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11 Facebook Advertising Tips for Small Businesses From the Experts

a bunch of Facebook buttons on a white surface

Facebook advertising can be a fantastic resource for small businesses. It provides uniquely specific targeting options, meaning companies can use ads to appeal to a laser-focused audience.

Facebook advertising can be a fantastic resource for small businesses. Another benefit is that Facebook has clear reporting features so businesses can see exactly where their marketing dollars are going, what’s working, and what needs to change. 

The benefits are endless, but how does one utilize this tool to the best of their ability?

Keep reading to learn how to get started with Facebook advertising and get Facebook ad tips from 11 small business leaders.

What are Facebook ads?

Facebook ads are targeted, paid advertisements that appear on Facebook, including on timelines, news feeds, Messenger, and elsewhere. These ads enable businesses to showcase their products, services, or content to a carefully selected audience based on factors like demographics, interests, and behaviors. With the right strategy, Facebook ads can drive brand awareness, boost website traffic, and even generate sales.

Benefits of using Facebook Ads for small businesses

So, why is advertising on Facebook so essential? Well, there are actually several reasons to choose Facebook as one of your preferred social ad channels, including the following:

  • Increased brand awareness: It’s no secret that Facebook is one of the biggest social media platforms online, boasting nearly three billion monthly active users. This makes Facebook the perfect choice for expanding your reach and creating heaps of brand awareness.
  • Hyper-targeted ads: Facebook has invested so much time and effort into its advertising capabilities that you can now narrow your target audience to a super niche segment. While casting a wide net is typically advantageous, some products and services benefit more from targeting very specific audiences, which Facebook supports.
  • Affordable advertising: One of the best things about advertising on Facebook is that creating, placing, and managing ads with the Ads Manager tool is free. All you need to pay for is the cost to run your ads, and you can set your own budget according to what you can afford.
  • Incredible return on ad spend (ROAS): Facebook is a B2C marketer favorite of all social media ad platforms because it consistently delivers a high ROAS. In fact, many marketers believe it offers the highest ROAS of all social media platforms, although it likely depends on the type of products or services you sell.
  • Objective-focused ad types: Facebook divides its ad types by objective, including Awareness, Traffic, Engagement, Leads, App Promotion, and Sales. This way, marketers can set up Facebook ads based on campaign objectives for a higher success rate.

How to set up a Facebook ads campaign

Before we get into our tips, it’s helpful to understand the basics of how to set up a Facebook ads campaign. Here are the basic steps you’ll need to follow:

  1. Create a Meta Ads Manager account: You’ll need a Facebook Business page and a Meta Ads Manager account before organizing and managing your ads.
  2. Define your campaign objective: Define your goals and select the matching objective, whether that’s brand awareness, conversions, or lead generation.
  3. Select your target audience: Next, choose your target audience. Facebook offers various targeting options based on demographics, interests, and behaviors.
  4. Add your creative and copy: Craft attention-grabbing ad content that resonates with your audience.
  5. Set your budget and bidding strategy: Next, determine your budget and choose the bidding strategy that aligns with your objectives.
  6. Choose your ad placement: Decide where your ads will appear, whether on Facebook Feeds, Stories, Messenger, or elsewhere across Meta platforms.
  7. Monitor and optimize your ads: As your campaign runs, continuously analyze its performance and make necessary adjustments to improve your results.

11 tips for success with Facebook ads for small businesses

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Wondering how to get the most out of your Facebook ads? We sat down with 11 small business leaders to learn their tried-and-true Facebook advertising tips for success. Here are their best tips:

1. Start with an over-performing post

If you’re interested in running a Facebook ad campaign, start with a post that is already overperforming. Some marketers may do just the opposite and boost a post that “needs a little help.”

If a post already receives a good level of engagement, imagine the attention it’ll receive from a paid campaign. You’ll quickly see more post comments and higher traffic to your site.

Travis Killian, Everlasting Comfort

2. Try engagement ads

My best tip for Facebook advertising campaigns for small businesses is to expand your reach with a page post engagement ad! Our Texas Adoption Center Facebook page gets a healthy amount of traffic and likes organically. However, due to the Facebook algorithm, some posts never seem to reach our full range of followers.

By running engagement ads, you get your content to an audience who already likes, comments, and otherwise interacts with it.

To set up engagement ads, merely opt for the “Engagement” marketing objective. Simple as that! 

