How to Advertise on Facebook & Make the Most of Your Budget

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Once you have a Facebook Page set up (iScream has the steps to set up your Facebook Page), you’ll need to grow your community. Sending your page out to your friends and family will get you a strong start, but you’ll find that at some point that you have to spend some money on Facebook Advertising to create, recruit and engage your growing community.

Facebook has a few ad types available for brands to take advantage of: Marketplace Ads, Offers, Promoted Posts, and Sponsored Stories. What type of ad you use should be determined by your end goals.

Ad Type Fan Goal Description
Marketplace Ads Acquisition Ads that appear in the right-hand column of pages, including business pages, the timeline or the news feed.These ads generally have short text (under 90 characters) paired with an image. They can point to a Facebook Page or an outside URL.
Offers Acquisition Offers are coupons available through Facebook for businesses. Brands can offer coupons available in-store or online. By including an outside URL and a promo code or a barcode image, brands can drive additional traffic to locations promotions are already available.
Promoted Posts Engagement Promotes posts that a brand has paid a flat fee to expand the reach of to existing fans.
Promoted Posts Engagement Sponsored stories are messages coming from friends about them engaging with your Page, app or event that a brand has paid to increase the reach of.

Before you start your campaign, you’ll want to check Facebook’s Ad Guidelines. Read about the general guidelines and overarching ad and creative rules. Be sure to double check the list of content not allowed to be advertised, including tobacco products, dating sites, pharmaceuticals and supplements, and weapons or explosives.

If you’re hoping to reach your existing fans instead of making new ones, Promoted Posts are your ideal ad. However, if you’re aiming to reach new fans, read on.

Target Smart
Marketplace Ads and Sponsored Stories offer robust demographic targeting options. The Facebook universe can be sliced and diced to your desire — by age, gender, location, interests, even how they use Facebook (on computers or by  mobile phone type).

Don’t let the possibilities overwhelm you. Try to identify the interests and habits of your consumers. If you’re advertising your golf shop, don’t waste your ad budget on people on the other side of the country or who have never picked up a club.

-Target geographically in your area. This can be by city or zip code.

-Target based on age. Maybe you only want older shoppers, so you set your minimum age at 25

-Target based on interests. This is where you’ll find the most flexibility and combinations. People who would be interested in your golf shop would include interests such as Golf, PGA, Golf Channel, Nike Golf, Titleist, Wilson, TaylorMade, Cleveland Golf and more. Often, Facebook will recommend related interest areas for you to consider.

Target based on interests. This is where you’ll find the most flexibility and combinations. People who would be interested in your golf shop would include interests such as Golf, PGA, Golf Channel, Nike Golf, Titleist, Wilson, TaylorMade, Cleveland Golf and more. Often, Facebook will recommend related interest areas for you to consider.

Sponsored Stories and Offers have limited targeting abilities and are generally applied to the original post (located under the post, directly to the left of the Okay/Post button). For these posts, you can target within your current fanbase by location or language.

Test & Optimize Smart
Facebook Power Editor is a great tool to help manage and optimize your various Facebook Ads. Power Editor allows you to bulk update your ads, saving lots of time when updating bid amounts or posting bulk ads.

When you setup your Facebook advertising, you’ll want to start with a couple copy and image variations. (Facebook has a few image rules you should be aware of, including text limits and content limits within ads.) Having multiple copy and image variations will help you set up A/B tests, and ultimately  make you better ads in the future by determining what ads work best for your audience.

Offers, Sponsored Stories and Promoted Posts don’t require as much day-to-day optimization other than checking on budgets.

How Do I Measure My Results Once the Campaign is Over?
CPC, Actions, CPM, Impressions, etc. Facebook offers a wide variety of metrics for you to review and decide on. For a beginner, it can be overwhelming to see everything at once. A couple tried-and-true metrics to help guide your progress are Average Cost Per Fan for acquisition ads and Reach for engagement ads.

Average Cost Per Fan is the total spend divided by the number of fans you’ve acquired. The current average is $1.20 fan, however depending on when you advertise, you’ll be able to come in much lower. For example, advertising in November and December can cost more than in April because of increased competition for ad space.

Reach is a constantly changing metric provided by Facebook on individual posts. Reach is essentially the number of people who have seen your post. To find reach, hover your over on the bottom of each post, there is a “X people saw this post.” Divide that number by the number of fans, and you’ll find the post reach. Post reach depends heavily on the size of your fanbase; Socialbakers has a nice graph showing what type of reach you should expect based on your community size.

With the basics of how to advertise on Facebook covered, are you ready to start your first campaign? What will you be advertising?

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