Facebook Ads for Small and Local Businesses [+10 Tips]

  • Andre Kay
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Facebook ad is a vital platform for small and local business owners as it can be used to reach a large number of audiences. 

Through Facebook ad, small businesses can connect with a large number of customers and offer information about your business thereby making more customers. 

If you are a small or local business owner, there is every likelihood that you may be having issues with running an effective Facebook ad. Or you may be running away from running Facebook ads because you do not know how to go about it. If you are in any of these categories, this article is for you. 

We have included the different types of Facebook ads you can run as a local business owner, tips/strategies to run an effective Facebook ad for small businesses and mistakes you should avoid as a small or local business owner while running Facebook ads. 

About Sociallybuzz

Sociallybuzz is a leading social media marketing, management, and digital advertising agency for small and medium-sized businesses. With over 12 years of experience, we know how to create and execute marketing campaigns that will help you grow your business. Our social media agency has created successful targeted social media campaigns that acquired our customers more leads, sales, and revenue.

Check out some of our case studies:

  1. 10.57% Conversion for Our Client Leveraging Google Performance Max. Learn More
  2. We used Facebook Ads and Google Ads to Drive Over 6 Figures in Sales for a B2B Brand. Read More
  3. 18X Return on Advertising Spend and Over $3 Million in Sales for an Online Store. Read More

What are Facebook ads for Small Businesses?

Small business Facebook ads are paid forms of advertisements that small businesses place on Facebook to promote their products and services. It could be through text, image or video. These ads can appear on Messenger or Facebook’s feed. Sometimes, they can even appear on non-Facebook apps and websites. 

Facebook ads are used by both small and local businesses. 

These ads are easy to use and you can target demographics based on age, interest, gender, location, marital status and many more. For local business owners, you get the opportunity to reach locals in your area who are also on Facebook. 

Types of Facebook Ads for Small and Local Businesses

If you are a small or local business owner, there are different types of Facebook ads you can use to achieve your marketing goals. Below are the Facebook ad types your small business needs to know.

Image Ads

Image Credits: Newsfeed.org

Facebook image ads feature a single image and can be used on both Facebook and Instagram. Image ads let small businesses use single images to promote their products and services, and can be used across different ad types and placements. On Facebook you can see image ads on the right hand side on the desktop or in the News Feed.  

This ad is very easy to create. With just a few clicks, you can create one by boosting an already existing post with an image from your Facebook Page. Image ads with its simplicity can successfully display your offering if your image has a high quality. If you want to boost brand awareness, increase sales and promote a new product, launch or increase sales, image ads are a good option. 

Video Ads

Image Credits: Source

Just like image ads, video ads can also run on both Facebook and Instagram and feature a video too. Video ads let small businesses use a single video to showcase their products and services. 

Video ads allow you to create a slideshow that will play as a video. It can show up in-stream; this means your video ad can pop up when your audience is watching a video on Facebook. 

Although video ads can be as long as 240 minutes, it is not advisable to make your video ads duration long. Shorter video ads work better. If your product or service is one that needs demos or you need to talk to people about it with moving elements, then video ads are for you. Video ads have so far helped many small and local businesses to increase engagement and sales using Facebook ads. Learn more about facebook video ads here.

Carousel ads

Image credits: Carousel Nike Facebook Ad

Carousel ads allow you to show up to ten images or videos but each image will have its own headline, description, or link. Carousel ads are ideal for promoting a series of different products. Each image in the carousel can have a special landing page of its own, that’s just for that product or service alone. 

Once you are making use of carousel ads, you will be put through a process where you will be able to showcase a series of products that are related to each other by separating each part across different sections of your carousel. If you are a small or local business owner that is involved in the sale of different products and you want to showcase products together to gain more user engagement, carousel ads is a good option. 

Collection Ads

Collection Facebook ads are mobile window-shopping experiences where users can flick through your product lineup. Collection ads on Facebook feature a cover image or video, followed by four product images. These ads allow the audience to browse through your online catalog without having to log out of Facebook. Facebook provides four templates each geared towards achieving a different goal. 

Below are the templates: 

  1. Instant Storefront: makes it possible to showcase four or more products and also helps to increase sales as it brings users to your site.
  2. Instant Storytelling: this is geared towards showcasing your brand. 
  3. Instant Customer Acquisition: allows for conversion of audiences to customers.

