Facebook Advertising 101

The number one question that inevitably comes up during any Facebook marketing conversation is: How do I get more fans? Valid question, even if it tends to get over valued in the scheme of Facebook marketing. However, I will step off my soap box about quality over quantity and talk about building your ‘likes’ using Facebook advertising, as it is one of the best ways to build your numbers.

Facebook Advertising has three main types of advertisements you can run, based on what you are promoting in the advertisement – Facebook page, External Website or what’s called a Sponsored Story. For the purposes of first covering the basics, let’s start with how to create an advertisement for the first two types and save Sponsored Stories for another day.

To create an advertisement, type in www.facebook.com/ads/ while logged into your Facebook account as the administrator of your page. This will bring you to the main page that describes Facebook ads. It may be a good idea to snoop about for a bit to get a bit more of an understanding of the power of the tool. Next, select ‘Create Ad’ and it will bring you to a screen that will walk you through the three main steps to create your first Facebook advertisement.

Advertising Creative

The first step in creating a Facebook advertisement is to design it. First, make sure that your settings are correct at the top. Your destination should be your Facebook page, your Type should be ‘Facebook Ads for Pages’ and then your landing tab can be any of your Facebook tabs. If you want them to land on your current landing page, then select ‘default’. If you’d like them to land on another tab, for example your email newsletter signup, then select your email newsletter tab in the drop-down. You must make sure these settings are correct before moving into the design of the advertisement as these options control what you see in the design options below.

Facebook Advertising DesignYour advertisement design is the next step, which is crucial for attracting attention on Facebook. When advertising your Facebook page, the default title will always be the name of your page. Facebook doesn’t want you misrepresenting yourself, so that is the mandatory title.

You get 135 words in your text area, but remember that less is more here. Come up with short, punchy things to say and don’t forget to ask for the ‘like’ in the text.

Finally, you have the option of using your page image as the image, but that’s not the best option here as the image is the most powerful aspect of the whole advertisement, arguably. Colorful, striking and relevant images will get you noticed while a simple logo is perhaps not the best option.

Advertisement Targeting

The next section controls who sees your advertisement on Facebook. This is where the true power lies in Facebook advertising as people are themselves on Facebook, typically, and an amplified version in some cases. Facebook tracks these things to learn more about you and then allows advertisers to target you (anonymously) in order to provide users with more relevant information. For example, if you talk a lot about cooking, share a lot of recipes and follow cooking related pages, they will probably group you with others that like cooking and allow businesses to target you as a chef.

Facebook Advertising DemographicsThe first section of this area is demographics – location all the way down to the zip code, which is SUPER important for local businesses. Don’t overlook this as you don’t want to waste money on people that live outside your served area. You can also narrow it down by age and gender to only advertise to those people that are your target audience. For example, if you are a men’s salon you may choose to only advertise to the gents. Or, if around Fathers Day you want to encourage the wives to invest in their husbands grooming, you may reverse this. Depending on what your advertising objective is, you’ll modify your design and targeting accordingly.

Facebook Advertising Broad Interest TargetingIn between the basic and the advanced demographics is the interests area. This section has two options: Broad Interest Categories (shown) or Precise Interest Targeting. The first option allows you to select categories and subcategories to target people on broader interest groups. For example, if you are doing an photography art showing at your salon, you may select ‘Activities->Photography’ to find people that appreciate artistic photography.

Estimated ReachThe second option in the interests targeting is the precise interest targeting, where you will type in a term and then a list of suggested items will show up below. These suggested terms are broken into topics, which will have a hash tag (#) and precise interests which use terms people have shared on Facebook in the past. These may be drawn from their listed interests, activities, education and job titles, pages they like, etc. You can have a long list of things listed and every time you add something you’ll notice the audience number changes to the right of your screen.

Facebook Advertising ConnectionsNext you have the option of narrowing down your audience numbers based on their current connections. This can be who is already connected to you, who isn’t already connected to you or even friends of people connected to you. Forget the ‘Advanced connection targeting’ for now as that’s for people with multiple pages and applications on Facebook.

Facebook Advertising Advanced DemographicsAt the bottom of the targeting area you can expand the targeting options by selecting the tree titled ‘Show Advanced Targeting Options’. These options are an extension of the basic demographics at the top including education, relationship preferences and languages. Lots of targeting options here as you can really get targeted and personal by narrowing down the audience. For example, if you have a huge company in your neighborhood and you want to target all users that work there, you can target them based on where they work. Sneaky…

Advertising Bidding

Phew! You still with us? Well, this is the final area of Facebook ads so you’re on the homestretch. This section controls how much you are willing to pay for the click or the impression and how long you want the advertisement to run.

Facebook Advertising BiddingFirst, you must create a campaign for the advertisement to belong to. Typically you will have multiple advertisements that belong to a single campaign. For example, you may be promoting an event at your salon that you will have multiple advertisements running to attract attention. It’s a good idea to come up with a variety of advertisements for your Facebook campaign so that you appeal to a broader audience. What attracts one target user won’t attract the next. Also remember to rotate your ads as they typically have a shelf life of only 24 to 48 hours. After that, your clicks will go down and your costs per click will go up. Create your campaign and enter an amount that you are willing to spend each day or in total for this campaign.

Next, you can select a duration for your campaign to run. You can run it until you manually stop it by selecting the first check box, or you can automatically start and stop the advertisement using the calendar options.

The final option is for the bidding. You can choose one of two modes available – simple and advanced/manual. For beginning users, simple bidding is best as it will automatically fluctuate based on the marketplace. If you select advanced/manual be prepared to log in daily at least to monitor your advertisements and adjust your bids. What you place in this box is what you are willing to pay as a maximum. This isn’t necessarily what you will pay, but it’s the most you are willing to pay. For example, if your ad is performing really well, then your cost per action goes down even if your bid stays the same because Facebook will prioritize and ‘reward’ advertisements that seem to be desirable with the targeted audience. If you select the advanced mode, you can choose between CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per mille, or cost per 1000 impressions).

Once you are satisfied with the advertisement settings, select Place Order. You will have to first set up a payment method if you haven’t already done so. Follow the prompts to add a credit card to your order.

Remember, advertising on Facebook requires a lot of monitoring for quality and an understanding of the advertising metrics that are available. More on this later, but tell us how your Facebook advertisements are working!

Author Bio: Valorie Reavis

Social Marketer, foodie, closet geek

A marketing professional who has focused primarily on the hair and beauty business for of the past decade, Valorie now runs linkup marketing, a digital marketing agency for the hair and beauty professional. Valorie works to engage clients in the marketing process and help them successfully engage with their clients and community. Energetic and passionate about the industry, Valorie focuses on blending traditional and digital media in order to bring salons closer to their clients.

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