Where should local businesses be spending their ad dollars? Having so many avenues in an omnichannel environment poses a challenge to local companies. The challenge only grows, and choices need to be intentional when the advertising budget is tight. When in doubt, turn to the data for answers. What you’ll find demonstrates the opportunity for local business Facebook and Instagram advertising.

Facebook and Instagram continue to claim the top spots for the most monthly active users (MAU). There are 3 billion global MAU on Facebook, and Instagram doesn’t trail far behind with 2 billion global MAU. We know from recent surveys that 90% of users follow a business on social media, and roughly half of users discover and research new brands through social media.

Make sure the local businesses you work with do what they can to optimize their ad spend. Read on to learn about best practices for local businesses looking to launch their next ad campaign on Facebook or Instagram.

Why Facebook and Instagram?

Growing a social following can be a daunting task for businesses. In fact, 90% of businesses struggle with their social media marketing strategy. Starting on Instagram and/or Facebook is a move in the right direction. Not only do they top the rankings for most-used platforms, but they also generate revenue for small businesses better than other social channels. Instagram earned the No. 1 spot for the highest ROI, and Facebook was a close contender in second place.

There is a reason why more than half of digital marketers plan to pour more into their Instagram ad budgets in 2023. Even with the rapid growth of TikTok, marketers still believe the potential to win more is greater with Instagram.

Convenience is also a factor at play here. Facebook and Instagram are both housed under the Meta umbrella, making life easier for small businesses running profiles on both platforms. Meta’s Ads Manager centralizes all the tools to run ad campaigns across platforms.

Best Practices for Local Business Facebook and Instagram Campaigns

Getting a business profile off the ground is no easy feat. The digital world moves fast, and having general guidelines on best practices can help business owners keep up. Try recommending some of these practices to encourage better social media habits.

Start with an Objective

Campaigns should always start with a strategy that includes a set of objectives or goals. A paid social media campaign can accomplish a variety of objectives. Is the aim to build brand awareness, expand reach, increase traffic, generate leads, or a combination of these and more?

If the objective is to build brand awareness, the ad should offer value beyond what the business sells, like something educational or a storytelling piece to spark curiosity. Facebook Ads Manager allows users to select objectives when creating a campaign.

Set a Clear Budget

Instagram and Facebook are both Meta applications and share the same options for allocating budget. Local businesses can set their cap to be whatever they want, from $5 per week to $500 per week (some exceptions apply). There are two ways to categorize cost: total amount spent or cost per click (CPC).

Point your local businesses to the Meta ad cost resource center to understand all the buying methods to keep them aligned with budgetary goals. The main point to express is the advantage of Facebook and Instagram advertising’s flexibility and affordability.

Diversify Content and Placement

Sticking to the same repetitive content types may not yield the expected results. Exploring all the mediums and formats available is a good practice. With options like reels, carousel posts, stories, live streaming, the classic single image and more, why stop at one?

A business limits its growth potential when leaving these content types unused. In the same way you would recommend content diversification, you should do so with ad placement. Facebook has options for Marketplace ads, in-feed ads, Stories ads, Business Explore and several desktop placement choices. Instagram is similar, with several placement options. Businesses can see how their ads perform on the Business Explore page vs. Stories and so forth.

Advertisers can use top-performing ads to choose the format and placement of future campaigns.

Track Key Metrics

Ads Manager’s metrics dashboard is a marketing insight gold mine. Here, you’ll find the numbers for:

  • Impressions
  • Relevance score (a range from 1 to 10 that estimates how well a target audience responds to the ad)
  • Locations
  • Audience demographics
  • Cost per result
  • Video views and percentage watched
  • Engagement (likes, comments, shares)
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per conversion
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS)

It can be a lot to digest, and getting lost in the numbers is easy. As the local advertising expert for your customers, you’ll need to assist in interpreting the information. Taking the time to go through campaign analytics demonstrates the value and results. It also can influence future campaigns.

Don’t Ignore the Trends

An easy way to gauge what’s trending online is to stay active through a personal account. Ask your customers what they find engaging. Consuming popular content leads to the creation of better and more relevant content.

Watch competitors, and take note of the topics or types of content that seem to be doing well. Remember that it’s easy to get swept up in the constant waves of new microtrends. Look for long-term, sustainable trends that won’t fade after a week or two.

What Facebook and Instagram Ad Resources Are Available for Local Businesses?

Meta’s ad tools and resources make Instagram and Facebook manageable social media platforms for local small businesses. The support and resource center for Meta business accounts is of value to you when selling these campaigns to advertisers.

Check out these resources:

  • Meta ads: This is the go-to starting point for businesses at the onset of their Facebook and Instagram ad journey. It’s a hub for FAQs and other resources.
  • Meta Blueprint: Blueprint is a platform that offers courses for beginners getting started with Meta apps. Find resources on navigating Ads Manager, tracking metrics, structuring campaigns and more.
  • Performance 5 for small businesses: Meta recommends that small businesses follow these five data-backed tactics to see better results from ad campaigns.
  • Meta Leaders Network: This is an online community of entrepreneurs with the goal of growing their businesses through an active social presence. Users can share stories and build new business connections and opportunities.
  • Meta ads placement: The ad placement resource page is excellent for discovering new areas to run their next campaign. As noted, diversification is a good thing, and this page lists all the ad options.

Give Local Businesses a Boost

It shouldn’t be challenging to convince local businesses to get on social, but seeing results takes time and work. Limited time and resources are barriers to business social profiles. Give a helping hand by sharing resources that will help them yield better results.

Read our Facebook and Instagram Advertising for Local Businesses post for even more tips and inspiration on how to get more from social profiles.