Marketing Bootcamp

The 4 Qualities of Businesses That Should Advertise on Facebook

In their book Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising, online marketing and Facebook ad experts Perry Marshall, Keith Krance and Thomas Meloche explain the game-changing tactics of paid Facebook Ads and how you can gain more on your investment—in clicks, customers and profits. In this edited excerpt, Marshall describes the four types of businesses that might do well advertising on Facebook.

Can every business benefit from advertising on Facebook? The truthful answer is: Not really.

Is yours a local business with a physical location where consumers regularly come to purchase your goods and services? 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.

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. These features, and the nature of Facebook, make Facebook a great candidate to fill your advertising needs if you have a local target market.

Some types of products or services are a natural fit for selling on Facebook. So natural, you can set up a campaign and start finding new customers in a few short minutes. Other types of products and services will be a harder sale. The more the following four statements describe your product or service, the more Facebook is for you.

1. Our stuff is unique. Facebook is the worldwide capital of individual expression. It’s the perfect place for selling unique, customized and personalized products, items that express a person’s own tastes and preferences or engage potential customers on a human-to-human level.

You won't maximize Facebook’s marketing potential if you're selling products that could be listed in the “commodity” category or if your customer can easily find your product at big-box retailers and national chains. If people can easily buy your product elsewhere or can compare prices easily online, then selling your product profitably on Facebook will be difficult. When you advertise on Facebook, always lead with those products that are most unusual, unique and eye-catching.

2. 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's best used by businesses as a place to find and connect to individuals and individual consumers. It's not a good place to sell to other businesses. Although corporations have pages on Facebook, their presence there is as a sales presence to market to consumers, not as a purchasing presence to buy from your business.

3. We sell fun products. Facebook is a place where people go to connect, to play, and to socialize. It's a great place to sell events, memberships, experiences, personal improvement, travel and entertainment.

Facebook is a great place to advertise products that are fun and appeal to a person’s core identity, which is why a membership in a group or a club is a great sales opportunity on Facebook. 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.

On the flip side, if your product is technical, academic, complex or requires deep thought, it may be hard to sell on Facebook. It can be done, but you'll need to create additional materials outside of Facebook to get your buyer educated on the benefits of your product.

4. 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. On Facebook, it’s a significant advantage if your company and your target customer lean in a particular direction religiously, politically or socially.

Regardless of which way your company leans, 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 so that you 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.

If this isn’t immediately obvious, don’t give up. You might want to survey your customers and see if you can identify any political, social or religious preferences. Better yet, get your customers to “like” your Facebook page, then review their profiles for “likes and interests” and the summary reports that Facebook provides.