Is it possible to do Facebook free advertising for small businesses? Hi, my name is Francisco. I own a Digital Marketing agency called Planet Marketing. We specialize in Facebook Ads, Google Ads and remarketing. Such businesses usually operate on shoestring budgets. They don't quite have enough to spend on advertising. So, can you market your small business on Facebook for free? The answer is yes. In this article, I am going to show you how to effectively promote your business using the world's largest social networking platform. This article is composed of the following sections;
Why Marketing Small Businesses on Facebook Makes Sense
How does advertising on Facebook work for small businesses? That's a question that you may have been asking yourself. I have been doing Facebook marketing for years, and one thing that I can say is that promoting one's business on the platform simply makes sense. But why is that the case?
Your small business' audience is already on Facebook
The great thing about Facebook is that seemingly everyone has a presence on the platform. Forget everything that you may have heard from naysayers. Facebook continues to grow even today.
Find more statistics at Statista
At the time of writing this article, Facebook had a monthly active user base of over 2.8 billion people. These numbers will keep growing. You can view the current statistics in the above graph from Statista.
Clearly, if you wish to reach your audience right where they spend most of their days, you need to take Facebook seriously. It's the platform of choice for businesses large and small, no matter how complex the demographics that you are targeting may be.
There are many free advertising options for small businesses on Facebook
In this article, we focus on Facebook free advertising for small businesses. One thing that makes the platform really attractive is that you get a lot of options when it comes to promoting your business on the platform. These options are what we are focusing on in this article, so we will leave this point for now.
You can create a loyal followership on Facebook
Another great thing about Facebook is that it allows small businesses to create a loyal following. It's social networking, after all. Again, this is something that we are going to talk about in the next section of this article.
Facebook Ads are cheap
The focus of this post is on marketing small businesses on Facebook for free. However, should you decide to go down the paid ads route, you can be fairly sure that this can be done relatively cheaply. So, that's nothing to worry about.
How to Market Small Businesses on Facebook for Free
In the first section of this article, we highlighted the benefits of promoting your small business on Facebook. But is there a way through which you can do it free of charge? That's what we are going to focus on in this section. The following are the options for advertising small businesses using Facebook for free;
1. Create a Facebook Page for your Small Businesses
Facebook Pages are probably the best option when it comes to promoting small businesses on Facebook. In fact, having a Facebook Page is a must for ANY business.
Remember what we said about Facebook bringing together over 1.8 billion people from diverse backgrounds? Well, a Facebook Page acts as your representative on the platform, allowing people who are interested in what you have to offer to find you.
It's your brand on Facebook. Many people take Facebook Pages very lightly. However, you can only do so at your detriment. Your Page represents your businesses. It doesn't matter how big or how small you may be. So it needs to be carefully nurtured.
Facebook Pages are created free of charge. The following are the steps for creating a business Page on Facebook;
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- You need to have a Facebook Account: To get started creating a Page on Facebook, you need to have a Facebook account. Chances are high that you already have one. If not, then signing up for one is a matter of minutes. This is an easy step.
- Create your Page: This is the second step on the way to creating a Facebook Page for your small business. You can create a Facebook Page by following this link. Or you can do so from you personal Facebook account. Simply click on the plus sign in front of your profile pic and name. Then click on Page as highlighted in the screenshot.
2. Be active on your Facebook Page
We have previously written on the best way of running a business page on Facebook. It's not enough to simply create a Facebook Page. Anybody can do that. The thing that will make a difference is how well you maintain yours. Being active on Facebook Pages is a great way through which small businesses can do free advertising for themselves on the platform.
However, many people lose the plot here. After creating a Facebook Page, they simply forget about it while going about their businesses. Facebook Pages need to be maintained. Make sure that you have added photos to make your profile complete. Enter all your information. Keep posting to your Facebook Page.
What should you post about?
So, what can you post on your Facebook Page? Well, thing is Facebook is very much about visuals. People do not go there to be serious. They go there to unwind. In order to attract their attention, you need to fall into the same frame of mind.
When posting something, first ask yourself; is my post designed to make people stop in their tracks? There are many tools that you can use here. As an example, you can use humor to get to people on Facebook.
You can also create helpful content. Most small businesses make the mistake of making their Facebook Pages all about themselves. That's a good way of ensuring that you get a rather dry Page that nobody likes.
What you should do instead is to create content that's useful to your readers. As an example, let's assume that you are a small town electrician. How about creating a post showing people how to safely change the fuses on their irons.
Such a post would not be humorous. But it would be pretty useful. It's something that can get people to stop what they are doing to take a moment to learn something.
By doing so, your brand becomes prominent in people's minds going forward. The next time that they will need to have work done in their home, they will think about your. They will look up your business.
How frequently should you post on your Facebook Page?
That is an important question. You will get a lot of answers here. But personally, I believe in posting as frequently as is possible to your Facebook Page.
In most cases, I try to do it at least once a day. That way, I can be sure that I am keeping my audience engaged. It also increases the chances that people looking for businesses similar to mine will stumble on my content.
The quality of Facebook Pages
However, there is a catch when doing Facebook free advertising for small businesses. Whatever you post needs to be of the best quality. Remember, we have already noted that your Facebook page represents your small business on the platform.