Collection ads is a Facebook ad business owners can use to increase sales in their business. 

Tips for Running an Effective Facebook Ad Small Businesses

Running an effective Facebook ad for small business owners can be an overwhelming process but if you make use of the tips below, there will surely be significant improvement.

1. Target your audience 

Being able to target your audience is one of the best features of facebook ads. 

Facebook gives you the opportunity to target your audience based on their age, location, interests, gender etc. Targeting your audience is mostly beneficial when you have a business that’s targeted towards a particular audience. 

Here is what you should do, go to the planning section in your Facebook Business Manager and click on Audience Insights. As soon as you click on insights, you will see information about the people who visit and like your page. This information will help you to know who to include in your targeting.

Need help with facebook ad targeting options? Read our blog post that covers the best ad audience for facebook ads.

2. Provide Solutions to Problems

If you want to have an effective Facebook ad, you will have to identify your customer’s problems and solve them. While providing solutions, try as much as possible to make your content of high quality, simple and direct. 

If you do not know how to create quality content, you can hire the services of professionals who are specialized in the field to help you. High quality content is one of the most effective ways to attract new customers. Hence the need to make solution driven contents that are pertinent to your audience. Sociallybuzz is a reliable social advertising company that has been helping small businesses thrive since 2009. Contact us for Facebook Advertisng for Small Businesses.

3. Use Images 

Good images make your ad look attractive. With your images, your audience already knows what you’re talking about even without reading your content. Images do not only keep a reader glued to your ad but increase brand awareness too. 

Knowing that your images matter in your ad copy creation, we recommend you make your images catchy and tempting. Now, if you are advertising your product and you are making use of your product photo, ensure the photos look attractive. It is even better to employ the services of a professional photographer to take eye catching photos of your product. 

4.  Plan your Business Page

If you already have a business page, ensure it is looking nice and engaging. If you do not, create one. Do not use your personal profile, you won’t have access to some tools that are peculiar to Facebook business pages alone. 

It doesn’t take up to an hour to create a Facebook page. Hence we would recommend you create one rather than use your personal Facebook profile. You will have to add the link to your website, your contact info and a good picture of what your business offers.

The picture should clearly show what your business has to offer and it should also be a recent picture. Your page look is very important in advertising your products.

5. Run More Than One Campaign at a Time

Rather than focus on just one campaign which may not yield good results, it will be more beneficial to run several campaigns.

You can divide the particular amount of money you intend to spend on a specific campaign amongst several campaigns, each targeted at different demographics. So if one doesn’t work out, the other would. A/B testing many ad campaigns is a brilliant Facebook ads trick that can help make your ads very effective.

6. Keep It Short and Simple

Make your Facebook ads as simple as possible for users. The mistake many businesses make is using complicated texts in their ads. It is not everybody that will understand complex vocabularies, why use them then? The clearer your ad is, the more clicks you are likely to get. 

Let your texts be as straightforward as possible.  You do not need to write long ads to get your point across to your audience. Many people do not like reading long contents which is why you should keep them short, simple and straight to the point. The more long your ad content is, the higher the chance that people will skip it. 

When your ad is short and straight to the point, people tend to flow better hence; endeavor to keep it short and simple. Don’t make people rack their heads to figure out what your ad is about or what you are selling.

Recommended: Facebook ads for restaurants

7. Don’t Allow Facebook to Set Up your Ads for You, Do It Yourself 

It is better to set up your ads yourself rather than allowing Facebook to do it for you. When you allow Facebook to set up your ads, it may set the ads based on an age group that won’t benefit you and this may render the ad ineffective. 

You who know your target audience and their problems, hence you are in a better position to set up ads that will address those problems. You also know your advertising goals and what you intend to achieve, setting up your ad yourself would be much better. 

8. Give Free Products

People love giveaways. Giving out your products will attract more people to your business and make you more popular. It is also a means of advertisement. When you give out your products for free, and people use the product and like it, they will definitely come back to patronize you. 

You can simply give your audience a one time free product or service and thereafter switch to payment mode. Giving out your products for free is an effective way to utilize Facebook ads and increase engagement.

9.  Know your Goals

When you know what you intend to achieve with your ads, you will be able to work towards achieving it. If your goal is to boost sales with Facebook ads, you should know your revenue target and then work towards knowing the kind of Facebook ad to use.

