Social advertising works, at least for those who have reaped the benefits of it. If you do it right, and on the relevant platform, it will be worth every penny. And you don’t even have to spend a lot to know if it works for you.

Here is an account of how one entrepreneur spent just $56 on Facebook ads and make $4000 in a week at his brick and mortar business. He originally shared this on reddit.

He writes:

“This is the 3rd post I’ve made to /r/entrepreneur about Facebook ads, and/or Facebook in general for your brick and mortar business.

The past few times I posted about using contests to draw people in, I usually obscured my business info in case of Facebook hitting me for using homegrown contests (which, as far as I have researched, is fully legal, but with Facebook, you never know).

This time, I fully engaged Facebook’s Ad Manager system, and the results are fantastic.

The business

I run a Craft Mall in Ohio. I started it a year ago, as I was targetting the desire to run a business at a prime location that has been devalued due to it being somewhat run-down, but a very large facility.

We have reasonable competition in the area, but we’re the largest store in the county, and probably the 3rd largest in the Columbus Metro Statistical Area (of 3 million people).

The ad:

This is the exact ad we ran. I allocated an initial $40 to the run, and added another $10 on Friday to extend the run through mid-Saturday due to what we were seeing in-store as justification for increasing the length of the ad.

I simply compiled vendor pictures of our business, and blasted them on Facebook, using a large number of said pictures. We’ve done posts similar to this for contests and general pictures to show off the inventory we had.

It is certainly not the most appealing group of pictures, in that I am not a photographer, and simply wanted to convey we have a lot of items. We wanted to convey that we have more than our competition, and should justify a trip to our business.

The timing and prep work

For prep work and targeting, we looked at our ~1,500 fans on Facebook, and determined that our target audience was 90% female, so we used that in our targeting mix, by only paying Facebook for female viewers of the ad.

This was a good move on our part, I think, as we still had a ton of reader shares which likely pushed it to men just the same. We posted the ad at 3:40pm – not because this was the optimal time, but I had posted another iteration earlier, and realized there was a glaring error on it (lack of address/business hours). We would have pushed the ad at noon or 1pm for peak timing, but the 3:40 time still worked fine for us.

Related: Social Media Paid Advertising: Does it Actually Work?

The results

We were extremely happy with the results. We reached over 18,000 people with the ad, and of which, 3,300 viewers were organic.

Here is another breakdown of how many views/likes/shares/clicks we got, which was incredibly impressive.

Our total cost per response over the entire run of ad was just above $0.01, which is extremely good. Our traffic responded extremely well to this, so the ad buy was worth every penny of it.

Overall, our week-over-week revenue was up $4,000 from the week prior. Customer response at the register (when we asked about why they came) was huge on mentioning the Facebook ad.

I would venture to estimate that at least 3/4 of all customers that purchased mentioned the ad placement when asked why it was their first time at the shop – this was much larger than any response for other marketing means we’ve had.

We are not open on Sunday, but I was told by some of the maintenance staff that there were quite a few people that attempted to come to the shop, but we could not staff it. We did mention in our ad about shopping hours, but certainly not everyone reads.

Follow-up

I will be launching a new ad later this week with a similar ad buy and a similar offer – 5% off (of which, very few people actually took the discount – even if they mentioned the Facebook ad as being the reason they were there, which was great for us).

It’ll be interesting to see if we can keep a similar weekly ad spend and get similar results. If so, this will be great for us, as we spent very little on the ad and made a lot in return.

I am going to do another campaign.. Probably another $50 ad buy over 3-4 days and see what it does for us. If it works well, I think I can start ramping it up and see how far down the rabbit hole things go.

And again, what is important (IMO) to me about this is that we’re a 100% brick and mortar business… Advertising is not easy this way.

I’ve spent thousands on other advertising mediums, and this one has surpassed them all very quickly. IMO, its a must-have if you’re trying to get out there to an audience that is, in fact, on Facebook.”

Founding Editor @Alltopstartups. Contributor at Entrepreneur Magazine. Curator at Postanly (a free weekly newsletter that delivers the most insightful long-form posts from top publishers)

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