Facebook’s Director of Small Business Jonathan Czaja said the San Diego event drew the largest audience ever for one of the company’s small-business events. The morning session started late because of the crowd, and the afternoon event was sold out.
Small businesses everywhere are asking “how do you create a message that breaks through the marketing clutter out there?” Czaja said, adding that 2 million small- and medium-sized businesses are now advertising on Facebook.
He said advertising dollars are typically coming out of direct mail, and all types of businesses are trying Facebook. “It’s looking a lot more like Main Street,” he said of the typical advertiser profile.
“Social media grew very big very fast and rapidly became very challenging,” said Mari Smith, a San Diego-based social media trainer. But she promised that the boot camp would answer many of the business owners’ questions.
Czaja offered five lessons for making online advertising work:
- Tell an authentic story to build trust. “Have your own authentic voice and use that voice consistently to connect with customers,” he said.
- It’s easy to get started. He recommended starting by simply boosting a post on Facebook.
- Reach the people who matter to you. Targeting allows the message to reach specific groups of customers. “We don’t want you to waste money with ads,” he said.
- Used advanced targeting. Facebook can provide access to potential new customers who “look like” current customers.
- Measure your results. He said that’s the only way to make sure the advertising is working.
San Diego is the first location for Facebook’s “Boost Your Business” program, which then goes on to Minneapolis, Nashville and Boston.
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