Best practices for SMBs advertising on Facebook
Published: September 12, 2012
Author: Molly Shotwell
Today’s post is by Yossi Goldlust, Vice President of Business Development at Zibaba. Yossi has more than 13 years of experience helping companies increase their revenue from online advertising and e-commerce using platforms like AdMeld, America Online, AppNexus, DoubleClick, Google, Omniture, Right Media, and Yahoo.
Ironically, while Facebook is actually now more popular than Google as a SMB (small-to-medium business) marketing platform, many SMBs are still reluctant to try paid advertising on Facebook.
At Zibaba, our experience is that sharing a few simple best practices for testing out advertising on Facebook can be very helpful in overcoming that reluctance.
Start off by remembering that advertising on Facebook is not about what you’re advertising but rather to whom you’re advertising. People use Facebook to share their thoughts and interests with others or to learn what’s happening with people or businesses they know and/or trust.
Best practice #1: Select the relationship with your audience
Are you advertising to people (fans) with whom your business already has a relationship? People to whom your business is connected through its relationships (friends of fans)? Or people who don’t know your business at all?
Breaking out targeting by the relationship to your audience lets you track results much more effectively. The same daily deal or coupon for a flash sale will perform very differently with fans and non-fans; it’s always easier to sell to people you know than people you don’t know.
Not that you can’t advertise a daily deal or coupon to both fans and non-fans alike. Just keep the advertising campaigns and advertising content separate, and have different goals for each.
Best practice #2: Choose your success metric based on the relationship
If you’re trying to reach people you know – or their friends – use “harder” metrics like ROI or leads generated.
If you’re trying to reach people you don’t know, use “softer” metrics like clicks, engagement and fans acquired. While these softer metrics may not represent direct-response success, remember that you’re widening the funnel for future conversions.
Best practice #3: Budget based on your success metrics
If you’re using a harder metric like ROI, treat it like Google and work off the sales you’re hoping to generate. (As a point of reference, properly configured Facebook stores have been found to convert at least as well as online web stores.)
For a softer metric like clicks, use a fraction of the budget for a harder metric like ROI. So for example, if testing advertising on Facebook to drive new sales means a budget of $500, spend $125 on a test that involves clicks as your metric.
As an alternative – and forgoing proven best practices – try assigning 1/4 of the budget you would spend on a Google campaign with similar objectives.
Summing it up
Successful advertising on Facebook is not rocket science. It’s just not the same as Google and requires remembering it’s about who you’re advertising to – not what you’re advertising.
– Yossi Goldlust