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Do Facebook Ads Really Work for Small Businesses?

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

Did you know? 74% of Facebook users visit the platform every single day. (via Lyfe Marketing)

Social media marketing and advertising has grown in leaps and bounds in the last few years. Everyone is connected to social media, but what is the best way to leverage this? You want to get the most ROI for your ads, especially as a small business owner who doesn't have millions of dollars to spend on marketing. So, the question is, do Facebook Ads really work for small business? The answer is yes, but only with a well-planned campaign strategy that maximizes what Facebook ads do best. 

The Benefits of Using Facebook Ads

  1. It's Where Your Audience Is: Just about everyone, from your Grandma to your 10-year old nephew, has a profile on Facebook. According to Business Insider, Facebook's 1.44 billion monthly active users are spending nearly 20% of their online time using the social network. The average U.S. consumer spends 40 minutes on Facebook per day. There is no bigger audience out there, and no easier way to reach them. 

  2. Making the Most of Facebook: For any business or brand page, Facebook artificially limits the reach of un-sponsored posts to around 10% of your followers. Facebook, like most social platforms, survives through advertising. By paying for a promoted Facebook post or ad, it allows the piece of content to generate a much higher reach. If you don't use Facebook ads, your page posts won't go very far.

  3. Facebook Data and Targeting Is Un-matched: You can target your audience through age, demographics, location, interests, connections, behavior, spending history, lifestyle choices and more.  Facebook allows for the most specific targeting out there! You are sure to reach the exact users in your target audience.

  4. Develop New Leads: Facebook has a new feature called "lookalike audiences," that can take an engaged audience and clone it to find more leads. Once you find a target audience that works well for your business, just use the "lookalike audience" feature and Facebook will advertise your business directly to a totally new group of people with similar interests.

  5. Real-time Analytics: Ad tracking and analytics, all in real time, give Facebook ads a step up on the competition. You can track how many click and impressions your ad is attracting. If the performance is poor, you can change your ad copy or images on the fly.

  6. The Price Is Right: Facebook ads are cheap, which is perfect for small businesses. According to Moz, if you spend $1 a day, you'll get your ad seen by an additional 4,000 people per month. In fact, Facebook has the lowest cost per 1,000 impressions ad in history. Scale up that investment for even greater returns. A dollar hasn't gone this far in years! 

Not Your Traditional Advertising

If you venture onto Google, there are two distinct viewpoints on Facebook ads. You can find dozens of articles claiming that Facebook ads miss the mark, while dozen of others say the opposite, emphasizing that a good marketing plan and execution are keys to success. Both views have their points. Facebook ads aren't good for everything. You must have a clear strategy and goal in mind.

Many small business owners have compared Facebook marketing to walking around a party, handing out business cards when everyone wants to socialize. In short, users are generally not in a buying mood when they see your ads. In this respect, Google AdWords have a more direct correlation to sales, as someone who is already searching for "House Painting Services" is clearly in the market to buy. 

Instead, Facebook Ads are best understood through a new concept of "Social ROI". "Social ROI" refers to measurable such asa likes, clicks, reach, impressions, comments and click-though rate. Rather than leading to immediate sales, Facebook ads are at their most effective when used for: 

  • increasing brand recognition

  • increasing social exposure

  • capturing and nurturing leads

In our digital, social age, brand awareness and audience engagement are becoming the bedrock of marketing. Used as part of a larger overall marketing strategy, Facebook ads can help you grow your business by developing and maintaining audience interested and engagement for the long term. 

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