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5 Facebook Advertising Tips for Service-Based Businesses

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5 Facebook Advertising Tips for Service-Based Businesses

If you’re a service-based business, you may be struggling with the right approach to online advertising.

Unless you have an emergency-based service, you may not be getting the calls and leads you want from a PPC campaign. Facebook advertising can be an effective platform that can help you generate the results you want.

Let’s dive into why this is the case and some best practices for advertising your service business on Facebook.

Know Your Consumer Buying Journey

If you’re responsible for delivering a service, whether at someone’s home or at your location, having a great web presence and online reputation are important to your prospective customers. Consumers want to feel comfortable and confident when hiring a service provider. So, it makes sense that these buyers typically spend more time thinking about their purchase decision, and it’s usually not with the first business that shows up in the paid ads on a search engine.

Instead, potential customers may take some time to check out multiple businesses, look at websites and reviews, ask friends and family for recommendations, compare prices, and more. And, because many service purchases aren’t immediate, busy consumers may forget about them while they go about their day. So, with tactics like Facebook advertising, local service providers can effectively remind people of their services and convert more interested leads.

Actively Manage Your Facebook Page

If I hear about a new business from a connection on Facebook, I’ll immediately check out that business’ Facebook page. If their presence is lackluster – few status updates, no responses to posts, and negative reviews – chances are high I’ll move on and forget about them. Having a robust, active Facebook page is paramount – and it can make or break your Facebook advertising campaign.

Even if your ads are not directly driving people to your Facebook page, viewing it is the quickest way for them to check you out when they see your ad. Make sure all your business information is complete, that you post regular updates—like tips, offers, specials, photos—so users will form a positive view your business at first glance. You should also respond to any negative reviews and comments you receive on your posts or page. Doing so won’t just help your organic presence, but is fundamental to your advertising success.

Get Results: Choose Your Goal Wisely

While Facebook ads look a lot like display ads and work to grow brand awareness and interest from users, many Facebook campaigns can generate tangible results for a service business. Selecting a Facebook campaign goal that can capture leads or drive web or in-person visits can help you generate inquiries and leads. But remember that leads are not the only result your ads can drive, nor the only indicator of success. Page likes, engagements, and even impressions are all factors that prove your ads are driving interest from your target audience – and you can continue to target those specific users to remind them of your business and potentially get the conversion later on.

If you don’t have a physical location or someone dedicated to answering phone calls, choose a program that helps you drive online leads or appointments—like a Website Clicks or Lead Ads campaign. If you have a robust website that provides additional, helpful information about your business and a lead intake form or phone number, a Website Clicks campaign might be most effective. If your website is not ideal or set up to capture leads, you can opt for a Local Awareness or Lead Ads campaign that allows you to generate leads or calls directly from Facebook.

Target Ads to Your Ideal Consumers

There are a lot of powerful targeting capabilities on Facebook, so it can be a challenge to decide exactly what’s best for your advertising campaign. Start by getting back to basics and understanding who your target audience is. For a home service business, there are few key consumer demographics and targeting tactics to think about:

  • Where your customers live: First, a local service provider should determine the ideal geographic area to target. Looking at your typical service area and how far you’re willing to stretch that area is the first step in targeting your Facebook ads to local prospects. Facebook allows you to choose one or more locations to target. It can include specific zip codes or a radius around a specific location, a city, state, or country.
    5 Facebook Advertising Tips for Service-Based Businesses | SEJ
  • Desired income level, age range, and more: Many of Facebook’s advertising programs allow you to show your ad to users in specific demographics or who have desired traits. For example, if your services have a higher cost, such as pool installation or home remodeling, Facebook’s financial demographics can help you narrow your audience to people who would be more willing to pay for your services. You can also select an age range—such as users over the age of 18—specific interests, and more to find that sweet spot of your ideal customer.
  • Relevant niche demographics: Users that provide information like their homeowner status or life events can be a goldmine for service providers. For instance, if you are a landscaper who only wants to target new homeowners, or a lifestyle photographer who wants to reach people who have recently gotten engaged or had a baby, you can do so if they’ve provided that information to Facebook. This enables your ads to show only to people who have an actual use for your services, and may already be in the market. You can also exclude certain users based on their demographics, interests, and more if they’re outside your target audience and you don’t want your ads to show to those users.

5 Facebook Advertising Tips for Service-Based Businesses | SEJ

  • Retargeting and custom audiences: If you’re already getting a lot of visits to your website, you can opt to retarget them on Facebook to remind them of your business. But if you’re using Facebook to drum up new business, one of the best ways to do this is to target ads to the people who are most likely to work with you. This can include your current Facebook fans, people who have previously contacted you, newsletter subscribers, and others who haven’t made a purchase for one reason or another. You can also leverage Facebook’s “lookalikes” capabilities, which uses its data to create a list of new prospects that “look like” the people on your list and target them with your ads.

While there are a vast number of targeting options available through Facebook, you don’t want to narrow your audience too much, as this could severely limit the amount of engagement with your ads and drive up the cost of impressions.

Command Attention with Great Ads

Creating an eye-catching and effective Facebook ad is crucial to getting results from your campaign. Remember that your ads are competing in the News Feed with status updates from friends and family, other businesses (including competitors), articles and videos from news outlets, and more, so it’s easy for your ad to get lost among all that content. Here are a few things you need for your ad to work. 

  • An engaging image: Although Facebook doesn’t allow “before” and “after” images, you can still use great imagery that stands out in the News Feed. Using your own images not only makes your ads look more authentic, but they’ll be differentiated from every other stock photo image in the News Feed. If you don’t have the ability to take high-quality photos for your ads, use an image that’s a good representation of your business and encourages someone to take action. For example, if you have a pool cleaning business, instead of just showing an empty pool, show people enjoying one. Finally, make sure your imagery follows all of Facebook’s image rules and recommended ad sizes for the type of campaign you’re running.
  • Short, yet impactful messages: If you are running any specials, holding an event, or offering any unique services, include them in your ad’s headline and description. Your message should quickly describe your service and differentiate your business from your competitors. Remember that any longer descriptions will be truncated on mobile devices.
  • The right call to action:  Select a call to action that makes the most sense for your ad and your business.  If you’re trying to generate onsite appointments or service estimates, using a CTA like “Book Now” or “Contact Us” might work best to get people to submit an inquiry through Facebook or on your website. Meanwhile, CTAs like “Call Now” and “Get Directions” are ideal for businesses trying to drive people through the door.

Your Facebook Advertising Strategy

If you’re not sure what will work for your business, try testing different programs, targeting techniques, and creative, then review your results to see what’s resonating most with your target audience. Alternatively, using a trusted partner can help you take the guesswork out of advertising your business on Facebook.

Image Credits

Featured Image: SimpleFoto/DepositPhotos.com
All screenshots by Tamara Weintraub. Taken September 2016.

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Tamara Weintraub

Tamara Weintraub

As a Content Marketing Manager at ReachLocal (NASDAQ:RLOC) and writer for the ReachLocal blog, Tamara Weintraub helps local businesses reach ... [Read full bio]

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