I’m a big fan of helping start-ups save money when they’re just starting out. Let me rephrase that – I like to help EVERYONE save money, but start-ups especially because I know firsthand how expensive it is to launch your own business.
One aspect that takes a good portion of those expenses is marketing. People spend ungodly amounts of money on marketing expenses. I cringe when they do, because I know they often can’t track which tactics are and are not effective. After all, how are you supposed to budget properly if you don’t know which expenses are giving you a good return on investment? The answer is that you can’t! Even your best guesses are just shots in the dark.
One Answer to Your Trackable Marketing Needs
One of the best ways a start-up entrepreneur can begin marketing his or her business is on Facebook. Facebook’s ad platform, coupled with their slick Timeline layout, makes them an attractive option on the social marketing front.
But I don’t want you to plunge face first into this – or any – social media marketing campaign. The process I’m about to lay out for you will help you see how I recommend starting your Facebook ad campaign.
- Build a page, and build it well: What irritates me more than anything on Facebook is when an entrepreneur gets too trigger-happy and starts an ad campaign before really building out their fan page. This is completely backwards! You need a well-built fan page (which is free, mind you, so make the most of it!) before you can attract – and keep – new fans.
- Make your budget: Unlike Google ads, Facebook ads usually cost less than a dollar per click. You can also pay for impressions instead of clicks as well, in the event that you would rather build awareness for your page or brand rather than ramp up the number of fans you have. Thus, you have several options when determining a budget. There are certain budget minimums you must meet depending on your choice of ad distribution, but for usually $50 or so, you can start a campaign. When you think about it, this is pretty cheap!
- Pick your ad style: Facebook lets you promote a number of different ad mediums. Choose from linking to external pages (those that are not Facebook-based) as well as your fan page itself or a specific post on your page. I really like the option for the specific post, because you give potential fans an immediate taste of what you post about on your page. You can also inadvertently drive traffic to your website this way, so if you play your cards properly, you really kill two birds with one stone using this option.
Facebook then provides a dashboard where you can track your ads, clicks, impressions and overall traffic to see what’s really working. And of course, you can also gauge from the number of new likes on posts and pages as to whether your process is really sticking.