woman in retail store

Facebook for Retail Stores

Are you a retail store owner who’s interested in using Facebook to get more customers?

Or maybe a service business like an attorney, chiropractor, or a contractor business? Would you like to attract local customers and clients using Facebook advertising?

If so, you’re not alone. Millions of small businesses like retail stores, attorneys, and chiropractors and contractors are wondering if Facebook advertising might be a great way to do that. The answer is yes, it sure can be.

Many are already using Facebook to advertise their businesses. Some successfully. Some not so successfully. Facebook is changing too. A few years ago it was easier to reach more people without using the paid advertising option. Now your free posts don’t reach very far like they used to. The good news is that it’s not that expensive to reach a lot people using the paid advertising system that Facebook offers. Still you need to know a few things and be careful if you want to avoid wasting your money.

Make a Plan

Sure, you can throw up an ad or two and see what happens. A lot of people do this and don’t even pay attention to what happens. But that’s not a very serious strategy. You should make a plan that defines how long you’ll run your ads and how much you’ll spend.

Set up Your Ad Account

This process will automatically happen when you create an ad. You’ll be prompted to enter your business information and credit card. Of course you’ll have to have a Facebook business page set up before you create an ad. You cannot create ads without a business page. Your ad account will be accessible in the ads manager area. The ads manager is where all your ads are listed. It shows presently running ads as well as ads you’ve run in the past. Here you can start and stop ads or create new ones. You can also change ads.

Define Your Audience

When you have your budget and schedule set up move on to planning who you’ll show your ads to and what those ads will be. Is your advertising audience within a certain number of miles of your location? Or is it larger? You’ll need to tell Facebook when it’s time to run your ads. What’s the age range and gender of your usual customers. This is another option you’ll set when running your Facebook ads. If your audience is still very large (more than 200,000 people) you may want to filter it down more by specifying audience interests and behaviors. For businesses in smaller cities and towns you won’t want to narrow this down too much.

Determine Your Ad Types and Designs

You’ll have many choices for types and designs of ads. The most common type of ad is simply an image with some text. You can also choose from videos, multiple photos, and other various types of ads that align with the advertising objective.

Run Your Ads

When visiting your business page you’ll see blue promotion and boost buttons. This is an easy way for you to create an ad.

Alternately, you can go to your ads manager and create your ad there. You’ll have more options if you do it this way. You can also use both methods. I often do this. Just boost a post, then go to ads manager to change the options that you weren’t able to while boosting the post.

Make sure to set your location correctly. You don’t want to be showing your ads to people in Florida if you serve only local customers in Minnesota. Set your budget and ad schedule too. You can use a daily maximum or a ad campaign maximum. I often run an ad with a $20 maximum for 5 days. Sometimes I’ll run an ad with a $5/day limit for one week. Hitting your budget limit or your schedule end date will stop your ad.

Do your best to get an idea of how well your ads work. Ask people if they saw your ad. Look at your statistics in your ads manager. You’ll be able to see how many people saw your ad and how many clicked. You’ll also see how many comments, shares, and likes your ad gets. The most important statistic is conversion, or sales. This is harder to track with retail stores. That’s why you should ask your customers if they saw your ad. Facebook is working on a system that will do tracking for offline sales but there’s more complexity to setting it up. It’s something to look into though if you’re interested in getting that information.

Facebook ads Success or Failure

You will be the judge of this. If you are able to tell from your tracking how much return on investment you got. You could just run the ads and assume they’re giving you exposure. In fact you can get quite a bit of exposure without spending too much, especially for local areas that don’t cover a huge number of people. But if you’re spending quite a bit of money you’ll want to know if it’s really paying off. You’ll measure this in a variety of ways including how busy you are, total sales, total number of customers, Facebook ads statistics, etc.

You can easily beat your competition if you do these 3 things:

  • Keep at it over a reasonable amount of time (don’t just try a couple times and give up)
  • Talk about your audience and their needs and desires rather than your stuff
  • Make your ads fun and useful rather than boring and salesy (don’t make them look like ads!)

What Can Facebook Ads do For You?

They can give you a lot of exposure for a relatively low cost. That’s good but it’s not everything. But still, it’s just as much as many other forms of advertising. Compare that to the cost of other advertising and you’ll see that using Facebook advertising is well worth a try.

You’ll find more information on Facebook Advertising for Beginners on my website. I also offer some free kits for helping businesses get better results from the web.

Get Facebook Ads Startup Kit

Please leave a comment below if you have a question or comment. Thanks for reading!

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