Try a Facebook Ad

In our previous post, Join Facebook Groups, we continued our series on Facebook by discussing the importance of Facebook groups and why to join them.

In this post, we conclude our series on Facebook with a final post about how to set up a Facebook ad, how to target your audience, and how to price the ad.

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Try a Facebook Ad

Facebook offers surprisingly affordable and very targetable advertisings. It’s pretty easy to get started, and you can set a daily campaign budget. Just select the Advertising link at the bottom of any page, select Create an Ad, and fill in the form. You’ll want to spend some time thinking of the ad title, since this will be one of the main elements that will attract members to click on your ad. You get 135 characters for the body of the ad, less than the limit for a tweet, so make it work for you. Get right to the point; your objective is to get a click.

You also must provide a small image for the ad. You’ll want to think about this as well. Come up with something meaningful that makes the member want to click. Don’t just go with your enterprise’s logo.

Clicking on the ad will send the member to a Website you designate. Avoid the temptation to simply direct people to the main page of your Website. It’s far better to create a special page on your site, a microsite, or a special video in your YouTube channel, to receive those who click. This page should acknowledge the visitor, possibly by mentioning where they came from, and it should also get right to the point. You only have seconds to convince the visitor not to leave. Be sure the page has a call to action.

The next section of the Advertising page enables you to target your ad to a specific subset of Facebook members (unless you’ve got tons of money, you’ll definitely want to do this.) You can show the ad by location, age, gender, relationship status, languages spoken, interests, education and work, and even by connections to one of your pages, events, groups, or applications.

For example, you could target an ad to unmarried members from New York who are in college, speak Spanish, and who are interested in clean water. As you can see from the next figure, that’s a pretty small bunch of folks.

Facebook ad targeting

Figure 1 — Example of a Targeted Facebook Ad Campagin

The final section enables you to name your ad campaign, set a daily budget, and select either a contin­uously running ad, or one that runs only on certain dates and times.

The last bit on the page is perhaps the most important, and it’s easy to miss. Facebook suggests a minimum bid per click, generally under $1. This is the ceiling you will pay when someone clicks on your ad.

Don’t just accept this default!

Instead, click “Set a Different Bid (Advanced Mode)” and examine the suggested range that Facebook provides. You can set the per click price to as little as one cent, but we don’t recommend this, even if you like to pinch pennies. The reason is that the advertising space on Facebook is quite limited, so your ad is competing with other ads to be shown. Facebook doesn’t say how they determine which ads are shown, but it probably involves the amount the advertiser will pay-per-click and the percentage of ads that get clicked on. If your bid is too low, you won’t get many impressions — showings of the ad. And if your ad doesn’t get shown, nobody can click on it.

On the other hand, the amount per click that Facebook suggests may be higher than is necessary to give you good response. You’ll want to experiment with the amount to determine what is best for your ad.

You’ll notice that Facebook gives you an estimate of how many clicks per day you’re likely to get for your ad. It’s a rough guide you can use to set up your daily budget, but don’t depend entirely on their number.

Facebook also offers to let you pay for impressions instead of paying for clicks.

Don’t ever pay for impressions in any Web advertising unless you really know what you’re doing!

An impression means someone saw your ad. One of the reasons you might ever be interested in this is if you’re doing a branding-oriented campaign just to get your name out there. And even then it’s generally only a good idea if the cost per thousand impressions (CPM) is very small.

To compare the two major options, we recently created an ad. Facebook recommended paying 93 cents per click and estimated we’d get 54 clicks per day. We changed the campaign to pay-per-impression and Facebook recommended paying 40 cents per thousand impressions with an estimated 125,000 impressions per day. Doing the quick math indicates that for the pay-per-click campaign — which delivers 54 members to our Webpage — we’d pay $50.22 a day. For the pay-per-impression campaign we’d pay $50 per day, which doesn’t seem too bad. The problem is we have no idea how many clicks we’ll get from such a campaign. The campaign might result in the same number, fewer, or many more visitors to our Webpage, but we pay the same even if it only delivers a single visitor to our Webpage.

Because you can’t be certain of the return from a pay-per-impression campaign, we recommend staying with the pay-per-click model, at least until you’ve figured out how Facebook members are responding to your ads. You might also want to go with pay-per-impression after your pay-per-click campaign response has started to decline. This could mean that you’ve gotten the most-likely people to click and, since they’re not going to click twice, it may be more difficult to reach the rest of the audience. At that point, putting your ad in front of more people with a pay-per-impression campaign might make sense.

Whatever kind of ad campaign you select, be sure to read Facebook’s advertising help pages before embarking on your first campaign.[1] To maximize your ad spend, you should also consider doing split testing, a technique in which you test two or more variations of an ad and measure the results. There’s more on split testing in our upcoming post Optimizing for Google. has a very good post about Facebook advertising that you also should check out.[2]

Next up: Setting Up YouTube

Try a Facebook Ad is the 131st in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 351. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

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[1] Facebook help:

[2] AllFacebook’s article 10 Facebook Advertising Tips For Brilliant