If what you want to achieve with Facebook ads is an increase in followership, you will also know the right Facebook ads to use. Knowing your goals is key to choosing the right Facebook ads. 

Knowing your goal is also important because it helps you measure results and know whether or not your ad campaigns are following the right path. Without a clear direction to follow, it will be hard to get the results you desire. Knowing your goals is crucial in running an effective Facebook ad. 

10. Use Short Ad Headlines

It is better to use short and catchy ad headlines. Many readers skip long ad headlines so, always keep your headlines short and straight to the point. 

Short ad headlines get your message across to your audience in a faster way.  All you need to do is think of what really matters most to your audience, you will then know how to shorten your headline. Short ad headlines are one of the keys to an effective Facebook ad for small businesses. 

11. Use Videos

Many people prefer watching videos. They feel videos are better understood than texts. This is why you should invest in video ads. People tend to click on video ads more than text ads and image ads. If you want to make effective use of Facebook ads, then you must use video ads. 

12. Run Contests

Prizes spur customers to make purchases. 

It makes people who are already interested in your product or service but are still hesitating to make purchases to make a move. With a prize to be won, your prospective customers will definitely take the step you want them to take. 

But before you use prize strategy in your Facebook ads, ensure you study your audience and know what they like. Whatever prize you would attach to your product should be what your audience wants. It is only when you are giving what they want that they can go into action.

13. Give Incentives to Potential Customers

Offering Incentives to your audience is a good way to make them click on your ad. You can simply provide a discount or promotion, free download and many more. Incentives are a good way to attract customers as people love freebies. Once there is a discount or something to be won, people do not hesitate to click. 

For your Facebook Ads to be effective, incentive is very important. People are most likely not thinking of buying something when they see your Ad on Facebook, hence if you want them to click on your ad, you need an incentive and it doesn’t have to be something expensive. 

14.  Choose the Right Facebook Ad 

Choosing the right ad on Facebook helps you target the right audience. Facebook ads provide you with an option of selecting your audiences based on their demographics, gender, age, language. 

It is now left for you to choose the right ads and then narrow your campaign to your audience. There are different Facebook ads types you can choose from that are effective. You can simply choose one after doing your research, and start advertising.  

15. Have a Good Relationship with your Audience

There is more to social media advertising than just posting writing great ad content. Building a good relationship with your audience is very important. Your audience comes for your products and services, but it is your attitude and how you relate with them that will make them stay. 

16. Learn the Trick of Facebook Ad

Many local and small business owners still find it hard to get engagement on their Facebook ads. Some others even after years of experience, still do not know the best ad for their business promotion. 

Here is the trick, run multiple versions of the same ads to know the most effective of them all and shorten the amount you spend by tactfully apportioning your Facebook ad budget.

Doing this may be hard for some small and local businesses so, if you are finding it difficult for you, you can seek help from an ad agency that is knowledgeable in the field of advertising like Sociallybuzz

Recommended: Does Facebook ad work for b2b?

Mistakes Small/Local Businesses Make While Running a Facebook Ad

Facebook Ad Mistakes to Avoid as a Small Business Owner

Running a Facebook ad for your small business is good but it is possible you will not get good results from those Ads. This may be because you are still making some mistakes that are making it impossible for your ads to get good results. Let’s look at some of those mistakes that can make your ad unsuccessful. 

Please contact us for Facebook Ad Services. We have proven Facebook ads strategy that work for small businesses. Check out some of our case studies.

1. Choosing the Wrong Objective

The first step to getting good results in your Facebook ad is choosing the right objective. Choosing the wrong objective can hinder improvement in your campaign results. 

Your objectives are what you want to achieve with your ads. They should align with your overall campaign goals to make sure you’re reaching those goals.

Choosing the right objectives before starting your campaign would assist you in accurately measuring if you are getting the desired results. If you find out that things are not working as planned, you can decide to change the direction of your campaign. Having a clear knowledge of your objective would help you in developing the right strategy based on your goals.

For example, If you want to grow your brand presence, it is recommended that you choose a top-of-funnel objective and If your goal is to generate more revenue, choose a bottom-of-funnel objective. 

Even if you are an experienced Facebook advertiser, you may still find it difficult choosing the right campaign objective; which is why you should set your objective goal.

