We’re starting off our Facebook Advertising & Marketing Guide with some general tips and tricks for advertising on Facebook. Learn how to select your campaign objectives, use various Facebook advertising formats for different needs, control the costs of advertising on Facebook, and more.
1. Go in with established goals. Do you want more website visits? More Facebook likes? More fan engagement? Each of these metrics has its own value, so choose your main objective before you get started. The Facebook ad type you go with will depend on what you’re trying to achieve. Facebook’s new advertising scheme guides you to recommend ad formats based on your primary goal.
2. New to Facebook advertising and not sure where to start? Try starting with the Page Likes objective – you’ll build your audience and encourage folks to like your page. More likes make you look popular, which encourages more people to like you in a domino effect – it’s a safer alternative to buying followers on social media.
3. Try Facebook Offers to capture attention! Facebook Offers works similar to the GoogleOffers Extensions, letting you promote a deal exclusively to Facebook users. Try using an offer to give away an item – maybe an ebook or whitepaper – in exchange for an email address. Or create an offer or discount to be redeemed in your brick and mortar store. It’s recommended that you target your first Facebook Offer to just your fans. If it goes over well, then you can widen your net to larger audiences.
4. Drive downloads for your mobile app. With nearly half of Facebook activity being conducted on mobile devices, Facebook is a clever option for mobile app developers looking to promote their creation.
5. Include a clear and direct call to action. Include a call to action in the body text of your Facebook paid ad to encourage FB users to take your desired action.
6. Use your Facebook ads to highlight special deals. Facebook paid advertising can be used to call attention to your latest deals and sale events.
7. You don’t need a Facebook Page to create a Facebook ad. You can create an ad for a website by selecting the Clicks to Website objective or the Website Conversions objective. Be aware though that Facebook ads not connected with a Facebook page will appear exclusively in the right column, not in the News Feed.
8. Try activating Sponsored Stories as an add-on. When someone interacts with your Facebook page, offer, event, etc. the action triggers a post, or “story,” that the user’s friends may then see in their News Feed. These “stories” are generated naturally but are often buried in the News Feed. Opting for sponsored stories basically means you are paying to increase the likelihood that these stories will be seen. You can opt in or out of sponsored stories in the left column of the ad creator tool.
9. Customize your ad headline. When promoting a Facebook page, the automatic setup is for the ad headline to be the same as your page’s title. Instead of leaving it as-is, type out your own customized ad headline to make the ad more enticing. Aside from your image selection, the headline is one of the main ways your ad will make an impact (or fail to).
10. FB ads can do more than you think. Using Facebook for advertising can help you promote a page, app, or even an event! Exercise all your options.
11. Let others help with your ads. When you add another administrator to your Facebook ads account, they can stop and edit promotions for your page. To add another admin, go to Ad Manager > Settings > Scroll down to Ad Account Roles > Add a User. The user must either be your friend on Facebook or have their email address be searchable on Facebook. Simply choose their access level and click Add.
12. Selecting a bidding option. You can choose from a number of different bid setups for controlling Facebook advertising costs. You can bid for clicks, impressions, or your desired objective (e.g., Facebook page likes). If you choose the recommended (and selected by default) option of bidding based on your objective, your bid will automatically be set to help you reach your objective, whereas bidding for clicks or impressions allows for more customization.
13. Choose between daily or lifetime budget. As an advertiser, you can choose to set up a daily budget or a lifetime budget. A daily budget controls how much you will spend on a specific campaign per day. Your ads and sponsored stories stop showing once you hit your daily ad budget, helping your budget Facebook advertising rates based on each daily cycle. Lifetime budget lets you select how much you want to spend over the entire span of time a campaign is scheduled to run. Don’t forget that each campaign has a separate budget, so plan accordingly to keep Facebook advertising prices within your comfort zone.
14. Want to change you ad campaign? You can edit your campaign’s end date or budget anytime after the campaign has started running. While you can’t change your minimum daily spend limit (it’s set at $50), you can change your daily ad budget, which ultimately is what really controls the cost of Facebook advertising.
Images are a powerful tool you can utilize for creating engaging, eye popping Facebook ads. Learn how to make the most of your Facebook image ads.
1. Go crazy with the images! Posts and Facebook PPC ads with images get much higher engagement than those without, as they help your ad or post stand out from a flooded news feed.
2. Add multiple images to your ads. Add multiple images to a Facebook PPC ad for extra variety and to test how different images coupled with your ad text perform. You can upload up to six images to accompany your ads at no extra cost.
