also target your ads using advertising filters for age, gender, income, interests, behavior, etc.

Target the right audience

You can create precise audience segments to grab more eyes and increase the chances that the right people will see your posts or ads, engage with them and act on them, for example, by clicking on the “Shop Now” button.

Increase website traffic

Targeted posts and ads are a great way to drive more targeted and higher-quality leads to your website or app. These people already know your company and are more likely to trust your brand. 

Encourage them to explore your website to learn more about your business and products. Ultimately, you can take action to move them down the sales funnel towards purchase.

Showcase your products with high-quality visuals

You can leverage many ad formats to showcase your products with Facebook marketing. Use text, visuals or a combination of both to present your offerings in the best possible light. You can create:

  • Carousel ads to display multiple products
  • A slideshow of a new product collection
  • Video content ads to demonstrate your products
  • Simple image ads to increase brand awareness and increase website traffic
  • Lead generation ads to gather opt-ins for email newsletters

You can even convert your posts into ads to reach a more targeted audience and share brand stories to garner interest and build a community.

Boost SEO

Your company’s Facebook presence can influence its rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs). When people share, like, or comment on your posts and ads, it shows that they’re interested in your business and want to engage with it. 

This can improve your SERP ranking, boost traffic to your website and contribute to increased sales.

Improve customer support

Today’s customers are highly demanding, with 88% expecting a response from a business within 60 minutes. Moreover, 60% of them stop doing business with a brand following a single poor customer service experience.

Old-school voice or email-based customer support cannot keep up with these demands. Here’s where Facebook can help. 

Since many people connect with brands via their Facebook pages, you can create a chatbot for Facebook Messenger to answer simple, common quesrtions from Facebook users. You can develop different scenarios based on popular keywords and write the answers to FAQs.

The chatbot will take some pressure off your human support team, which can then focus on more complicated queries and value-generating activities.

Now that you understand the potential of Facebook marketing, let’s review some real-world examples of small and local businesses that achieved success through this strategy. 

5 real-world examples of Facebook marketing for small businesses

1. Beericana

Industry: Food and Beverages

Beericana is a craft beer and music festival. In 2018, 919 Beer, a craft beer promotions company, was looking for a quick and inexpensive way to:

  • Sell more tickets to the festival
  • Grow their email database
  • Raise general awareness about the festival

They met all these goals through Facebook ads and a special giveaway promoted through these ads. Those who entered the giveaway received targeted emails promoting the festival tickets. The campaign generated great results for Beericana by way of:

  • 45K ad impressions in just 12 days
  • 500+ email addresses and phone numbers captured
  • $5000+ in ticket sales
  • 25X ROI on ad campaign spend

2. Illegal Pete’s

Industry: Hospitality

Illegal Pete’s is a Denver-based restaurant business with 150 employees. The company gets excellent engagement with its audience by running contests and giveaways on Facebook. It also promotes local artists and live events that match its brand values and personality.

Very few of Illegal Pete’s Facebook content includes direct promotions. However, by focusing on “giving,” the company has built a respectably large community of 15,000 Facebook followers. It has also garnered over 14,000 likes (December 2021).

3. Alipearl

Industry: Beauty/Personal Care

Alipearl is a wig manufacturer that has partnered with influencers to create Facebook branded content ads. 

The company has enhanced its influencer marketing strategy to increase customer engagement. It uses branded video ads co-created with popular content creators to tell their brand story and reach new audiences. The strategy has proved immensely successful in terms of:

  • 97% increase in return on ad spend
  • 65% lower cost per purchase from business-as-usual ads and branded content ads
  • 10% lower cost per add-to-cart from business-as-usual ads and branded content ads

4. Leeway Motor Company

Industry: Automotive

Automotive dealer Leeway wanted to drive quality traffic to its website, accelerate lead generation and encourage people to discuss their next vehicle purchase by calling the business or making an online inquiry.

Leeway showcased suitable vehicles for different customer profiles in Facebook dynamic ads to achieve these goals. These ads featured eye-catching slideshows and branded images of relevant vehicles, plus information highlighting the selling points of these cars.

This marketing campaign enabled the company to connect with dozens of prospective car buyers and win more than 200 quality leads, plus:

  • 27% higher reach
  • 31% boost in new website visitors
  • 2X more monthly sales year over year

5. iHeartDogs

Industry: Pet Supplies

iHeartDogs wanted to increase the sales of their branded gifts, blankets and other products for dogs and people. They also wanted to boost charitable donations to help shelter dogs and veterans during the festive season.

The company successfully used Facebook marketing to achieve these goals. It ran a special campaign of Facebook video and photo ads to reach animal lovers. 

One video ad showed cute, dog-themed Christmas tree ornaments with a simple message and a “Shop Now” button to encourage purchases and donations during the festive season.

As a result of the campaign, iHeartDogs achieved:

  • 10-point lift in standard ad recall
  • 5.2-point lift in message agreement
  • 1.5X return on ad spend
  • 2X lift in sales

The campaign also attracted returning and new customers, leading to $21,000 in revenues.

How does Facebook marketing work?

Since its Harvard University dorm room days, Facebook has evolved into an immensely effective marketing channel for all kinds of companies in many industries. And, as mentioned in the introduction, Facebook marketing is not just for large companies. 

Businesses of all sizes can use Facebook marketing to find their customers, engage with them, and increase sales.

Here are some aspects of how Facebook marketing works.

