Facebook Ads 101: Why to Use Them and How
Like other small business owners, florists are faced with a dizzying array of choices to market their shops. All of these competing marketing options are vying for limited budgets. So, what’s the best way to spend your fixed marketing dollars?
Experts point to Facebook. Facebook ads allow you to reach your audience at the right time for an affordable price. Read on for advice to maximize the ROI of your Facebook ads as well as best practices and things to avoid.
Why Are Facebook Ads Such a Great Marketing Tool?
There are a number of reasons that Facebook ads are so powerful. Crystal Vilkaitis, CEO of the social media training firm Crystal Media, noted that these ads enable florists to get in front of a “warm” audience—in other words, people who are already familiar with your brand and/or have visited your website. Facebook ads make your business stand out, so you can communicate with this audience and share news of special offers, which in turn boosts sales.
To illustrate the effectiveness of Facebook ads, Vilkaitis shared one of her client’s experiences. The client, the owner of a high-end women’s boutique, employed a social media manager who decided to stop using Facebook ads in spite of the amazing results the boutique had seen. For several months after this decision, the boutique’s sales dropped.
The boutique’s owner realized her social media manager’s mistake. She began running Facebook ads again. A week after the new ad campaign started, she held a storewide sale. A customer came into the store and explained that even though she didn’t “like” the boutique’s page, the ad came up in her newsfeed. That customer spent $4,800 because of one $50 ad.
How Do I Optimize Facebook Ads?
Vilkaitis recommends several best practices to achieve the best outcomes for your Facebook ads.
While the idea of running Facebook ads might sound daunting, it’s not. Vilkaitis advised florists to “start with a small budget and test a few different ad types such as engagement, page likes, and reach.” Ads are available for as little as $1 per day. “You don’t have much to lose,” she said.
When it comes to writing the content for your ad, Vilkaitis believes authenticity is the best strategy. “Use copy that sounds like you and your business,” she said. Vilkaitis also suggests including emojis , pointing out that there are many flower and plant emojis from which to choose.
Before you commit to a particular message, image, or video, test it, Vilkaitis said. This helps you determine what works and what doesn’t. Experiment with different images, videos, and messages, as well as various audiences and budgets. Don’t be quick to make changes; give the ad somewhere between 48 and 72 hours before altering it, Vilkaitis said.
Want to ensure that your ad reaches the right audience? “Target, target, target,” Vilkaitis urged. Her advice is to focus on warm audience groups first, such as current fans, your email list, and web visitors. Florists can take advantage of the “Life Event” function on Facebook by reaching out to someone who has a friend’s birthday or an anniversary coming up or someone who recently got engaged. By targeting your ads, your message shows up in front of the right person at the right time.
What Not to Do When It Comes to Facebook Ads
In Vilkaitis’ opinion, there are two cardinal sins that business owners commit when it comes to Facebook ads: not testing the ads and not having patience.
“You need to test, try new ideas, make changes, and keep trying,” she said. She added that, sometimes, you can see positive results from Facebook ads within days. Other times, it could take more than six months for the ads to have an effect. Stick with the ads, and you’ll ultimately see the benefits.
Another fallacy that irks Vilkaitis is that Facebook ads are expensive. That’s false. She debunked the myth that you need to spend thousands of dollars by citing her own clients’ Facebook advertising budgets. “We run many ad campaigns for local retailers on a budget of $150-$500 a month and we see in-store traffic and sales each month as a result of the ads,” she said.
When is the Best Time to Run a Facebook Ad?
Right now. Facebook ads represent an affordable, low-risk advertising option for florists. By choosing not to post ads on this highly popular platform, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to reach a wider audience.
As with any other type of marketing, Facebook ads are an investment in time and money. However, when used properly, they have high ROI. You won’t regret using them.
Rachel Levy Sarfin is a Toronto-based freelancer who has written about technology for a variety of publications and blogs.