Facebook offers an advertising system similar to Google‟s Adwords platform. You can easily select who your target audience is, set a daily budget and also measure your results. You also have the option of choosing to pay based on the number of times your ad appears or to pay for clicks.
However, unlike Google, Facebook ads are more interactive allowing people to do everything from becoming a fan of a Page, watching a video or respond to an event all from within the ad unit without having to navigate to another page. This is extremely powerful because, if your goal is to increase the number of fans for your Page, it is much easier to get people to agree if they don‟t have to leave the page they are currently on.
You have a choice of three types of advertisements, namely the regular PPC text ad, a graphic display ad which also includes an image or their unique interactive ads which are known as engagement ads. You will have to order the latter through an advertising sales rep as they aren‟t available in the automatic system, though.
Good Advertising Practices on Facebook
Just as with any advertising campaign, make sure that users receive what the ad promises them once they click through. Additionally, make sure to keep it a social and interesting experience because that is why they are on Facebook, after all.
Facebook gives you the option to link to another Facebook page, profile, group or event in your ad or to an external website. You don‟t have to prove that you are the owner of the website, which means that you can use affiliate links in your ads. This can be a powerful way of testing conversion rates of various products you are considering promoting as well as the effectiveness of landing pages.
However, it is considered good practice to link to an internal Facebook page as users are on Facebook for the social experience. For this reason, you should also consider crafting your message in a familiar and conversational tone because you want to maintain the social aspect of the experience. Remember that this helps to crumble the defenses of your prospects as they are so used to being bombarded with ads, they essentially ignore them. However, if you focus on the social aspect and building a relationship you will be able to slowly break down those automatic defenses and your prospects will be much more open to your commercial messages.
The Power of Facebook Ads
The biggest benefit of Facebook ads is the degree to which you can narrow your target market. Facebook allows you to build a campaign that targets users by location, age, relationship status, interests and even language as the platform is available in over 40 languages. You can essentially reach your exact audience and build a very powerful list of highly qualified and targeted leads with a few ads. This is much more cost-effective than using traditional PPC since you know that the people you are targeting will be interested in what you have to say.
Common Ad Mistakes
Just as there are good advertising practices, so too there are mistakes that you need to avoid. Facebook has very strict guidelines when it comes to ads because they want to maintain a high quality standard, so make sure to avoid making the following mistakes so your ads can pass the review process and you can have your campaign up and running in no more than 24 hours.
Bad grammar, spelling, punctuation and slang. This is your business you are promoting after all so what will your inability to write a short ad show your prospects? While you want to maintain the social aspect of the site that doesn‟t mean you should be unprofessional.
Bait and switch is a common practice that leads to disaster. Don‟t tell your prospects one thing to trick them into visiting your page or website and then offer them something completely different. Not only will your ads never pass the review but if they do slip through you will create a bad name for yourself. While it may work in the short term, it isn‟t a strategy that you can use to build a long term, sustainable business.
Inappropriate images. Again, everything you post will brand your business so make sure that the images in your ad maintain the professionalism you would expect from a business you would like to work with.
Advertising ROI – Test, Measure, Optimize
Direct Facebook advertising should be treated like any PPC advertising campaign, meaning that you need to test different variations of your ad before you spend the majority of your advertising money on an approach that may not be effective. Facebook offers a wide range of tools that allow you to easily set up different campaigns, set individual budgets for each and also track their effectiveness.
The reports the Facebook Ad system offers are quite comprehensive and offer dates on everything from how many times your advertisement has been shown, to number of clicks and the average cost per click. This information is vital to testing and optimizing your ads for a higher return on investment.
Additionally, you need to test the effectiveness of your Facebook Page as well, which you can do through Facebook Insights. The latter offers information such as the degree to which fans interact with your page, how loyal your fans are, which is measured according to the number of fans who have unsubscribed over a certain period and other valuable demographics on your fans. All this information can be used to test and tweak different approaches to improve the performance of your Facebook page.