Facebook offers so many opportunities to reach customers with specialized advertising that almost every business can benefit from some form of paid advertising on Facebook, even if it spends only a few dollars a week.
However, it is one thing to use paid Facebook advertising sparingly -- for example to tell your fans about an event -- and quite another to commit to making Facebook a significant source of leads or traffic for your business. Answer the follow questions to find out if Facebook ads can be a significant source of leads for your business.
Are you a local business with a physical location?
Does your business have a doorknob that customers turn? If so, then Facebook is for you. Dentists, doctors, lawyers, veterinarians, physical trainers, gyms, specialty shops, cupcake stores, specialty groceries, beer and wine shops, restaurants, mechanics, theaters and music venues are highly likely to benefit from locally targeted Facebook campaigns, which may cost as little as $100 to $200 a month.
Facebook allows you to advertise to people who live within a few miles of your location, to advertise directly to your known customers, and to advertise directly to your customers’ friends who live nearby. Facebook is good for selling locally because Facebook makes it easy to get your message in front of your local market demographic even before your target audience has begun searching for your particular product or service.
Does your business harmonize with Facebook?
I suspect it is possible to successfully sell almost any product or service on Facebook. However, it is clear that some products sell on Facebook like magic and others are really, really difficult to sell there. The interesting question for your business is “How easy will it be to sell on Facebook?”
Some types of products or services are a natural fit for selling on Facebook -- so natural that you can set up a campaign and start finding new customers in a few minutes. Other types of products and services will be a harder sale. And, Facebook may not be a good channel for purchasing clicks until you have exhausted easier channels.
The more the following statements describe your product or service, the more Facebook is for you.
- Our Stuff Is Unique
Facebook is for you if you sell unique or personalized products. Facebook is the worldwide capital of individual expression. It’s the perfect place to sell customized and personalized products, items that express a person’s own tastes and preferences. It is also a great way to engage potential customers on a human-to-human level.
You will not maximize Facebook’s marketing potential if you are selling products that could be listed in the “commodity” category or if customers can easily find your product at big-box retailers and national chains. Facebook is the place to sell products that don’t carry an expected price. Sell unique products, where the value is determined by the customer’s desire to have something interesting, not by the price.
- We Sell to Consumers
Facebook is for you if you sell to consumers, not businesses. Facebook is a place for individuals to connect with friends and family. It is best used by businesses as a place to find and connect to individuals and individual consumers. It is not a good place to sell to other businesses. Although corporations have pages on Facebook, they are there as a sales presence to market to consumers, not as a purchasing presence to buy from your business.
- We Sell Fun Products
Facebook is for you if your products are fun. It is a great place to sell events, memberships, experiences, personal improvement, travel and entertainment. Facebook is fun! It is a place where people go to connect, to play and to socialize. It is a place to feel, express opinions and display emotions.
And events, travel, and entertainment are full of fun and positive emotions. These subjects are naturally social, and people love to ask “Where have you been?” “What have you seen?” and “Where do you want to go?”
If you provide personal improvement products, especially anything that’s new, trendy, hip or cool, Facebook is also a great fit. If your product involves some form of training, accent the social advantages more than the academic aspects, such as how learning a new language can make travel more fun.
- We Harmonize With Identity, Personal Beliefs, and Convictions
Facebook is for you if your business harmonizes with a person’s identity -- political affiliations, religious convictions, beliefs or social movements. Regardless of whether your company leans right or left or whatever, there are lots of people who may be predisposed to do business with you for that particular leaning. And you should take advantage of it. There are very simple ways you can target your customers on Facebook and communicate with them in ways that connect to the things they care about.
If you appeal to a variety of such backgrounds, then you can design specific marketing campaigns to cater to each of those preferences. You may have different pockets of people within your customer database, and the better you understand those pockets, the more you can target your ads, and the more you can sell.
Where does your business fall? Visit IsFB4ME.com to help you answer that question. The site asks you 10 short questions about your business and results in a score from 1 to 10 that you can use to better understand how your business fits with Facebook.
Excerpted from Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising: How to Access 600 Million Customers in 10 Minutes, published by Entrepreneur Press.
Perry Marshall is the founder of Perry S. Marshall & Associates, a Chicago-based company that consults with online and brick-and-mortar companies on generating sales leads, web traffic, and maximizing advertising results. Thomas Meloche is the president of Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Procuit Inc, a maker of educational software using the Facebook platform. Marshall and Meloche are co-authors of Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising: How to Access 600 Million Customers in 10 Minutes from Entrepreneur Press.