In this third and final part of my Facebook for Business series, we will look at how you can leverage Facebook Ads to get your business in front of new people, as well as take a peek at Facebook Insights and see what value they hold for your business.
Not read parts one or two of this guide yet? Please do before continuing. It will ensure we’re on the same page and you’ll get a lot more value overall: Getting Started With Facebook for Business – Part One
Ready to explore the world of Facebook Ads and Facebook Insights? Let’s go!
With organic (non-paid) reach on Facebook at an all-time low, businesses now have to work harder than ever to attract, engage and convert users of the platform. As I keep saying, simply being present is no longer enough. You need to be creating highly-engaging content and interacting with your audience(s) on a frequent basis.
[Recommended reading: 10 Ways To Boost Engagement On Your Facebook Page]
However, while I’m definitely not part of the ‘Facebook is now only a pay to play platform’ brigade, I do totally appreciate the role Facebook Ads can play and that’s why this section exists.
The bottom line is that Facebook Ads enable you to reach new people who may be interested in the products/services you offer, but who don’t necessarily know about them at the moment.
Now before we go into more detail about Facebook Ads, I want to reassure you that you don’t need to spend a fortune to see results. Even a modest budget of £5 a day can get your business in front of plenty of people who might be interested in what you offer.
And what makes Facebook Ads even more powerful is the fact they can be displayed not only on Facebook, but also Instagram, Audience Network and Messenger too.
Here’s my in-a-nutshell breakdown of Facebook Ads:
1. Develop a strategy
Before you jump right in and start creating ads, you need to establish exactly what it is you want to achieve. Otherwise, you’ll end up creating ads that aren’t very focused and spending money unnecessarily on campaigns that don’t afford the best results.
Start by asking yourself some very simple questions:
- What am I promoting?
- Who am I targeting?
- What are their pain points?
- Do they already know my business?
- Do I want to generate leads, boost my brand awareness, drive traffic to my website, or something else?
2. Decide on an objective
At the time of writing, there are currently 11 different objectives to choose from when creating a Facebook ad:
- Brand awareness
- App installs
- Video views
- Lead generation
- Catalogue sales
- Store visits
Consider your choice of objective carefully as it can have an impact on your results and even cost-per-click (CPC). For example, if you’ve created a video that’s designed to boost sales, go for the ‘conversions’ option, not the ‘video views’ option. After all, you want sales, not just video views, right!?
3. Define your audience
You should have an idea of who you want to target with your ad (your audience) before you start. Now’s your chance to define said audience based on your pre-determined criteria.
You can choose from:
- Custom audiences (consisting of people who have already interacted with your business)
- Lookalike audiences (consisting of people who have never heard of you, but have key similarities to your custom audiences)
- Location targeting (countries, regions, cities, postcodes)
- Demographic targeting (age, gender, first language, etc.)
- Interest/behaviour targeting
- Connection targeting (include people who like your page/have used your app or don’t include people who like your page/have used your app)
4. Ad placement
Facebook recommends you use its automatic placements option when creating an ad. However, if you prefer the handling of your ad placement yourself, you can choose to edit placements accordingly.
Device type allows you to specify the devices on which your ads will be seen, while all the tick boxes determine where your ad(s) will be potentially placed.
5. Set your budget & schedule
Whether you’ve allocated a daily or total budget for your campaign will determine what you choose in this next step:
For just £5 a day, over a 30-day period, your ad could be seen by literally thousands of people!
While there are advanced optimisation options in this section, I would advise you to only explore them once you are very familiar with the ads platform and have successfully run a few campaigns.
6. Choose an ad format
Now it’s your chance to choose the ad format you want to use. The available formats shown here will depend on what objective you chose at the beginning of this process.
Each ad campaign you create will likely benefit from being in a certain format depending on what you are trying to achieve. As a basic rule of thumb, video ads and carousel ads tend to have higher engagement and click-through rates (CTRs).
Top tip: use an image that has little or no overlaid text. Facebook actually sometimes reduces the reach of ads that have lots of text on the images.
7. Add the details
Depending on the ad format you’ve chosen, you’ll need to add an appropriate image/video and some text, as well as a website URL (if you want). The great thing about this part is you can see a live preview of how your ad will look on various devices on the right-hand side of the screen.