To develop objectives, you will first have to set your goals and then work towards achieving that goal. In all, ensure your goals align with the needs of your business. 

2. Overlooking Video Ads 

A lot of small business owners do not know how engaging Facebook video ads are. Facebook data reports show that up to 15,000 pieces of content could appear in a person’s feed each time they log in to Facebook. 

Hence, one would say that more content is being made than there is time to read it. With so much content out there, there is a decrease in engagement on different ad types but that is not so with video ads. 

Research from BuzzSumo shows that video ads have experienced an impressive increase in development so far. If you are still neglecting the efficacy of video ads in your Facebook ads strategy, you are missing a lot. 

3. Poor Audience Targeting

With the number of Facebook users online, there is every chance that your content might not reach the right people you want them to reach if you do not target your audience well. Social media is very popular and has a high level of competition. 

You are not only competing with fellow advertisers, but with the friends, family, network of people, and colleagues of your audience who posts on Facebook too. This should tell you that the chances of your ads getting lost in the midst of others is very high. 

You need to target your audience, and to do this, you will first need to create engaging and interactive content, and then go on to optimize your ads to get to the right audience you have in mind.

If you do not do this the right way, you may end up wasting your time. And If the audience is too large, it is recommended that you narrow it down by targeting location, age ranges or genders. Poor targeting of the audience results in a waste of effort in using Facebook ads. Learn more about Facebook ad audience here.

4. Failing to Monitor Your Ads 

Another big mistake small businesses make in running Facebook ads is failing to monitor their ad campaigns. Monitoring your ad campaign is necessary for the campaign to be a success. Many business owners think that all it takes to run an effective Facebook ad is just to launch the ad. Doing this only leads to a waste of time, resources and effort. 

If you do not monitor your campaigns, you will miss a lot of opportunities that will help you improve your ads and also lose out on leads and revenue for your business. However, Facebook has tools for monitoring ads but you shouldn’t totally rely on these tools. 

You can observe your target audience’s comments on Facebook ads to know how they feel about the ad. It is advised that you avoid targeting the same people with the same content over and over again. 

Analyzing the performance of your Ads daily is very crucial in running Facebook ads for small businesses. When you do not monitor your ads, you won’t know if your campaign is achieving the goal you set it up for or not. Not monitoring their ads is a mistake local business owners make in running Facebook ads that hinders the progress of their ads. 

5. Choosing the Wrong Type of Facebook Ad 

Facebook has different ad options and choosing the right one might be a hard task. Local business owners sometimes pick an ad without being sure it’s the appropriate ad for the result they desire. As a small business owner, it is best to become familiar with different ad types in order to know the best to use. 

There are many advertising options you can choose from, there are ads meant to bring people to your webpage, there are some others meant to boost attendance at events, there is also an ad for making people download an app or make subscriptions. You just have to find the right ad type that matches your goal rather than randomly selecting an ad and end up wasting your time. 

6. Publishing Ads Repeatedly

Another mistake business owners make is publishing the same ad over and over again. Posting the same ad repeatedly bores your audience and makes them have the wrong impression about your brand. It’s annoying when you come on Facebook, and you keep seeing the same ad. 

If you have run out of ideas, you can look at Facebook ads from other business owners and you will most likely get new ideas.

You can also get ideas from blog posts on Google or you use tools like:

  1. Canva: this tool allows you to use already made templates to design new Facebook ads in an easy way without having design skills.
  2. SherlockAds: this is ad intelligence software that allows you to see ads your competitors run across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google, TikTok, etc,.
  3. ChatGPT: this a conversational AI software that allows you to generate content; with ChatGPT, you ccan create different variations of your ad

7. Not Being Able to Control your Budget

Another mistake local business owners make in running Facebook ads is running multiple ad campaigns that are not budget friendly. 

Facebook has already made it possible for you to determine how much you want to spend on your ads. You can decide your budget amount for ads, but many businesses still make the mistake of spending above their budget. Doing this only leads to a waste of resources you would have channeled into other aspects of your business or use to run another ad. 

Your spending should be according to your goals and what you can afford. Many either invest less money or too much money into their Facebook ads. Neither of the two is good. Spending less can hinder you from getting the desired result whereas spending more will lead to wasteful spending. 

