On Tuesday, June 3 STC’s digital marketing team attended Facebook Fit New York, the first of a national series aimed at small businesses (SMBs).
Despite feeling like I was placed into HBO’s show Silicon Valley for five hours, I acquired an incredible amount of information about Facebook’s newer features such as: Lookalike, Custom Audiences and Offer ads. From an agency perspective, we are inundated by statistics, trials, tools and free dollars that Facebook offers to SMBs to engage with fans, prospective and existing.
Dan Levy, Facebook’s Director of Small Business, described how over 30 million small businesses use Facebook to reach and engage their customers. Not only do the big brands such as Accenture and Johnson & Johnson use Facebook for awareness and engagement, but small shops, companies and organizations also benefit big time. Building brand equity and credibility can be done on Facebook with reviews, offers and more.
Facebook users check their News Feeds from their PCs, mobile phones and tablets up to 14 times a day. With that, how many opportunities do small brands have to be seen in 24 hours? Facebook confirmed that those targeted by ads will only encounter a brand’s Sponsored Story once per day. For a small brand, it’s an opportunity to be featured among The Big Guys, a significant value-add in credibility and perception.
Facebook’s advertising platform has become increasingly sophisticated since its beginning. With 90.8% of Facebook’s revenue from ads alone in Q1, the network makes it possible for all types of businesses to advertise, whether their daily budgets are $5 or $5,000. There are new ways to generate brand awareness and build a following while driving sales and app downloads. Sales conversions are now trackable, online (with pixels) and in-store (with Offers).
Facebook’s “Custom Audiences” tool enables brands to retarget existing customers with pre-captured information such as emails, phone numbers, app user IDs and more. These ads are tailored to those who are already familiar or qualified for the brands, making them more likely to engage. Facebook claims that advertisers see ROI as much as six times their ad spend with Custom Audiences.
Facebook has forged partnerships with market data firms, namely Datalogix and Epsilon, to generate more follower possibilities. With Lookalike Audiences, which ZDnet touts as Facebook’s “secret sauce,” brands can unlock characteristically similar users to target with ads. A relatively new tool (rolled out in March), Lookalike links the Custom Audience base with the behavioral data.
It was valuable to see Facebook’s advertising capabilities for SMBs in such an intimate setting. Facebook’s grassroots workshops and overall experience made the larger-than-life social network seem more personal. Their advertising platform, initially aimed at agencies and larger brands, has transformed into an easy-to-use tool for small businesses to navigate and fully leverage.
Now how small businesses will effectively use their networks, and maybe exceed the ROI big brands invest millions in, is the question…