How to advertise on Facebook

Facebook has a unique advertising reach. As social networks and smartphones have become a day-to-day part of consumers’ lives, there’s an opportunity for businesses to reach them on a phenomenal scale.

According to John Lamphiere, Facebook’s head of sales in UK and Ireland, the platform has 33,000,000 active UK users a month, 24,000,000 of whom visit every day. This outstrips all of the country’s newspaper print editions put together, and most large national TV events.

One of the key benefits of advertising on Facebook is the ability to target your ads against those members of the population who you are most keen to reach. This makes great sense – why waste money on reaching people who won’t be interested in your product?

Getting started

To advertise on Facebook you need to create an account for yourself and a page for your business. Make sure your business page is consistent with your brand by choosing appropriate profile and cover pictures and filling in as much information as possible. You will probably also want to produce content in the form of status updates and pictures but that’s not obligatory for creating an advert.

Choosing the right kind of ad

The first thing to decide is whether you want to attract people to your Facebook page or to your own website. Attracting people to your page will help build your social media audience, increasing the chance of customer retention if done well, whilst attracting people directly to your website would be the best option for short-term sales or if there is a particularly interesting piece of content on your web page.

If you’re directing people towards your Facebook page you are given the option to aim for more page likes (if you want to build your audience), or to boost a specific post (if you want to share a particularly important message/piece of content).

Creating the advert

Once you’ve decided on the destination for your ad, you need to write a snappy headline and description and upload a picture. The headline and description don’t need to be salesy, in fact it’s claimed that the most successful ads aren’t sales focused and instead offer a user a call to action or the chance to win something.

You have the option to place your adverts in users’ newsfeeds or along the bar to the right hand side, or both. Newsfeed ads give you more exposure and are more likely to be clicked on but work out more expensive per ad impression (more info on pricing later).

Choosing a striking image and using language which draws in the user are both key. You need to see these adverts as more like engaging content than a sales pitch.

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