3. On image ads, keep text under 20%. Facebook advertising rules dictate that image-based Facebook ads that are set to appear in users’ news feeds won’t get approved if the text takes up more than 20% of the image space. Facebook has a grid tool to help ensure that your image ad follows the guidelines, but as Jon Loomer has noted, sometimes you can get around this simply by moving your text around slightly.
4. What size image should you use? Facebook recommends uploading an image that is 1200×627 pixels for your ads. You’ll be provided with more specific image size recommendations depending on the type of ad you’re creating, but make sure your image is at least 600 pixels wide for appearing in the News Feed.
Facebook advertising has some incredible targeting capabilities that can help you tailor your message and target your desired audiences. Take full advantage of Facebook advertising targeting options to create highly successful Facebook ad campaigns.
1. Take advantage of advanced targeting options. Facebook has a ton of awesome and unique targeting options for FB paid ads you won’t find elsewhere. You can target audiences by location, age, gender, workplace, relationship status, language, education and more.
2. Zone in on your ideal audience with interest targeting. In addition to the targeting options mentioned above, Facebook allows for some incredible deep interest targeting. This provides tremendous value, and the interest targeting capabilities alone can justify your use of Facebook advertising.
3. Make new friends or focus on the old. You can target your Facebook ads exclusively to users who are already connected to your Facebook page, or you can choose to target them and their friends, or those who aren’t connected to your page yet at all. (Remember that extending your reach may reduce the relevance of your audience and cost a little more.)
4. Keep an eye on your potential audience meter. As you add targeting options and narrow your audience, Facebook will generate an approximate number of people you’ll reach. This is only an estimate, but can help you make sure you’re not targeting too many people (or too few). Ads perform best when they’re targeted to at least a few thousand people, so consider removing some restrictions if your audience is dipping below this.
5. Narrow your target with more categories. If you only have a few interests targeted, try adding related topics in the “More Categories” section. There you’ll find options for narrowing your audience even further – choose users who have had a birthday recently, who upload a lot of photos on Facebook, etc.
6. Want to bring customers in store? Try targeting people who live in your town or local area. Couple this with Facebook Offers to be redeemed in store and see just how much in-store footfall you can get from being social.
7. Upload your mailing list to Facebook. If you’re looking to build upon existing leads, you can add a custom audience and upload your mailing list directly to Facebook, enabling you to target users you have an existing relationship with. Taking advantage of the custom audiences feature often increases ad conversion rates. You can upload a mailing list or connect directly with Mail Chimp. Just click “Create New Audience” in the Audiences section.
We’ve covered all the nitty gritty need-to-knows about Facebook advertising. Now it’s time to move on to the Facebook marketing, with tips and tricks that will help your Facebook business page grow, draw in new followers, and remain engaged with customers.
1. Host a Contest! In the past marketers were required to use a third-party application for FB contests, but Facebook recently changed their policy and now allows contests to be hosted directly on Facebook. Hosting a giveaway or contest on Facebook has never been easier!
2. Hide valuable content behind a like barrier. Hiding valuable content behind a like barrier will get more likes to your page – be sure to include a colorful and captivating call to action graphic to seal the deal.
3. Try a large photo instead of the auto-generated article box. Trying to drive traffic to a blog post or article you’re sharing? Instead of using the automatically generated link and image block generated by Facebook, attach your own larger image to the post and add the link to the blog post as a neat and tidy bitly URL. A larger image can do a better job of capturing attention. A/B test this technique and see if your clicks improve from the regular auto-generated format.
- Option #1: Text with auto-generated link box with small image.
- Option #2: Insert text with a bitly link to the article and upload a separate image.
- Option #3: Add text with bitly URL. Create custom image with text overlay and upload it to attach to your post. This is a bit more work but can really pay off.
4. Lights, camera, YouTube. Videos have crazy high engagement rates, so use them in your posts to get some serious attention.
Redbull has a huge following thanks to their high-quality, visually captivating content
Oreo uses video content on Facebook to engage with followers in a unique way, inviting them to play a game
5. Keep it short. Concise posts tend to fare better than their lengthier counterparts – it’s recommended that you trim down your words to somewhere between 100 and 250 characters for optimal engagement. No one’s looking to read the next great American novel in their News Feed.
Way too much text happening here!
6. Update your cover photo. Change your Facebook cover to mix things up. Changing a cover photo to reflect a season or time of year shows fans that you are making an effort to be active and stay relevant. Updating your cover photo to advertise a special sale or giveaway will also help those events get more attention than they might receive otherwise.
