Local businesses can now buy three kinds of Facebook ads to generate more likes.
Looking for a way to incerase your Facebook reach?
Facebook is testing out a new module that allows small local businesses to reach potential new fans--for charge, of course. I spoke with Facebook's Mobile and SMB product manager Matt Idema to get the details.
How is this new system easier for small businesses?
We've been working on a way that owners of small pages (less than 10,000 likes) can quickly and easily create ads from the administrator's console that shows at the top of their page. It will be on the lower left hand side next to the insights graph. A business owner can choose a daily budget based on how many likes they wish to generate, and they're one click away from having the ads created.
This functionality has only rolled out to a small percentage of pages. For now, the ads are automatically targeted to people who live near a physical business, so the page has to have a location set to a city in the "about" section of the page.
What ad units are created?
There are three different units. The ads will show on the desktop/browser version of Facebook on the right-hand side as a "page like" ad (see the picture above.) There are also two different kinds of news feed ads. One is "pages you may like" which shows on the mobile client. The other is "Page Like sponsored stories" which shows users a friends that likes a page, and which appears in news feeds on desktop and mobile.
Why should businesses pay for likes, when not all users will see the content?
People are becoming aware that not all content is seen by all users. The newsfeed is a place where there's more content than any person would have time to see. Newsfeed's goal is to put the things at the top of the page that are most engaging to you. That's been the case for a long time.
For page content, businesses are realizing that not all their content is going to be seen, just like not all of your friends see all of your status updates. If a user wants to see all content from all the pages they like, there's a "Pages Feed" on the left hand side of the desktop. If a user hasn't engaged with a page's content in a long time, newsfeed will show a story it thinks the user will engage with. That hasn't changed. You still need to drive connections to your business, and then understand what engages those people, and how to maximize your reach to them in newsfeed and organic channels. Then you have the option of using the ads products to reach more of your fans and the people connected to them.
Are you using Facebook's products to generate more likes and engagement? Or are you focusing other marketing channels now? Let us know in the comments.
HOWARD GREENSTEIN is a social media strategist and evangelist, and president of the Harbrooke Group, which specializes in helping companies communicate with their customers using the latest Web technologies. @HowardGr