Advertising can be a two-edged sword for a small business, helping you break into a larger market while also cutting into your profits. The old adage says you have to spend money to make money, but where exactly should you spend money to get the largest return on your investment? Facebook may be the answer, even for small to medium businesses who have previously felt it too complex and expensive for a small budget business without a marketing department. Here is why that is changing:
Facebook matters – There are few business owners these days who don’t understand the value of Facebook and its global audience. With over a billion users, including 67% of Internet users in the US, Facebook is one of the most prominent places where people can learn about your business. Even sans a large marketing budget, you can build a following and enhance your brand via the social media giant.
Facebook Wants Your Business – The times, they are a-changin’. Facebook is shifting its focus from major corporations to small and medium businesses. This isn’t to say they want one group over the other, but rather that they are in a position to divide their efforts and to accommodate the 99%. They’ve even gone so far as to form a council of 12 SMB owners whose purpose is to offer feedback of a certain perspective on Facebook’s efforts to build new bridges.
It’s Getting Easier – Among the changes that Facebook has made is the way a business can promote itself by purchasing facetime with its customers. Posts can be promoted via one of two means: Cost-per-Impression (CPM) or Cost-per-Click (CPC). CPM is based on cost of 1K impressions. Cost per click is what it sounds like: Facebook promotes your post and charges you each time someone clicks on your ad.
Facebook also offers administrative features right on your business page to help you achieve awareness and reach by either expanding your likes or the visibility of your posts. Either way, more eyes on your content is a good way to build your brand and create a more fertile ground for your marketing efforts.
Get in Early – Since the SMB focus is something that Facebook is just starting to push, the market is prime for the early bird. Small businesses haven’t flooded the new market yet, making it easier for you to stand out. Facebook’s advertising tools are only going to get more intuitive, and while that is good for your future efforts it also means you can expect other small businesses, especially your direct competitors, to hop on the wagon as well. In the not-so-distant future, we might start to think of Facebook as the obvious space for advertisement the way we used to think of television.
Get Moving – You don’t need to wait until you understand everything to take the first step, and odds are that if you’re running your own small business, you aren’t one to wait for things to come to you. You probably know the value of self-promotion. Whether it’s as simple as handing out business cards and flyers or getting business convention fancy and figuring out how to start a t-shirt line, getting your name out there is the only way people will hear about you. Facebook offers a built-in audience that requires some good effort to impress, but with enough quality content, dedication, and wisely-invested ad dollars, you can begin to leave a larger impact with your online presence without breaking your bank in the process.
The tides are shifting, and when a company like Facebook sets its mind and resources to a task, you can put your confidence into its follow-through. Your business needs to keep itself in front of where the eyes are already looking, and Facebook is eager to put you there.