Facebook advertising for businesses

Written on 20 June, 2016 by Lisa Shannahan
Categories: Social Media | Tags: facebook, social media

You can’t debate the value of social media as an advertising tool these days. It has an incredible reach, with a huge pool of users across most demographics, and a wide range of platforms to suit a number of different purposes. More than that, their users not only spend a significant portion of their time on their chosen platforms, their buying decisions tend to be heavily influenced by what they see there: nearly 80% of users say social media posts impact their purchases.

If you’re wanting to get started using social media marketing, though, where should you focus your efforts? A common mistake made by many businesses is to attempt to establish a presence across too many platforms at once. A better strategy is to concentrate on mastering one platform at a time. The best platform for a specific business may vary, as each business has different goals and some platforms are optimised for one purpose better than others, but it’s hard to go wrong with Facebook, and this is usually the best place to start.

There are a number of factors that make Facebook the platform that applies to the broadest range of businesses. No matter what your business type or business goals are, you’re likely to find that you can make Facebook advertising work for you. It’s highly targeted, flexible, and when it’s done well, it’s really cost-effective.

More than half of all Australians are on Facebook

Facebook has the greatest reach of any social media platform. There are 15 million active Facebook users in Australia, which is over 60% of our total population. These users are checking Facebook several times a day, ultimately spending more than half a day per week on the platform.

Even in terms of your potential reach alone, Facebook is the standout above other social media platforms and a good place to start.

It supports a range of business goals

Facebook advertising is designed to work for quite a broad range of business goals. While the most obvious application of advertising online might be to send traffic to your online store, you can make Facebook advertising work quite well for other purposes too, so don’t feel like you can’t utilise the platform if your main business (or your whole business!) operates offline.

For example, what if you don’t have an online store, but instead want to direct foot traffic to your bricks-and-mortar local store? You can use Facebook advertising for this by using their targeting tools to only show your ads to local users, or narrow it down even further by targeting local users who have specifically indicated an interest in the kinds of products or services you sell. You could target them with a special offer like a time-sensitive discount – considering a large proportion of Facebook users are accessing it on-the-go from their mobile phones, this can work really well.

It’s highly targeted

Facebook collects a mind-blowing amount of data on its users, and you can use all of this data for creating custom audiences for your ads. While naturally the more specific you get, the smaller your audience will be, this helps to make Facebook advertising so cost-effective, particularly if your product or service is aimed at a niche market.

Facebook not only tracks demographics like age, gender, and location, but also the kind of behaviour users exhibit online – so what content and brands they interact with by liking or commenting, what they share, and also what they hide or delete from their feeds. All of this information paints a sometimes surprisingly accurate picture of what a particular user is interested in – and therefore what kinds of ads they are likely to want to see (or not). This gives you the great advantage of being able to include or exclude certain interests from your audience to help ensure your ads are shown to a relevant audience.

You can use a variety of content types

While some platforms are limited in terms of the kind of content you can create and share, and therefore may be less applicable to certain types of business, on Facebook you can use almost anything from text to images to videos for both your organic (unpaid) content and your advertising. This means you can tailor your creative to what fits your product or service best without being limited by the capability of the platform.

The full range of features and applications of Facebook advertising would take a small novel to cover in proper detail. The key message here is that if you’re looking to leverage social media as a marketing tool, in most cases the best place to start is with Facebook, as it has the largest reach of any social media platform and can be tweaked to suit almost any business and goal. If you need a bit of help getting started, reach out to one of WebCentral’s social media experts for a free 20-minute consultation.