Also, depending on the type of ad format you choose, a list of recommendations will appear. Here’s the one Facebook displays when you select ‘single video’, for example:
8. Monitor your ads
With your ad campaigns underway, it’s time to monitor how they are performing and possibly make some changes accordingly. For example, you might see that the CPC (cost-per-click) has increased on your ad and as a result, you’re not getting as much bang for your buck.
I highly recommend that you create your own Facebook Pixel and install it on your business website. It allows you to measure, optimise and create custom audiences for your ad campaigns. The insights your Facebook Pixel can afford are priceless.
Anyone who is an admin of your business Facebook page can take advantage of the insights section, which is something that can significantly help you understand your page’s performance.
Here are just some of the ways Facebook Insights can help shape your efforts:
- Determine the best time of day to post
- The best day of the week to post
- Which of your content is most popular
You can access your page’s insights section by simply clicking on the ‘Insights’ link at the top of your page:
The first screen you’ll see is the overview. This provides a big picture view of everything that’s going on with your page, including some data on how your 5 most recent posts have performed (towards the bottom of the page).
Three of the main metrics to keep an eye on here are:
- Page likes
- Post engagements
Here’s why each of these is important:
While you’ll hear me regularly comment how the total number of page likes is more of a vanity metric than anything else, it is, nevertheless, something you should keep an eye on. For example, if you suddenly experience a large increase or drop in page likes during a certain period, you should figure out why.
Could it be because you published a certain post that day/week? Or did you launch a new ad campaign around that time? Page likes are an indicator of whether people like what you’re doing and if your brand is being seen out there on Facebook.
From here, you can monitor your page’s growth and see where your new followers are coming from (e.g. organic or paid sources).
Top tip: the ‘People’ tab allows you to see aggregated demographic data for each of your page fans – things their gender, where they live and their age group. This enables you to figure out who your page is appealing to the most and craft content going forward accordingly.
The reach tab provides data regarding just how much reach your page posts are achieving (both organic and paid). Obviously, if people are sharing your posts then your organic reach figures will improve, while ad campaigns will boost the paid reach seen here.
If your reach stats are disappointing, think of ways to improve them. For example, if there are any spikes in the reach graph, click on it and drill down to see why. It might be that a certain type of post experiences far greater reach than another – maybe you need more of these kinds of post!?
This is my favourite metric to track because it’s the one that has the power to boost all the others. By understanding how well your individual posts are performing, you can adapt what you’re publishing accordingly.
An often overlooked feature here is the ‘when your fans are online’ section. This does exactly as its name suggests and allows you to see when your page followers are online on Facebook. So while there might not be a universal ‘best time to post on Facebook’, there could well be a ‘best time for your brand to post on Facebook’.
The post types section tells you how your different posts are performing in terms of reach and engagement. If pictures posted at a certain time get a lot more reach than links posted at a different time, ask yourself why this might be. Which is the influential factor – the type of post (image vs. link) or the time of day?
Maybe videos posted on certain days experience a phenomenal reach, so look to add more of them to your content calendar for the future.
Finally, more wonderful insights can be gleaned from the ‘top posts from pages you watch’ section. That’s because you’re inevitably following some of your competitors and this is where you can see how their posts are performing.
Look at the engagement figures for the posts from pages you watch to discover which ones are getting the most interactions and attention. There’s nothing to stop you from producing similar posts and benefitting from some of the action too.
Now I’ve only looked at three areas of the Facebook Insights page. Have a look around all of the sections of the insights page. There is a ton of information, some of which you may find irrelevant and some that could prove vital to your Facebook business efforts.
A Quick Word On Engagement Bait
I wanted to finish up by quickly touching on what’s known as ‘engagement bait’.
In December 2017, Facebook published a blog post that outlined how the social network was going to be targeting (penalising) posts that are deemed to be engagement bait going forward.
Image credit: Facebook
Basically, engagement bait is anything that goads people into interacting with it. Posts like the ones below are considered spammy and Facebook doesn’t tolerate them. Get caught repeatedly and your entire page could suffer. Don’t do it. Ever.
I really hope this three-part guide has provided you with plenty of food for thought and actionable tips to help you further improve your business Facebook page going forward.
Still looking for some more advice and information to make your Facebook efforts kick ass? Get in touch with me today. I’d love to discuss what you’re doing and see how we can drive your Facebook strategy forward.
Here’s how you can get in touch with me: