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Facebook ads - 6 tips for small businesses

Oliwer Kotecky
12 min read

Facebook ads have revolutionized the way small businesses can promote their goods and services. This groundbreaking platform allows for reaching hundreds of thousands or even millions of potential customers, at a price suited to the budget and needs of the business. However, creating an effective marketing campaign on Facebook may at first seem like a complicated task. Fortunately, it's not that difficult! Here are 6 tips to follow when advertising on FB.

Determine the purpose of advertising

It is worth considering what you want to achieve through Facebook advertising. Is it supposed to increase interest in the brand, arouse positive emotions, encourage purchase, or maybe establish a bond with the customer? All these aspects are essential and can be successfully achieved with the appropriate campaign. Determining the exact purpose of the advertisements is is crucial for a proper Facebook Ads account configuration. The good news is that the program itself indicates what goal can be achieved by choosing a specific campaign.

Get to the right audience

The next thing you should do when creating a campaign is to determine whom the ads should reach. Facebook allows you to display posts based on many different variables, including age, location or interests. Well-targeted advertising reaches only your preferred audience and increases the likelihood of long-term success.

However, there are a few points to consider here. To display target group data, you need to link your Facebook page to your Business Manager account. Only after this has been done will the "Recipient Information" tab be available. Furthermore, it is also significant how many followers the company has - if there are too few of them (below 100), the FB will not create an appropriate analysis.

When everything is properly implemented, you will receive a tool that will show you demographic information, Facebook activity, device data and what may turn out to be the most important for small companies - interests. It is more than likely that there are larger brands that already have a significant audience and produce or offer similar products and services to a small business that is just about to be advertised. So in the "interests" section, you can choose a few of these corporations and "hook up" to their popularity.

Example. A local company sells freshly squeezed juices and operates in the Mazovia region. To reach its potential clients, it directs its Facebook ads to those who have previously liked a well-known international brand delivering juices to markets around the world. Additionally, it limits its target group to people over 15 years old and those who are interested in a healthy lifestyle.

When setting up target audiences in Facebook ads, it is essential to understand the difference between AND and OR. Quite often this small change can determine whether a post will reach 1500 or 15,000 potential customers. Without any formatting, all options are set to "or". This means that the advertisement will be displayed e.g. when someone is interested in healthy food or is over 15 years old, or is from the Mazovia region. By changing "or" to "and" the target group is significantly narrowed down, but in some cases, it will be beneficial not only for the advertising budget but also for the business itself.

Distinguish between regular and new recipients

Small companies often forget that gaining new customers is just as important as maintaining the attention of previous viewers. Nevertheless, this is a problem that even large corporations face, and it usually does not depends on the budget or tools used in promotion, but on a lack of understanding of social media.

Therefore, it is worth understanding the difference between retargeting and customer acquisition. In the first case, the aim of advertising on FB is to reach people who already know a given brand and are involved in the company's activity. They could, for example:

  • visit the site,
  • like a fan page,
  • to respond to the post,
  • buy the product,
  • contact (FB message, e-mail, phone call).

Retargeting is to remind about the existence of a small business, not to familiarize oneself with it. In such a case, targeting an advertisement that will promote a particular product or inform about a price reduction may prove much more effective. Those who are familiar with the brand may find such content useful and more likely to click the post. It's also a brilliant way to develop a bond and loyalty among potential customers.

If you would like to reach new customers, you need to adopt a different strategy. Here the main purpose of advertising on FB is to arouse interest and stimulate the action. As a result, the aim is to get another permanent observer who will be aware of the brand. Therefore, when he is ready to buy something, he will choose a company he already knows.

Creating an advertising campaign on Facebook, which is supposed to combine both types of recipients, often fails. These people have different expectations and other content will be valuable to them. It is, therefore, a good idea to separate these two issues and release ads that will be tailored to their preferences.

Familiarize with your competitors

Small companies often have to compete with a great number of similar businesses. Among them, there are powerful corporations and small local organizations. Both of them are worth monitoring and learning from them the right approach to advertising in social media. This is especially important when you are just starting your adventure with Facebook ads.

There are several aspects to consider here, such as the time of displaying posts, their form, and reception by clients. Basing on how the major players work, you can create your unique campaign, which will not only stand out but will also be an interesting feature on the users' wall. Keeping an eye on trends can be extremely helpful, but it is important to remember that unique brands are remembered.

Establish an appropriate budget

In comparison with other forms of promotion, advertisements on FB are surprisingly cheap and at the same time extremely effective. However, this does not mean that budget control does not play a significant role here. Although there are many factors involved in how the marketing campaign will be received by customers, the price is also very important. Whether you can change your strategy after the ads are released and which audience they will reach depends on it.

A big advantage for small businesses is that when planning a campaign Facebook shows the expected range that can be achieved for a given amount of money. Usually, they are overlapping with reality, so it is easy to determine after how many days the budget will run out and what benefits it is going to bring. However, it is worth remembering that ads on Facebook work on different principles than on other platforms. There are two key issues to be recognized.

The first is the fact that from February 2020, the system automatically decides which promotion is the most effective in the whole campaign and this is what translates the most funds into it. Although it sounds logical at first glance, it may not agree with what targets have been set when creating the advertisements.

Example. Several posts were made, and one of them was to reach a small group of people who had the greatest potential to become regular clients. The following posts were only informative or encouraging and gathered a larger, uninvolved audience. If no manual changes were made, FB will give priority to the second group of posts because it has better reach.

The second issue is related to the proper planning of advertising budgets. It can be determined independently or you can use the option to submit offers with the lowest cost. In the first situation, FB will not spend more than a predetermined amount. This is useful for long-term campaigns. The second solution can work well when you want to expand your business or reach new markets. By analyzing the results of the lowest cost ads for a certain period, you can decide how much and if it is worth increasing the prices at all.

Monitor the frequency of your ads

Frequency is the average number of displays that a user in a given group of recipients has been exposed to within a particular time (it is dynamic depending on the viewed date range). Whether you are targeting a small local community or an international audience, it is important not to exaggerate with a pompous promotion that can be discouraging for potential customers. The minimalist approach is also unfavorable - if someone only sees an advertisement once in a few months, they may not remember the brand at all.

Verifying the frequency of ads on Facebook is, fortunately, a very simple task. All the data that concerns it is contained in one column on the campaign management card. The appropriate frequency is considered to be half the days selected in the date range. For example, if you run a monthly campaign, a good result will be between 12-16 for the recipients' data. If it is too high, you can widen the target groups so that the ads will reach more people instead of constantly displaying on the same walls.


Ads on Facebook are a modern, effective and cheap way to reach potential customers. They also develop a bond with the recipients, create brand awareness, encourage action and respond to posts. It should be remembered that there is no ideal campaign model that would work well for all small companies. However, following the aforementioned principles will help to bring you closer to perfection and support you in achieving spectacular results!

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