From numerous conversations, I’ve learned that many lawn and landscape business owners use Facebook to connect with clients and prospects. Since Facebook’s algorithms are constantly changing and advertising is one method to boost posts, I invited Jeremy Huffman, owner of Constant Flow Marketing, to share his Facebook ads wisdom.
This is a three-part series focused on Facebook ads. In Part One, we discuss what Facebook ads are and what you need to know to leverage them to your advantage.
WK: What are Facebook ads and how do they help a service provider (such as a landscape or lawn care) company?
JH: A Facebook ad is where you pay to promote your content to a specific group of Facebook subscribers based on their interests, location and behaviors. The ads are placed in the “news feed” along with other updates and can be seen when someone logs in to use Facebook. The ads are a great tool for landscape and lawn companies to show potential clients examples of their work and what their business can do for them.
The best way to use Facebook ads is to promote the services of a business to people who’ll most likely to become a customer. The old method of sending out mailers or flyers can still be effective, but imagine the impact of only sending “mailers” to people that are very interested in what you have to offer.
Facebook ads are a great way to promote past work, educate your audience and grow your brand.
WK: From your experience, why would you recommend Facebook ads to lawn and landscape companies?
JH: In 2015, Facebook is the best way to get in front of your ideal customer and tell them about your company. Facebook has the largest number of active subscribers and it knows more about them than any other advertising medium. The options that you have in choosing your audience with Facebook allows you to focus on reaching only the people that you want to see your ad.
For companies that have or want to develop a long-term strategy for growing their brand and their business, I cannot think of a better way to invest in your business than with Facebook ads.
WK: Are there different levels of Facebook ads? If so, what are their levels?
JH: There are two ways to run ads on Facebook.
The first way to advertise is the “Boost Post” button that can be found at the bottom of each post on your business page. Simply select the audience that you want the post to be placed in front of and how much you want to spend. Facebook will take care of everything else.
The other way to advertise is through the Facebook Ads Manager. The Ads Manager offers you more customization of your ad than the “Boost Post” option including sending people to your website, promoting special offers, or getting someone to watch your video. In the Ads Manager, you can choose who sees your ad based on who they are, where they live and their interests. If you know who your ideal clients are, you can get your message in front of them and avoid advertising to a “one size fits all” audience.
WK: What do lawn and landscape companies need to know about ad campaigns’ start and stop dates? Post campaign ads? The terms & agreements, etc.?
JH: Facebook has a schedule option in the Ads Manager where you can choose to run your ad continuously or start running your ad on a specific day and end it on a future day. No matter which option you choose, make it a priority to check on the performance of your ads every day. By reviewing your ads daily, you can turn off ads that are not performing well and make adjustments to better achieve your goal.
Facebook knows your audience better than anyone else and is very good as showing your ads to the right people at the right time. The strategy behind when and how long to run your ad should be focused on the results that you want to get from the ad. The budget and scheduling features can be used as a safeguard against spending more than you intended.
Before running ads, you should familiarize yourself with Facebook ad policies. As long as you follow the guidelines, you should not have any problems. Ads that do not follow the rules will not be approved to run during the review process. If your ads receive frequent spam reports or complaints as outlined in their policies, Facebook will ban that account from advertising. Take some time to review the rules before placing your ads to avoid getting your account suspended.
WK: What’s the return on investment of running a Facebook ad?
JH: Some Facebook ads are wildly successful right away while others fall flat when it comes to getting a short-term return on investment. The best use of Facebook ads is to spread the word about your company and your work. Some people will ignore your ads the first few times they see them, others will check out your website, and a small percentage will become a lead or a client. As you run your ads over time, people that have ignored your ads will begin to respond to them and then the impact of your ads will compound over time. Your return on investment with Facebook ads is best measured over a longer time frame.
The bottom line with measuring the value of your ads will always come down to your overall strategy. I cannot stress enough that your Facebook ads must line up with a long term marketing strategy. If you are running Facebook ads without a specific goal in mind, you will have no way to measure if they were successful.