Facebook ads are a great way to get traffic to a particular place as you can really drill down to who you want to talk to.
You can choose who to target by:
- location – within 50 miles of a town
- demographics – male, female, age group
- interests – just about anything!
- connections on Facebook – users who are connected to certain criteria including certain pages.
Once you have decided to have a go with Facebook ads, you need to consider four things:
- What is the goal of the ad?
- Who are you trying to reach?
- What is your daily/weekly budget?
- Who is going to monitor the results?
What is the goal of the ad?
Now you might think this is obvious: you just want more fans, right? Well, not necessarily. It may be that you want more people to visit your website rather than your fan page, as you may have a sale on or a new collection being launched. In this case your ad may be pointed straight to your chosen website landing page for visitors to find our more.
If your goal is to generate brand exposure and gain more fans to communicate with, your ad should be pointed to your Facebook page rather than your website.
The advantage of pointing your ad to your Facebook page is that when your visitor clicks ‘like’ and becomes a fan, you can then communicate with them through their Facebook newsfeed or by sending them an update. By sending your visitors to your website, there generally is no way for them to interact with your site and those visitors may never return, so you have lost them. Relying on them to join your mailing list may be too much to expect.
Who are you trying to reach – what is your target market?
Again you may think this is obvious, but bearing in mind how you can drill down into the Facebook database, you may have a different message for different people. Check out what you concluded in your social media plan for your target market to make sure you are targeting your ads correctly.
Let’s say you are a coffee shop and you want to create an ad to drive traffic to your Facebook page to generate more fans. Your customers could be split into three categories depending on age and wants, and so the three messages could read as follows:
- Mums – bring your little ones in for a milkshake and get a free chocolate bar when you mention Facebook.
- Students – take a break from studying and grab a hot steaming mug of creaming latte. Have a free chocolate bar on us when you mention Facebook.
- Older – we are now open until midnight, so call in for a hot chocolate before bedtime and get a free chocolate bar on us when you mention Facebook.
You get the idea? It’s a different message for different age groups, but the same product. You have a maximum of 25 characters for the title, and 133 for the body, so you may need to fiddle around with your message to make it fit.
What is your budget?
You can set it at as much or as little as you want to spend, so if you are a small company and have a budget of only $50 per week, then that is a start. Obviously the more you spend, the more visible your ad will be.
The more targeted your advert is, the smaller the number of people who will see it, but the more relevant it will be to those who do will see it. You can actually create an ad that is seen by everyone in your town who is aged 35 to 40 and is a fan of a particular page, maybe even the Facebook page of your competition. Very cool, and very targeted.
Monitor and refine your ad
Someone has to monitor your ad or ads and make adjustments where necessary. in the early days that can take a little time to do while you are getting used to it.
Check your stats daily and watch for any trends. If you’re not quite getting the results you had expected you may wish to stop the ad and start another ad that is almost the same, changing just one thing such as the image or heading. Slight changes can make a world of difference, but only change one thing at a time or you won’t know what the successful change was.
Again, monitor your results and test another aspect before doing it again. Once you are really happy with the results and with how much you are spending, you can afford to let it run for a while. Keep monitoring it though, as you may find the ad’s effectiveness will dwindle in time and you need to start the process again.
Facebook also has a great self-help area on Facebook ads, so click the ‘build audience’ link for more information.
Keep in mind that most people are on Facebook for entertainment, they are not there searching for what you have to offer, so your ad needs to stand out both visually as well as the text message in order to get people to click on it.
Ref: Marketing with Social Media: 10 Easy Steps to Success for Business, Linda Coles (2015)
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