Facebook is indeed a massive platform with over 1.45 billion daily active users, which is even more than the population of world’s largest country, China. No matter what business you run, chances are that most of your target customers use Facebook. No wonder then that you are already advertising your products or services on Facebook. Or at least, you should. But are you able to derive a positive return on investment from Facebook? Most small and local businesses fail to do so. And the problem isn’t with the paid Facebook ads; the problem lies in the way you approach Facebook. In this article, I will be listing seven mistakes that every local business should avoid and seven ideas to attract more customers .
Seven common mistakes which local businesses make
Your local business deserves attention and Facebook is one of the best ways to achieve that. But there are a few common mistakes that act as hindrances when it comes to Facebook Ads.
- Not customizing ad content
Small business owners are generally wearing so many hats at a time that they fail to focus on ad content. For Facebook marketing, you first need to figure out your objectives of using Facebook and then make different campaigns for each. For instance, if your objective is to increase brand awareness, you should optimize the ads for website visits and clicks. Developing a deep understanding of your target audience helps create more engaging, personalized ad content and therefore more successful ads.
- Not measuring the success rate
Once you have created an ad, your next step should be to measure its success rate. You’ll need to track KPIs of different ads/campaigns to understand what works and then modify your content or strategy accordingly. For instance, if building brand awareness is your objective, you need to track variables such as click-through rate. You also need to be reasonable with your expectations, else you will always feel that you are failing. The average conversion rate for Facebook ads is only about 10% (yet, it is best of all social media platforms) and it varies for industry to industry. For instance, the average conversion rate is much higher in fitness industry than for any company in technology sector.
- Not investing enough time
Most small businesses spend less than an hour a week on their social media marketing efforts. On the other hand, most established businesses post on their Facebook page about eight times a day. With every single second, Facebook is flooded with new content and if you post only infrequently, chances are that your ads will never be noticed. Also keep in mind that the maximum engagement on any post happens within the first 5-6 hours, after which it almost dies off. So, if you do not post regularly, there will never be much interaction on your page. Anyone who comes across an out-of-date business page is likely to wonder if the business has closed or if it’s even real. Having no business page on Facebook is clearly better than having a stale business page.
- Not spending enough money on ads
Small businesses often avoid hiring a digital marketing professional or opting for Facebook paid reach. Social media marketing has changed a lot over the past few years and the concept of ‘organic reach’ is already dead. If you want to reach the audience you need, be ready to spend thousands of dollars each month. These costs include not just promoting ads but also testing ads. In the testing stage, you create different versions of an ad with variables such as image and audience and then compare them to see which version is most effective. This helps you create better ads and save costs in the longer run.
- Not targeting the right audience
If you are getting a lot of impressions, clicks or likes and yet there are almost no sales, chances are that you are not targeting the right audience. Facebook offers multiple layers of targeting and going by the simplest criteria of gender, age or income is not enough. By going too wide, you will be wasting money on audiences that are not really interested in what you offer. Understanding your ideal audience is crucial here. Simply by combining their unique behaviors or interests with demographics in the ‘customize audience’ section of ads, you can expect to see better ROI.
- Not interacting with target audience
Generally, people like to interact with what others post on Facebook and this can be your key to active engagement. You can invite your Facebook followers to vote on different products, ask for their opinions and respond to their comments to show that you care. You can also open contests and feature the photos of winning or regular customers, thus rewarding them for connecting with your brand. This kind of interaction will foster trust and loyalty towards your brand.
- Not being patient enough
Small businesses often quit paid advertising when they do not see instant results. If you quit Facebook too soon, you do not give its software the opportunity to analyze your business. For instance, if you have zero sales and your campaign’s objective is set to ‘optimize based on initial purchases’, Facebook does not know what a purchasing customer looks like. But as your sales increase over time, the data set also becomes better informed. Thus, it is important to understand that the initial stage of Facebook advertising is all about gathering data and insight. Sales come thereafter!
Seven best ways to create Facebook ads for local businesses
You can get good success at Facebook advertising if you use the following tips and tricks. So, keep them in mind the next time you create an ad for your local business
- Promote a local event
Promoting a local event on Facebook can be a great way to drive more in-store sales. Just create an event for a special occasion and invite your neighborhood to show up. Now, because you are paying for promotion, it’s important to create a landing page as well. Don’t forget to include in your ad a link to this event landing page so that the interested audience can go there and register in advance.
- Advertise a lucrative offer
Offer your target audience something that they can’t refuse. For instance, if you are running a salon business, maybe you can offer a free facial. It may involve an initial cost but this will also bring you an opportunity to upsell. For instance, once the lead is in the door, you can spot some other beauty problems with which you can help. The focus here is to generate leads and spread a word of mouth. This will help you create a contact list of people interested in your services. You can then promote your ads to these people or use the list to create a lookalike audience in Facebook Ads Manager. This can be a great opportunity to re-target the people who had already acted on your offer and to target a whole new audience that’s also likely to.
- Create visually appealing ads
People love visual content. If you see a visually striking ad, chances are that you will feel inclined to click on it. Since images are the first thing that attracts eyeballs, it is important that you make a careful selection of these. Facebook allows you to upload up to 6 images for an ad and then automatically optimizes them. Sometimes, best results come from the images from which you had least expectations, so do not settle by uploading less than 6 images. Make sure that the images are clear, sharp and in the sizes recommended by Facebook. You should also check the ad’s success rate by experimenting with several image variations. Create the same ad using different images and then run each ad for a few days to know which images result in higher clicks and lower cost per click.
- Shuffle your ads regularly
Ad fatigue or reduced engagement is a real problem in today’s overly competitive world. To avoid this, you can create multiple ads for each objective and then shuffle them at least once in every two weeks.
- Use Facebook Pixel
Facebook pixel is a small piece of code that you can place on your website to track conversions. With this, you can retarget the audience that has ever visited your site or you can also create lookalike audiences.
- Post educative content
Posting useful, educative content for your local market is a great way to build goodwill. Instead of asking people to buy or sell, these ads just give information. For instance, if you run a salon business, you can post an ad with link to an article on how to take care of skin in summers.
- Feature local people in ads
Grab the attention of your neighborhood by featuring local people in your ads. These people can be your actual customers who love and recommend your products or services. You can include their photos and testimonials in your ads. Featuring a regular user in place of models, and that too someone who’s a local, helps create a sense of familiarity and trust.
Have a question or need further assistance in social media marketing? Contact us to get personalized, effective Facebook ads for your local business, even if you have no massive budget. We will be happy to help.