Facebook Advertising – Do’s & Don’ts
As a Freelancer I need to know a lot of things about Facebook, especially since I’m working in a Community & Social Media Management environment. Recently I stumbled upon something that I nearly had forgotten. I normally don’t rely on Facebook advertising as I’m not such a big fan of it since I’m more the “organic” engagement guy. But one of my customers wanted to promote a giveaway that we’re currently running.
Apparently, I made a mistake while creating the giveaway image. I had too much text for too less image. Normally that’s something that doesn’t concern me since I don’t run ads on Facebook without my client demanding it directly. But in this case, it was my fault, I could’ve thought about it before. Well, shit happens I could say, but I’m not that kind of person. I evaluate myself and I evaluate my strategies quite often to become better and better.
That’s why I put together a little “Do’s & Don’ts” for Facebook ads.
Metrics and objectives are important!
There’s a difference between just boosting your Facebook fan counter and setting up a proper ad with a certain value for your cause. If you just want to boost the counter, than make sure that you calculated the Cost-Per-Fan before to ensure that you’re still affordable scaling up the presence of your social media. (Unless you’ve got a money-printing machine which would come handy in such situations.) If you’re more interested in getting the engagement counter up and running high, tracking engagements (Comments, Shares & Likes) as well as a Cost-Per-Engagement calculation might be more suitable for you. And Facebook also thought about that as their ad tool comes along with a lot of different options to use the ads for multiple purposes. It’s important to figure out what you want and especially, what you want your campaign to achieve BEFORE you start spending money.
Audience! Important? YES!
There’s no other network that offers such defined options as Facebook when it comes to the exact demographic targeting functionality of your ad. You can target people based on their gender, age, employer, education and of course geography location.
Example: 25-30 year-old male individuals with college degrees in Paris that work for a gaming industry employer and like Barbie on Facebook
Facebook also provides the option to target ads based on connections so that you specifically target people who’re friends with people that like your page. That option is believed to generate more effective and “real” engagement. I mean, we keep people around that have the same interested like we do, don’t we?
Why is it useful to target the ad on a specific audience only? Well, you could just pump it out and wait for the reactions coming in but that’s not what you want. You want people that interact with your content and actually engage with it so that your Cost-Per-Engagement calculation gets a grip somewhere and proves to be useful.
You have something to offer? Then do it!
We’re humans and humans like to feel special and like they’re the King of Shizzletown. Facebook users are humans too, if we don’t count the bots and scam accounts. So they’re no exception of this rule. If you aim to get the attention of the people that you’ve targeted with your ad, then make the ad a “real” ad through offering something of value to them. Offer them a deal that they literally can’t refuse and suddenly you’re more likely to generate clicks on your ad’s content. You could also – but I don’t suggest this often – require the people to like your page first before redirecting them to ad content but that’s a bit tricky since you sometimes would have fewer people clicking your ad. I mean, it’s clickbaiting or like hunting, I wouldn’t like that either.
Change is good, change is your friend.
Facebook ads are a tiny thing to be honest. But as tiny as it is, small changes in your ad can create massive changes in your overall engagement or click-through & conversion rates. Why don’t you just try to create multiple versions of your ad with small changes to the ad image, headline or the body to find the best combination for your specific target audience. Even when you are so determined that you just found the best possible way, keep changing it every few months so that your targets won’t see the same ads over and over again.
You know the video of the very very slow spoon murderer? That’s how it feels to see the same ad for months!
- evaluate your metrics before conducting and ad
- choose your audience carefully and target the ad right
- offer something if you have something to offer
- change the ad regularly
- Be genuine
- In marketing people sometimes pretend to push the truth to a certain limit (even though we of course decline when being asked ;D ) so stay true to yourself and the brand when being on social media in general. Especially in ads we sometimes tend to stretch the possibilities or the truth more than we should. It’s still not a lie being told, more a type of clickbaiting. You know those “This women found out something so SCHOCKING that SHE LOST HER MIND!”. Avoid that. Just…avoid it.
- Frequent posting
- Frequently posting on Facebook and social media in general has a lot of advantages, but you should keep it to a certain amount of posts a day to not spam your fans even though you want to raise the organic reach again. I’ve already written something about this in Social Media Manager? WHO?! a while back.
- Trial and error posting
- Social Media is a fast paced industry and what works for brand A might not work for brand B as well as for A and for brand C it might not even work at all. So try out different types of postings to find out what community you have and how you can engage them the most. This will also benefit your ads since you know what ad type you should pick.
Mass broadcasting, why not?!
I know that Facebook’s ad tool combined with the reach mechanism can lead to the conclusion that it’s a great idea to use it for broadcasting. I mean, you can reach anybody! From your little sister to your x-grade cousin to Mr. John Doe in Doe city. But that doesn’t mean that you should treat Facebook like a megaphone to send messages in a 360-ChuckNorris-Roundhouse-Kick style. Facebook values the relevance authentic engagement when dealing with ads, so custom-tailor your ads to your audience if you’d like to get a certain raise in your campaign’s engagement.
This link isn’t supposed to be relevant, is it?
While having links in your ad in general is a good thing, having useless links in it or links that send the user to someplace absolutely irrelevant, isn’t good. Not at all. The homepage of your company, the Facebook page’s timeline, your Twitter account or the Instagram etc. aren’t viable. It’s too generic and there’s absolutely no call-to-action for the user so that they end up feeling mislead and betrayed. Send them to a relevant sub page or wherever you can fulfill the promises of the ad. That’ll help to ensure more clicks and therefore also a higher Click-Per-User revenue and might also turn the click into a conversion which is crucial if your campaign is running on a cost-per-click basis.
Selling isn’t the point…
Of course you want to sell something. You’re a brand, or at least the Social Media Manager of a brand, which pretty much is the same. Even though selling is a great thing in general, don’t sell them stuff right away unless you’re an internet shopping brand. People are on Facebook to talk to their friends and enjoy their experience there. Would you be in the mood to get something pitched to you right away? I know that I wouldn’t. So instead of suggesting them to purchase something, ask them to share, like or comment your content or get them to subscribe to your mailing list so that they can check out your products at a time of their convenience. It takes away the users anxiety towards ads just selling stuff and “covers” the intention to sell something to them. Make it smart, not clever.
Fire and forget like a machine gun is a great thing!
… not. Facebook ads provide you with so much data on how your ads perform – Yes, they actually deliver a shitload of metrics for the money you invest! – and it’d be a shame to ignore all those beautiful scales, metrics and data cascades. Maximizing your revenue and your social engagement isn’t an overnight process so keep track of it and measure the provided data to constantly improve your ads and your overall social performance.
- it’s a fine tuned device, not a mass broadcasting megaphone!
- irrelevant content and links can be bright like the sun, they’re still irrelevant!
- selling’s great, just selling is a no-no!
- the machine gun mode has no power here!
- Sending out content and constantly updating your Facebook page is like constantly receiving useless e-mails by the same person over and over again. Don’t do it.
- Negative Comments
- Negative comments happen, always. Don’t censor them, you can’t please everyone and you won’t please them through censoring their opinion on your social media page. If you don’t let them post there, they’ll post it somewhere else anyway. Just respond to them and maybe you can turn negative experiences into a great user acquisition. Give it a try!
- Private Profiles
- No….your business is still a business and you won’t turn that around by creating a personal profile named like your business just so that you can friend people. You wouldn’t like to be added as a friend by some random person, so why would you want to get added by some random business?
Do you feel like I missed something or left something out? Share it in the comments or simply send me a mail.