Every business from large corporations to vendors at local markets are aware of the necessity of a social media presence. When there’s no face-to-face stimulation of an in-person conversation, people resort to content consumption on their phones.

Entrepreneurs need to understand that in order to succeed in the business world you need to be present in the digital world. Focusing your marketing strategy on social media is the easiest, most cost efficient way to reach current and potential customers.

Social Media advertising makes sense because it is:

  • Measurable
  • Cost Efficient
  • Engaging
  • Easy to create
  • Easier to consume

Whether you’re the owner of a small business or an account manager at a large agency, the use of Facebook ads above almost every other platform provides the most useful performance data, is the most cost efficient (if created properly), is highly engaging and is very simple to create & consume.

On the backend of Facebook you can use the Ads Manager to build your advertisements which allow you to target various demographics, including whether or not you want to target people who like your page or exclude them from seeing your ad.

In the past six months at Baro we’ve been playing with our strategy, constantly keeping up with trends from experts such as Neil Patel, and running A/B testing on all our campaigns. We’ve found that the best advertisements with the most engagement and the most cost efficient click through rate came when we targeted people who were already liking our page.

This may seem like a no brainer but plenty of marketers will suggest that you run ads targeting new audiences that feature like buttons placed on the ad.  This is both wrong and lazy.

Keep reading below to see why and what you can do to make the most of your marketing budget on Facebook.

Here are a few tips on how to use Facebook ads to grow your business and get more people to follow you online.

RUN AUDIENCE GROWTH ADS

Audience growth ads may seem like you’re paying someone to be your friend but it’s more about brand awareness and brand recognition.

There’s a large audience out there that may not know what your company is about! Why not have them follow your page where you can inform them about your company and eventually sell to them?

When making the advertisement, use a high-quality photo that grabs the consumer’s attention. Remember, most people are scrolling on social media and will only stop at something that grabs their attention and makes them take a second look. The best photo to use is a video. That may not make sense but I thought it was clever and I’m leaving it…

It’s true though. Video has the power to grab a user’s attention for a longer period than a photo does. This doesn’t have to be anything extensive; you could simply film shots of your business (product, services, location & the people you work with) put it together in iMovie or Premiere with some music and upload it to your ad in Facebook.

If you’re looking for something a little more advanced to give your video more appeal, you can pay to acquire footage from companies like Shutterstock or Videoblocks.

Below is an example of a video we ran in an audience growth ad for Baro’s Facebook page:

CREATE ADS THAT ENCOURAGE ENGAGEMENT

Word-of-mouth referrals are the best marketing methods, but the conversation doesn’t only have to be offline. If you’re running an ad for your business or a business you manage, focus on creating ads that start conversations.

For example, if you run a restaurant and have lots of local beers on tap you could spark a conversation by writing:

“With over 50 beers from southern Ontario we’ve got something for all beer lovers! Tag a friend below who loves local, craft beers!”

Writing copy that is enticing will encourage users to tag their friends which is the best kind of referral for any business.

Engagement ads are perfect for businesses that don’t have direct calls to action such as bookings or product sales. For example, some patios in downtown Toronto don’t take reservations and serve guests on a first-come, first-served basis. Running engagement ads are perfect for this kind of business. When people are texting their friends for after-work drinks and are looking for recommendations, they’ll remember the engagement they had when their friend tagged them in the comments section saying “we should try this place!”

Facebook is a great ad platform but remember the “social” in social media; get people talking.

CONTESTS

This strategy is almost an extension of the previous point above, but is worthy of elaborating as its own point.

People love giveaways and see the potential for free stuff as a valid exchange for a few minutes of their time. Creating a post where users like your page and tag a friend in the comments is a great way to grow your page’s audience. You can even choose to exclude people in ads so that only people who DO NOT currently like your page are seeing the promotion, resulting in new users liking your page.

Giving away something as simple as a gift certificate to your business is a great start.

If you really want to tap into a certain demographic, you could give away something in addition to the gift card to attract a certain audience. For example, a record store could do a giveaway for $25 to their business and a pair of tickets to an upcoming concert in the city and run ads targeting people who like that artist. A sports bar in downtown Toronto could give away tickets to a Raptors or Leafs game and target people on Facebook who have like those teams.

RUN CROSS PROMOTIONS

Have you ever come across a business that seemed to piggy back another? Like Booster Juice putting all their stores conveniently beside every Goodlife everywhere and anywhere? That’s because they’re identifying concentrations of potential customers and striking where there’s gold.

Cross promotions online use a similar model to this. Teaming up with another business that is similar to yours is a brilliant way to reach new consumers and identifying with like-minded brands.

Cross promotion can be anything from two businesses working together on a content piece to a pair of Chef’s from two restaurants doing guest menus in each other’s kitchens during a service.

Cross promotion helps all businesses involved reach a bigger audience with the same interests. This application is used by larger companies with the use if endorsements.

INFLUENCER MARKETING

Speaking of endorsements…

Influencer marketing is real and is here to stay. Whether you like or follow social media influencers they can help introduce your brand to a high amount of people. This is basically the Kardashian’s business model.

If you’re thinking of paying an influencer to promote your brand be sure to keep this in mind:

Followers don’t matter, engagement does!

What does this mean? Well there are plenty of social media accounts that use bots and apps to pay for followers or likes and increase their “following”, but this doesn’t mean those accounts are engaged in their content; it doesn’t mean that users are looking at their posts, commenting on it or liking it.

So with this in mind, do some research and look at the number of average likes and comments on an influencers account and see if there’s value there for your business.

Even micro influencers with small followings (a few hundred or less than 2,000) are great if they’ve got an engaged, niche audience that aligns with your brand.

TARGET AUDIENCES THAT LIKE SIMILAR PAGES

This one’s a little greasy but I love it. In the Facebook Ads Manager you can create campaigns and target people who currently like pages of your competitors.  If you’re a new Steakhouse in Toronto, you can run ads that target user profiles that like other Steakhouses.

It’s sneaky. Click here to find out how to do it.

Have questions about any of the tactics above? Feel free to email me at Jordan@barotoronto.com.