How to Promote Your Local Business on Facebook
Are you concerned about the latest updates to the Facebook algorithm and how they’ll affect your business?
Here’s the reality: Facebook algorithms are here to stay. Your impulse might be to get angry at Facebook because you’d like to benefit from free organic reach to build your business. We get it, from a business owner’s point of view, it feels obnoxious. But being angry is actually misguided.
Facebook has to continually make updates to their platform to ensure that the user experience is positive and that all of those 2.07 billion monthly active users keep coming back. If Facebook got spammy, people would leave, and the platform would no longer be desirable for anyone. Think about it: If people’s personal newsfeeds were filled with nothing but businesses, people would stop using it, and the entire value that we currently benefit from on Facebook would evaporate.
You just have to accept that it’s going to cost money to reach people’s newsfeeds. But don’t worry—it’s money well spent! Facebook is the best platform to run promotions for most businesses, followed by Instagram, which is also owned and operated by Facebook.
Set a Monthly Facebook Advertising Budget
Whether it’s $25 or $5000, your business needs a monthly advertising budget to spend on Facebook and/or Instagram. There are a variety of ways to apply that ad budget, and they each get different results.
If your budget is small, don’t worry. You can still achieve good results and a good reach with as little as $25 a month when you apply that money to a carefully-selected post. For small budgets, it’s generally better to stick with boosting or with driving page likes.
Use boosting when you’ve posted valuable content to your Facebook page and you want to ensure it reaches your followers or new potential customers.
Or, you can hit “Promote” on the righthand sidebar of your business page under the menu options for a variety of choices such as “Promote Your Business Locally” to drive more people to like your page.
These two options are both effective ways to leverage a smaller budget.
When you have a larger budget of $100 or more, we recommend Facebook ads using the Facebook Business Manager.
If you haven’t set up an account in the business manager, you can start right now. The targeting for these ads is very sophisticated and farther-reaching than what’s offered with the boosting option. You can use carefully crafted ad visuals and accompanying text to drive results like reach, page clicks, website visits, conversions, etc. Your ad visual should have a maximum of 20% text to make it through the ad approval process.
You can use the ad targeting to reach people on both Facebook and Instagram.
FYI, we aren’t going to get into exactly how to run ads in this particular blog post. Our point is simply to emphasize that you don’t have to have a massive budget to start to leverage the power of Facebook ads.
Promote on Instagram
Similar to boosting, when you’ve connected your Instagram account to your Facebook page by marking it as a business account, you’ll be able to run promotions with the click of a few buttons right from your mobile device. Again, this is a great way to leverage smaller budgets to increase your reach. However, for larger budgets of $100 or more, running the promotion through the Facebook Business Manager will get you more extensive results. Just be aware that the same 20% text rule applies for Instagram promotions as it does for Facebook ads.
What About Regular Facebook Page Updates?
With all this talk of spending money, don’t forget that it’s still important to post regular updates to your Facebook page. They probably won’t reach people’s newsfeeds very often BUT when people actively visit your Facebook page, these posts will demonstrate that you’re sharing active content.
Spend Money to Make Money
The hardest plunge that most small business owners have to learn to take is that they need to spend money to make money. When you’re new and not bringing in much cash, it can feel painful to spend money. However, in order to get real results, it’s essential to make an investment—and you don’t need to spend an obscene amount to get those results, either. You just can’t expect to get all of your marketing for free.
If you’re ready to the plunge into Facebook and Instagram marketing and you’d like some help, give us a shout. Not only do we run full-cycle campaigns, but we also offer consulting for small business owners to help them to run their own marketing more effectively. Contact us and we’ll get you started!