Take 10: Get started using Facebook advertising (part one)

Quick and simple ways to boost your business in just 10 minutes

For the fourth in our Take 10 series, we’re looking at advertising on Facebook and how to get started. Once you’re up and running, part two will cover best practices and how to drive traffic to your website giving you the opportunity to increase revenue.

Social Media advertising will become increasingly important for businesses

Paid Social, or social media advertising, refers to any form of paid for advertising on social media websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Whilst it’s still fairly new, it’s estimated that 17% of digital advertising spend will be on social advertising by 2017.

The Facebook opportunity for small businesses

Facebook currently dominates the social media advertising space as it has the most established tools and with 1.13 billion active users every day, the opportunity for your business is enormous. Whether you’re a shop, manufacturer or a service provider, Facebook can help you locate and target potential customers with your adverts.

Targeting potential customers

Any business, big or small, has the option to post for free from their business page, but to ensure your adverts reach the right audience, with the right message at the right time, you will be required to pay.

For example, Funding Circle borrower The Vineking could use Facebook advertising to target adults within a certain age range and radius of their wine shops in Surrey with adverts to drive footfall.

Top tip: To set up an advertising account from your business page, follow Facebook’s simple instructions here.

Adverts are given the same amount of space as updates from your friends

When browsing your News Feed you may have noticed adverts interspersed with updates from your friends. They can also be displayed on the right hand side of your screen, like the Funding Circle adverts below. You can choose where your adverts appear in the placements settings of your account, although it’s worth being aware that the right hand side option is not available on mobile devices due to the display.

Facebook adverts example

Adverts in a News Feed are given the same amount of real estate on your timeline as updates from friends and family, so there is huge opportunity for your message to be seen by potential customers. This is why creating eye catching adverts is a must.

Making an advert? Get creative!

Most of your potential customers on Facebook will be browsing their News Feed so you only have a split second to grab their attention. Make sure both your advert and the action you want your customer to take are as simple as possible to give your business the best opportunity for success.

Facebook have put together some creative recommendations which are worth reading for inspiration – after all, they’re the ones who decide whether to show it! We’ll be discussing more of this in part two.

Keep Facebook’s policies and guidelines in mind

Before adverts appear on Facebook, they need to be reviewed to make sure they meet Facebook’s advertising policies. This typically takes about 24 hours. You can read Facebook’s guidelines here.

Top tip: Adverts aren’t recommended to have more than 20% of the image taken up by text. You can test the text-to-image ratio of your image by using Facebook’s handy tool.

We hope you found this post useful. In the next instalment of Take 10, we’ll be looking in more detail at best practice for advertising on Facebook, how you can get started on a campaign and bidding strategies.

The Funding Circle team

This post follows our previous Take 10 on how social media can help you win new business, including tips on setting up a Facebook business page.

Rob McCorquodale