Petco does a great job of incorporating a seasonal element into their cover photo
7. Post frequently and consistently. Don’t worry about overdoing the posts – as long as they are spaced evenly through the day, you’ll be fine. Only 16% of your fans will see one post (if even that), as news feeds easily become over populated. The more you post, the better your chances are of being seen. However, do remember to focus on quality over quantity – every post should be of value, not just something thrown quickly together.
8. Use Facebook Insights to measure your success. Insights lets you see your most popular and successful posts in terms of link clicks, shares, and likes. This data is extremely valuable and ignoring it is like ignoring conversion tracking for AdWords – it’s just plan silly! You should be using this data to see what you’re doing right, and then do more of it.
9. Deliver shout outs with Facebook tagging: Including tags in your posts is a great way to broaden your exposure, especially when working with other organizations. If you run a doggy grooming company and are giving away Petco squeaky toys, tag them with an @Petco. When they see the tag, they’ll be more likely to share your post with their fans, multiplying your reach by a ton! There’s no reason not to be generous with tags. Tag conferences you’re attending, businesses whose articles you’re sharing, favorite clients, etc. Everyone likes to get noticed, and they’ll remember that you were the one to put them in the limelight.
Mei Mei’s Street Kitchen tags organizations they are teaming up with in posts
10. #Hash it out: In a similar vein, Facebook has hashtags enabled and you might as well use them. Hashtags are a great tool for promoting a specific campaign you want to raise awareness of (like our own recent #GradeAndGetPaid). It’s a nice way to seamlessly connect Twitter and Facebook marketing efforts. Hashtags also help categorize your posts by topic, and while the popularity of Facebook hashtags isn’t exactly skyrocketing, you can search hashtag terms to discover fan conversations you may want to participate in.
Searching hashtags can help you discover competitors, generate ideas, monitor industry conversations, and more
11. Share testimonials on Facebook. Testimonials are always powerful, and that rule continues on Facebook. However, it’s good to think outside the box when delivering testimonials on a social network. Rather than bland words, incorporate photos, videos, or other media.
Domino’s uses Twitter shout outs and rehashes them as visual testimonials
12. Ask questions! Facebook users love to get their voices out and feel heard. Try incorporating questions or surveys into your posts for engagement. Keep the questions simple though – no one feels like filling out the SATs on Facebook.
13. Participate in fun themed posts: Joining in on weekly movements like #ThrowbackThursday or posting about goofy holidays gives you a chance to have fun with fans.
14. Share exclusive content for Facebook fans. Posting special, top secret content just for fans on Facebook adds a sense of exclusivity and belonging for your following. Post information or tidbits they might not find elsewhere.
15. Share fan-created content. Sharing fan-made content is a great way to bolster a true sense of community among your followers. It shows that you care and makes fans feel valued and appreciated – who doesn’t want that?
M&Ms marks their fan-crafted content with a special seal before sharing it
16. Fill in the blanks. Another strategic post format to drive engagement is the fill in the _____ tactic. Users’ eyes are drawn to the _________, and getting eyeballs is half the battle. Make sure to incorporate a large colorful photo for added attention. Track your engagement metrics and see how the post performs!
Disney is taking advantage of the fill in the blanks strategy while capitalizing on animated nostalgia and utilizing a bright, colorful image. A+
17. Photo captions. Asking for users to provide a caption to an exciting or laugh-worthy photo is another smart strategy to drive interaction and engagement.
18. Don’t quote me on this, but quotes rock. Posts involving inspiring or life-affirming quotes often perform very well. For an added bonus, attach a photo to your quote – even better, do Pinterest-style image/quote overlay. People eat that stuff up!
19. Jump on the meme wagon: Memes work on the same principle as quotes, but with auto meme generators they are easier to create. Folks love ‘em though! We create our own PPC memes from time to time and they tend to do well.
20. Have users “vote” with the Like and Share buttons. As we’ve said, people love to express their thoughts and opinions on Facebook. Sometimes they like it too much, but you might as well have those soapbox speakers benefit you! Ask users to choose option A or option B, with a vote for A as a “Like” and a vote for B as a “Share.” You’ll get some of both and will broaden your post reach and engagement a TON. The more controversial the topic, the more engagement you’ll be likely to see.
Walmart’s example found on Social Media Examiner is an especially good template to follow – they incorporated their brand and added a nice Like vs. Share overlay which lets us understand what’s being asked for, even without the post text.
We’ve delivered a healthy dose of Facebook advertising and Facebook marketing tips today. Try out some of these social strategies and report back – do you have a favorite trick of driving engagement on Facebook? Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments.
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