Facebook today introduced a new way for small business owners to create ads to build their fanbase without going through the more complex Facebook ad tool, a company spokesperson tells us.
Similar to Promoted Posts, these ads are created directly from a business’ Facebook page. But whereas Promoted Posts are used mainly to reach a page’s existing fans, this new tool is meant to help a page bring in new fans. The Page-Like Ads, as they’re called, are the same as the ads that businesses have already been able to create through the self-serve dashboard, which can appear on mobile or desktop. The difference is in the creation process.
First, page owners start from their page’s admin panel. They’ll see a basic dialog like the one below. They can adjust their budget based on how many people they want to reach and how much they want to spend. They can select basic location targeting. Or they could use the defaults and start running an ad campaign with one additional click. This is much more efficient than Facebook’s main ad tool, which has about a dozen different sections that advertisers can manipulate.
Like Promoted Posts, the feature is aimed at small- to mid-sized businesses that are using Facebook for marketing, but don’t necessarily have the resources to work with a Facebook ad rep or third-party partner. The social network’s ad dashboard has become increasingly complicated with untraditional ad types like Sponsored Stories and page post ads, and for business owners that are unfamiliar with ad terms like bids, CPC and CPM, the tool can be overwhelming.
Last week, Facebook announced there were 13 million local businesses with pages on the site and 8 million of those are active monthly. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has called SMBs the “holy grail of the Internet” since the long tail of advertisers collectively spend a significant amount. Even though SMBs are typically late adopters of technology, Sandberg says Facebook has an advantage in that its marketing and advertising products are so similar to the features people use daily to connect with friends and family. In fact, many business owners start by promoting their business on their personal profile and then create a page when they start to see interest and results. By making it easier for these business owners to also try paid media, Facebook can prove its value and gradually get SMBs to spend more on the site and use more advanced tools and targeting options.
More information about using this feature is available from Facebook’s Help Center.