Tips for Contractors
If you’re looking to share the valuable services your businesses provides with an even wider audience, Facebook has powerful advertising tools that make it very easy to get the word out. To get started, you need a Facebook business Page (Don’t have one? [link]Set one up!), a credit card, and a goal.
Facebook’s Ads Manager helps you create ads as well as track their reach and effectiveness. It allows you to target the types of people who may be most interested in your products and services, for example: pool owners, dog owners, people in certain neighborhoods, landlords… the list goes on.
Your business Page comes ready to run ads. Make sure you read Facebook’s handy set of guides. Before you spend any money, make sure you have a clear goal you’d like to achieve, and the right collateral to support it.
- Raise awareness of your company
- Get more followers on your page
- Three new inquiries for an estimate in the next month.
Notice how vague the first goal is compared to the last? ALWAYS pick a goal you can measure, so you know if your ad was successful. If it isn’t, you’ll have to rethink your strategy – was it the image? The message? The people you targeted?
Your first ad could be as simple as a Boosted Post. Boosted Posts take an existing Facebook post and place it into the newsfeeds of people you choose to target.
Pick a piece of content that has an actionable outcome:
We’re now carrying vinyl privacy fences! Give us a call for a free, no-pressure estimate. They’re maintenance-free, beautiful, and built to last a lifetime. Mention our Facebook post, and we’ll waive the materials cost of one gate. Talk to us for details.
There are a few things happening here. This sample post has a clear call-to-action, “Give us a call.” It also has a way of measuring its success: an offer of a free gate. If any calls come in as a result of this boosted post, you’ll know immediately that it did its job. Include a picture of an attractive property with a vinyl privacy fence, target a zip code with property types to match, and you’re on your way to placing an ad!
Ads can take other formats. In their simplest forms, they include a headline, description, and button in addition to the image and text Experiment with special offers, video, and other variables.
Note: Set your budget carefully! You’ll choose how much to spend, over a period of time. As you identify audiences, Facebook will estimate how many people you’ll reach. Your actual reach will probably be lower.
Facebook also gauges whether your targeting is too specific or too broad. Watch that meter.
Facebook has extensive ad guidelines and policies outlining prohibited types of content, most of which will NOT apply to you. Browse them anyway.
Watch out for certain guidelines:
- Text in images: Facebook requires that text cover 20% of the image area or less
- Accuracy: Be honest. Accurately represent your products and services.
- Discrimination: Targeting tools can’t be used to discriminate against users.
Facebook Ads Manager has advanced capabilities that will take you more research and preparation to manage. For example:
Have an email list? You can import it into Facebook and deliver ads to those individuals AND people who fit a similar profile.
Want to show ads to people who have visited your website? Facebook has a pixel you can place on your website that will allow you to target these individuals.
If you’re looking for this level of sophistication, you may want to hire help, or study up. Just be aware that there’s a LOT you can do with Facebook to grow your business.
At the end of the day, Facebook advertising is a very powerful and relatively inexpensive way to reach customers. You don’t have to be a marketing pro to use it, but you should do your homework, and think through your ads.
For some quick inspiration, here’s some ads we made (with help!) to run on Facebook.