Facebook is making it harder for you to reach your page’s fans without paying to advertise. Before you open up your wallet, make sure you’re doing all you can to get your Facebook page’s content seen.
Remember when Facebook was an outstanding—and free way to reach your customers? Those days are almost over.
This constant ratcheting down of organic reach has angered business owners but with its advertising revenue growing, Facebook is saving those coveted positions in peoples’ newsfeeds for businesses willing to pay for advertising.
Before you pay, you want to know how to do Facebook advertising the right way. Of course, everybody has their strategies but some of the best practices apply to all businesses.
1. Your creative HAS to be amazing!
Just because you pay doesn’t mean your ad is going to work. You have a lot of competition in a user’s newsfeed and getting noticed isn’t an easy task. First, it needs an image. Make the image bright, colorful, and emotional. Make them laugh; tug on some heartstrings; use a cute puppy—anything that will grab a reader’s eye.
Next, keep your wording short and to the point. People don’t read long copy on social media. Facebook helps you keep it short by imposing character limits.
Finally, include a clear call to action. Again, Facebook helps you by giving you an option to include a button for your CTA.
2. Don’t violate the 20% rule
If your image contains more than 20% text, Facebook will reject it. If it does get through the approval process it will likely be pulled later. If you violate this rule enough times, you could be banned from the platform. Plus, a lot of words effectively ruin your beautiful picture. Save most (or all) of your text for the text sections of the ad.
3. You have to target
Sure, you could tell Facebook to show the ad to its entire user base but that’s a giant waste of ad dollars. You have to target. If you have $100 to spend, spending it on a potentially smaller audience of the right people is better than reaching millions of people—most of which will never click your ad.
Facebook’s targeting platform is highly sophisticated. If your target demographic is mothers with a household income of more than $65,000 living within 15 miles of your location, you can target just those people. If you run a driver’s education business and would like to target the same people but want only mothers with a child who just reached the age of 16, you can do that too.
Or maybe you want to target the people on your competitor’s Facebook page. That’s an option too.
Targeting offers you the ability to only show your ad to whomever you want. You don’t have to waste your ad dollars on millions of people who would never buy from your business.
4. Don’t be afraid to fail
If you have experience in the advertising market, you know that sometimes your campaign falls flat. But failure comes with valuable information. The targeting you thought would work well may not work on Facebook but you don’t know that until you try.
Instead of investing $100 into one ad, invest $10 into 10 ads (or $20 into 5 ads.) Don’t test too many variables at the same time. For this campaign test different targeting options with an ad that you’ve seen results from in the past.
When the ad is complete study your data to see which had the best click through and use that targeting option along with maybe the second or third best performing targets. The worst performing are still valuable because you now know what not to do.
5. Use Custom Audiences
What if you could upload your customer e-mail list to Facebook and the platform would find those people and put your ad in front of them? That’s a custom audience and it might be the best kept secret Facebook offers.
You know that e-mail converts better than any other type of digital advertising so why not target those people? Facebook allows you to do it.
6. You can Retarget
How is it that you can go to a retailer’s website, look at a certain product, and then see it advertised to you when you go to other websites? That’s the power of retargeting (also called remarketing.) If somebody moves through your funnel but stops at a certain point, you can run a Facebook ad only targeted to those people that clicked away. That ad might include a discount or more information to bring them back.
7. Watch your performance
Facebook’s ad manager provides all of the data you need to measure the performance of your ads. Especially watch the click through rate and cost per click. The higher the click through rate the better your ad. A high click through rate will keep your cost per click lower. The less you have to pay for each click the more mileage you will get out of your budget.
Throughout the campaign you can make changes to your ad if you’re not seeing the response you hoped for but you won’t know to adjust it if you’re not watching your metrics.
Facebook’s ad interface is easy to use but it will take a while to learn how to maximize it. There are plenty of articles with tips and tricks but the best way is to start running ads and see how they perform. Try something different the next time until you have enough data to know what works and what to avoid.
Small businesses that take the time to master the platform report huge ROI from Facebook advertising. You don’t have to be an expert. Just get started.