Kenna Hamm, Texas Adoption Center 

3. Install Facebook Pixel

If you are a small business with a website, the first thing you need to do is set up a Facebook pixel. Aim to do this before you even start thinking about creatives, targeting, and campaign budget.

The Facebook pixel is a small piece of code that you insert on your website. Once installed, it collects data that helps you track Facebook ad conversions and implement remarketing campaigns. You can then correctly monitor campaign success and ensure you gain value from running Facebook ads.

Liam Quinn, Reach interactive

4. Upload your customer list

When running a retargeting or content-driven Facebook ad campaign, consider taking the email addresses of your existing customer base and uploading the list to the Facebook Ad Platform.

These email addresses will be matched up with Facebook users to develop a highly personalized audience. By limiting the audience to just your existing customers, Facebook ads can be customized to stay in front of your most important persona. 

Megan Chiamos, 365 Cannabis


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5. Focus on ROI first and then start optimizing

One piece of advice I would give to businesses looking to run Facebook ad campaigns is to look beyond the average stats floating around the internet.

If you find a case study boasting a particular Click-Through Rate (CTR) or Cost-Per-Click (CPC), do not solely base your ad campaign on those numbers. Every business and its target audience are different and these values can vary to a very large extent depending upon so many different factors like the creatives, time of the week, time of the year, audience, and so on.

One thing you should instead focus on is ROI, that is, whether you’re making money out of the campaign or not. Once you break even, you start optimizing your ads from there to increase CTR and reduce the CPC from that point.

Ram Shengale, Fantastech Solutions

6. Integrate short videos

I would advise people to think about what audience they want to target first. On Facebook, you can target an audience very specifically. You can also refine your message so that it is tailored directly to that audience to receive the best results.

I’d also encourage people to use short videos in their ads, as video ads are more consumed than any others and are more engaging. Test out the ad and see what the results are. If the results are not what you want, tweak the ad or the targeting and try it again.

It is a constant test-and-repeat pattern. Once you find one that produces great results, keep going with it and allocate more resources and budget to maximize the returns.

Larry Drago, Independent Marketing Consultant

7. Get educated

Facebook Ads are an evolving platform. Enrolling in free online training about Facebook ads through Facebook Blueprint is a great way to get educated and learn best practices.

Courses like a “Quick Guide to Facebook Page Ads” or “Tips for Visually Awesome Ads” are investments that help ads produce a better ROI. Before you spend your first dollar, spend some time learning how to use the Facebook Ads platform. 

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

8. Create lookalike audiences from high-performing audiences

The best part about Facebook advertisements is that marketers can duplicate a high-performing audience from a successful campaign.

These highly engaged audiences are more likely to make a purchase. Click the “Lookalike Audience” option when choosing an audience for your new marketing campaign. Facebook automatically picks new users who have similar backgrounds to your high-quality audience.

Jerry Han, PrizeRebel

9. Don’t cast a wide net

Facebook advertising works based on inputs to give the algorithm to figure out who should see your ads.

By filtering and narrowing down your ads to a relevant demographic, you can expect an improved Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS), as your ads will only be served to a particular audience. For example, if you’re selling coffee, you can target interests based on other popular coffee companies with huge Facebook followings.

When you compare this approach to targeting an age group alone, it is likely to deliver a better ROI as the target has already shown a general interest in the type of product you sell. You can use demographics to create individual ad sets, see what works, and double down!

Ahmed Mir, Nature and Bloom

10. Emulate non-sponsored posts

People have conditioned themselves to ignore ads on social media. They can pick them out from a mile away (and not just because of the “sponsored” tag) and will completely ignore them.

If you want your ad to be seen, you have to focus on not looking like an ad. Look at some posts from people who fall in your target demographic. Learn the way they speak in their posts and emulate that.

If they don’t realize your ad is an ad until after they’ve read it, you’ve already reached more potential customers than those who scrolled past.

Mark Varnas, Red9

11. End with a call to action

Take the time to understand what content your audience engages most with. You can access insights on your business home page to do this.

Also, pay attention to the time and day the content is released. Once you understand what content and time have the best engagement and views, you can begin to adjust your content strategy towards what resonates with your audience most.

Be sure to encourage engagement in your posts by using a call to action at the end of a post when possible. This can be as simple as, “Follow this link now,” or “Let us know what you think in the comment section,” or even “Make sure you hit that follow button to stay up to date with the latest info.”

