The average Facebook user has about 1,500 posts hit their timeline each day. That number could grow as high as 15,000 posts if a user has many friends or likes a number of pages. That’s a lot of content fighting for their attention! To determine what content takes priority in users’ timelines, Facebook uses an algorithm that factors in their interests and browsing habits.
For small businesses, the average organic reach (the number of people you reach for free just by posting to your page) is 6.5 percent of their page followers. So, if you have 1,000 fans, as few as 65 might see any given post to your page. With Facebook’s latest algorithm updates, that number will likely fall even lower.
To make matters more complicated, 40 percent of Facebook users don’t “like” any brand pages, meaning paid ads are the only way for businesses to reach them. Facebook Ads lets you buy your way into shoppers’ timelines to reach more potential customers. They’re a great tool for raising awareness for events and promotions you have going on in-store.
Facebook has a few approaches you can take to advertising, but there are two that are particularly popular: you can “boost” (or promote) a post, or you can create an ad in Facebook Ad Manager.
Boosting a post allows you to take a post you’ve already published and share it with an audience beyond the folks who follow your Facebook page. It’s relatively easy – all you have to do is click “Boost Post” in the bottom corner of your published post then select an audience and a budget – and you’re using content you’ve already created.
For best results, promote posts that are successful on their own. If a post gets great engagement from your Facebook followers, it probably has a lot of value or appeal for the additional people who will see it when you promote it.
Creating an ad in Ad Manager is a bit more involved, but it also gives you a wider range of options. By creating an ad in Ad Manager, you can choose an objective for your ad, like driving traffic to your website or getting people to like your page, so you can better target the ad to help meet your business goals.
Once you’ve picked a Facebook advertising method, be sure to follow these best practices to see the best results:
- Target your ad carefully. To see the best return on your advertising investment, you’ll want to make sure your ad is being seen by people who care about it. Fortunately, Facebook has a lot of options for targeting, from geographic location and basic demographics to more detailed information like interest, income or family relationships.
Facebook also lets you create a “Custom Audience” based on your customer contact information. If you collect email addresses from your customers, this can be a great way to target post-purchase ads for sales on accessories or service.
- Include a call-to-action. Tell shoppers what action they should take after they see your ad. Do you want them to call you for more information? Should they submit a service appointment request? Can they learn more on your website? Letting them know how they can take advantage of whatever you’re advertising gives them a concrete step to take and can get them moving down the path toward making a purchase from you.
- Incorporate an eye-catching photo. There’s a lot of competition for Facebook users’ attention, so use a great image of a motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile or one of your other units in action to catch their eyes. If you can, use a photo you’ve taken at your dealership so your prospective customers can see what you have to offer. If you prefer to use stock images, be sure to check the license for the image – depending on the image or where you get it from, you may not be allowed to use it in advertisements.
Digital advertising can help you reach your shoppers where they’re spending most of their time – online. If you want to learn more about online advertising, check out the on-demand version of ARI’s HelpForce Live! Online Advertising for Newbies webinar here.
Colleen Malloy is ARI’s director of marketing. Malloy has more than a decade of experience in the powersports industry and previously served as the editor of Motorcycle & Powersports News. ARI creates award-winning software solutions that help equipment manufacturers, distributors and dealers Sell More Stuff! — online and in-store. ARI removes the complexity of selling and servicing new and used inventory, parts, garments and accessories for customers in automotive tire and wheel, powersports, outdoor power equipment, marine, RV and white goods industries. More than 22,000 equipment dealers, 195 distributors and 140 manufacturers worldwide leverage ARI’s website and eCatalog platforms to Sell More Stuff!