Advertising on Facebook: A beginner’s guide

Facebook is the most powerful social media platform in the world. The site now has more than 500 million active users worldwide – and is committed to supporting small-mid size businesses who want to advertise to their users. 

How can you get in on the action?

Facebook advertising is the process of communicating highly relevant messages to specific Facebook users. Key demographic information on Facebook enables micro-targeting of selected user groups, based on criteria such as age, location, gender, marital status, education, interests and preferences. 

The social nature of Facebook means user engagement can create advocates who may share product information and feedback with friends and contacts of a similar user demographic across the platform. 

Using their Facebook pages, businesses can offer promotions and incentives to stimulate ongoing interest among their followers. 

First, click on the “adverts” section on the Facebook homepage to find out more about the Facebook Adverts campaign tool.

1. Identify your objectives 

Firstly define what you seek to achieve with your advertising campaign – sales, awareness, promotion of specific products, consumer insights or engagement? The answer will help shape your campaign.

2. Select target groups based on consumer insights 

Use age, location, gender, interests and preferences as your key client criteria. Focus on those criteria you already know when you target your first adverts. Remember, targeting small focused groups by their interests tends to work best. 

3. Develop engaging offers 

Facebook advertising works best when you offer consumers something that is both interesting and relevant to them. For example a lady with an “engaged” status is likely to be interested in wedding services, while a single, 19-year-old male is not. Facebook ads are also great for launches and bargains, so promote time or product-limited offers using competitive prices or two-for-one offers. 

4. Keep the copy brief 

Adverts need an engaging title and compelling copy, supported by strong images. People do not generally respond to lengthy ad copy on Facebook as their attention spans are limited. Be sure to include the price and delivery costs. Also, remember to include a call to action and make it easy for readers to respond. 

5. Use product-specific landing pages 

Facebook enables you to advertise a specific website, event, interest group or landing page once people click on your ad – this could also be your Facebook page. Once on the page, make it easy to place an order. Remove all other offers, keep the product description clear and simple to read, use high-quality pictures and make it easy to check out or sign up. 

6. Use product images instead of logos 

Strong product images or people photos within Facebook ads tend to produce better results than logos. 

7. Update your ads regularly 

Facebook is all about the users. They don’t want to see the same ads too often, so create fresh ads on a regular basis – customise the same ads for different groups, change the imagery and keep adjusting your ad copy and offers with small adjustments in response to new opportunities. Use your successful ads as a template for future iterations.

8. Track your campaigns 

Make sure you understand which ads are successful and focus the budget on these – those with one specific objective tend to achieve best results. The Facebook Insights tool enables you to monitor advertising success and understand where improvements can be made. Google Analytics can monitor visitor pathways to your website.

9. Automate your ad management 

Avoid wasting time on labour-intensive ad creation, when much of this work can be automated. There are many tools available for small businesses on a budget. 

10. Start slowly and tweak as you go 

By clicking on “Create an advert”, you’ll find a straightforward tool to help you create your first advert, or to manage simple campaigns: 

Fredrik Holmén is MD of Keybroker UK.

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