Successful Facebook marketing involves connecting with fans of your Page. This requires posting regularly to your Facebook Page with relevant and interesting content that engages your fans and results in interactions such as likes, comments and shares.
When determining what content is the most relevant and engaging, understand your Facebook Insights to identify what types of content gets the most interactions.
In addition to interacting with your fans, successful Facebook marketing also involves continually building up your Facebook fan base. Facebook marketing is similar to email marketing in that growing your email list affects open rates. Here growing your Facebook fan base increases interactions, and Facebook ads are one way to promote your Page to potential fans as well as to friends of your fans.
As part of your Facebook advertising strategy, you want to:
- Use Facebook Ads to build up your fan base.
- Once you have fans, use Sponsored Stories to reach and influence friends of your fans.
What Are Facebook Ads?
There are 2 types of Facebook ads:
- Standard Ad
- Page Post Ad
With Standard ads, you create the body copy and set the destination URL—this can be your Facebook page, a Facebook app or an external URL. Here’s an example of a Standard Ad for our client 49th Shelf for their book giveaway:
Page Posts Ads use the copy and image of a post on your page. You can choose a specific post or set the ad to use the most recent eligible post.
Note: Using the most recent eligible post requires that Facebook approve every new post on your page to use as an ad. Beware of using the most recent eligible post because your ad will be constantly pending approval depending on how frequently you post.
Page Post Ads are a good way to promote popular posts to both fans and non-fans because they highlight the number of likes and comments you’ve received on the post.
Here’s an example of a Page Post ad for 49th Shelf:
What Are Sponsored Stories?
Sponsored Stories are ads that highlight interactions on your Page to friends of your fans.
They can be displayed in the regular ad slot in the right column on Facebook but they can also appear in News Feeds. The benefit of having a Sponsored Story appear in News Feeds (other than the fact that they will be more likely to be seen) is that they can also be seen on mobile. This is currently the only way ads are be displayed on m.facebook.com.
There are 3 types of Sponsored Stories:
- Page Like Story: An ad that tells friends when someone has liked a page
- Check-in Story: An ad that tells friends when someone has checked-in to a page
- Page Post Like Story: An ad that tells friends when someone has liked a post on a page
Here’s an example of a Page Like Story for 49th Shelf:
Both Sponsored Stories and Page Post Ads use Friends of Connections targeting. This means that the ads are automatically set to reach the people who are eligible to see the story in their News Feed.
Note: you need to have a certain number of fans on your Page before you can run Sponsored Stories, or your estimated reach will be too low. In our experience, 1000 fans seemed to be the tipping point for running successful Sponsored Stories.
Why Should I Use Sponsored Stories?
Sponsored Stories can help to boost the distribution of your Page and your Page posts by highlighting the interactions that people have had on your Page. Facebook is showing less and less content in News Feeds (the average Facebook post only reaches 12-16% of your fans) so Sponsored Stories give more exposure to your content. They also rely on social context and the premise that people are more likely to like things that their friends have liked.
Best Practices For Running a Facebook Ad Campaign
1. Segment Your Campaigns
Identify the different audience groups you are targeting and create 3-4 well-targeted ads for each group. You can target by location, age, gender and interests.
Test which audience responds best to each ad. Adjust your budgets to focus on the high-performing ads.
Note: If you have a small budget, it is better to shorten the length of time your ads run rather than spreading out the time and diluting the effectiveness of your ads.
2. Customize the Messaging for Each Audience
Your body copy and imagery should be tailored to each specific audience group.
- Keep body copy short and clear
- Give people an incentive to like your ad
- Include a clear call to action
- Use eye-catching, colourful images
- Make the most of the full space available
- Choose simple, uncluttered images
3. Track Performance With Reporting
You should login to the ad manager every day to check the performance of your ads. Pause ads that are not doing well and create similar ads based on the ads that are doing well. Facebook shows ads multiple times to the same people so the key is to change around the image and/or body copy every couple of days.
Facebook Insights provides additional reports in the left-hand column of the ads manager. The Responder Demographics report, in particular, is useful. It shows which demographic group is responding best to your ads, and could even influence decisions about your marketing activity beyond Facebook.
Facebook Ad Campaign Checklist
- Run Facebook Ads to build up your fan base.
- Once you have around 1000 fans, use Sponsored Stories to interact with friends of fans.
- Structure your campaign by segment then test 3-4 ads per campaign.
- Use compelling copy and images for each ad, tailoring your message to the right audience.
- Track ad performance on Ads Manager every couple of days.
- Pause low performers and adjust budget; play around with ad text and images. Remember: Only Sponsored Stories that are doing really well appear in news feeds. So, monitor and optimize your Sponsored Stories, in particular.
For more information:
Facebook recently held two livecasts on Facebook ads (Deep Dive: Sponsored Stories and Measure and Improve your Ad Campaigns) as part of their Marketing Talks LIVE series. You can access the videos in the Facebook Marketing Classroom.