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Facebook Ads: The Basics

30 Jun

Upcoming posts will focus on how to implement a Facebook Ad campaign for your small business. We’ll take it step-by-step and by the end of this series you’ll know how to implement a campaign technically and strategically. To set the stage, I want to provide some basic Q&A of how Facebook Ads work.

Q: Where are Facebook Ads displayed?

A: Facebook Ads are placed on the right hand side of users Facebook account. Here is what they look like:

Q: How does Facebook know what ads to show a user?

A: When a business creates an ad, it selects targets based on geography, age, sex and education. But what makes the ads truly unique is the ability to select interests users indicate on their profile. These can be as broad as” running” and as specific as “running the Eugene Women’s Half Marathon”. We’ll discuss more about how to target your ads in an upcoming post.

Q: How much does a Facebook Ad cost?

A: You pay for a Facebook Ad every time someone clicks on it. The price is called the CPC (cost-per-click). You can also pay by every 1000 impressions, which is every time the ad is viewed, this is called the CPM. I always recommend the CPC method. You still get numerous impressions, but only pay when there is action. Costs vary per ad, based on the demand for the criteria you have selected. The more people wanting to run an ad for runners in the Portland area, the more the ad costs. However, most Facebook Ads cost around  $1-$2 per click. You can select a maximum amount you’re willing to pay-per-click (your bid) as well as a daily or campaign budget. Facebook will help guide you on what you should bid for your ad.

Those are the essentials you need to know to get started. Tomorrow’s post will discuss how to access the Facebook Ads interface.




Buy Facebok Ads With AMEX Rewards

29 Jun

I love this idea! American Express users can now redeem their Membership Rewards for Facebook Ads. This presents a great opportunity for small business owners to get an ad campaign going at no cost to them. For every $6,750 spent on your AMEX, you get $50 in Facebook Ads. Find out more on the American Express OPEN Facebook page.

While $50 may not seem like much when you consider an ad in a community newspaper runs a few hundred dollars, it can make a significant impact on Facebook. Facebook allows for hyper-targeted ads, not only by basic demographics such as location, age and level of education, but also by interest. This means you can ensure you’re reaching your specific audience.  They are also incredibly easy to set up and track.

Because of this new development, Small Biz Social will be running a series this week detailing how to best use Facebook Ads. Any immediate questions? Ask me below.



Survey Says

31 May

While studying for my PR degree (shout out to the University of Oregon J School), I learned the importance of research in any successful communications/marketing effort. Social media is no exception. With all of the social media tools available, it can be overwhelming deciding where to start. Research can help point you in the right direction and set you up for success.

Here are some ways to start the research:

  • Poll your customers: If you have an email database, include a quick poll asking about social media usage. You can also use a free tool like Survey Monkey.
  • Ask them: If a poll isn’t your speed, then ask at check-out or during an appointment. Something simple like this works well, “We’re considering becoming involved in social media. What sites do you currently use and where would you be most likely to interact with us?”
  • Are they already talking?: Search Facebook and Twitter to see if there is already chatter about your business. Are people checking-in on Foursquare? Use Google’s blog search to find out if you have any blog fans out there.
  • Think Niche: Facebook and Twitter certainly reach the masses, but be sure to research more targeted social tools where you might get a better ROI. For instance, a Facebook page may not be the best fit for a lawyer, but maintaining a profile and soliciting reviews on Avvo (a referral site for doctors and lawyers) probably will be.
Questions about what site might work best for you? Need advice on a finding a niche site? Ask me below.

It’s not Field of Dreams

25 May

If you build it, it they won’t necessarily come. Social media isn’t magic and setting up that Facebook page, blog or Twitter profile doesn’t mean you will immediately have followers, you have to actively promote your pages in order to drive engagement. Here are some tips to increase following of your social media properties.

  • Website integration: Integrate your page into your website so visitors can automatically Like the page, follow your blog, etc. Facebook has free and easy to use plugins and Twitter has a variety of widgets.
  • Email blast: Use your existing email database to announce that you have launched a Facebook page, blog, etc. Include a direct link to the page and briefly let contacts know why they should follow i.e. great tips, special offers, etc.
  • Email signatures: Include a link to your company’s social media property in email signatures of all employees.
  • Network: If you are a blogger, proactively comment on other blogs (be sure you are offering something of value and not just spamming to secure followings). On Twitter actively follow and tweet to others.
  • Coupons: People love deals and offering coupons or special offers is a sure way for others to spread the word about your page You can even require they “Like” the page in order to be eligible for the deals. There are apps for Facebook that can help with this.
  • Promotions and contests: Be sure you are adhering to Facebook’s guidelines, but offering a contest or sweepstakes will encourage others to spread the word to their networks. You will need to use a third-party app such as Wildfire. Contests on blogs and Twitter don’t have guidelines, just make sure you adhere to local laws.
  • In-store promotion: If you have a physical location, incorporate point of purchase or window signage encouraging customers to Like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, etc.

Share in the comments how you have promoted your social media page.



Meet My Dogs!

17 May

These are my trusty sidekicks, Paco and Autzen. They are both little Chihuahuas. Paco is 10 and Autzen is a more recent addition. He’s two and I adopted him this December after he was found on the streets of Los Angeles.

Okay, okay I know you’re confused. This is a blog about using social media in small business. Why the heck is Lacy telling us about her dogs? Valid point readers. But stick with me. This post was inspired by  Likeonomics a book and concept by Rohit Bhargava. The premiss is that brands need to stop the PR and marketing spin and authentically engage with their audiences. This includes showing more of your human side. People respond to those who are like them.

The purpose of this post is to give you some insight into me. I’m sure many of you can relate to having a trusty pet around who keeps you going. I love typing away with a little dog curled up asleep on my lap.

The main message here is don’t be afraid to show a little of yourself in social media content. Some examples:

  • Did you see a great movie your targets would like? Tell them about it.
  • Test a new recipe and it didn’t turn out well? Even as a restaurant (as long as you didn’t serve it of course), readers will relate that everyone, including their favorite chef, makes mistakes. And they take away good tips of what not to do.
  • If your company goes on a group outing (even if it’s just a team lunch), post a candid photo.
Remember showing a human side doesn’t mean sharing what you are uncomfortable with. For example, a local food cart shared the news of the birth of their baby on Facebook. For some, that might seem too intrusive, for others, perfectly natural. Engage on your comfort level and as long as you’re authentic and genuine, you will make those connections.