Create targeted ads to reach people who want to hear from you

Facebook ads are offered to a targeted audience exploring something they’re interested in. If their interest matches your offerings, they will connect with your business and potentially become a customer.

You can narrow down your audience by location, gender and other factors to find the people most likely to click on your ad. 

According to Facebook, targeted ads can increase the discovery of new products or brands by 80% compared to brand or retailer websites.

Set your budget

The cost of running Facebook ads depends on the bidding model (more on bids and ad auctions below) you choose:

  • Cost-per-click (CPC)
  • Cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM)
  • Cost-per-like (CPL)
  • Cost-per-download (CPA)

On average, Facebook advertising costs:

  • $0.97 per click
  • $7.19 per 1000 impressions
  • $1.07 per like
  • $5.47 per download

Your small business may see higher or lower costs based on other factors like:

  • Ad bid
  • Ad placement
  • Ad objective
  • Industry
  • Target market/audience
  • Season

You can lower your advertising costs by improving your ad’s quality and relevance. In general, Facebook advertising is affordable, which is why 10+ million small businesses have already used it.

Participate in the Facebook ad auction

To participate in the ad auction, you first log into Ad Manager to create a campaign and ad. You will then choose your daily budget and what action you’ll pay for (CPC, CPA, etc.). 

From there, you can build your audience using demographic data and other factors, add ad creatives including text and graphics and ultimately launch the ad. Once you submit the ad, the ad auction starts.

Facebook reviews and grades every potential ad’s bid, quality, and estimated action rates to determine its relevance. It generates the ad’s total value based on your ad bid and quality. 

Finally, it delivers the ad with the highest total value. By improving your ad’s quality and relevance, you can increase its chances of being delivered to your target audience.

Review ad performance

After running an ad campaign, you can review its performance by seeing how many people reacted, clicked on, commented on, or shared it. These insights can then be used to improve future ad campaigns.

Use Facebook’s Insights tool to track the effectiveness of your business’ ads and content. With this tool, you can understand which formats work well and create the right content mix for your audience. You can also check critical metrics like:

  • Pageviews
  • Page actions
  • Post engagement
  • Story reach

8 proven Facebook marketing tips for small businesses

In this section, we will share some ways to develop an effective Facebook marketing strategy for your small business:

Start with a clear goal

There are many objectives you can achieve with Facebook marketing. You can generate leads and potential customers, drive traffic to your website, improve customer support, boost customer engagement and enhance brand awareness and recall. 

Your specific goal will help guide your techniques, ad formats, and post content, so make sure you always start by first establishing this goal.

Define your target audience

As previously stated, Facebook allows you to send targeted ads to a specific segment to increase their chances of seeing and responding to them. 

But in order to do this, you should first define the target audience. Create a customer profile based on your product type, customer age, gender, pain points, expected outcomes, etc.

You can collect information about your audience from Facebook’s Audience Insights tool to understand what they like, see where they live, review their past purchases, etc. Use this information to guide your content creation efforts.

Create captivating and useful content

One study found that people check Facebook an average of 14 times a day on their smartphones. However, their attention spans are limited. 

That’s why it’s crucial to create compelling, concise, meaningful, and relevant content. It’s easier to consistently create helpful content and schedule posts if you create and maintain a content calendar.

Engage in two-way communications

Facebook marketing is not just about serving ads or posts. It’s also about communicating and engaging with your audience, especially when they like, share, or comment on your content. 

Demonstrate that your brand listens to them and is approachable and “human.”

Clearly communicate value

In the crowded social media landscape, most people respond to branded content only if it adds value to them. Make sure every post and ad you create properly communicate this value.

What problem does it solve? How can it improve their life? Does it make them laugh? Does it inspire them? 

Once you understand your audience (see the section on defining the target audience), you can create content that focuses on, and communicates, user benefit.

Build authentic relationships with Facebook Live

Facebook Live allows small businesses to set up live streams for their audience. You can leverage live streams to inform your audience about an upcoming product launch, a new product collection or an event. 

You can even talk about your company’s culture, journey or milestones. Keep the message simple and honest to form authentic relationships that endure beyond single transactions.

Optimize your business profile page

Optimizing your Facebook business page with up-to-date information, links and tabs is essential. First, make sure you create a page, not a personal profile. The latter might get your business shut down by Facebook.

The tabs on your business page should be well-organized and make it easy for your audience to find information about your small business. Be sure to group all tabs that link to your other social pages.

Add a profile picture and cover photo to give your company visual identity. Also, add a short description of the company and a page call-to-action (CTA) to prompt your audience to connect with you.

Ask for reviews

Another great Facebook marketing tactic is asking for reviews for your business. Obtaining positive reviews on Facebook will immediately increase your ability to acquire new business since positive online reviews build your business’s trust.

84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. That’s a pretty powerful statistic! Even more, if your business can achieve a Facebook star rating of 3 stars or more, you will significantly increase your competitive advantage on the platform. 

Improve your Facebook marketing with Broadly

Facebook is a social media powerhouse, and there’s no reason why your small business cannot leverage this power to reach its audience and boost its brand value. 

In this comprehensive guide, we showed you all the reasons why Facebook marketing is essential for your business. We also shared some practical strategies to help you make the most of this viral social network, including obtaining Facebook business reviews.

Facebook reviews are a massive factor in capturing the attention of your target audience on the platform. Ready to start getting more positive reviews on Facebook and other review platforms?

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