When local businesses are looking for new customers, they often look at social media as an end-all be-all tool that they can use for free advertising.
On more than one occasion, I’ve encounter ideas similar to:
- “Don’t I get business just from posting on social media?”
- “Isn’t paid social media advertising for big brands with a lot of money?”
And these are used as reasons to keep the status quo (usually meaning they either barely post on social, or they ignore it altogether).
So, I wanted to talk about one of these areas — paid social ads — and how they can indeed help laundry businesses big and small.
The truth is that many social platforms, most notably Facebook, have started to decrease the reach of organic posts by businesses. Users want to see content from their friends and families, not so much your business.
That means that social media platforms like Facebook will really only show content from businesses who have paid for it.Businesses who share content and don’t do anything to promote it are often left in the dust.
The answer then is to become a business that pays to play – by running social media ads. This article will walk you through why you’d want to run ads on social media, how to create ads for Facebook and Instagram, and a few tips for making sure your ads are seen by the right people.
Why Would A Laundry Business Need Ads On Social Media?
People on social media are looking for baby pictures and cat videos, right? Wrong.
These days, users on social media are looking for everything. They are especially looking for local businesses with reviews from others in their community.
That means that you must, at the very least, have a social media presence. You’ll want to make sure that all of your information — such as hours and location — are correct on your social media profile so that anyone who finds you via that listing has accurate information.
However, you shouldn’t rely on users finding you via searches only. By promoting your content or running ads, you can get your business shown to a defined audience that is ideal for your laundry business.
Facebook has many targeting options available – and you can layer these different options to create the best audience for your business. Consider only looking at people who live near your business who have an interest in laundromats or laundry services. You could also include or exclude those who have already interacted with your business.
Another great targeting option for local businesses are lookalike audiences. This is the method of creating a new audience that looks like people who have already interacted with your brand.
How to Set Up Your Facebook Ads
The first time you set up a Facebook ad, it can be a little overwhelming. Once you do it a time or two, you’ll be a pro – and this guide will help.
Step One: Set a Goal
When you begin setting up a Facebook ad, you’ll need to think about what your goals are for your ads. There are many different types of goals – but for your laundry business, you’re likely looking for people to come into your location and do their laundry.
As a general rule, your goal is going to fall into one of four categories:
Setting this goal now — before you even build the ad — is important, because it’s going to ensure you stay focused and create the right kind of ad.
Step Two: Launch Facebook Ads Manager
Go to facebook.com/ads to get the Ads manager. You’ll need to login with the account associated with your business page if you aren’t logged in already.
The dashboard should look like this:
Of course, the more ads you run, the more fleshed out it will be. I don’t run a lot of ads from my personal account, so this is pretty barebones (like yours will be starting out!)
To get started, you’ll simply click on the big green button that says “Create” – and we’ll walk you through the rest.
Step Three: Choose an Objective
When you begin creating an ad, you’ll have to choose an objective for your campaign. The number of objectives has grown tremendously over the last couple of years, but you’ll notice they fall into roughly the same categories as the goals I mention above. That’s because the key when choosing an objective is that it aligns well with your goal.
For example, you might choose a conversion objective, such as “Get people to visit your shops” or an awareness objective like “reach people near your business.” You might also consider setting up an ad for each objective and determining which one works the best for your business.
For this illustration, we’ll just pick the “Conversions” option:
Step Four: Define Your Audience and Set Your Budget
Once you’ve selected an objective, you’ll be able to pin down your audience and budget. This is where things start to get real.
You’ll first be prompted to start entering audience information as well your budget. Like we discussed above, there are many different options for layering different criteria in order to create the ideal audience for your ads.
A key part of your ad is the audience targeting though. Facebook gives you a ton of options, including location, age, gender, and lookalike audiences:
You’ll want to clarify these options as much as you can, so you know your ads will be served to the audience that you need.
You’ll also want to decide on a daily or lifetime budget.
If you choose daily, your ad will spend approximately that amount every day. Keep in mind that it can go slightly over that amount. Lifetime budgets are better when you have a clear end date in mind for your campaign, but can be used in any situation.
Step Five: Build the Ad
One of the best parts of Facebook’s Ad Manager is that you can see a preview of the ad as you build it. You can use images or video for your ad as well as text to get your message across. If you had a post on your Facebook page that performed particularly well, you can also use that as well.
If you’re creating a new ad, there are many types to choose from. If you choose a carousel ad, you can use multiple pictures.
There are also single image ads, single video ads, slideshows, and canvas ads. Slideshow ads create videos out of several images, and canvas ads combine images and videos.
For local businesses, single image ads are likely the most popular. You may want to use an attractive image of your storefront, or one that clearly communicates any promotions you might be running.
You’ll also be able to review the ad as you create it, which is helpful when making sure everything looks just right. I’ve set up a fake ad for illustration purposes:
Step Six: Choose Where Your Ad Displays
Once your ad is drafted, you can see what it will look like in different placements and exclude any that don’t make sense. In general, it is best to leave more placements on because then your ad has the most chance of being shown and seen by your audience. As you become more sophisticated, you might test different placements to determine which types give you the best return for your investment.
Kicking Off Facebook Ads
Once you’ve selected the who, the when, the what, and the where – you’re done. After you confirm, your ad should start showing. You may have to wait up to 24 hours before any information about clicks or conversions become available. If you don’t see any activity after 2 or 3 days, you may need to adjust your audience to make it bigger, so that you will see results.
We hope this guide made Facebook ads seem easier for your laundry business than you might have thought. Facebook ads can be a great way for local businesses to build brand awareness and increase their sales.