Steven Brown, DP Electric Inc

Advanced Strategies for Facebook Advertising

After getting your Facebook ads up and running, you may want some additional tips to finetune your targeting and improve results. Here are some more advanced strategies you can try out to get the most out of your Facebook ad spend:

  • Set up retargeting: Retargeted Facebook ads save money and build stronger audience relationships. This allows you to advertise your product or service to individuals who have previously engaged with and shown interest in your brand.
  • Implement dynamic product ads: If you offer multiple products, setting up dynamic product ads lets you market your entire product catalog through Facebook ads. This way, you don’t have to create hundreds of separate ads for each product, saving you a great deal of time and money.
  • Collaborate with influencers: Partnering with influencers or micro-influencers can expand your reach and exposure to a new audience. It’s also a great way to create promotional content that viewers can relate to, boosting engagement, traffic, and followers.
  • Leverage Facebook Messenger ads: Facebook Messenger ads can be displayed in two ways: On Facebook with a link to Messenger or as sponsored content in the Messenger app. These ads offer an ideal opportunity to start a conversation with your audience and automatically capture their contact information.
  • Use Facebook ad scheduling: Take advantage of Facebook’s ad scheduling tool to set a date and time for your ad to appear, so you don’t have to do it manually. Doing this allows you to run your ads at specific times when your target audience is most active on the platform.
  • Employ A/B testing: Optimize your Facebook ads by displaying two versions of your ad in an A/B test to a portion of your audience to determine which receives the most engagement. Then, run the most favored ad of the two to target the remaining bulk of your audience for the best results.

Measuring Success in Facebook Advertising

To measure the success of your Facebook ads campaigns, you’ll need to determine a few essential metrics to track. The first step is to establish your key performance indicators (KPIs) based on your core business goals.

Once you know which KPIs to track, you can monitor them using Facebook Ads Manager. This tool provides you with loads of crucial data related to how your ads perform. It lets you know whether your ads are effective and helps you identify what you can do to improve them.

Some of the most common KPI metrics to track to gauge ad performance include:

  • Click-through rate (CTR): This shows the percentage of users who clicked on your ad after seeing it.
  • Cost per click (CPC): CPC is the average amount you pay each time someone clicks on your ad.
  • Conversion rate: The percentage of users who took the action you wanted them to take after clicking on your ad is known as the conversion rate.
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA): To calculate your CPA, you’ll divide the total cost of your Facebook ad campaign by the number of completed conversions.
  • Cost per mile (CPM): CPM helps you establish whether your campaign is cost-effective by showing you the financial outlay per 1000 impressions.
  • Cost per lead (CPL): Similar to your conversion rate metric, CPL is determined by dividing the total cost of your ad campaign by the number of new leads generated through it.

Keeping track of these KPIs and downloading reports via Facebook Ad Manager regularly can help you pinpoint and overcome roadblocks quickly. Studying these metrics allows you to spot trends and optimize your Facebook ad campaigns to improve conversion rates.

Frequently asked questions about Facebook ads for small business

Got questions? Here are answers to some of the most common questions about Facebook advertising for small businesses.

How much does Facebook advertising cost?

The cost of advertising on Facebook depends on various factors, including your budget, audience size, ad placement, and bidding strategy. Unlike traditional advertising, Facebook allows you to set a daily or lifetime budget, giving you full control over your spending. Although costs vary widely, on average, Facebook advertising costs $0.94 per click or $12.07 per 1000 impressions.

What types of Facebook ads are there?

Facebook offers a diverse range of ad formats for different business goals. The various types of Facebook ads include:

  • Image Ads: Simple yet effective, image ads allow you to showcase your product or service with captivating visuals.
  • Video Ads: Engage your audience with compelling videos that tell your brand’s story or demonstrate your products.
  • Carousel Ads: Display multiple images or videos in a single ad, perfect for showcasing a range of products or features.
  • Slideshow Ads: Create eye-catching slideshows using images, text, and music, even with limited design skills.
  • Lead Generation Ads: Collect valuable leads directly on Facebook, making it easier to nurture potential customers.
  • Messenger Ads: Connect with your audience through Facebook Messenger, providing a personalized touch.
  • Story Ads: Capitalize on the popularity of Facebook and Instagram Stories to reach a more engaged audience.

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To learn more about how the team at WebFX can help you grow your business with social media advertising, request a free proposal today.

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Thanks to NeONBRAND on Unsplash for the Facebook buttons photo.


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