Quick, which website gets the most traffic? If you said Facebook, you’re caught up with the times! We spend about 6 hours per month on Facebook, and with over 1 billion people on Facebook, that’s a lot of time. What it means for advertisers though is a large and captive market for their message. However, it takes clear goals, creative content, and solid analytics and tracking to create a successful ad campaign. Without a successful ad campaign, you won’t be able to create a successful Facebook presence.
Setting goals: What do you want to achieve?
With Facebook advertisements, you can:
- Increase awareness
- Generate conversions
- Build customer loyalty
Take a look at your business and decide which of these are the most important to you. For example, if you only have 10 likes on your Facebook page you might want to focus on increasing awareness, while if your page is huge but quiet, you might want to focus on building customer loyalty. It’s important to realize that Facebook ads can accomplish more than one of these goals at the same time, but make sure you know where your focus lies. If you’re feeling ambitious, create multiple ads that focus on one goal each rather than one ad that tries to achieve multiple goals.
Targeting: Who do you want to reach?
Using the Facebook power editor’s ability to target people through partner categories means you can combine likes and interests with demographic information to narrow your audience down even further.
The power editor will also allow you to upload your own list of email addresses or phone numbers in order to create a “custom audience” which is an effective way of creating a highly target campaign.
Remember, it’s easier to accurately measure the performance of many specific ad campaigns as opposed to one broad ad campaign. Just make sure your audience isn’t too narrow. Using themes (e.g. flowers, gardening) as opposed to specific words (tulips, daisies, etc.) will keep your ad targeted without making it too specific.
Did you know that each Facebook user has an average of 229 fans? People are almost twice as likely to trust word of mouth over TV, radio, and newspaper, and Facebook users are twice as likely to click an ad that references the fact that their friend likes it.
By setting your ad to target “friends of fans” you can effectively double your click through rate.
Creating your ad: How do you stand out?
The same ad will not appeal to everyone, but there are a few tips you can use to guide you in building your ad:
- Stand-out colors: Make sure your ad catches the eye.
- Well known imagery: People are more likely to click when they see something they recognize, such as a big brand logo (if your recognition is high).
- Offers: People like getting things for free. If you have an e-book or coupon you can give away, that’s something you can offer to potential customers to get them to click on your ad.
- Time specific: What’s going on in the world around you? What will your audience care about? Creating an ad that capitalizes on current events creates a connection between you and your audience.
Tracking: How do you measure and calculate the value of Facebook ads?
The typical last click model is no good when it comes to social media. Even though paths-to-purchase involving visits from a social channel are three times longer on average than those with no social visits, social traffic is more likely to appear as the first visit in a path-to-purchase than the last visit, and of user journeys that involve a social referral, the social visit is only the purchase visit for one in five consumers.
By setting up Facebook exclusive landing pages on your website (which you can simply embed in a custom page application on Facebook), or using pixels to track customers across the web, you can measure the effectiveness of your Facebook ads beyond clicks, likes, and actions.
If you think your ad is under performing, there are plenty of ways to optimize your campaign in a minimal amount of time by amplifying what’s working through sponsored stories, sponsored results, and other methods. And as always, ad optimization alone is no good without a solid content strategy and lead nurture strategy. Your Facebook ads are amplification of your organic content.
- Microtarget your ads
- Reach out to friends of fans
- Make your ad stand out
- Don’t measure your ad performance with a last click model
Dennis Yu has helped brands grow and measure their Facebook presences. He has spoken at Search Marketing Expo, Search Engine Strategies, Web 2.0, The American Marketing Association, PubCon, Conversational Commerce Conference, Pacific Conferences, HostingCon, Affiliate Summit, Affiliate Convention, UltraLight Startups, MIVA Merchant, and other venues. Yu has also counseled the Federal Trade Commission on privacy issues for social networks. Yu has held leadership positions at Yahoo and American Airlines. His educational background is finance and economics from Southern Methodist University and London School of Economics.
Teaser image courtesy of Shutterstock.