The best thing to do is to map out your budget and find out the best ads to invest in according to your goals. Doing this will help you to achieve your goals as well as spend a minimal amount of money.

Don’t know how much to spend on online ads? This guide covers every thing you want to know regarding online ad cost.

8. Using Too Much Text On Your Ads

Using too much text on your ads is a distraction to the main aim of the ad. 

You may be wondering why your ad is not yielding good results, sometimes, it may be because you are using too much text. 

Using too much text on your ad image will only make it not reach your target audience. It is recommended that you limit distractions in your ad copy and make it easier for more people to flow with your ads. 

The best Facebook ads have minimal texts but with very strong influence. For example if you are advertising a product, the product name and a few more catchy words about the product is enough.

You do not need to include large amount of text; a lot of people will skip it if you do. Your goal should be to get your message across to your audience fast and not to bore your audience with too many texts. 

9. Failure to Caption Video Ads

Captions improve the visual impact of your Ads. With captions on your video ads, your videos will be more accessible to a larger number of social media users. 

Captioned videos give you the opportunity to produce localized content on a larger scale and target many locations of the world. When you caption your ad videos, you have the opportunity to reach new audiences from other countries and also build an international user base from different nations of the world.  

Social media users do not hesitate to take a look at least, when a neatly captioned video pops on their screen. Creative captions on your video ads no doubt captures the attention of your viewers but many business owners make the mistake of not captioning their video ads hence reducing the effectiveness of the ad. 

10. Not So Good Headlines

Your Facebook Ad headlines is an important part of your ad capable of increasing conversion rates. Facebook Ads headlines are not supposed to be long, the goal is just to catch the attention of the viewer. Without a good headline, your audience might just view and pass but a unique headline is capable of convincing your audience to click on the ad. 

If your headline is not good enough, you will most likely lose a large number of your ad viewers. It is saddening that many business owners are guilty of this mistake. They publish ads with dull headlines or headlines that are too long. And at the end of the day, they go on to complain about how ineffective their Facebook ads are. 

You do not expect your ads to attract viewers when there is nothing there to attract them. When your headlines are not good enough, it reduces the effectiveness of your ad. 

11. Testing Too Many Ads at Once

Some small business owners do not isolate their ad variables before testing. How then will you know the ad that worked best for you?

Many business owners do this, and it hinders them from knowing the ad that made the most impact. It is better to test these ad variables at different times and take note of their impact. 

Doing this will help you to know the best ad you should continue using and the ones to drop. Testing too many ads at a time will only reduce the effectiveness of your ad

12. Not Creating Good Content

It is important that you create good ad content to avoid wasting your money and time. Facebook ads direct your ad contents to your target audience and this helps to promote your business. But when your contents are not good enough, it will only dissuade your audience from clicking on the ad. 

13. Failing to Use Localization

Many small and local businesses make the mistake of not using the localization feature. The localization feature enables you to limit your Facebook ad to a particular location; it also allows you to disseminate your Facebook ads in many languages. Using the localization features for your Facebook ads is very important, as it helps you to reach a larger audience. 

Read More: Google Ads for Small Businesses


Using Facebook ads for your small business may be challenging and confusing because the rules and algorithms of the social media platform change frequently. 

However, when you know the mistakes to avoid while running you ads, and the strategies to implement while running these ads, Facebook ads will become the best advertising experience you have ever had. The article above will give you the right direction you need in running Facebook ads for your small and local business. 

About Sociallybuzz

Sociallybuzz is a leading social media marketing, management, and digital advertising agency for small and medium-sized businesses. With over 12 years of experience, we know how to create and execute marketing campaigns that will help you grow your business. Our social media agency has created successful targeted social media campaigns that acquired our customers more leads, sales, and revenue.

Check out some of our case studies:

  1. 10.57% Conversion for Our Client Leveraging Google Performance Max. Learn More
  2. We used Facebook Ads and Google Ads to Drive Over 6 Figures in Sales for a B2B Brand. Read More
  3. 18X Return on Advertising Spend and Over $3 Million in Sales for an Online Store. Read More

Further Reading:

Cost of online ads for small businesses

How much does franchise ads cost?

Facebook b2b lead generation

Best type of audience for facebook ads

Do facebook ads work for b2bs?

Google advertising for small businesses

Facebook Ads for restaurant owners

Facebook ads for small businesses