Photo: Shannon Schaefer

By: Shannon Schaefer

While most of us are familiar with social media giant Facebook in our personal lives, the corporate game is an entirely different ballgame. It is no secret that many of us subscribe to a number of Facebook business and company pages, but the magic that goes on behind the scenes to make these pages successful is often unknown. In fact, Facebook is a ground-breaking social media platform that every business owner should be recognizing and utilizing. With over a billion daily active users, any business can use this platform to connect to a larger audience and grow their network. 

Recently, I attended ‘Boost with Facebook’ on behalf of the PR and Communications Department of FATMO Media Group. This two-day Facebook-led event was held at Toronto’s Evergreen Brickworks Centre. With a full agenda, Boost with Facebook offered over 15 workshops that were focused on teaching business owners how to utilize Facebook’s advertising features

From lessons on marketing strategy to lessons on ad policy, the intention of Boost with Facebook was to teach any user, no matter their skill level, on how to run successful ad campaigns and how to strengthen their social media marketing strategies.

Here are the biggest lessons that every entrepreneur should know about Facebook for business:

Define your business goal, align that goal with a type of ad: There are three styles of ads that a user can run depending on what their business goal is – they are awareness, consideration, and conversion ads. It is important to recognize what your business goal is before running an ad in order to properly align your goal and your ad. 

An awareness ad aims to get your ad on users’ feeds, it is used to get your business seen. If you are a newer business and your professional goal is to have your business seen and recognized, an awareness ad is a great place to start.

A consideration ad usually follows a successful awareness ad campaign. At this point, your business has been seen and is recognizable but now you want users to click on your ad.  If your business goal is to get users familiar with the products you are offering and to click on your ad to generate traffic, a consideration ad should be the style of ad campaign you create.

A conversion ad tends to align with most business owners’ long-term goal. Conversion ads aim to get a user to take action, usually through a purchase. A conversion ad is the final step where the users recognize your business, they are aware of your products and have scrolled around your business before but now, they successfully complete an action (again, typically a purchase).

However, it’s wise to be careful! Many users will overlook the importance of awareness and consideration ads as their business goal aligns strongly with conversion ads – they want their ad to result in an action. Multiple successful awareness and consideration ad campaigns will contribute to a long-term business goal and will help to eventually run a successful conversion ad. 

Audience, audience, audience: You may know your business goal and the style of ad you need to achieve this goal, but do you know your audience? Your ad needs to be targeted at your specific demographic for it to garner its full potential. Facebook makes this easier, offering both simple and specific tools to create your audience. 

One specific feature I learned about is called Lookalike Audience. Facebook can automatically target an audience for your business based on your existing customers and their ad activity. This is a simple way to begin learning about your audience.

Use the tools, download the apps: Facebook will automatically generate data for you after you have ran a campaign on their platform and this data is critical for strengthening any future ads you may plan. Using apps such as Facebook’s Ads Manager or tools such as Facebook’s Pixel will only help you generate a larger response in the future and contribute to growth. 

You will gain access to important data, such as when your users are most active or where your ad was most successful. Even better, Ads Manager will allow you to run a split test, which brings us to this next point:

Split tests matter: Split testing allows you to test different versions of your ad to see which features your audience best response to. Facebook even has the option to run different styles of split tests. For example, you can test the same ad on two different audiences to see which yields better results or you can test two ads on the same audience but feature two different media features (videos vs photos).

This data allows you to learn about your audience which, in turn, allows you to better market to your audiences’ likings.

Don’t feel overwhelmed, Facebook can help you: Facebook Blueprint is an ultra-generous platform that Facebook has created to offer users free online courses aimed to help build businesses and develop digital marketing techniques. Users can scroll around the Blueprint and jump into any course they would like to learn more about – it is even possible to earn official Facebook certification if you want to set yourself apart and recognize your advanced-level proficiency. 

As the business world becomes increasingly digital, a successful Facebook advertising campaign can only help your business with achieving its goals in the social media world. The next time you post that status or like a friend’s photo album, think of the deeper meaning behind Facebook for business- and keep these suggestions in mind!

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