I do have to note, however, that you are not that constrained when it comes to posting content on your Page. The most liked videos out there are taken by amateurs using phones. You don't have to hire a professional for your content.
3. Promote engagement by responding to queries
Some people, after creating Facebook pages for their small businesses, feel that they do not quite have the time to respond to queries that they get via the platform. That's not the correct approach.
Anybody that asks you a question on Facebook is a potential customer. In fact, a lot of questions will come from current customers. Probably they will be looking for clarification regarding something that they bought from you.
One of the things that you may not be aware of is that Facebook gives priority to posts that have higher engagement. So, whatever you do, try as much as you can to stimulate debate within your target audience.
4. Get people to check in to your business
The power of Facebook is that it's comprised of chains linking people who are related in one way or the other. Your customers have friends who have their own friends and so on and so on. What you want to do is to make sure that you are reaching as many of these people as you can. The best way of doing this is by getting your clients to act as your advocates.
What's needed to advance your small business is social proof. You can get that by getting people to check-in while at your establishment. That way, their friends will know that you exist and, hopefully, some of them will want to also check you out. All this is done free of charge.
5. Create a Facebook Group
Facebook groups are another great option when it comes to Facebook free advertising for small businesses. Some people get confused regarding the difference between a Facebook Page and a Facebook Group.
Well, a Page is your profile on Facebook. It's representative of your brand, as we have already noted. It's also public, meaning anybody can view it.
Facebook groups, on the other hand, are a lot more closed. They are usually invite only or you may have to wait for approval before you can join in the discussion.
The power of Facebook groups is that they bring together likeminded people. Perhaps there is a subject that's related to your business that you feel people will want to talk about.
Let's say you sell fitness equipment. You can create a group that fitness enthusiasts can use to stay in touch with others.
6. Facebook Live
Facebook Live is another great option if you want to promote your small business on the platform for free. Facebook Live gives you the ability to host live events that are streamed on Facebook.
These events can be great marketing tools. Of course, you need to be really good here. Nobody is going to want to sit in on your live event simply because you are hosting it. Your events should provide value to people.
Consider Running Facebook Paid Ads
I know, this article is about free marketing opportunities on Facebook for small businesses. But really, it would be amiss for us to leave without discussing creating paid Facebook ads. The major reason why people are looking for the free option is because they think Facebook ads are very expensive.
We have already determined that this is not the case. You can promote a post on Facebook for as little as $1. Many people boost their posts for such amounts. The usefulness of boosting posts is debatable, but some people make it work.
For that amount, you can also run a brand awareness campaign that reaches quite a number of people. So, everything that we have been talking about is great, but you should compliment your effort by exploring Facebook ads.
How are Ads created on Facebook?
I have written extensively on Facebook ads marketing for various businesses on this blog. I have articles covering Facebook ads for Kindle publishers and Facebook ads for restaurants. I also have articles for Facebook ads for attorneys and for eCommerce.
Facebook Ads get created in Ads manager. The process of creating them can be involved. However, it's something that a determined person can master. I have a DIY Facebook Ads marketing course that is designed to help you do just that.
I also have a setup plan that can help you get started. The following are the steps that you need to go through when creating Facebook Ads for your business;
Choose a Campaign Objective
First, you need to pick a Campaign Objective. This speaks to what you wish to achieve regarding your Facebook ads. Are you looking for brand awareness or are you looking to get traffic to a landing page. Facebook gives you 11 Campaign Objectives, from which you can only pick one;
- Brand awareness
- Lead generation
- Catalog sales
- App installs
- Video views
- Store visits
From that list, you can pick one that best speaks to your objectives. If you are an eCommerce business, as an example, the best Campaign Objective would probably be Catalog sales. If you use that with remarketing via pixel, you can be sure to get a second chance at converting people who have been to your website.
Set up your audience and budget and schedule in the Ad Set
The Ad Set is where you do most of the work when creating Facebook Ads for your business. It's where you define your target audience. It's also where you lay out your budget and schedule. The power of Facebook ads is that you can be very precise on who you wish to target. The following are the audience definition options in the Ad Set;
Types of Audience
There are several types of audience when creating Facebook Ads;
- Custom Audiences: These are based on interaction between your business and it's prospects in one way or the other. Perhaps these are people who have been to your website or to your Facebook Page or who attended one of your events. Tracking is usually via pixel.
- New audiences: You can create a new audience using the settings outlined above, ie location, age, gender, languages etc.
- Lookalike audiences: These are similar to audiences that you have already defined. Sometimes your own audience may not be broad enough to have an impact. You can then allow Facebook to come up with audiences that are similar to yours.
Control your budget
This is something that I felt I needed to say before concluding this article. It's important to always remain in control of your spending. Like other businesses out there, Facebook keeps your credit card details on file.
So, you need to specify dates for your Campaigns to make sure that money does not continue to be deducted from your account even when you are no longer interested in keeping a Campaign running.
In this article, we focused on Facebook free advertising for small businesses. We noted that there are many ways through which to promote your business on Facebook. First, you can create a Facebook Page.
Then you can host live events among other activities on the platform. In the last part of the article, we briefly outlined what it takes to do paid advertising on the platform.
Anyway, hope this article has been helpful. If you want to learn more, sign up for my Facebook ads mini course by filling out the form below.