Can you run a successful Facebook campaign on a shoestring budget?

Written on 19 December, 2016 by Julie Doubinski
Categories Social Media Tags facebook facebook advertising marketing social media

Considering there are over 15,000,000 Facebook users in Australia alone, it is very likely that your potential customers are among them. Running Facebook advertising therefore makes a lot of sense, and you should allocate a marketing budget for these campaigns.

But what if you only have a modest marketing budget to work with? Does this mean that you shouldn’t start Facebook marketing at all? Absolutely not – you can run Facebook campaigns on a shoestring budget that still get results.

Getting started

So, your business website is live and you are ready to start marketing your business. What’s next? Your next step would be creating a business Facebook page and a business advertising account.

A business advertising account keeps your personal Facebook account separate from your business and it allows you to assign multiple account administrators that can also work on your ads.

You can use the link below to set one up by following Facebook’s step-by-step instructions – it’s really simple and straightforward.

Now you are ready to run your Facebook ads!

Creating a free post

But first, let’s start with some activities that don’t cost any money – just time. Let’s create a free public Facebook post about your business. Below are the recommended character counts and video duration for Facebook posts:

  • Maximum length of a status update: 63,206 characters.
  • Ideal length of a status update (Facebook post): 40 characters.
  • Ideal length of a video: 30–45 seconds long.

Add a good quality image that has been well-optimised and looks enticing. The best image size as recommended by Facebook is 1200px x 628px.

In your post, include a link to your website or your business phone number.

How do you make sure as many people as possible see this post? To start with, you need to engage with your potential customers.

Building engagement

Facebook engagement metrics include likes, shares, comments, and clicks. When people engage with your post in one of these ways, their actions will often show up on their friends’ news feeds, making your post visible to all their friends – which helps your brand awareness.

These days, organic (unpaid) Facebook reach tends to be very low, but it still makes a good starting point and it doesn’t cost you anything other than time.  You can build some free engagement by asking your employees to like your page. You can also send an email to your client database to let them know that you are now on Facebook and ask them to like your page to keep up with your latest company news and promotions.

Launching a paid campaign

Now, let’s start your Facebook paid campaign.

On your Business Manager homepage select your advertising account and then “create campaign”:

Next, choose your campaign objective from the options below:

The “boost your posts” option is the best starting point if you are new to Facebook advertising and have a modest marketing budget. The easiest way to do this is clicking on “boost post” button under your post:

The minimum daily budget that Facebook allows is $2. How many “likes” might that buy, you may ask? Depending on the industry, the content of your post, and your target audience, you could pay anything from around 9c to $1 or more per like.

You might ask, who needs these “vanity metrics” like likes and shares anyway? The answer is – anyone and everyone who is determined to get the most out of their Facebook marketing dollar. You can use these metrics and audiences to build out your future campaigns and extend your reach.

Using engagement to build target audiences

One of the great things about Facebook advertising is the fact that you can create a number of different target audiences for your ads, based on people’s engagement with your page.

For example, you can create an audience consisting of people who have liked your page and then use it to create a lookalike audience.

So, as you can see, you don’t need a massive budget to start Facebook marketing – you can boost your posts for as little as $2 a day, but sticking to this budget will probably mean it takes you a long time to build a large fan base.

What next?

Try spending closer to $10-$15 a day for a week or two and find out what you can achieve with this budget. Compare your results with what you saw from the lower spend and decide which fits best with your business and your goals. You can also try using different types of content and images, and testing various target audiences. The engagement volume of your posts is a good indicator of the quality of your audience.

If you are considering Facebook advertising for your business but not sure where to start, check out our Social Media Marketing monthly solutions and request a free consultation today.

Looking for some help with domains, hosting, web design or digital marketing?

Send me marketing tips, special offers and updates