1. Create as many advertisements as you can (at least 5-10)

It’s a little tedious in practice but the more ads you can create as part of your campaign, the better. Come up with different titles (if you are running a campaign that allows you to change the ad title), different copy ideas and different images. I suggest at least three different titles (if applicable), three different copy text options and three different image options. You should mix and match them all so that you can determine which works the best. Facebook makes it easy to replicate ads by clicking ‘Create a similar ad’ on each ad campaign.

2. After a few days focus on the best achieving ads

Wait a couple of days and check how each of the ads is performing (in fact you should be checking up on this in the meantime, but wait a couple of days before changing things). Most likely there will be one or two ads which are quite obviously outperforming in terms of CTR (click-thru rate) and connections. Facebook would have already begun serving these ads more than the others (you’ll notice they will have gotten much higher impressions), but you should pause all the other ads that are not performing as well so that your budget is focused on the best performing ads.

3. Keep an eye on demographics

Facebook allows you to see the demographics (state, age, gender) of the people who are being served your ad (and theoretically clicking on it) by visiting https://www.facebook.com/ads/manage/reports.php. This is particularly important if you are paying CPM – but it’s interesting even if you are paying CPC. Facebook is meant to tell you who is clicking on your ad so that you can optimise your targeting to suit, however it doesn’t give that information to me. If you can only see the impressions data like me, there is a way to (not as accurately) track who is converting to a fan from the ads by tracking the change in demographics via normal Facebook insights. If it’s clear that females 18-25 are responding the most to your ad, you might want to think about specifically targeting this group in the future to try and get bigger bang for your buck.

4. Make sure your ads follow Facebook advertising guidelines

This one is important because of two reasons: 1. Facebook can be pretty strict with what ads they approve and 2. They can take a long time to approve them (we’re talking up to 8-12 hours). They are specific about what you can include in your title, text and even image – read Facebook ad guidelines to find out more. Basically if your ads get disapproved it can mean an extra day before they go live. The other thing to note here is they can be very inconsistent with this approval strategy. I have created a campaign before where half my ads were approved and half were disapproved even though they all said the same thing, but just mixed around images and titles. To make things more confusing, I changed the targeting information (from everyone to females only) from the approved ads and this sent the ads through the approval process again even though I hadn’t touched the ad copy/text/image at all. The ads were then disapproved… even though I hadn’t changed anything! It is clearly a very human process, which is why it will depend on which person you get approving your ad!

5. Get more fans.

This seems a little confusing and contradictory because obviously you’re advertising in the first place to (probably) get more fans for your Page – and we all know you shouldn’t try to get mass communities who don’t care in your product. HOWEVER the more fans you have, the higher your ‘social reach’ will be (this means the people who will see your ad and have underneath the message that one of their friends has already liked your page) – and studies have shown that social ads tend to be more successful. What it does mean though is that if you have a promotion strategy that includes building your community in other ways (eg. EDMs to customers) perhaps do these things before carrying out your Facebook campaign.

6. Use the targeting – but only if it’s obvious

Facebook offers really awesome targeting options – like geographic area, age, gender, marital status and even interests. These are really handy tools if you really know the demographics of who you are targeting – however – too often people get caught up in this and their campaign results suffer as a result. If you’re guessing about what your target market looks like, I’d recommend to leave it more open to begin with (at least until you carry out number 3 above) – this is particularly if you are paying cost per click (CPC). If you’re paying CPM you can probably afford to be more selective because you want to make sure you’re getting the best value for your advertising dollar. Also keep an eye on the suggested bid – sometimes by changing the demographic targeting information the suggested bid goes up or down – this can give you a good idea of the most cost-effective target markets!

7. Speak to your audience.

I hate wanky or airy fairy advice and granted the above is bordering on sounding like an example of this… however you really need to make sure your ad is speaking to your audience. Who is it that you want to attract with your ad? What are you selling? What words/terminology/images would appeal to them? Personalise the message tone and content to suit your audience and don’t just have one line of corporate speak or boring description about your product. You need to entice them by speaking to them in the way that will gain their attention and interest.

Another important point here is that if you have a diverse target market, you may want to change your ads to suit different ages/cultures etc. For example a pizzeria may be of interest to people who are 18 and 80 – but the message that would appeal to these two groups may be very different. You may have a gym but the message that would appeal to women may be very different than to men. Create different ads for your different markets.

8. Get your message right.

Ok so this sounds a little like the point above, but I have some different advice I swear! Make sure your message is NOT vague. We can all be tempted to create messaging that sounds exciting, appealing and will attract as many people as possible. The problem with this is that if you’re paying per click, you will end up paying a lot of money for people who were intrigued with your message enough to click through and read what you have to say, but once they get there they realise it’s not for them. It’s better to have less clicks but more conversions – that way you’re getting the best value for money.

You should also make sure you have a clear call to action in your message. What do you want people to do? And also why should they do it? If you have a pizzeria, you’re more likely to get more clicks/conversions if you have a message that reads like “click through to get your voucher for a free garlic bread” than if you wrote something like “Adam’s Pizzeria – fun for the whole family” which doesn’t really inspire action.

Another point is often the shorter your text is, the better it performs. Make your message as concise as possible – and often asking a question can increase engagement too.

9. Change one thing at a time!

When you’re optimising your ads to make sure you get the best click-thru rates and conversions as possible, make sure you only make one change at a time. It’s easy to get over-excited and start making changes left, right and centre – but then when your ad starts performing better you won’t know exactly which change led to that result. It’s a slow process but to get the best insights (particularly if you’re going to run more campaigns in the future) you’re best to do it this way rather than guess which things worked and which things didn’t.

10. Choose your image carefully.

If you have a business page you may be tempted to use your logo as the Facebook ad image. The problem with this is that your logo may mean nothing to other people, unless you’re famous. If you’re coca cola then a logo may work for you, but if you’re the average joe business that isn’t a global household name this strategy is likely to work against you. Choosing a facebook ad image is a lot like choosing normal standard ad images/designs. You need to pick something that is bright and attention-grabbing but also illustrates your offer or business effectively. Including a person or people often works well as well. For example someone smiling using your product with a bright background may work well. Just make sure you choose a few different options and test them all. If you really want to you can test one that is only your logo to see how it goes – I have heard of one example where this outperformed other ad types, so you can always try!

Those are my top ten tips, but I’d love to hear of any that you may have – or even examples of your own Facebook advertising stories.

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