Using Facebook Social Ads

One of the marketing features Facebook offers to increase the visibility of your Page and posts is the ability to create Facebook social ads through their Ad Manager and Power Editor. Facebook is privy to an uncanny amount of personal information from its users including not just demographic data but psychographic and behavioral data, personal preferences and interests, and connections to other Pages and people.

Business owners can access the intensive customer data about its users by purchasing a variety of ads through the network. Facebook ads come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be geared toward a number of specific goals including:

Awareness Ads

Post Engagement

Page Likes

Local Awareness

Brand Awareness

Consideration Ads

Website Clicks

App Installs

Event Responses

Video Views

Lead Generation

Conversion Ads

Website Conversions

App Engagement

Offer Claims

Product Catalog Sales

Store Visits

Some of the more commonly used ads for small business are Page Likes, Local Awareness, Post Engagement, and Website Clicks.

While Facebook ads can potentially drive sales, chances are you need to build awareness and relationships over time before someone buys from you or hires you. Start with easier goals such as getting more Page Likes then work your way up to more intensive activities like signing up to receive emails, responding to polls, entering contests, and registering for events.

Facebook’s Ad Manager and Power Editor are do-it-yourself tools. As you upload images and modify text, Facebook generates a preview of how your ad will look. You can specify criteria for targeting your ad including Countries, Interests, Age Range, and Gender. While the default daily budget for ads depends on how large a following you have, you can usually pay as little as $10 to $20 for ads and boost a post for as little as $5. Facebook calculates how much reach your budget will buy so you can estimate its impact.

Each ad contains a Headline and Text and can have a Call to Action button. You can upload up to six different images to create additional ads in your campaign with no extra charge. Facebook makes recommendations on image sizes for your ads. You can also create ads with videos that you upload. You can opt to run your ad continuously until you manually stop it or run it for a custom schedule of your own choosing.

Once you've filled out the social ad insertion order, you can review your ad, make modifications, and submit it for Facebook's approval. Note that the more text you have on the images in your ads, the less likely Facebook will show the ad, and the tool even warns you if there is too much text. Once your ad runs, you can access daily stats such as number of views and clicks.

You can pause or modify your ad at any time, although if you make changes, it may have to go through the approval process again. If after a few days, you are not getting satisfactory results, you can change the image, the language, the target, or anything else that you think might be limiting your ad's success.

The best way to run social ads on Facebook is to create several and vary the goals, destinations, targets and visuals and compare results. After running the same ad for a few weeks, swap it out or modify it so it appears fresh. An ad running continuously can get stale over time and lose its effectiveness.

Make sure the social ads you place are in keeping with your company's brand image. Monitor your ads carefully. When something works, assess what helped make the ad a success. Often it is a combination of a compelling image and provocative ad copy. More than anything, be clear about your goals and how you’ll measure success of your advertising efforts.