5 Steps To Get the Most of Facebook Ads

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Facebook sells a lot of advertising —  $1.86 Billion dollars in 2010, to be exact. Facebook ads can be a great tool to build your business. Here are 5  pointers to get the most out of your Facebook ad spending:

1. Define Your Target: The great thing about Facebook ads is the ability to precisely target an audience, geographically, demographically, even by lifestyle or affinity with other brands. If your target is in the Facebook universe, you can reach them precisely, with a small budget.

2. Test Your Ads: It can be a challenge to deliver a compelling message in just a short headline, roughly two lines of copy, and a small image, but with a little trial and error you can create effective ads. By testing several ads, before long you will know which gets the best response.

Start by creating several ads. Test variables like image and copy, and pull underperforming ads from your rotation.  Ad performance naturally deteriorates over time, so monitor daily and rotate in new ads to keep your campaign fresh.

3. Set a Budget / Determine Your Bid: There are two approaches: bidding based on cost per click(CPC), or cost per thousand(CPM). Whichever way you go, Facebook ads are cheap — you can set a low daily budget of as little as $5 per ad per day.

Much has been written about these two approaches, as well as whether it makes sense to accept Facebook’s suggested bid.  I like to keep it simple, but there is an interesting discussion of using CPM to determine a floor CPC in this article, or you can simply set a CPC that results in an acceptable cost per fan or cost per conversion and call it a day.

Note: in either case, Facebook’s algorithm will change the cost of showing your ads based on click through rate (CTR).  As CTR falls, the cost increases, so you need to monitor CTR’s daily and manage your campaign accordingly. Facebook advertising certainly isn’t “set it and forget it”!

4. Use Conversion Tracking and Analytics: To really understand the impact of Facebook ads, you need to have Google Analytics on your website.  You can also add a Facebook tracking code to your website to track conversions, available here.  More advanced marketers may also want more than the basic Facebook insights that is standard with with every business page. An article on how to install Google analytics to your facebook page can be found here.

The key measures to look at are:  click through rate, time on page, bounce rate, conversions (for traffic to the website), or growth in likes and engagement (for traffic to a Facebook page).

5. Set Goals: For every “expert” who advises using Facebook ads to drive traffic to your website, there are just as many who advocate using Facebook ads to attract new fans to your page. Which approach you choose is based on your goals. Do you want immediate conversions or warm leads?

By driving fans to your Facebook page, you have the opportunity to engage them over and over; your message can end up on their wall, and be seen by their friends: a nice, viral approach. That said, generating immediate sales may also be possible for some businesses.

So, What’s the Downside? Facebook ads are inherently disruptive, and prospects who are in the middle of a social experience on Facebook may not be motivated to solve their problem on your website right away.

For instance, one of my clients had an above average CTR, only to have new website visitors from Facebook bounce after 12 seconds.  On the other hand, when consumers initiate an online search, the search results have their full attention.  (Note: more on this in Part 2).

Summarizing the Keys to Facebook Ad Success: Continuously improve your ads in order to keep costs down, choose goals based on your business strategy, and and monitor results to make sure your goals are met.

What Facebook advertising advice can you share?

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About Rhonda Hurwitz

Rhonda Hurwitz is a content strategist and marketing consultant who helps mid-sized businesses develop more effective online strategies. @rhondahurwitz on Twitter, and on Forbes.com: http://blogs.forbes.com/people/rhondahurwitz/
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One Response to 5 Steps To Get the Most of Facebook Ads

  1. Pingback: The Knicks Secret Weapon: Facebook Advertising! | she means business

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