Facebook can seem like a black box to many advertisers because it isn’t quite search and it isn’t quite content either. Like the other publishers, though, Facebook can be tamed. Knowing the ins and outs of this publisher can help ensure that your ads will run a significant portion of the time (an issue many clients encounter with Facebook) as well as garner a higher CTR. Efficiently and effectively using Facebook can help increase brand awareness and conversions.
Facebook best practices can be broken down into the following steps:
- Identify your goals and audience
- Target! Target! Target!
- Make your ad presentable and noticeable
- Monitor and make constant changes
Identify your targets
Facebook is one of the most popular sites in the world, garnering approximately 600 million unique visits a month. Targeting all 600 million users will be both a costly and ineffective way to manage your spend. It is key that you identify the goals of your campaign and who you want them to reach. Identifying your goals will help you choose between bidding to a CPC or CPM model. Identifying your audience will narrow down the scope of 600 million users and help you focus on only the most relevant audience.
Target! Target! Target!
Because Facebook’s reach is so wide, it is imperative that you target campaigns to the most relevant and appropriate audience. Target the audience that you believe will be most interested in your ad. For ads, you can target locations spanning from country down to city. This goes without saying, but, is often times missed: if your product is only available in certain areas, only target appropriately! Keep in mind demographics like age, language, gender, etc.
Another layer of targeting that Facebook allows is keyword targeting. Keywords are a powerful way to narrow the audience of your ad down to people who have interests which directly correlate with your offer.
Keep in mind, too, that you can target connections and friends of connections as well. Social networking is the new word of mouth!
Make your ad presentable and noticeable
As is the case with search campaigns, the text of your ad can make or break your performance. If your goal is brand recognition, it’d be wise to include company name directly in the headline. If you have other motives, be sure to highlight any special offers or unique features of your service or product in the ad. Although it is suggested that you include special deals and offers, your ad should also be simple, concise, and to the point. Using proper punctuation and grammar can go a long way in making your ad more presentable and attractive to users. Keep in mind that you do have a bit more room to play with here than you do with traditional search campaigns in Google or Bing (135 characters versus 70).
Lastly, to make your ads more noticeable, use a call to action as well as a relevant, appropriate image. Calls to action should let the user know exactly what you expect of them once they click on your link. For example: “Browse our fine wine selection now!” They will also entice users to click on your ad. A presentable image is both relevant to your product and aesthetically pleasing. Facebook max image size is 110x80 pixels – something to keep in mind during the image resizing process.
Monitor and make constant changes
Simply changes to campaigns can drastically alter performance. If you’re noticing that your CTR is low, you can change the message to include a different call to action. If your ad’s reach isn’t large enough, you can set less restrictive targets . These are simple fixes that can alter your account performance.
A little tip that I learned is that upon the launch of a Facebook ad, Facebook will provide you with an estimated audience reach. When you arrive at approximately three times that estimated reach, Facebook will begin to phase you out and show your ad at a dramatically lower rate. Once this happens, you’ll see impressions drop quite a bit. Because of this, it is suggested that you pause existing ads and create new ads every couple of days. The nifty thing here is that even the slightest change to the ad will trigger editorial again. Once the ad passes editorial, you essentially have yourself a brand new ad...until you hit three times the estimated reach, of course. The Facebook study below demonstrates this behavior quite well.