Your Quick Start Guide to Facebook Advertising

About Facebook

Facebook is used by millions of people worldwide. Statistics indicate that consumers are more likely to buy from a company if they produce useful, interesting content and Facebook is an excellent platform to share and promote content to a huge audience.

Facebook offers brands the chance to increase exposure, extend the reach of a brand personality and build relationships with potential clients before, during, and after the purchase process.

Organic growth can be very slow so, if you haven’t already, ask your friends, family, colleagues and customer to “Like” your page. You need a minimum of 30 followers to see reporting from Facebook Analytics.

Facebook allows companies the opportunity to obtain useful information about their customers’ demographics, likes and dislikes through feedbacks and comments and insights.

Why advertise on Facebook?

Over the last few months, Facebook has been reducing the organic reach of Pages. A recent study found that companies’ posts dropped from reaching 12% of their followers in October to just 6% by February and Facebook have confirmed that this will continue to drop. With this in mind, it means that companies who want to engage on the platform need to advertise in order to enhance engagement and drive results from their Facebook activity.

Even if a person Likes your company page on the social network, they’re unlikely to naturally see your Page’s content in their News Feed – making advertising a key way to overcome this.

The platform itself is a powerful one and recent changes mean Facebook is more of a social search engine than a stand alone social media platform. Facebook’s search results now include all web pages that have been liked by users who clicked on buttons  in Open Graph.  It has become a dynamic advertising platform that can produce the same types of results as search engine optimization.

“Before last year, Facebook was all about what happened on Facebook,” said Bob Buch, CEO of social advertising firm SocialWire. “Ad campaigns were about buying likes. In 2013, there was a major shift, and Facebook began tapping into direct-response advertisers [and marketing] products to custom audiences. This transformed their ability to drive traffic off-site.”

Facebook says:

Most online advertising reaches only 27% of its intended audience. Facebook’s average is 91%.3 (Neilsen, Oct 2012)

Advertising options

Facebook offers a helpful step by step wizard, to help you choose the best type of advertising for your objectives.

Facebook advertising centre

There are two main types of advertising options available: sponsored stories and placement ads.

Sponsored Stories are messages from friends about ways they’ve engaged with a business. Businesses can pay to promote these stories so there’s a better chance people see them. Example below:

Example of sponsored story ad format and social proof

Ads are paid messages from businesses, written in their voice. They can include social information about friends. They appear on the right hand side of Facebook user feeds.

In the examples shown, social proof is signalled by a friend’s name or the number of people who have already liked the ad displayed.

Examples of Facebook paid ads and social proof

Targeting options

Due to the sheer granularity and amount of information that Facebook knows about its users, advertisers can target very specific audience segments.

Custom audiences:

This is a powerful, nifty feature allows you to find your offline audience among people who use Facebook and further segment that using other targeting options.

Location:

This is a fairly basic but useful targeting option. Set your ads to show to Facebook users in specific countries, states, cities and post codes, or exclude them.

Demographics:

Demographic targeting allows you to select audience segments by gender, age, relationships, education, finances and life events.

An example of a life event is a birthday. Birthday targeting lets you create ads that are targeted to people who have a birthday in the next week. This helps you create highly relevant ads or highlight special discounts, offers or promotions that are available to people on their birthdays.

Interests:

Reach an audience interested in specific subjects, brands or keywords.

For example, If you’re a yoga studio in in London, you may use enter terms such as Exercise and Fitness and also enter very specific terms related to Yoga

Facebook allows you to target users based on their interests

Behaviour:

Reach your audience based on their digital activities, decide usage, past or intended purchases, and travel.

Connections:

Control whether or not your ad shows to people have already connected with you on Facebook.

Budget

If you want to run your ad campaign continuously, choose a per day budget, but if you know how long your ad campaign will run for, choose a lifetime budget. If you choose a per day budget, Facebook will pace your spending per day while a lifetime budget will pace your spending over the lifetime of the ad campaign.
You can set a daily budget and a daily ad spend limit to ensure you don’t overspend.

The minimum daily budget for any ad set is $1.00 USD. Your budget must be at least two times your cost per click (CPC) bid. For example, if you have a $1.00 CPC, your daily budget must be at least $2.00.

You can always edit your ad campaign budget after you’ve started the campaign so monitor performance and adjust accordingly.

Measurement

Facebook Ads Manager offers advertisers excellent reporting functionality, as well as the option to customise, save, schedule and download reports.

Reviewing Facebook advertising performance at regular intervals to see what types of ads perform best for your company and audience.

Best practice checklist

Paid Facebook ads can be a huge source of traffic that ultimately leads to sales, but only when they’re properly planned and executed. Keep these three things in mind when planning your Facebook campaigns:

Remember that customers don’t come to Facebook to buy

When people Google a specific product or service, it’s generally because they intend to purchase that item. But when people log on to Facebook, they’re not there for the ads; they want to connect with their friends. The goal of any successful Facebook ad campaign is to grab potential customers’ attention enough that they will either go back and Google your product later or, better yet, click through to your website right from Facebook.

Keep your ads fresh

Running the same campaigns for your products and services over and over again will quickly get old to your Facebook audience, and that could make them hide your ads from their newsfeed. Keep customers interested by updating pictures and copy for your ads.

Use Facebook Insights

Review the Insights dashboard regularly to understand which ads are performing best and optimise your campaigns accordingly.

Need help setting up or optimising your Facebook advertising campaigns? Get in touch with us!