Facebook Advertising – 6 Tips for Finding The Small Biz “Sweet Spot”


It’s cheap, it’s highly targeted and it’s perfect for targeting women, young people, locals, just about anyone – it’s Facebook Ads.  The benefits of using Facebook for advertising, rather than pure social media marketing have long been overlooked.  The original ad algorithm wasn’t great – there were plenty of little loop holes and issues that meant your targeting wasn’t always applied right, and that your ads weren’t always showing up when you needed them to.  Those days are gone, and there’s a world of low cost, well targeted opportunities there, if you do it right!

1. You can be the big brand

You may notice you rarely get an ad for prime time TV advertisers (with the exception of hip and cool products) are absent from your Facebook ad’s pane.  This is an extension of “social media phobia” – the belief that Social Media is crawling with dissenters, ready to tarnish your brand’s good name.  If your brand has a good name, you have nothing to fear!

There’s also a perceived threat of click fraud.  In the past, there have been many accusations of bot related click fraud and competitor related click fraud.  Facebook upgraded its security system to monitor repetitive clicks by single users, fake profiles and actions by JavaScript enabled web browsers.  According to Facebook, this has significantly reduced the risk of click fraud.  It still pays to monitor clicks carefully via your own website, so if something isn’t right, you’ve got ammunition when complaining to Facebook.

What this means for small and medium businesses is uncluttered access to their target market, and an opportunity to be positioned as a “big brand” without spending big.

2. Solid ROI

Like all advertising, the message, the audience, the voice, the imagery and the timing all need to be right to hit that advertising sweet spot.  In July 2012, a study on ROI from Facebook ads placed by advertising industry professionals, showed that when you hit that sweet spot, 70% of campaigns resulted in a return on ad spend of 3 times or better, with 49% returning 5 times the spend.   It’s a solid way for businesses operating on a limited marketing budget to get a good solid return.

Start with twenty ads for a single campaign.  Mix up images, messages, target markets and strategies until you find that sweet spot.  Keep your ads fresh.  Use images that jump off the screen.  Give them that compelling reason to click.  Use a voice that’s friendly and social (don’t be a traditional advertiser in a non-traditional medium!) and just keep refining and evolving your ads – you’ll find the sweet spot like a pro!

3. Flexibility

For small business, this is an ideal way to advertise – as ads that aren’t working can be switched off at any time, you can adjust budgets to work with your cash flow, you can target down to those within a few kilometres of your place of business and you can create an affordable way to set up AB testing on your website.  Facebook Ads have just about all the benefits of Google Adwords without the insane cost per click price.

4. Free Branding

Creating a branding ad, that just has your logo and core message, not designed to be clicked….why would you?  Because it costs you nothing because it’s not getting clicked (if it does get clicked, well, happy days), but your brand is sitting there, in user’s private space, being subconsciously noticed, ready to be recalled when they need your services.

5. Pay Less

If you have a very low budget and you bid lower than the recommended price per click, you’ll likely end up shown in the evening, half way down the column of ads.  In Google Adwords terms, this is a disaster, a “may as well not do it” situation.  However, in Facebook terms, ads at the bottom of the list remain on screen when the user scrolls down.  Users spend more time on Facebook in the evenings.  So, in opposition to Google Adwords, this is possibly, the sweetest spot of all – and to get there, simply bid low.  Bid lower and lower until you find your daily budget is just being used!

6. CPM goodness

CPM (cost per thousand ad impressions) is a largely misunderstood way to pay.  On Facebook, selecting CPM for extremely targeted campaigns can mean getting your message out there to the right audience, who are ready and eager to click through, multiple times, for a dollar or two.  The smaller the audience sample, the more they’ll see your ad before you get charged.  Get them clicking like mad, add a great call to action and target them very specifically – and pay very little for it!

While Facebook Ads still need the care and attention of all ad campaigns, the risk is lower, the cost is lower and the results are solid.  Just keep working on perfecting your message and finding your markets.

Dana Flannery is a Social Media Marketing Consultant and Web Copywriter for Talk About Creative.  She helps businesses get better return on investment from ads, web content and social presence.


One Response to “Facebook Advertising – 6 Tips for Finding The Small Biz “Sweet Spot””
  1. Ian Cleary says:

    some great tips! I like the one about bidding a lower amount so your ad appears in the evening and is still displayed as your scroll down!