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5 Ways To Optimize Your Facebook Ads

Why advertise on Facebook? I mean there a ton of news stories out there claiming that companies are not sure if their ads are working or that their click through rate were elevated by fake accounts. There are also challenges such as a direct response problem, it’s not easily measurable, and Facebook privacy policy limits what marketers can do. Geez!

Why you should advertise on Facebook

I’ll tell you the reason why you should advertise on Facebook. First, there are essentially three types of advertising opportunities on Facebook:

  1. Negotiated premium spot (on home page/news feed),
  2. Facebook marketplace ads (you choose your own audience and compete with other advertisers), and
  3. Sponsored stories (leveraging people who are already fans and targeting their friends, e.g. word of mouth).

Second, Facebook ads have the reach (950M+ users), targeting (defining your audience), and most of all — engagement (3.2B likes and comments every day on Facebook). Whether or not Facebook ads are effective, certainly depends on your goals such as: fan acquisition, branding/awareness, direct response on Facebook, or direct response on your website. Once you determine your goals you’ll figure out what the right ad opportunity to embark upon. However, at the end of the day it comes down to how you measure your social ROI, and not just hard metrics (revenue, profit, margin), but soft metrics too like reach and engagement. Also, social ads take time to increase reach and see success. Certainly broad targeting gets you volume, but more direct targeting can get you efficiency. To build your brand using social ads, you need to take your time doing that. It cannot be done in just 2 or 4 weeks.

Biggest challenges

The large problem with some companies is that they think their product is a fit for everyone in the world or everyone in the United States and the bottom line is, it’s usually not. The larger the target market will get you a lower conversion rate and a higher cost per ‘like’. So narrow it down if you can to get that conversion. At the end of the day, the value of that Facebook fan is worth $0 if they don’t convert to a sale or refer someone who does.

The biggest challenge is getting the creative correct.  Keep it direct and test different creatives throughout a campaign to avoid audience fatigue. Swap out the images, change the text. Keep in mind, however, that users are not “searching” for specific text or content to see your ad.  And according to Jonathan Beeston from EMEA, geo-targeted media is less effective at growing fans. Don’t forget that fan growth is usually directly tied to your media spend, so if you spend $200 for a two week campaign, you can expect low return. When it comes to optimizing your Facebook ads marketers are left with figuring out what’s the special sauce to get the maximum return. Is it segmentation and targeting, creative, bid strategy, or a combination? So much to take into consideration.

5 ways to optimize Facebook ads

  1. Build ad variants – figuring out what works with the image, headline, and body copy of your ad is key. Then monitoring your campaign and being nimble enough to swap out what’s not working with what is working will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
  2. Re-target your fans – just because they liked your page last week doesn’t mean they’ve converted to a fan or are engaging with your brand continuously. Re-targeting will get them to interact with your brand, allows you to keep your brand on top of mind of your audience, and hopefully will convert to sales.
  3. Cross-channel integration – display, search, and Facebook advertising should be integrated with one another across a campaign. They each have different pros and cons built into them. Think of it as having dinner. You could just have the appetizer, main entree, or dessert, but together it’s a meal. Marrying display, search, and social advertising is the meal or the complete ad campaign.
  4. Choose the proper ad type – there are 20 different kinds of Marketplace ads and 19 Premium ad types. Premium ads are larger and go into the news feed. Marketplace offer low-cost and high reach efficiency, whereas, Premium offers higher visibility because it appears in the news feed, thus giving your higher return on engagement (ROE).
  5. Figure out your sub-targets – you automatically have an idea of who your target audience is from your Facebook Inisights, but do you know what their likes and interests are? There are tools available that help you look at this such as Adobe’s Affinity Tool and utilizing Facebook’s OpenGraph.

Do you think Facebook ads are effective? Take the poll. 

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.

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