When it comes to advertising, Facebook is a platform to watch. Why? Advertising makes up almost 97 percent of Facebook’s revenue (as of Q2 2016). As the company continues to grow its user base, we can only expect it to keep finding ways to monetize all those users.
However, too many Facebook advertisers fail because they don’t know the ins and outs of Facebook advertising, and expect it to work like the Google Search Network. You need a specific strategy, and to get to that, you need to understand your audience and the tactics available to you.
This post will give you some tips and tricks for winning with Facebook advertising.
Why Facebook Advertising is Awesome: Targeting
First, know why you’re using Facebook in the first place. In a post about data sources, we highlight Facebook’s access to rich user data such as age, location, interests, gender, connections, education, work, income and much more.
In addition to that general data, Facebook helps advertisers reach existing customers and those who have visited the website with retargeting, as well as cross-device targeting.
But the thing that really sets Facebook apart from, say, the Google approach, is the vast amount of audience data informing the targeting.
In fact, that data is so important to Facebook’s methods that the company can use it to reach people who don’t even use the social network. The Audience Network is a way for advertisers to reach Facebook users when they’re not even on Facebook, and it’s been extended to maximize on data about non-users based on “likes” and using Lookalike Audiences.
Larry Kim of WordStream recently talked about Facebook ad targeting, but not in the name of selling products or services. Instead, he used the tool to recruit new employees.
To go along with an upbeat post and great company photos, Kim targeted the ad based on location, age, interests, education and more. His link to the jobs page on the website got 773 clicks—the kind of engagement we all want for our Facebook ads.
This is yet another way to unleash the power of Facebook targeting.
But, You Have to Work at It
As I mentioned in the intro, you need a strategy, and that takes a solid sense of knowing why you’re using the platform and whom you want to target as well as getting familiar with tactics available to advertisers.
One of those features is the frequency metric. Determined by dividing impressions by reach, frequency is how many times individual users have seen a post.
A low frequency can indicate that you’re targeting too wide an audience. On the other hand, high frequencies mean your ads are at risk for being seen so often that users learn to ignore them.
Will Conboy at Search Engine Land offers a few tips for managing frequency, including:
- Understand your audience and use available tools to reach them.
- Be wise and realistic about your budget.
- View your frequency at the campaign level, rather than getting hung up on the day-to-day.
- Limit ad volume to keep Facebook from over-serving ads to your audience.
- Look at your ad relevance score and consider removing any ads scoring low.
And, for a little more on creating effective Facebook campaigns, check out this brief interview with Larry Kim, in which he talks about the biggest mistake of social media advertising and focusing on creativity.
Don’t Forget Mobile
Within the financial highlights of its Q2 report (see link in intro), Facebook mentions that mobile advertising revenue counts for about 84 percent of all advertising revenue, and is on the rise.
Many brands are experimenting with mobile campaigns and finding success. Sony Pictures experienced Facebook ad success in its mobile campaign for the movie “Money Monster.” The company created mobile-optimized trailers for the upcoming film, and saw a 2X lift in intent to see the movie.
A note on mobile: Make sure your site is mobile-optimized if you’re sending folks to it. Just like Google is giving preferential treatment to mobile-friendly sites in the organic search results and to advertisers, too, Facebook is also concerned about that user experience.
FYI, you can test your site’s mobile friendliness and speed here.
It’s understandable that advertisers might become overwhelmed by not only the idea of Facebook advertising, but by the serious work it takes to make the efforts effective. If you’re in the mood to learn more, great places to start are Facebook Business news and Facebook for Developers.
Whether or not you use Facebook personally, it’s really become a must for many businesses. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the various tools, and how you can reach your audience on both desktop and mobile, and you’ll find that Facebook success is within your grasp.