If you’ve seen one of our many presentations in 2014, you’ve probably heard us mention the importance of Facebook advertising. In September, Facebook made a change to its algorithm, drastically reducing the reach of business posts. In December, they did it again and now only an estimated 3% of your followers will see your posts if you don’t advertise. With that in mind, we’ve put together our top 5 basic steps to get started with Facebook advertising.
Step 1 – Ads Manager & Power Editor: When you’re first getting started with Facebook advertising it’s sometimes hard to find where to begin. Once you’ve accessed the “Ads Manager” page it will show as a link on your Facebook “Home” page on the left side navigation, but for your first entry point you can start by clicking on this link: https://www.facebook.com/ads/manage/. If you manage several business pages, you’ll want to make sure you have your Account dropdown in the top left corner set to the correct account. The “Ads Manager” is where you’ll set up your billing information, your users who are allowed access to your ads, and where you’ll access your reports. Once you have the billing information set up, you can click on “Power Editor” to actually start building your audiences and campaigns. Each time you go into the Power Editor you will want to click the “Download to Power Editor” button to ensure you’re working with the latest data.
Step 2 – Audience: Once you’re in the Power Editor, you’ll want to start building some audiences to target your ads to. There are 3 different types of audiences you can create. The first is a Target Group that allows you to select different user demographics that match the demographics of your audience. If you’re a venue or event you may want to set up a target group that lives within a 50 mile radius, and is “interested in” a specific performer coming to your stage, or sponsors supporting your events, or local media outlets. If you’re a destination, you may want to target a different city or state that you know travels to your area frequently, along with a specific age group, or parents of children in a specific age group. You can also create target groups of people who “Like” your page and their friends. There are a ton of options here so we recommend you explore the possibilities. The 2nd type of audience is a Custom Audience. This is a spreadsheet of email addresses that you’ve collected for your newsletter, volunteers, sponsors, board members, etc. that you can upload to Facebook and it will search for Facebook accounts tied to that email list. You can also create a custom audience of people who visit your website. The 3rd audience type is a Lookalike Audience which Facebook creates based off the demographics of your uploaded Custom Audience, and matches those demographics to other Facebook users with similar likes, interests, ages and locations.
Step 3 – Campaigns, Ad Sets & Ads: Now that you have your audiences set up, you can start creating those ads. There are 3 levels of ad creation. The top level is the Campaign. The Campaign is where you set the Objective of a group of ads. The ad objectives range from increasing engagement with your posts (generating more likes, shares and comments on a specific post), to increasing page likes (the number of people who are following your business page), to increasing website conversions (actually getting users to click through to your website and make a purchase). The Ad Set is the middle level of a group of ads and is where you set your budget and the start and end date for the group. Important tip: Please note that Facebook defaults your ad set to run continuously with no end date and with a $10 daily budget. You can edit this amount and add an end date if you would like. We’ve seen success with budgets as low as $3/day. You can have multiple ad sets within a campaign which helps you budget different amounts to different groups of ads. The bottom layer is the Ad itself. You can make an ad out of any of the following: a post that is already live, a post that is scheduled to go live in the future, or an unpublished post that doesn’t actually show on your business page but does show on your audience’s wall. You can have many ads within an ad set, and this allows you to create an ad for each audience using the same content for each or possibly different content depending on your needs. When you create the ad you need to set the name and select the post on the first tab, set the audience on the second tab and set the “Optimization & Pricing” on the third tab. I typically use the Optimized CPM option to allow Facebook to determine the best mix of how to spend my set budget between my ads within an ad set.
Step 4: Create an editorial calendar and budget for your Facebook advertising that will help you determine how much you will be spending throughout the year. Consider ramping up your budget in the weeks leading up to tickets going on sale and while tickets are on sale, and then lowering it during your off-season. Your editorial calendar should reflect milestone dates for your venue, event or destination as well as for your surrounding community and national holidays and events so your posts can be relevant to what your fans are already paying attention to. Consider scheduling contests and promotions to garner excitement and use that as an opportunity to spend additional advertising budget on posts that your audience will be most excited about. Whether you’re spending a dollar a day or $50 a day, you’ll be guaranteeing that more people will see your posts than if you do not advertise at all.
Step 5: Practice makes perfect and this is a format that will likely take a bit of trial and error. If you’re looking at the reporting during a campaign and realizing that a target audience isn’t responding, think about what needs to change for that audience to work better. Adjust your settings and keep moving forward. If you notice that posts with images or promotions get better traction than posts without those things, then do more of what’s working and less of what isn’t.
With over 1 billion monthly active users, Facebook is space that cannot be ignored, but you simply won’t be seen without spending some advertising dollars there!