Social media websites — particularly Facebook and Twitter — are constantly trying to enhance their advertising offerings for small businesses. Typically, the cost to advertise is relatively low when compared with traditional print media advertising, and it allows businesses to reach extremely precise audiences. On the other hand, it may be more difficult to convert sales with intangible promotions that can’t be clipped out and brought to the shop.

While all your customers are digging out from yesterday’s snowstorm (in the Northeast), we’ll bring a few articles published in the last few days talking about Facebook and Twitter advertising.

  • First off, in recent news reported by Fortune magazine, Facebook is launching a small business council to help the company guide its suite of advertising products. That’s because hundreds of thousands (probably around 1 million) of small businesses are spending millions of dollars in Facebook advertising. One consignment shop owner in the article says she sees a $23 return for every $1 she spends on Facebook ads.
  • One of the problems, of course, for car wash businesses is its inherent brick-and-mortar design. You can’t really build an e-commerce platform for a car wash business. So if you use Facebook advertising, you have to get creative. The company has recently rolled out new direct-response-style capabilities, says PerformanceIN.

For instance, a travel website could use Custom Audiences to reach a group of people – say, people that searched for flights on your website but never made a reservation – with a targeted message in their News Feed: “Come back for 10% off your next flight reservation.”

  • As for Twitter, a lot of people, including Ben Harper for Social Media Explorer, say its audience targeting is not quite as advanced as Facebook’s is. On the other hand, it does have handy tools like “negative sentiment filtering, keyword volume estimates, bulk keyword input, [and] keyword match types.” Plus, it’s important to get at your potential customers wherever they exist. The quick-hit nature of Twitter may be suited for car wash businesses looking to lure a user who’s out and about in the neighborhood.