Marshall Communications account coordinator Megan Crowder and account assistant Courtney Moulton seting up a Facebook ad.What if we told you that an ad for your business could pop up on the Facebook feeds of consumers who are currently traveling in Portland, Maine, are between the ages of 30-55 who speak English and/or French and are interested in wine, fine dining and sailing? Pretty specific, wouldn’t you agree? That would be perfect if you were a restaurant in Portland! We wouldn’t just stop there, either… We would only run the ads when your target audience is likely to be awake/active online and a “See Menu” button would be added to help make the audience crave your fine cuisine. Separate ads would be created to target those who live within 20 miles of Portland, too, helping to convert those potential customers to loyal consumers.

Whether your objective is to increase sales or brand awareness, grow your email subscriber list or page fans, reach a new demographic, or direct more people to your website, Facebook advertisements should be considered as part of your social media marketing strategy. As you can tell from above, Facebook advertising allows businesses to send specific, meaningful messages to members of the exact target market you want to reach at times when they are on the social media platform. Consumers use Facebook every day—in September of 2016, Facebook had 1.18 billion daily active users on average—making it a great way to reach potential customers in your target market. And, you can track and measure the results to understand your ROI. Below is an example of a measurement dashboard for a Facebook ad — a boosted post.

Example of a Facebook Ad Post

Within the reporting mechanism of the platform, we are able to see how many people downloaded your app, went to your website or purchased an item online, over the phone or in-store within a specified timeframe after seeing the Facebook ad. You will even know how many people began shopping on your website after seeing the ad, how many added an item to their shopping cart and how many of those leads resulted in a purchase. Advertising on Facebook is quite cost effective, too. This summer, we created a Facebook ad that reached 26,813 people, costing just $3.73 per 1,000 people! Have you ever reached 26,813 members of your target market for just $100?

You may believe that your organic Facebook posts are enough, which may be true depending on the goals of your social media marketing. But, Facebook advertising could be the missing puzzle piece. Maybe you aren’t able to reach all of your fans or new potential fans. Maybe you wish to send specific messages to certain target audiences or your competitors’ fans. Paid posts or advertisements, unlike organic posts, allow businesses to do just that. Facebook advertisements can be created to target people based on their gender, age, location (where they live or where they are traveling), certain interests (hiking, shopping, sailing, sewing, leaf peeping, Maine, etc.), and/or behaviors (currently planning a vacation or looking to buy a car) and provide marketers with far more analytics than organic posts. Marketers have much more control over who sees a message with paid posts compared to organic posts. Organic posts are posted to their fans and the general public. It does not matter if the user is 16 or 80 living in Hawaii or Maine, they still may see the same message when viewing an organic post.

Facebook advertising, in our opinion, is an avenue every business should consider. Before you begin, look at your whole social media marketing strategy and your objectives. Are you trying to increase sales or direct more traffic to your website? Who are you trying to reach? These are the questions you should ask before you begin advertising on Facebook. From there, you will need to decide your budget, how you want the ad to look and what message you want to send. Goals and objectives must be set before you begin so that once the campaign is over (and during), the results can be analyzed to measure the effectiveness of the campaign, your ROI and how you can improve future ad campaigns. Setting monetary goals is a great starting point. Measuring an increase of first-time buyers and online sales is an easy way to gauge if a campaign is working.

If you have any questions about how to start increasing your ROI for your social media marketing efforts, please let us know. Our team of social media experts creates customized Facebook advertising campaigns for a variety of industries with a range of objectives.