facebook advertising small businessAccording to Inc., “in the past few weeks, Facebook has made it clear that in order to reach your customers, fans, and anyone else who has “liked” you on its platform, you’ll have to pay for Facebook ads. “Organic reach” of content from brands and small businesses has fallen to less than 2 percent of all fans.”

It’s now clear that in order for your small business to leverage the branding and marketing power of Facebook, you’ll have to start investing some money in the form of Facebook advertising.

Facebook has recently made changes that dramatically reduces the amount of organic exposure Facebook fan page posts receive in the news feeds of fans.  This change has not been received – by most – with a warm welcome.  However, I see this as a huge opportunity for small businesses to not only achieve a greater level of branded exposure, but do it for a lost less money than other forms of advertising.

Let me explain…

In its current state, advertising on Facebook is something that so few small businesses understand – to the degree where they are maximizing it’s full marketing potential.  Because of this, there’s a small level of competition that any small business would face.  And because of the low level of competition, the cost per click (or cost per action) on Facebook would be relatively small.  This means a small business can gain a lot more traffic, exposure, and traction with their ads with a relatively small budget.

Secondly, since there’s a relatively small number of competitors that a small business would face on Facebook, the amount of indirect exposure could be more substantial.  Anytime you launch a Facebook ad, or promote a post, you have the option to not only promote directly to your fans, but also to the friends of those fans.   And again, because of the relatively low level of competition that exists today, a small business could achieve a substantial amount of targeted exposure with their ad budget.

Taking this one step further, the power of demographic and geographic targeting with Facebook ads gives any small business a lot more targeting options for their ads.  For example, a local business could set a geographic targeting radius of 10, 15, or even 25 miles around their location.  You can even target homeowners, set home value parameters, income level parameters, and one of my favorites… the “interest” targeting which allows you to target people who are already fans of a particular page.  So your ad could be targeted to people who are fans of a large branded Facebook page that sells the same type of products or services, or a media page that promotes content that’s directly related to your business.

So even though Facebook is making a shift to where brands and small businesses have to “pay to play”, I see this ultimately as a great opportunity for small businesses to dive head first into Facebook advertising.

What are your thoughts?

Have you been using Facebook advertising for your small business?  What do you see working?

And what are your thoughts about Facebook’s shift to the “pay to play” model for Faecbook business pages?