The Big Reason Facebook Doesn’t Work for Small Businesses

It’s not because of bad ads or bad targeting or not knowing enough about the details of running ads. Although those can be reasons too. The big reason Facebook doesn’t work for small businesses is lack of action. Lack of attention. Ignoring it. It’s kind of a boring answer I know. But the reason I think this is so important is because it’s so true. It’s so common. It’s common and it doesn’t have an easy answer. So let’s define it a little better and then talk about some possible solutions.

Most small businesses don’t have a dedicated social media person, or an advertising person. Someone who can spend enough time on Facebook to do posts and ads. In fact many businesses have very few people on staff who spend even a small amount of time online. At least for work. Let alone on Facebook. If you and your staff rarely or never go online and rarely or never use Facebook, you just won’t be able to have much success with it for your business. At least that’s how it seems. So what can be done? What are some possible solutions to the problem?

You can hire someone to do it for you. That can work. But it works only if the hired person knows what’s going on with your business. They really can’t, or shouldn’t post stuff about your business if they don’t know what’s going on with it. You or your staff need to be providing good information. Up to date information. Information that helps your advertising person be more effective when they’re posting and running ads for you.

How Advertising on Social Media is Different than Tradition Advertising

When you do radio, TV, or newspaper ads you don’t always need a separate ads consultant because the radio or TV station, or newspaper will provide you with someone to help you with your ads. They create ads for you with your input and approval. This can be done with Facebook too but it’s different. It’s different and it’s a problem because it doesn’t work so well with Facebook.

With Facebook and social media in general, advertising doesn’t really fit. This means that you shouldn’t be doing ads the usual way. You shouldn’t be doing ads the same way you do them with other media.

When using social media and Facebook you need to be making connections and building relationships. Not selling. Selling on social media is not cool. At least in most cases.

The point I’m trying to make here is that doing traditional ads on traditional media is one thing. Making connections and building relationships on social media is another.

Running regular advertisements on traditional media using a consultant you hire or the advertising media’s ad consultant works. Making connections and building relationships using a consultant doesn’t work so well because that person is not close to your business. They don’t really know what’s going on with you or your business.

What’s a typical advertisement made up of? A compelling offer with information about what, when, and where.

What’s a connection or a relationship made up of? It’s more than just an ad with a compelling offer and information about what, when, and where. Interest in who you are, what you provide, and trust in your business. Things you have in common with your audience. Things that resonate with your audience. These things often apply to any buying and selling deal but they apply to a much greater degree when you’re building your business presence on social media.

Can Facebook work for Your Business if you don’t spend time on it?

It seems like the answer would be no. Make connections and build relationships on Facebook without spending time on Facebook? How can you do that?

In almost all cases the solution must include hiring someone else to do it for you. But there must be more to it if it’s going to work. The business owner must convey the right information to the consultant. The consultant must present that information in the right way.

The successful result would be to first get more awareness and education. Then move towards a positive and trusting relationship between the business and the audience. That audience can then be contacted with more ads or posts in the future. That audience is where your customers are.

Is there a simple method for applying the elements of successful Facebook ads?

With Facebook ads it’s not easy to predict winning ads and losing ads. Testing will provide that answer. It will tell you what’s successful and what’s not. But we know that an ad has to grab attention. Then it has to connect with the reader. It has to resonate with them or be compelling enough to keep them focused on it. Then there’s the call to action. The ad should be clear about what the reader should do next.

Some of this is not that difficult. You can add a call to action button and a line of text that says do this or that. You can probably figure out how to at least increase the attention grabbing power of an ad. An unusual picture, a funny picture, or a very useful topic. A hired Facebook ads consultant could do these things without having to spend much time with the business. In this case, so far, the business is not having to spend time on Facebook. The consultant can handle these tasks.

But the resonating part is a challenge. Part of making an ad resonate with people is choosing the right audience to show the ad to. That’s another topic for another article. The other part of making an ad resonate with people is what’s in the ad itself. How the headline is written and the thoughts invoked by the text and picture or video in the ad. How does the consultant know what to do for this part? Most often the consultant doesn’t know. Unless he or she spends more time with the business.

But is there a method or a formula that can help the consultant do a successful ad that resonates with the audience, without having to spend much time with the business? I think the answer may involve the creativity and emotional emphasis applied by the consultant along with a defined strategy. The ad should evoke interest or emotion. Or it should offer something helpful. It should be as “giving” as possible.

You see it all the time. A business will post on Facebook with topics like “We are the best service business in town” or “Do you need this or that service? We’re here to help” or “Stop in today for our fall sale“. These kind of messages are very common and kind of boring. But I suppose they do get the word out. If you’re satisfied with getting the word out and hoping that’s enough to get customers then that’s OK. But what if you don’t know if you’re the best service in town? What if you’ve already used that same message about being here to help way too many times? What if you don’t have a fall sale or ever have any sale going on? And, what if you want your ads and posts to “resonate” with your audience. So you can have more success. Then you have to bring things to the next level. Beyond the traditional types of ads you’ve seen for years and years.

Exactly what results should be expected from Facebook?

It’s common to simply expect sales resulting from ads. That’s the simple formula. But it’s often a longer process when you’re using Facebook. This is because, as mentioned above, when you’re on social media you shouldn’t be selling. You should be building awareness and relationships. Then keeping in touch and following up with those relationships to seek out sales and customers.

Do You Agree?

Let me know what you think. Have you had success with Facebook ads? Comment below. And thanks for reading!

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1 Comment

  1. Lia Fairchild on January 31, 2018 at 10:17 am

    The reason it doesn’t work for small biz is because there is no support. There is NO facebook support, no contact info, no live chat, no option for email unless you spend a lot of money. And they are lying and telling us that the support is there “at time” depending on volume. It’s never there. Because the volume they actually mean is how much money you spend.

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