There's a lot of teaching going on, on the internet, about how to do Facebook advertising. But so much of that information focuses on businesses that serve large audiences. Nationally or even just statewide. But what about the little brick and mortar businesses? What about those businesses that serve only a local area with a sparse local population? I'm talking about smaller towns with only 10,000 people or less. Or even a larger city but still serving a smaller audience within that city.
Doing it themselves or Hiring a Consultant
Facebook tries to make it easy for everyone to use their advertising system. The easier it is the more people will use it. And the more money Facebook will make. I'm sure that Facebook hopes you do well. After all, if you don't do well, you won't continue to advertise with them. But just how far are they willing to go to help you do well? They can't hold your hand all the way through. They won't be checking back with you after your ads have run to see how they did.
The best Facebook can hope for is that your ads will work well. The least they can hope for is that you'll at least "think" your ads worked well. This works to their advantage because most people don't really keep track of it. They don't know how much return they got from their investment in Facebook ads. It's too much trouble to try figure it out, or to set things up to be tracked. That's human nature.
Hiring a Facebook Ads consultant may be a more effective way to go. One problem that Facebook Ads Consultants have is that there isn't much opportunity to earn much from a bunch of small businesses who might only spend $25 a week on Ads. How can you charge much when the Ad spend is so low?
Another problem with consulting for Facebook Advertising is that there's a disconnect between the business and the consultant. The consultant doesn't know the business well. The business doesn't know the advertising and marketing methods well. So if a consultant needed to work with a large number of businesses it would be inefficient and time consuming. It probably wouldn't be worth the time it takes for the money made in return.
So most small businesses end up doing their Facebook advertising themselves. And most of them probably are not sure if it's working or not.
How do you know if your Facebook Ads are working?
Sometimes it's obvious. It you promote events or special offers or use coupons it's easy to track. But you may not know if sales were made because of your Facebook ads or for other reasons or combinations of reasons. One way to know is to get into the routine of asking customers if they saw your ads. You should also keep records of when you run ads so you can generally compare sales against advertising.
When you see stats on ads, like comments and shares and likes, that gives you an indication of how good your ad is. But it doesn't track all the way to sales.
The answer to the question about Facebook advertising working for small local businesses is yes, it can work. It depends on how good your ads are. It depends on how good, popular, and desirable your offers, products, and services are. It depends on many things, just like any kind of advertising depends on these things.
Facebook advertising is probably the easiest "do it yourself" method of advertising around. At the same time it offers amazing power to reach a large number of people with a very sophisticated advertising system. It's easy to use, but not so easy to make it work extremely well in terms of return on advertising spent.
Let me know your thoughts. Leave a comment below. 🙂