It has been well documented how widespread Facebook is. When you sit down and actually look at the numbers, you’ll see that the social media channel is made up of 1.35 billion users that visit the site at least once a month. That’s a lot of people.
So what does that mean for your business? You have the opportunity to connect with customers based on their interests, behaviors, and demographics, allowing you to reach even the most narrow target audiences. That level of specificity is something almost no other advertising platform in the world can boast because practically no one collects as much data about a user as Facebook.
A week ago I was lucky enough to receive a crash course in Facebook advertising from Andrew Foxwell, CEO of the social media consulting firm Foxwell Digital, in my social media class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a student just getting started with digital marketing, this was an amazing opportunity to hear from one of the top Facebook experts around. Here are Foxwell’s key building blocks of Facebook advertising.
Now before you start throwing money at Facebook campaigns, take a step back and evaluate who your ideal audience actually is. Outside of basic demographic information like age and gender, you can also make use of more detailed stats such as:
- Relationship Status
- Life Events
The list goes on and on. The point is Facebook enables you to target your ideal customer right down to their last like. Incorporate interest targeting into your research by searching for customers based on pages they like, websites they browse, articles they have read, and photos they have uploaded. You can even go a step further by engaging in behavioral targeting through consumer snapshots that categorize users into hundreds of different categories.
If email lists are a huge source of revenue for your business, Facebook has something for that as well. Simply upload your email list into Facebook’s ad manager and it will automatically match each email address with the corresponding Facebook account. You can even create “Look Alike” audiences that resemble the members of your email list.
But perhaps the biggest thing to make sure you take advantage of is Website Custom Audiences. This allows you to target visitors to your site based on when they arrived using any time period you wish. You can even separate users based on the sections of the website they have visited.
When you have finally nailed down your ideal audience, determine what message you want to get across to them and how. If you run across some problems, think to yourself, “Would I click on that?” If not, your audience most likely won’t either.
Don’t forget Facebook is now more likely to show content that includes video native to Facebook instead of directing users towards YouTube and away from its site.
You have a few different options here depending on how much you want to spend. Choose between sharing your ads on desktops and mobile devices. If you are looking for more help on determining the costs of your campaign, check out this page from Facebook that goes through what you can expect to pay for your advertising based on the size of your audience and budget.
Image courtesy of The Brand Plan
One word of warning, although mobile advertising is currently cheaper, don’t be surprised if it surpasses desktop advertising as Facebook’s most expensive placement option considering the rapid rise of mobile device use in the past decade.
Up to this point you’ve put together most of the pieces necessary for a successful Facebook advertising campaign. Now you have to track just how well it actually works.
One way to do so is by tracking website clicks and conversions. Is your ideal audience clicking on your ad and being taken to your website? If so, are you getting the meaningful conversions you want? You can also monitor Facebook page likes to figure out how you can most effectively engage your ideal audience or even look at whether visitors using a specific device, such as a tablet or iPhone, are more likely to visit your site.
Here is the challenge every marketer faces. Attempting to measure success on social media and quantifying those results for a supervisor. Admittedly, this can be a tough task, but Facebook and Google help a whole lot.
Keep an eye on Audience Insights from Facebook and make sure you have a strong understanding of your analytics. These are great ways to see things like who is engaging with your content and how many people are seeing your posts. Use this data to continually revise and improve your campaign.
Above all else, be sure to set clear expectations. You can’t expect to have overnight success on Facebook. Don’t let that deter you from pushing forward. Each interaction your ad has is an opportunity for you to clarify who your target audience is and how you can best reach them through your campaign.
Hungry for more?
If all of that wasn’t enough to satisfy your appetite for Facebook advertising, I would encourage you to browse Foxwell’s website. There he has a great blog covering the latest developments in social media. Also be sure to follow him on Twitter at @andrewfoxwell.