Today’s guest post is by Craig Robinson. He works as Editor for a Facebook Ad manager tool called Qwaya. Besides writing about topcis like this one, Craig covers other trends within Social Media for Qwaya and he has studied Social Context and Media-Communication Science.
Facebook is a great marketing channel for small businesses. If you put some effort into creating and tweaking your campaigns, you may outperform bigger competitors who won’t spend as much time on a single niche. But it takes a lot of testing and result analysis to succeed. You can’t just put up an ad and wait for it to convert.
Before we go any further, let’s quickly look at the advertising options available on Facebook.
Social or Antisocial Ads
You could say that Facebook ads range from classic, banner-like online ads to social recommendations.
The first category consists of the ads you see to the right of your news feed. When you click them you’re usually directed to a company’s webpage where you’re supposed to sign up or make a purchase.
Remember, though, that you can still be quite creative when you make these ads even though there are rather strict rules regarding text length and image size etc. Here’s a short list with great tips on how to change things up.
Just keep in mind that you need to have material in the ad that is followed up when the person clicks through to wherever the ad is pointing. Forget “smiling ladies” and generic “persons standing around having fun together.” Use pictures and texts that really represent what you are about instead.
On the other hand of the spectrum we have sponsored stories, which is a mix between an ad and a recommendation from a friend to a friend. This could be that someone comments on your fan page and the comment is converted into an ad shown to his friends. It could also be a check-in at your studio, an RSVP to an exhibition or that someone likes or tags an image you’ve posted.
Basically anything can be turned into an ad/recommendation, and for people working in creative industries, social Facebook ads are often the best option. You highlight when someone does something on your fan page and this action is then spread to this person’s friends. People see that you are “liked”.
Facebook Ads Optimization
Facebook is packed with people. Everybody is there. So your problem as an advertiser is not how to reach out to as many as possible but rather how to reach out to the right people – people who will like you, visit your website or fan page, and in the end become a customer.
Because of this you have to use demographic features when you’re creating your ads, such as age, interests, geographic locations etc.
My biggest advice for aspiring Facebook advertisers is to test everything – different type of ads and different targeting. This is the only way to really find out what which your best target groups are and what kind of ads they respond to.
One such group could be women in Seattle who like photography and are between ages 25-35. If you approach them with both traditional Facebook marketplace ads as well as sponsored stories you’ll soon find out what ad type matches your business goals and then you carry on using the best-performing ads.
You can of course organize the ads yourself through Facebook, but it’s a bit of a hassle. You will have to keep track on your own which ads are running, when they are running, how much impressions they get and so on. After a while this can cause some problems as you are probably spending money on stuff you don’t want.
When you’ve started to run several campaigns simultaneously you might benefit from using a tool to help you keep track of where you are in the advertising process, and perhaps even more important, which ads that actually made profit or met your business goal in terms of number of likes etc.
The only tool on the market today that provides a full self-serviced solution is Qwaya. The tool is completely browser based so that you can access it anywhere. Qwaya has direct access to Facebook’s API which means that it’s always updated with the latest segmentation features and demographic options.
Most Important Thing When Making Ads
When realizing that Facebook is full of people with different interests and demographics it’s easier to create ads with them in mind. One key thing to remember is to always A/B test ads for the same demographic group and follow up on the result.
Don’t just run ads and hope for the best. You might improve the results if you tweak them a bit. Use the statistics that you get from Facebook, perhaps Google Analytics or some other tracking source. In doing so you will be able to quickly move your advertising budget to ads that perform well and cancel ads that just cost you money.
Again, the key is to start advertising to different people in different ways and then let the results dictate the future.
These are just some short tips on Ads for Facebook. If you are interested in learning more you can check out this page for more Facebook marketing strategy tips.
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Thank you very much for providing this summary. I really appreciate the efforts you have made for this blog.