Facebook Ads: A “How-To”and “Should You?” for Small Business Owners

As a social networking site, Facebook is a great place for small businesses to gain exposure. Promoting your business using Facebook is easy and cheap, making it an attractive option for small business owners trying to stretch every dollar.

To illustrate how to run a Facebook ad campaign and demonstrate actual results, I’ve created a campaign using the Growth Labs Facebook page. The Growth Labs page was recently launched, and no prior Facebook campaigns had yet been completed.

To begin, find your business’s Facebook page. From there, click on the arrow next to the Promote icon on the right side of the screen. Select the “Promote your Page” option, as shown in the image below.

Creating Your Facebook Ad:

There are three simple elements to creating a Facebook Ad:

  1. Pick a Target Audience – If you’ve created personas for your business, this will be easy for you to identify. If you haven’t yet created personas, not to worry – use what information you know about your current customers or your ideal customer. Remember, the more you can narrow down your target audience, the better chance you have of finding individuals who are truly interested in your business. For Growth Labs, we chose to target men & women, ages 25-55, in four countries with several different interests related to small business development and marketing.
  1. Set Your Budget – As mentioned above, Facebook campaigns can be extremely affordable. You can choose a daily budget in any amount between $1 to $1,000,000. We chose to spend $5/day.
  1. Choose the Duration – Typical choices for campaign duration range from 7, 14, and 28 days, but you can choose to run the campaign as long as you’d like. We chose to run our campaign for a week.

You’ve now created a Facebook ad – Congratulations! Hopefully, you’ll soon have constant Facebook notifications informing you of the many new fans you’ve acquired. Once the campaign has completed, you can use Facebook’s Ads Manager to view all the activity that was generated by your promotion.

Our Results:

According to the Ads Manager (shown below), the Growth Labs ad reached 586 people. Of those, we gained 42 Facebook likes as a direct result of the campaign, bringing the total cost of each “like” to ~$0.57.

So, is it worth it?

Will the people who “like” your page become customers, and better yet, promoters? The honest answer is: Probably not. After taking a look at the limited information available on the profiles of individuals who liked Growth Labs page after a Campaign, most of the individuals didn’t appear to be involved in small businesses, have an interest in marketing or web development, or anything that would seem to tie them to Growth Labs in any way.


Most individuals view Facebook likes as positive referrals – the more, the better. So when a potential customer does stumble across your page, it can help your business’s credibility to have some additional likes.

Back to the primary question: is a Facebook campaign worth the money for you and your business? Depends on your campaign goal, and what your marketing budget is. If you’d like to boost your social media page with a small budget and very little time invested, then go for it. But don’t expect your Facebook fans to start ordering your services just yet.

However, there are additional ways to market your business on Facebook, including Boosting some of your posts. This form of ad campaigning uses content you’ve posted to interact with your business’s page, and may be a good alternative to promoting your page. Stay tuned for my next blog as I test this form of campaigning.