Facebook has more than 2.2 billion monthly active users, making it a great place for businesses to reach consumers. Your business probably already has a Facebook page, but changes to the platform’s algorithm over the past few years has made it increasingly difficult to reach people organically.
Luckily, Facebook also offers plenty of advertising options for businesses. If you’re looking to pay to boost your posts or create effective ad content on the platform, here are some expert tips.
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Facebook Ad Best Practices
Know Your Target Audience
In order for any type of communication to be effective, you need to have a clear idea of who you’re speaking to. That rule applies to Facebook ads as well. So before you even start crafting your message or setting your budget, you need to narrow your target audience, potentially even creating a specific persona.
Alex Fedotoff, Facebook ad expert and founder of AF Media, said in a phone interview with Small Business Trends, “When people are first getting into Facebook advertising, they tend to focus on all of the technical things, which are good and important. But they tend to miss the fundamental aspect of figuring out which customers they want to attract to their business.”
Create a Unique Offer
From there, Fedotoff recommends creating some kind of offer that would get people’s attention, like a free gift that’s specifically tailored to your target customers. He used the example of a dentist office targeting high end clients by giving away an electric toothbrush with certain procedures.
He adds, “On Facebook, you’re dealing with people who are looking at posts from their friends and news stories and other content they care about. So you need to offer them something that’s good enough to get them to stop scrolling.”
When crafting your content, it’s important to keep in mind that people on Facebook are usually looking at funny posts from their friends. So a serious or salesy ad is going to feel disruptive to their experience. Tim McCabe, creative director and cofounder of CardFool, has found that keeping the mood light is a better way to approach it.
He said in an email interview with Small Business Trends, “For us, a visual company, we understand that what audiences want to see is ‘fun in their feed.’“
You can also go the extra mile and create some funny content that’s going to entertain your target customers. This can help to build some awareness for your brand. And if you can tie in your actual products as CardFool does, even better.
McCabe says, “We have found that people like Halloween jokes and cat jokes and general humor cards.”
Fedotoff says that one of the biggest mistakes he sees brands make on Facebook is just trying to sell to consumers rather than providing them with some kind of value. Your ad first has to get their attention and convince them to get in touch with you in some way. Once they’re in your funnel, you can focus on selling.
Layer Targeting Tools
Facebook offers some powerful targeting options to help you reach your target customers. Fedotoff specifically suggests targeting users based on interests and using the lookalike audiences tool to find people who are similar to your current customers. You can even use multiple options at once to get really specific. Then play around with different combinations to find what works best.
He says, “We all use Facebook on a daily basis. And that helps Facebook to accumulate a huge amount of data that they can use to serve advertisers and create a better advertising experience.”
You probably share more on Facebook than just funny posts or valuable offers, which is totally fine. But you don’t need to pay to boost every single thing you post.
McCabe says, “We learned early on that not every post needs to be promoted and advertised. Pick and choose based off of timing, holiday season, what is selling, etc. And to be responsive whenever you see a pattern or something that works.”
Brand Your Ad Content
Of course, your main goal with any type of advertising is to get more people to buy from you. But not all of those sales necessarily happen right away. McCabe says that CardFool has also used Facebook advertising as a way to help people understand the brand better. So it’s important that your ads have a recognizable voice and design so people can associate it with your brand.
Set Up a Funnel
One of the best ways to get results from Facebook ads is to direct people to your website or another location where you can control the interaction. It can help to set up landing pages that are specifically for people coming from Facebook so you can effectively sell to them.
Measure Results and Make Adjustments
Of course, your Facebook ad practices will evolve over time as you learn and grow. So it’s important to have a system in place for measuring what is most effective.
Fedotoff says, “Having coupon codes that a person can use throughout their journey as a customer lets you measure the response and the actual sales from people using that specific coupon code. A lot of people focus on metrics like likes and shares. But that doesn’t tell you how much traffic or how many sales you made because of your campaign.”