Editor's note: "The First 90 Days" is a series about how to make 2016 a year of breakout growth for your business. Let us know how you're making the First 90 Days count by joining the conversation on social media with the hashtag #Inc90Days.
Social media is a tremendous way to increase exposure and traffic for your business, create loyal customers, and generate leads and sales.
Spoiler alert: Facebook remains King Social Network. It is the social-media platform of choice for the majority of marketers--and for good reason.
It's never been cheaper to build your brand and create new demand for your products and services.
If you aren't already advertising on Facebook, you'd be crazy not to. Especially if you want to grow like crazy in 2016.
Here are nine reasons Facebook ads will help make your business super successful in 2016, starting right now.
1. People Spend a Ridiculous Amount of Time on Social Media
Facebook is too huge for a business of any size to ignore.
Your business needs a Facebook page. You know this--and so do 40 million other businesses. Facebook is where your future customers hang out.
The average person spends 28 percent of his or her time online on social networks--or 1.72 hours per day.
The average American spends about 40 minutes just on Facebook--sharing and Liking content. Every minute, Facebook users Like more than 4.1 million posts, posting comments, status updates, and photos.
Facebook has a large, engaged user base that spends a ridiculous amount of time there every single day of every month.
Yet Facebook only has 2 million active advertisers? What?
Talk about an opportunity!
2. Over 1 Billion Users Served
So, Facebook is kind of a big deal, in case you haven't heard.
According to the latest figures released by Facebook, 1.55 billion people log onto Facebook every month and 1.39 billion visit via mobile.
You know what else? Half a billion people only access Facebook via a mobile device.
Within this massive pool of people are your future customers. Many of them visit Facebook every day. You need to connect with them.
Facebook ads will help you reach the right audience. Your audience.
3. Facebook Organic Reach Is Pretty Much Dead
If you have a business page, what you may not realize is that less than 0.5 percent of your fans, on average, will actually see your updates.
Sad, but true.
For years, Facebook has been reducing the visibility of business pages in people's news feeds, frustrating business owners everywhere.
Here's the truth about marketing on Facebook now: You need to use Facebook ads if you want consumers to discover your business.
The good news? You don't need a huge budget.
Typically, $50 will get your message in front of 5,000 to 10,000 people. And you can be extremely picky about who you target.
4. Highly Scalable Content Promotion
If you're consistently creating great content for your website, you want people to know about it. That's why you share updates across your social networks.
But this isn't enough.
Facebook Ads will amplify the reach of your content.
By using ads, you'll actually end up getting more organic reach for your content.
How is this possible?
Well, when influencers share your Facebook Ads (yes, people DO share ads), your content will become exposed to an even larger audience.
Remember, engagement snowballs as you go on social media.
5. Targeting is Amazing
Facebook is much more targeted than you might realize.
Businesses can target users with Facebook Ads by location, demographics, age, gender, interests, behavior, and connections.
But Facebook can also help you get in front of specific, and often motivated, segments of your audience with some powerful ad targeting options you've probably never heard of. You can:
- Tap into recent purchase behavior.
- Get creative with life-event targeting.
- Use custom audiences to nurture leads and build loyalty.
- Create audiences that look like your own targets ("lookalike audiences").
- Layer targeting options to get super granular with your targeting.
6. Remarketing = Incredibly Powerful
I said earlier that you'd be crazy not to use Facebook ads. Well, you'd be even crazier to not use Facebook remarketing.
Not familiar with remarketing? Here's how I explained it last week:
Essentially, remarketing is a type of technology that shows ads for your business to people after they have visited your website, used your mobile app, or given you their email address. People will see these ads when they visit or shop on other websites, use social media, watch videos, use other mobile apps, or search on Google.
I've seen social remarketing, on average, boost engagement rates by three times and increase conversion rates by two times.
You'll want to use remarketing for your hard offers--your sign-ups, consultations, downloads, etc.
Another potentially huge win for retail businesses: combine remarketing with Facebook product ads.
7. Turn Visitors Into Leads and Customers
Your efforts with Facebook Ads will bring new traffic to your website. But you want more.
You want leads. Customers. Sales.
To achieve this, you'll want to tag visitors who come to your site with a cookie. This will help build your remarketing audience.
Now you can start applying behavioral and demographic filters on your audience to target your Facebook Ads to a narrow group of people who are interested in your stuff (behavioral and interest targeting), who recently checked out your stuff (retargeting), and who can afford to buy your stuff (demographic targeting).
This = $$$.
Facebook Ads will help you more frequently capture qualified leads or make sales.
8. Call Buttons Are Game Changers
As mentioned earlier, Facebook has 1.39 billion mobile visitors every month and half a billion of its users only access the network via mobile. So capturing leads from mobile Facebook users is a huge opportunity.
Calls to businesses are way more valuable than clicks on websites. That's why Facebook's Call Buttons are game changers.
Think about mobile Facebook users. They see an ad, click on the Call Now button, and the lead is captured. Amazing.
Compare this to the old-school desktop search conversion funnel. A user sees an ad, clicks on it, visits a landing page, and (some) leads are captured.
You can now bypass this stupid, dated funnel concept entirely thanks to Facebook Ads!
9. Tools Make Managing Ads Super Easy
Many entrepreneurs and business owners I talk to still think Facebook Ads are "too complicated."
If you're one of them, maybe a little technology will help convince you otherwise.
In a previous column, I shared five indispensable Facebook Ads tools to more easily create and manage your ads.
Seriously. Give them a try.
Facebook Ads can have huge benefits for all types of businesses.
They will be worth the time and money you invest and help turn 2016 into a hugely successful year for your business.